[b-greek] Re: Acts 2:38

From: dbroking (dbroking@preferred.com)
Date: Mon May 28 2001 - 10:04:13 EDT

I recently read a scholarly article written in the 1870's (I have an early
1900's reprint of this article in my library) by a Baptist scholar named
J. W. Millmarth. Millmarth's comments on EIS are worth consideration.
Below are some of his comments:

"For those who contend for the interpretation 'on account of remission,'
will hardly be willing to admit that Peter said 'repent ' as well as 'be
baptized on account of remission of sins.' This is too great an inversion of
natural sequence. Yet to escape it we must violently dissever 'repent' and
'be baptized,' and deny that eis expresses the relation of metanoesate as
well as of baptistheto to aphesin amartwn. But the natural construction
connects the latter with both the preceding verbs. It 'enforces the entire
exhortation, not one part of it to the exclusion of the other,' as Hackett

"It puts an unauthorized sense upon the preposition eis. 'On account of' is
not one of the recognized meanings of eis. No Greek would have employed the
phrase here used to express the idea of on account of an [accomplished]
remission. Another preposition would have been used, dia, or peri, for
example. If eis were followed by some word signifying profession or
declaration, then we might translate: in order to the profession of
declaration of remission. When Paul wished to convey an idea very similar he
did not say eis dikaiosunen autou: but he used words enough to express what
he meant -- eisendeixin tes dikaiosunes autou, in order to the exhibition of
his righteousness. If Peter had meant in order to declare or profess
remission, he would have said so. As he did not, what right have we to
insert here a word or an idea of which there is not the slightest trace in
his language? It is true that eis is sometimes equivalent to 'with reference
to'; but even then it would here mean the reference of purpose or aim. 'In
order to declare [or symbolize]' would be a monstrous translation of eis;
and if it ever means 'with reference to a past event, we have failed to find
an example."

"If we shrink from this violence to the construction, what becomes of the
context? Peter is directing inquiring sinners. They ask 'what shall we do?'
i. e., in order to be forgiven. He replies by telling them to repent and to

be baptized [believing] upon the name of Jesus Christ, not in order to reach
pardon, the desired result: but to do all these things, to exercise
Repentance and Faith (inward acts of the mind) as well as be baptized, in
order to signify or declare that their sins were already forgiven! He
directs unconverted men to repent, believe and be baptized, not in order to
signify to be forgiven, but to set forth by this whole process, mental and
physical, and to profess by it, a remission which had not taken place! This
only needs to be stated to show its naked absurdity."

Darrell Broking, Preacher
Mountain City Church of Christ
206 Willow Circle
Mountain City, TN 37683
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