Baptismal Regeneration

Man, Sin, & Salvation
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Seballius
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Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Seballius » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:07 pm

I read Justin Martyr’s first Apology today. He taught/wrote about baptismal regeneration. I have heard that most of the early fathers believed/taught this doctrine. Has anyone else every studied this issue in the early church father’s writings?

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Paidion
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Re: Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Paidion » Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:20 pm

Did the apostle Peter teach it?

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
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; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:37,38 NKJV)


Note: The word translated as "remission" means "sending away".
Paidion

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Homer
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Re: Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Homer » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:25 pm

In Paidion's quote of Acts 2:38, "for the remission of sins", the the Greek preposition eis is translated "for" but its usual meaning is "into" indicating a positional change from being unforgiven. Contrary to some eis never means "because of".

For certain the earliest Christians regarded baptism as much more important than many modern denominations do. To them, no unbaptized person was considered part of the Church.

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Paidion
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Re: Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Paidion » Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:25 am

You are right, Homer, as you well know. The Greek preposition εις is usually translated as "into" (or some have it "unto").

What is puzzling is that so many translations render the preposition as "for". I have many translations in the Bible program in my computer. Of these, the following use the translation "for":

AV, BBE, Darby, Diaglot, Douay, EMTV, ESV, HCSB, JB2013, LEB, NAS, NHEB, NIV, NKJV, RSV, and Webster.
Paidion

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Seballius
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Re: Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Seballius » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:04 pm

So Paidon and Homer,

Do you believe the Apostle Peter was teaching baptismal regeneration?

Most people who teach against it, say “eis” means “becauee of” for example Norman Geisler taught it that way.

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Paidion
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Re: Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Paidion » Fri Sep 25, 2020 4:47 pm

No, "εις" does NOT mean "because of." I have studied NT Greek formally for a year in Bible school, for 2 years at university, and for many years independently. The basic meaning of the word is "into" or "resulting in".

I cannot help seeing the necessity of baptism in the NT scriptures:

There are many NT passages which seem to associate the necessity of baptism in order to experience regeneration. The following quotes are from the ESV:

I baptize you with water for (εις= “resulting in”) repentance... (Matt 3:11)
If they could have a true repentance without baptism, then why specify that baptism results in repentance?

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for (εις) the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 1:4)
And this passage indicates that baptism result in forgiveness of sins.

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)
If belief alone is necessary to be saved, why add “and is baptized”?

And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’ (Acts 22:16)
If Paul could deal with his sins without baptism, why would Ananias, speak of Paul's sins being washed away by baptism?

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body —  Jews or Greeks, slaves or free —  and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Cor 12:13)
If we can all become members of the Body of Christ, by belief and/or repentance only, why would Paul say we were baptized into that body?

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
(Gal 3:27)
If the Galatians could “put on Christ” without baptism, why would Paul specify that “as many of them as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ”? What about those who had not been baptized, but who yet believed or “accepted Christ” or “gave their lives to Him”?
Paidion

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Re: Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Paidion » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:05 pm

Here is a very small portion of the definition from G. Abbot-Smith's "A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament":

εις, prep.acc., expressing entrance, direction, limit, into, unto, to, upon, towards, for, among.
I of place. 1. After verbs of motion;
(a) of entrance into: Mt 8:23, 9:7, Mk 1:45, Lk 2:15, 8:31
(b) of approach, to or towards: Mk11:1, Lk 6:8, Jn 11:31, 21:6

There is about 3/4 of a page altogether to his definition, but not once does he give the meaning "because of".
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Seballius
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Re: Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Seballius » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:15 pm

Thank you for replying back Paidion!

You make some good points!

Of course people who focus on faith will go to Eph 2:8-9 and say baptism is a work. They will then compare baptism to circumcision - a la Paul’s talk in Galatians. Further, they will say - what about the thief on the cross?

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Homer
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Re: Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Homer » Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:27 am

Seballius,

Here is something very clear and simple in understanding Greek prepositions:

http://www.onthewing.org/user/Greek%20Prepositions.pdf

Be blessed in your study!

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Homer
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Re: Baptismal Regeneration

Post by Homer » Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:38 am

Seballius,

Something I posted some time ago:

Acts 2:38 (NASB)
38.  Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit".
This verse has long been controversial among those who have a sacramentalist view of baptism and those who do not. Among those of the sacramentalist side there is a range of views. Some say baptism is efficacious for infants and others belief there is no efficacy apart from a belief in the gospel message. Those who are sacramentalist believe that baptism is instrumental in receiving grace. Many who oppose this view see baptism as an “ordinance”. They often argue that what Peter meant in his sermon on the day of pentecost was that his hearers should be baptized “because of” the forgiveness of sins; that baptism was not instrumental in receiving forgiveness.
In Acts 2:38 the Greek word translated “for” is the preposition eis which indicates progression into or toward a place or state of being. Some time ago I read an article in the appendix of the NIV Theological Dictionary regarding the meaning of eis. The author referred to the considerable efforts to show eis could have a causative meaning and stated that the efforts had failed.
I have been trying to learn to read Greek and Sunday was reading Godet’s commentary on 1st Corinthians. Godet refers a lot to the Greek words used in the New Testament and something caused me to think about Peter’s use (or actually Luke) of eis in Acts 2:38. I wondered whether Peter could have used eis in the sense of “because of” or if that was what was meant he would have used another Greek word. So I decided to look at every place in the KJV where a Greek word, or words, had been translated “because of”. I found a total of 41 instances. The following are the Greek words and number of times translated “because of”:

Strong’s number, Greek word, number of times used
#1223, dia, 30x
#1722, en, 3x
#1537, ek, 2x
#5484, charin, 2x
#575, apo, 1x
#1909, epi, 1x
#4314, pros, 1x

In one instance the translators supplied “because of” where it is not in the Greek.
My conclusion: Luke had a Greek word (dia) available to precisely say “because of”, that he used this word six times in Luke and Acts combined where in each instance the meaning is “because of”, and this was so translated in the KJV. It is highly improbable, if not impossible, to maintain that eis means “because of” in Acts 2:38.

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