Re: Acts 2:38 Sentence Structure

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Apr 17 1999 - 08:21:41 EDT

<x-rich>At 1:40 AM -0400 4/17/99, Lee Deavers wrote:

<excerpt>In regards to the greek text from Acts 2:38--



Why do you think the King James editors put a comma after the word

What effect does it have on the sentence if the sentence was

Here it is in the KJV:

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in

name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive
the gift

of the Holy Ghost."


The most basic reason, I think, is that the two imperatives are of
different kinds and seem to refer to processes enjoined as related but
distinct from each other: METANOHSATE is a general command address to
all those present as a group--and in the second plural, while
BAPTISQHTW hEKASTOS hUMWN points to a baptism that ritualizes, whether
one understands that ritual as a symbol or as a concrete event, the
repentance that each has made; and here the imperative is in the 3d
person aorist passive and, although addressed to the whole group,
points to each one individually as one who by then will have repented:
NOW that he/she has repented, each individual is to be baptized.

<excerpt>I am, by the way, new to this post but have already enjoyed
the letters.

I had one quarter of Koine Greek under Harvey Floyd at David Lipscomb
University (1977) and

intend to attempt this wonderful language again.


Welcome to B-Greek; we're glad to have you aboard. You will note that
we don't hesitate to tackle both the little questions and the big
ones--the ones we can't really handle very well--and sometimes we don't
do a very good job of handling the little ones either. But it is a
congenial group, and you will find that you get more than one reply to
a question usually--which is good: it means you have to decide between
options for yourself or possibly reject all the suggestions you're
offered and find you have to rethink the problem itself!

Carl W. Conrad

Department of Classics/Washington University

One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018

Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649



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