Re: baptism and forgiveness with EIS--Acts 2:38 context

Paul Dixon - Ladd Hill Bible Church (
Wed, 29 May 1996 00:00:10 -0700 (PDT)

First of all, aorist participles do not necessarily denote antecedent
action to that of the main verb. Far from it. The aorist denotes
simple, undefined action. Often the time is antecedent, but many times
it is coincident to that of the main verb. There are other possibilities
as well.

Regardless, even if the action is antecedent (in Mk 16:16) it is still
erroneous logic to deduce the negation. Unless the author states the
negation, then it can not be inferred. The second half of the verse does
state the negation for belief, but not for baptism.

When the authors of Scripture wished to communicate a biconditional
thought they had a ready device by which to do so. They simply stated
the conditional and its negation (Jn 6:53-54, 1 Jn 5:12 for examples).

Dr. Paul S. Dixon, Pastor
Ladd Hill Bible Church
Wilsonville, Oregon

On Tue, 28 May 1996, John T. Lewis wrote:

> Hello Paul:
> At 01:50 PM 5/28/96 -0700, you wrote:
> >It is invalid to deduce the negation, that is, "if you repent and are not
> >baptized, then your sins will not be forgiven." That simply does not
> >follow logically. Technically, "If A and B, then C" means simply on the
> >condition of both A and B, then C follows. It does not imply "if not (A
> >and B), then not C." This is the negation. One of the ways the negation
> >exists here is, "if A and not B, then not C." This is the form of Acts
> >2:38. We do not have to resort to fancy exegetical gymnastics in order
> >to show baptism is not required. It is not, because logic forbids it
> >here. Baptism would be required only if such a statement as "if a man
> >is not baptized, then his sins are not forgiven" can be found.
> >Fortunately, none can be found in Scripture.
> >
> >On the contrary, the negation for belief and/or repentance is found in
> >numerous passages (Jn 8:24, Mk 16:16b).
> I will not respond directly to your reply on Acts 2:38 above since this is a
> Greek mailing list. We can do that privately if you wish. However, let us
> look at the grammar of Mark 16:16. "He that believeth" and "is baptized"
> are aorist participles. The verb is "shall be saved." Is it not true that
> the action of the aorist partciples *MUST* take place before the action of
> the verb? That is, isn't it grammatically true that the action of *both*
> "believeth" and "is baptized" must take place *before* "shall be saved"? If
> so, then baptism is absolutley necessary before a person can be saved.
> Let me know what you think.
> Take care!
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