Re: eis afesin (oh, no, not again!) and EPI (new slant)

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Mon Jun 03 1996 - 12:12:31 EDT

"Causal EIS"

I thank J. Smelser and E. Hobbs for their response re: causal EIS. Last
night I skimmed through Harris' comments on prepositions in the Appendix to
vol. 3 of NIDNTT and his discussion of this. My question (for me at least)
still remains (unless I just didn't properly understand Harris), i.e., if in
Acts 2:38 one is baptized FOR (i.e., to receive) forgiveness of sins, is one
baptized in Matthew 3:11 FOR (i.e., to receive) repentance?

This may cross into the theological realm, but it seems to me that something
has been missed in this discussion of Acts 2:38 by leaving out EPI TWi
EIS AFESIN TWN hAMARTIWN hUMWN. Peter's point seems to be that it is by
being brought into relationship with God IN/UPON THE NAME OF JESUS (that is,
by believing IN HIM for the forgiveness of one's sins) that one enters into
(EIS) the forgiveness of one's sins--and by coming into relationship with God
through Jesus one then receives the gift of the Holy Spirit (the rest of Acts
2:38). Comparing Acts 2:38 with Acts 10:43-44 (Peter again) seems to support
that it is believing in Jesus that results in forgiveness of sins and receipt
of the Holy Spirit, with water baptism being ceremonially related to but not
the means of bringing about the forgiveness of sins. If these remarks
overstep the textual/grammatical discussion boundaries, I apologize--I just
thought that proper weight (if due) hadn't been given to the EPI clause.

And speaking of EPI:

In Hebrews 7:11 the Law was said to have been given ON THE BASIS OF the
Levitical priesthood (NASB, NIV, as well as BAGD). Could it be equally
translated AT THE TIME OF (EPI plus genitive having a temporal meaning), as
some translations seem to do? Is one better than the other, either
contextually or grammatically (i.e., the usual meaning of EPI plus the


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