[B-Greek] Question

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Thu Apr 20 19:21:56 EDT 2006


On Apr 20, 2006, at 6:36 PM, CJ Weigl wrote:

> I'm not sure if this has been covered or not seeing as I have at  
> LEAST 50 of
> these emails to go through but this question has been nagging me  
> for years.
>
> Did Peter command Cornelius et al to be baptized, or did he command  
> others
> to baptize them? How does the greek render it?
>
> Thanks for any input and now back to trying to read all of these  
> volumes...
>
> CJ Weigl

The text: Acts 10:48 PROSETAXEN DE AUTOUS EN TWi ONOMATI IHSOU  
CRISTOU BAPTISQHNAI.
That is, "he gave orders that they be baptized in the name of Jesus  
Christ."
The Greek text offers NO CLEAR INDICATION of who would be performing  
the baptism, which means that your question can be answered only in  
terms of probabilities.

The NET translators have this note: "The Greek construction (passive  
infinitive with accusative subject) could be translated either “he  
ordered them to be baptized” or “he ordered that they be baptized,”  
but the implication in English in either case is that Peter was  
giving orders to the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house, telling them to  
get baptized. It is much more likely in the context that Peter was  
ordering those Jewish Christians who accompanied him to baptize the  
new Gentile converts. They would doubtless have still had misgivings  
even after witnessing the outpouring of the Spirit and hearing the  
tongues. It took Peter’s apostolic authority (“ordered”) to convince  
them to perform the baptisms."

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/




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