Re: Acts 19:2

James H. Vellenga (
Wed, 13 Mar 96 16:32:46 EST

>>I promised my beginning Greek students that I'd ask you b-greekers for your
>>input on the usage of PISTEUSANTES in Acts 19:2. The verse asks: EI PNEUMA
>>hAGION ELABETE PISTEUSANTES? Our textbook suggested that it could
>>legitimately mean action prior to the action of the main verb or attendant
>>circumstance, with neither grammar nor immediate context strongly pointing
>>one way or the other. What do you think? With the diversity of theological
>>positions represented by b-greek, I can't wait for your responses!
>>Sherry Kull
>>Adjunct Faculty
>>Biblical Theological Seminary
>Good question. The terms occur in an indirect question in which the
>adverbial participle relates to the main verb, but in a manner which leaves
>it to the reader/hearer to infer. I understand it as follows:
>1. It is probably to be understood in the first place as inceptive, i.e.
>"dome to believe."
>Edgar M. Krentz Tel: 312-256-0752

For intransitive PISTEUW, I like "to commit oneself" -- i.e., a positive
action; but if "believe", then I agree with Edgar: "come to believe"

But as to the main question, I don't think it matters too much whether
the receiving is (immediately) after or simultaneous with the making of
the commitment or coming to believe. I.e.,

Did you receive the Holy Spirit [after] committing yourselves/coming
to believe?


Did you receive the Holy Spirit [while] committing yourselves/coming
to believe?

And the reason it doesn't matter is that when the Ephesians said they
had not received the H.S., Paul immediately questioned what rite they
were baptized into. I.e., he seems to assume that if you were baptized
into Christ, you would have received the Holy Spirit -- essentially at
or about the same time.

Personally, although I consider myself a charismatic, I don't think that
receiving the Holy Spirit necessarily entails phenomena that are
obviously supra-natural, although that can occur. I think what is more
likely is that many of us don't fully realize how to keep "going around"
(PERPATEW) in accordance with the Spirit (Gal. 5.25), so that we aren't
acutely aware of Him/Her/It.


James H. Vellenga |
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