Re: Re: Acts 2:38

Date: Tue Oct 14 1997 - 11:12:43 EDT

In a message dated 10/13/97 9:00:39 PM, you wrote:

>I think this is an important point, for obvious reasons (for most,
>perhaps not for all). I honestly would like to know what the basis is
>for thinking that if BAPTISQHTW is not heeded, then some or none of the
>results will follow, which is implied by the "must" rendering.

Speaking only for myself, I chose "must" because, for me, it expressed better
than "should" the urgency and command of BAPTISQHTW which, as we seem to have
arived at general agreement upon, cannot be properly reproduced in English
retaining the force or form of the Greek imperative. If "must" implies more
than BAPTISQHTW, or something BAPTISQHTW does not, then I don't know how to
translate it. "Should" doesn't do it for me as it doesn't at all convey the
imperative-ness of the Greek. Peter isn't saying, "Well, you know, you SHOULD
get baptized, but on the other hand, if you don't, it's no big deal." He's
saying Be baptized! only he's doing so in the 3rd person, not the second.

>We are
>not getting this from the 3rd person imperative, are we? If so, I would
>appreciate a clearer defense of that. Are we getting it from the
>context? If so, how? The question being asked is, TI POIHSWMEN, not TI
>DEI ... (as in Acts 16:31). Is it because of the unique situation at
>hand whereby we are compelled to deduce that unless these Israelites made
>a clean break with Judaism and submitted to baptism, then they could not
>be forgiven and receive the Holy Spirit? If so, where do we get this?
>Also, what then do we do with Mark 16:16 (assuming, for the sake of
>argument, the long ending of Mark) where we have a similar thought and
>where the negation for belief is affirmed, but not the negation for
>baptism (16:16b)?

Perhaps we get too caught up in logical categories (or, as I have at times
been guilty of, telling God what He *should* have written in His Word so that
we could understand it) to see the obvious. What we have here in BAPTISQHTW
is a command, on that we all, I think, agree. As an Apostle, Peter is
speaking as an emissary of God and with the authority of God (as, for
example, if our ambassador to China speaks in his or her official capacity,
what is said carries the same weight and authority as if spoken by the
President himself). If God commands Baptism, is it not necessary (whether DEI
be used or not) for man to comply? If God, further, adds promised blessings
to those who do obey (i.e., forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit), dare
man suppose that he will receive such blessings if he not obey or only
partially obey (say: "Okay, I'll repent but I won't get Baptized.")?

>It seems that if Peter had meant to communicate that baptism was a "must"
>or a requirement, then he could easily have communicated that by saying
>something like DEI, or by affirming the negation, as in Mk 16:16. That
>would have settled it categorically.

And it seems to me that Peter said BAPTISQHTW! That settles the matter for

Rev. Craig R. Harmon

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