Friday, November 12, 2010

Acts 16.30-34

Acts 16.30-34 is often cited as an example of a household baptism. However I've also heard it cited as a passage which would not lead toward baptism of those who have not confessed their belief as yet, primarily because of verse 34.  I was doing some reading related to another topic today and happened to look up the Greek text there again.

It struck me that the prevalent translation running along the lines of the NIV (The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.) is quite problematic. The participle indicating the belief is quite clearly masculine nominative singular. It's the jailer who believed. He rejoiced with the whole household, but it was because he believed. Yet who was baptized? The whole household.

Dave Spotts
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