Re: Acts 2:38

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Thu Oct 09 1997 - 12:00:50 EDT

Dale Wheeler wrote;

>Over the years I've gradually come to the conclusion that not only can you
>communicate in English what's in the Greek text (or Hebrew or
>you may have to use different words/idioms--and 3rd Impvs are no different.
> I think that you will find that many of the modern translations have
>started to go to "must", or "should" for this impvs, which seems to work
>for me (I'd be interested to know how Carl, Edward, Edgar, and Carlton
>"feel" about this). So in this case you would have: "'Repent'--he
>[further ?] said, 'Each of you must be baptized--...'"

James Brooks and I contend in the _Syntax of NT Greek_ p. 129, "It must not
be thought that every imperative in the third person is an imperative of
permission because the word "let" or "permit" is usually used in the
translation. These words are used because of the necessity of employing a
periphrastic translation for something which has no direct English
equivalent, not because of the idea of permission in the use of the word."

We then cite the eg. of James 1:19, "you should be quick to hear and . . ."
I do not think that Luke intended to imply that baptism was an option for Peter.

>BTW, if you agree with UBS/NA on including FHSIN (it certainly is the
>hardest reading and is early Alex), then how does that fit into the
>structure of the speech ? I've made a *suggestion* above...

I would say that the more difficult reading is the omission. Scribes
tended to supply such elyptical elements. It is absent in vaticanus and a
few others. It is in a different order in the Western, and a different
word (EFH) is used in the majority text. This leaves the clear impression
that different scribes supplied the verb in different ways. I would follow
the instincts of whoever insisted that it be put in brackets and leave it

Carlton L. Winbery
Fogleman Professor of Religion
Chair, Division of Religious Studies
Louisiana College
voice 318 487-7241
fax 318 442-4996

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