Reply To Michelle’s Response To Tony Hudson’s Article

The following is how Michelle responds to the last Doctrine Matters article (Sept 10) that proved water baptism is necessary to salvation:

In Acts 2:38-39 the word in the original language is “because” … not “for”

Here is my reply …


Thanks for your kind response.

The Greek word translated “for” in Acts 2:38 is “eis” and is never translated “because.” The Greek word “hina” (not “eis”) is the word that means “because of.” Notice what the following Greek scholars say about our word “eis”:

· “I do not know of any Greek Lexicon which gives to ‘eis’ the meaning of ‘because of.'” (Carl H. Morgan, Dean, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary)

· “Normally ‘eis’ looks forward, and I know of no case in the New Testament where it looks back.” (D.A. Penick, Professor of Classical Languages, University of Texas)

The only translation considered more accurate than the King James is the American Standard Version done in 1901. Notice how it translates the pertinent part of this verse – “repent ye, and be baptized … unto the remission of your sins.” My point is that “unto” points forward, not backward.

Notice the following definitions given for “eis” in Acts 2:38 by Greek lexicons:

· “’Eis aphesin hamartion,’ to obtain the remission of sins” (Thayer, page 94)

· “That your sins may be forgiven.” (Charles B. Williams, Baptist Translator of the New Testament and a student of Edgar J. Goodspeed)

Here are some other reasons we know that eis/for cannot mean “because” in Acts 2:38.

· The verse doesn’t just say baptism is “for” the remission of sins, it also says “repent” is “for the remission of sins.” If “for” means baptism is because a person’s sins are already forgiven, then the verse would also mean repentance is because a person’s sins are already forgiven. That would mean a sinner would be saved without repenting of his sins. I know you don’t agree with that Michelle. Just like the word “and” in Acts 3:19 means “Repent” and “be converted” are both necessary to sins being blotted out, the word “and” in Acts 2:38 means “Repent” and “be baptized” are both necessary to sins being remitted.

· Acts 2:38 also makes receiving “the gift of the Holy Ghost” conditioned upon being baptized. All agree the personal indwelling of the Holy Ghost is an indication of salvation / God’s approval (Ephesians 1:13, Galatians 4:6). So regardless of what “for” means in Acts 2:38, the verse still makes baptism necessary to salvation because water baptism is said to be necessary to receiving the Holy Ghost.

Michelle, have you considered a passage like Matthew 26:28? It is the same in the Greek and the English as Acts 2:38. Both have “eis aphesin hamartion” (“for the remission of sins”). Nobody would think Matthew 26:28 is teaching that Jesus shed his blood because people’s sins were already remitted, so why should anybody think that about Acts 2:38? No, just like Matthew 26:28 teaches Jesus died in order that people sins can be remitted, Acts 2:38 teaches sinners need to be baptized in order that their sins be remitted (by the death of Christ).

In Christian love,


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