[B-Greek] Acts 10:48 (Was B-Greek Question)

Webb webb at selftest.net
Fri Apr 21 14:31:10 EDT 2006

Let's not forget that, in the mouths of the gospel writers, John was capable
of saying, "I baptized you". Paul also talks about having baptized some
people. So the physical process (does someone lay hands on the person being
baptized, lead them to the water, stand in the water with them, dunk them,
etc.) is not necessarily what is determinative of the meaning of the verb
here. The question is, in the terminology of the writer of Acts, is one
baptized by others, or does one baptize oneself? I think the former can be
asserted with confidence. 
I think the writer intends to convey that Peter ordered Jewish Christians
standing there to baptize those who had received the message.
Webb Mealy


> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]
> On Behalf Of Carl W. Conrad
> Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 11:17 AM
> To: Harold Holmyard
> Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Acts 10:48 (Was B-Greek Question)
> On Apr 21, 2006, at 1:44 PM, Harold Holmyard wrote:
> > Dear Randall,
> >
> >> Culturally, the person "baptising someone else" is functioning as a
> >> witness and a teacher. Contrary to endless debates, they did not dunk
> >> or pour (or sprinkle). The person being baptised went down with their
> >> own motor skills while the teacher was a witness. Now many people on
> >> the list will read Acts 8:35ff as putting Phillip in the water
> >> itself,
> >> but that is not a necessary reading if one starts with the cultural
> >> pictures just described. As for the Greek here, the PAQHTIKH
> >> experiencer/passive would be naturally read as MESH middle.
> >>
> >>
> >
> > HH: Do I assume correctly that this implies an idea like: "And he
> > ordered them to get baptized . . . "?
> Better: "get themselves baptized" (text: PROSETAXEN DE AUTOUS EN TWi
> aorist MIDDLE sense. That is, as Randall explained it, they were to
> perform the acts for themselves.
> 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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