[B-Greek] PNEUMA and PYR in Matthew 3:11

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Sat Oct 10 13:50:40 EDT 2009


On Oct 10, 2009, at 1:22 PM, Samuel Cripps wrote:

> Thank you for the informative response, Iver.
>
> Would you then say that the baptism of fire includes both the  
> destruction/punishment of the unbeliever and the refinement of the  
> believer?

Sam, you are asking questions that lie beyond the scope of what is  
clearly indicated in the Greek text, that are to a considerable extent  
speculative and depend as well on the hermeneutical assumptions  
applied, and therefore lie beyond the scope of B-Greek discussion.

Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List

> --- On Fri, 10/9/09, Iver Larsen <iver_larsen at sil.org> wrote:
>
>
> From: Iver Larsen <iver_larsen at sil.org>
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] PNEUMA and PYR in Matthew 3:11
> To: "Samuel Cripps" <crippssamuel at yahoo.com>, b- 
> greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Date: Friday, October 9, 2009, 6:27 PM
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Samuel Cripps" <crippssamuel at yahoo.com 
> >
> To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: 9. oktober 2009 20:23
> Subject: [B-Greek] PNEUMA and PYR in Matthew 3:11
>
>
> B-Greekers,
>
> I have long been under the impression that the phrase EN HAGIOS  
> PNEUMA KAI PYR ( "with the holy spirit and fire" ) is to be  
> understood to mean that the spirit and fire are one and the same.  
> I've lately come across a few articles online where the claim has  
> been made that the text in question indicates that there are two  
> different baptisms in view - one a baptism with spirit, the other  
> with fire. Can someone help me out wiht this?
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Sam Cripps (layman)
> ------------------------
>
> It is helpful to compare the places where the NT talks about this:
>
> Mat 3:11
> αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι  
> ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί
> AUTOS hUMAS BAPTISEI EN PNEUMATI hAGIWI KAI PURI
>
> Mrk 1:8
> αὐτὸς δὲ βαπτίσει ὑμᾶς ἐν  
> πνεύματι ἁγίῳ.
> AUTOS DE BAPTISEI hUMAS EN PNEUMATI hAGIWi
>
> Luk 3:16
> αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι  
> ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί
> AUTOS hUMAS BAPTISEI EN PNEUMATI hAGIWi KAI PURI
>
> Jhn 1:33
> οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν  
> πνεύματι ἁγίῳ
> hOUTOS ESTIN hO BAPTIZWN EN PNEUMATI hAGIWi
>
> Act 1:5
> ὑμεῖς δὲ ἐν πνεύματι  
> βαπτισθήσεσθε ἁγίῳ
> hUMEIS DE EN PNEUMATI BAPTISQHSESQE hAGIWI
>
> Act 11:16
> ὑμεῖς δὲ βαπτισθήσεσθε ἐν  
> πνεύματι ἁγίῳ
> hUMEIS DE BAPTISQHSESQE EN PNEUMATI hAGIWi
>
> Note also that Act 1:5 was fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4 where this  
> baptism with the Holy Spirit is described by "tongues of fire". They  
> belong together as a unit.
>
> There are several reasons for taking "baptism in Holy Spirit and  
> fire" as a unit:
>
> There is no repeated EN before PURI in the two places where the  
> phrase occurs.
>
> If they were two separate things, one would expect "fire" to occur  
> in the parallel passages also. It is clear that Luke has copied  
> Matthew. Whether you think Matthew has added "fire" to Mark's  
> account or Mark has deleted "fire" from Matthew depends on your  
> theory of which is the first of the two. Or they could both depend  
> on other sources.
>
> The "baptism by fire as a separate event" hypothesis may be based on  
> the fact that "baptism by fire" is a common idiom in English.  
> Wikipedia says: "The phrase baptism by fire or baptism of fire,  
> known in English since 1822, is a translation of the French phrase  
> baptême du feu and is a reference to a soldier's first experience  
> under fire in battle." (In Danish we say "firebaptism" for this  
> meaning and it could not be confused with "baptism with fire").
>
> There is no example anywhere in the NT of a "baptism by fire" or  
> "baptism in fire" without mentioning of Spirit also, but several  
> references to a baptism "in Holy Spirit and fire".
>
> Another reason for seeing it as two different events is the  
> hypothesis that when PUR in v. 10 and v 12 is used as a metaphor for  
> punishment and destruction, then PUR in v. 11 should be used in the  
> same metaphorical sense. I am pretty sure this is a mistake, because  
> it ignores the immediate context for the wider context. Fire is  
> commonly used with two metaphorical senses: destroying what is bad  
> and cannot be redeemed, and cleansing a mixture to make it pure(r)  
> by eliminating the bad part. The context of verses 10 and 12 clearly  
> indicates punishment on the rebellious enemies of God, whereas v. 11  
> talks about the believers. It was those who repented who were  
> baptized in water, and it is the believers who are to be baptized  
> with "spirit and fire".
>
> Iver Larsen




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