NETNew English Translation
1 “Do not let your hearts be distressed.#sn The same verb is used to describe Jesus’ own state in John 11:33, 12:27, and 13:21. Jesus is looking ahead to the events of the evening and the next day, his arrest, trials, crucifixion, and death, which will cause his disciples extreme emotional distress. You believe in God;#tn Or “Believe in God.” The translation of the two uses of πιστεύετε (pisteuete) is difficult. Both may be either indicative or imperative, and as L. Morris points out (John [NICNT], 637), this results in a bewildering variety of possibilities. To complicate matters further, the first may be understood as a question: “Do you believe in God? Believe also in me.” Morris argues against the KJV translation which renders the first πιστεύετε as indicative and the second as imperative on the grounds that for the writer of the Fourth Gospel, faith in Jesus is inseparable from faith in God. But this is precisely the point that Jesus is addressing in context. He is about to undergo rejection by his own people as their Messiah. The disciples’ faith in him as Messiah and Lord would be cast into extreme doubt by these events, which the author makes clear were not at this time foreseen by the disciples. After the resurrection it is this identification between Jesus and the Father which needs to be reaffirmed (cf. John 20:24-29). Thus it seems best to take the first πιστεύετε as indicative and the second as imperative, producing the translation “You believe in God; believe also in me.” believe also in me.
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