From: Harold R. Holmyard III (email@example.com)
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 10:54:27 EDT
You wrote about Acts 2:38:
>Because of the use of UMWN to modify hAMARTIWN, I wonder if it would not
>be proper to view the verse like this: "All of you repent--and let each
>of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ--for the remission of your
> I find this to be consistent with Mark 1:4--...BAPTISMA METANOIAS EIS
>AFESIN hAMARTIWN. (snip) The remission of sins is connected closely with
Ron, I had this idea, too, at one time. There is no question that
repentance is closely related to the forgiveness of sins, and the Church
does not teach that forgiveness of sins is dependent upon baptism. On the
other hand, I believe that theologically Peter regarded repentance and
baptism as a single entity. He assumed that the crowd who repented would
undergo baptism. So there is no need to separate the two ideas of
repentance and baptism, thus finding a potential problem in a certain
reading of the verse.
We should try to read the verse in the way that a speaker would have
spoken it. The divisions in the middle of Acts 2:38 seem to hinge on the
METANOHSATE KAI BAPTISQHTW hEKASTOS hUMWN EPI TWi ONOMATI IHSOU CRISTOU EIS
AFESIN TWN hAMARTIWN hUMWN KAI LHMYESQE THN DWREAN TOU hAGIOU PNEUMATOS.
"Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
The phrase EPI TWi ONOMATI IHSOU CRISTOU seems to belong to the idea of
being baptized, as elsewhere people are baptized in the name or names of
God. The next phrase, EIS AFESIN TWN hAMARTIWN hUMWN, seems to flow out of
the previous one. I realize that you want to join it instead with
METANOHSATE, but do you see how many intervening words there are and how
awkward such a linkage would be? It is much easier to read the two
prepositional phrases together.
The natural breaks in enunciation and thought in the sentence are before
KAI BAPTISQHTW and then again before KAI LHMYESQE. Remember, too, that the
UBS text includes [FHSIN] ("he said") after METANOHSATE. If this word in
brackets belongs in the text, it further separates METANOHSATE from EIS
AFESIN TWN hAMARTIWN hUMWN.
As Carl suggested, the singular BAPTISQHTW is a singularizing imperative
aimed at a crowd. The governing number in the sentence is the plural of
METANOHSATE, and the governing address is the second person of METANOHSATE.
Even the subject of BAPTISQHTW, hEKASTOS, is qualified by the plural,
second person hUMWN. So the use of hUMWN with hAMARTIWN is not unnatural,
even though preceded by a singular verb and subject.
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