Re: Re: Acts 2:38

Date: Wed Oct 08 1997 - 14:14:47 EDT

In a message dated 10/8/97 4:28:10 PM, you wrote:

>A couple of points to bear in mind on this verse:
>#1 - The verbs <imperatives> address two groups
>- METANOHSATE is second person, plural.
>- hUMWN <TWN hAMARTIWN hUMWN> is second person, plural.
>- BAPTISQHTW is third person, singular.

Thank you for pointing that shift out; it had escaped me. But something
puzzles me about the greek construction:

It certainly appears, from shear proximity if nothing else, that BAPTISQHTW
(as you say, third person, singular) is being addressed to hEKASTOS (nom.,
sing., masc., adj.) hUMWN (2nd, pl., pers. pron.). I suspect that my
difficulty has something to do with the fact that English has no way of
expressing commands in the third person (other than the very weak "let
him..."). My sense is that the shift from second person, singular
(METANOHSATE) to third person, singular (BAPTISQHTW) has to do with Peter's
emphasizing the individuality of repentance and baptism. The nearest I can
get to what I'm thinking here in English is:

        "All of you must repent, and (with respect to) each one of you, he must be
baptized in the name
        of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins."

I really have no idea whether the Greek will permit such an understanding.
Maybe others could help me out.

>Some have suggested that the first command is addressed to Peter's entire
>audience; the second to those who obey the first command. I recall a mentor
>and friend paraphrasing it thus: "Y'all repent and y'all's sins will be
>forgiven and y'all 'l receive the gift of the Spirit; and let him who
>repents be baptized in the name of Jesus."

Well now, I am aware that, in Greek, the word order is not crucial to
meaning, as it is in English. However, the Greek word order makes no sense to
me if EIS AFESIN TWN hAMARTIWN hUMWN is to be connected with METANOHSATE and
not with BAPTISQHTW (at least conjointly) which it follows. If there is no
connection with B. why not just make the connection obvious and place
EIS...hUMWN after M. and clear up all the confusion? And if KAI LHMYESQE THN
DWREAN TOU hAGIOU PNEUMATOS has no connection with B. same question. Your
friend and mentor's paraphrase notwithstanding, I just can't see Peter
expecting his hearers to make EIS AFESIN TWN hAMARTIWN hUMWN and KAI LHMYESQE
THN DWREAN TOU hAGIOU PNEUMATOS connect with METANOHSATE alone, and not also
with BAPTISQHTW when he has made B. immediately preceed those two thoughts.
It seems like making a jig-saw puzzle of the Greek, and rearranging the
pieces to get Peter to agree with one's own theological view point rather
than letting Peter tell us what our theology ought to be (I recognize that as
flame bait; PLEASE address yours to ME alone, NOT to the group).

>#2 - Be sure to avoid logical fallacy
>Repentance + Baptism = Forgiveness is TRUE
>Repentance + Elks Membership = Forgiveness is TRUE
>Repentance + BMW ownership = Forgiveness is TRUE
>Repentance - BMW ownership = Forgiveness is TRUE
>Repentance - Elks Membership = Forgiveness is TRUE
>Repentance - Baptism = Forgiveness is TRUE
>Repentance alone = Forgiveness is TRUE

I'm not sure I'd argue the validity of any of your statements (well, maybe 6
& 7, but that will have to wait); however I would certainly not place Baptism
on the same level with Elks Membership or BMW ownership. The latter two are
clearly irrelevant issues. One can hardly argue from Acts 2:38 that Baptism
is irrelevant!

>Biblical case in point: Mark 16:16.

Please notice, though, that Mark 16:16 does not say that Baptism is
irrelevant to Salvation; after all, he has just said,
        "The one who has believed (my own attempt to translate the punctiliar and
        completed[at least with reference to the future passive: SWQHSETAI]
        of the aorist participles) and has been baptized shall be saved." If Baptism
is so
        irrelevant to Salvation, why bring it up at all? The most one could argue, I
        is that unbelief invalidates one's Baptism, thus, the result is

NOTE: TEXT-BASED rebuttals, please address to the mail list. Letters not
based upon the text, please address to me alone. Thank you.

Rev. Craig R. Harmon

AMHN. Romans 16:27

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