Does "Believest Thou This?" mean "Do you (singular) believe this?" ?

I want to know whether a native English speaker, when he sees a title like "Believest Thou This?", immediately realizes it means "Do You (singular) Believe This?".

I want to use, in an ironic way, such a title, taken form inside a sermon written by somebody who tried to make credible a fantastic story with technical and scientific character consisting of a chain of events that person claimed he had witnessed.

  • 1
    Yes. Similar to "Believe You This?" or, how we would say it today, "Do You Believe This?"
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 20:54
  • 1
    And, yes, ironically is the only way to use that expression these days. BTW, cf. "Glaubst du das?" in German.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 20:59
  • It would depend on whether they have been exposed to early modern English of the sort used in the King James Bible, which is where this quote comes from (John 11:26). You may be better off using Yoda-speak: "Believe you this?"
    – Mick
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 21:54
  • 1
    Believe you this? is just subject–verb inversion, which is archaic in Present-Day English (we now require do-support: Do you believe this?). It is not Yoda-speak.
    – user230
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 21:57
  • 5
    "Of course"? But the primary characteristic of Yodaic is fronting verbal complements past the subject, so the proper Yodaic rendering would be either This, you believe? or Believe this, you do? Let's not pretend that historical English inversion is similar to Yodaic simply because they both involve a change of word order. There is a proper term here, and it is subject–verb inversion, not Yoda-speak.
    – user230
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


Believest Thou This?

in older English, is equivalent to

Do you believe this?

in modern English.

The thing you may need to be careful of is most native speakers, especially Christians, will recognize this quote as coming from the Bible and spoken by Jesus in John(11:26), so using the quote may carry more meanings than you realize.

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