[b-greek] Re: Acts 22:16

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 08:01:38 EDT

At 12:14 PM -0600 7/12/00, Wayne Leman wrote:
>>From one of my Bible translation colleagues in another part of the world,
>who asks about what the participle EPIKALESAMENOS adverbially modifies in
>this verse. Here is her message:
>Are there any scholarly opinions out there as to the last segment of
>this verse, "having called upon the name of him"
>To what does this properly attach.
>Is it a prayer, a baptism invocation, or?
>Are there any valid translation options other than tagging it onto
>the end of the verse?
>As I sit here stewing over the options I'd truly like to know

I'm surprised that more persons haven't tackled this--I guess more have
been interested in historical novels and the trivial pursuit of King James
and Santiago.


To summarize my thinking on this (and I've read the other replies as well
as Wayne's original reply to the original query), I would say that
EPIKALESAMENOS agrees with the implicit subject of the 2d sg. aorist middle
imperatives. BAPTISAI and APOLOUSAI and is to be understood as indicating
coincident rather than prior action, and as showing HOW one is to get
baptized and have one's sins washed away. That is to say, I'd understand it
as a an adverbial (circumstantial) participle clarifying the MEANS of the
actions prescribed by the imperatives.

My version: "So what are you waiting for? Get up and get baptized--get your
sins washed away by invoking the name of the Lord."

While I've seen the explanations Wayne has cited that EPIKALESAMENOS should
be understood to indicate action prior to that of the two middle aorist
imperatives, I don't concur with that. While it may be the case that
invoking the Lord's name must precede in time the ritual actions,
nevertheless I rather think that a participle FOLLOWING upon another aorist
verb more likely indicates coincident rather than prior or subsequent
action (I found Wallace particularly good on this). Moreover, by way of
comment NOT on the theological dimension but rather on the implications of
grammar and word-order, it does seem to me that grammar and word-order here
imply that the invocation of the NAME's redemptive power is envisioned in
this phrasing as the core element in baptism's purgative efficacy.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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