Acts 2:38

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Sat Oct 11 1997 - 21:52:29 EDT

Please forgive me. I deleted Edward's last post, thought about it some
more, then wished I had not deleted it. So, am going from memory here,
but I think its fairly accurate.

It seems to be the consensus that the 3rd person imperative should not be
rendered by "let." Edward, in line with the others, opts for "must,"
"should," or "!".

At least in my thinking, there is a technical difference between "must"
and "should." The former seems to imply that if you don't obey the
imperative, then the stated results will not happen. As related to the
discussion in Acts 2:38 and BAPTISQHTW, if we opt for "must be baptized,"
then if one is not baptized, then his sins are not forgiven and/or he
does not receive the Holy Spirit. If this is the force of the
imperative, then so be it. But, I don't think such can be derived from
it. Is this what some are trying to suggest?

So, if "must" suggests these things, then I vote for "should." It does
not unnecessarily suggest the negation. Besides, there are adequate ways
of denoting "must" in the Greek, like DEI (Acts 16:30-31), or by an
affirmation of the negation, like in Jn 6:53-54, Jn 8:24, 1 Jn 5:12, etc.

Paul Dixon

Dr. Paul S. Dixon, Pastor
Wilsonville, Oregon

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