Sunday, April 19, 2009
Everyone approaches exegesis and Bible study with presuppositions. For example, one of my presuppositions is that the sacrament of water baptism is not salvific, and that influences my interpretation of Acts 2:38:
Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of JESUS Christ for the remission of sins ..." (NKJV)
Many Evangelical commentators say that "for" in that case, actually means "because of," or "due to," even though I can't locate a single popular English translation the renders the Greek in that way. (That's not to say that a minority English translation like that doesn't exist.) Just about every translation I can find seems to indicate that, in Acts 2:38, the forgiveness of sins is linked to baptism.
On a related note, if you were to go with the baptism=forgiveness route, then you'd have to concede that John's baptism had the same effect:
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
-- Mark 1:4 (NKJV)
Despite some exegetical ambiguity, my presupposition on this matter remains intact.