Date: Mon Oct 13 1997 - 15:24:20 EDT
In a message dated 10/13/97 1:42:57 AM, you wrote:
>This might add credence, as well, to the
>interpretation that Peter is saying to the group as a whole METANOHSATE,
>then those that do (who have their sins forgiven and receive the Holy
>Spirit) are then told to individually be sure to have someone baptize
Actually, Paul, it is just this interpretation that I disagree with (at least
when you add "who have their sins forgiven and receive the Holy Spirit"). If
one wishes to say that Paul was addressing BAPTISQHTW to those who obey the
first command METANOHSATE, then maybe I could grant that. But why, why, why
would Peter stick BAPTISQHTW...XRISTOU in between METANOHSATE and
EIS...PNEUMATOS if he wished to specifically exclude "for the forgiveness of
sins" and "and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" from the act of
being baptized (in conjunction with repentance)? Why? I cannot, for the life
of me, read Peter's statement (Acts 2:38), hearing it as his hearers heard
it, and believe either that his hearers could have been expected to divorce
forgiveness and the Spirit from the command to be baptized, or that the
connection was not in Peter's mind when he spoke these words.
I will, up front, gladly admit (confess) to being a raving sacramentarian.
But that being said, could someone please help me to see, based upon the text
of this verse and those immediately following, how Peter's words could, given
the order in which he expressed his (read: the Holy Spirit's) thoughts, be
correctly understood to exclude forgiveness and the Spirit from the act of
Baptism and relate them *only* to repentance?
If Peter wished the hearers to understand that forgiveness and the Spirit
would come to those who repent (whether they be baptized or not) and that
baptism was merely a necessary adjuct act to be performed by those who had
repented and therefore already had forgiveness and the Spirit, why not just
METANOHSATE EIS AFESIN TWN hAMARTIWN hUMWN KAI LHMYESQE THN DWREAN TOU hAGIOU
PNEUMATOS, KAI BAPTISQHTW hEKASTOS hUMWN EPI TWi ONOMATI IHSOU XRISTOU.
Given *this* order of thought, I could see no way that Peter's hearers could
come to the conclusion that receiving forgiveness and the Spirit had anything
at all to do with Baptism. But given the thought order as we actually have
them, I cannot escape the conclusion that Peter intended his hearers to make
just that connection.
Rev. Craig R. Harmon
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