eis afesin twn hamartiwn humwn

Rod Rogers (rrogers@indy.net)
Fri, 31 May 1996 09:51:32 -0500

I suppose it's my conscience bothering me that prompts me to post this
message to b-greek, although it's Carlton Winbery that actually opened
Pandora's Box <g>.

Don't ask me how I get myself into these situations but I found myself
preparing for a "debate" or at least a rebuttal to statements made on
"Baptism For The Remission Of Sins". The program will air this Sunday.

Seeking wise counsel I made some personal e-mail contacts to some
individuals that I respect, some on B-GREEK some on TC-LIST. I mentioned
that I was responding personally because I thought that it might cause more
"heat than light" if I were to post this on b-greek.

Seeing how we've found ourselves in the quagmire of logic (you'll have to
excuse me, I scanned the A-B-C's discussions pretty lightly) and theology,
and left the exegesis of the greek text, I thought it would be profitable to
interject a few points that have been of benefit to me.

First of all I would like to thank all of you that took the time to respond
to question on eis afesin hamartiwn. I am always impressed by the "quality"
of responses given on this list. Your suggestions have gone a long way in
preparing me for this debate.

I hope that those you that have followed this discussion have benefited from
it. I know that I have. Thanks to Don Partain for his comments on Acts
2:38... "In other words, in Acts 2:38, is Peter telling _already-forgiven_
people what to do now that they have been forgiven? Or, isn't he
instead--in answer to their question--telling them they need to repent and
be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ _in order to be forgiven_?" Although
I don't think that this adds any support to your position (I'll explain
later), it is something that I hadn't thought of specifically. Also Don's
statement, "Clearly, they did not regard either repentance or baptism as
mere options.", is important to remember in this discussion. The N.T.
writers never entertained the thought of an unbaptized believer.

Paul Dixon said that "We do not have to resort to fancy exegetical
gymnastics in order to show baptism is not required." Although I don't know
exactly what "fancy exegetical gymnastics" are I do think that we erred from
our purpose (b-greek) when we left off exegesis. This has surprised me more
than anything else about the discussion of eis afesin hamartiwn on this
list, that everyone has taken for granted that eis afesin hamartiwn refers
back to baptisqhtw instead of metanohsate.

Thanks to John Werner for mentioning the Bibsac article by Luther B.
McIntyre Jr. on "Baptism and Forgiveness in Acts 2:38", January-March 1996
Vol. 153. I think that this is "half " the answer as far as "eis afesin
hamartiwn" goes. For those of you that don't subscribe to Bibliotheca Sacra
the gist of McIntyre's article is that of concord. He answers the question
"What does eis afesin twn hamartiwn humwn refer back to?" What is the
antecedent of humwn? He says that, "The concord between verb and pronoun
requires that the remission of sins be connected with repentance, not with
baptism. However, if one associates forgiveness with baptism, the verse
translated into English with due accord to person and number, would read,
"let him [third singular] be baptized for the remission of your [second
plural] sins."

As we all know Greek syntax is not bound by word order like English, but I
feel that we have inadvertently let ourselves slip into this exegesis
without calculating the consequences, i.e., does our exegesis fit
grammatically? Paul Dixon comes the closest in saying this in his message,
Date: Wed, 29 May 1996.

Finally I would like to say thank you to Maurice Robinson of the TC-LIST for
introducing me to Bob L. Ross. For those of you interested in this
discussion on baptismal regeneration this guy is indispensable! For those of
you that have "admitted" to being "Campbellites" I would urge you to give
this gentleman a call and listen to what he has to say. He is with Pilgrim
P.O. Box 66
Pasadena, Tx. 77501

Thanks again for your time and help. I hope that everyone on the b-greek
list takes seriously the ramifications of this discussion. The issue is,
Does baptism wash away your sins or does the blood of Christ wash away your
sins? Not to be critical of Byron Bezdek in saying... "I sincerely hope that
God will conform His plan of salvation to our various required
prescriptions! He will just have to allow everyone to be RIGHT!". I hope no
one seriously believes this.

Byron also said..."Is God's word really so hard to understand on such a
vital issue?", I believe that 2Tim 2:15 is applicable "spoudason seauton
dokimon parasthsai tw qew, ergathn anepaiscunton, orqotomounta ton logon th

In closing my prayer and desire is that we be found in him, not having our
own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith
of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith, Philippians 3:9.

Rod Rogers