[b-greek] Re: Acts 22:16

From: Carlton Winbery (winberyc@speedgate.net)
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 10:14:42 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.
I agree with Carl that EPIKALESAMENOS is circumstantial to BAPTISAI and
APOLOUSAI (Note OU not just U as an earlier lister wrote it) and that the
time factor is minor here, but I would also note that the scribe of P74
(7th cent) changed it to a present middle ptc. He seems to have felt that
the present tense is more appropriate in circumstantial ptcs. as it usually
is in the NT. I would not emphasize that the "calling" has to have happened
before either of the imperatives but agree with Carl that the "calling"
pervades the other two actions, before, during, and after.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

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