Rebaptism Impossible! [Excerpt] – Acts 19: 1-7

                                                                               “One Lord; one Faith; one Baptism!” Eph. 4:5.



85) Acts 18:24-26f.       86) Acts 19:1-7.       87) Acts 18:24 to 19:3.

88) Acts 18:24 – 19:3.      89) Mt. 3:3-11f; Jh. 1:25f cf. Isa. 11:1-10f; 61:1f; Acts 19:4-6.

90) Acts 19:3 (eis to Iooannou baptisma).  Note both the similarities and the differences between this expression and: "the baptism of John" or to baptisma Iooannou (in Mt. 21:35); "from the baptism of John" or apo tou baptismatos Iooannou (in Acts 1:22); "the baptism which John preached" or to baptisma ho ekeeruxen Iooannees (in Acts 10:37); and "John…preached beforehand…the baptism of repentance" or prokeeruxantos Iooannou…baptisma metanoias (in Acts 13:24).

91) Acts 19:2b (oud' ei Pneuma Hagion estin eekousamen).

92) Acts 19:4 (Eipen de Paulos. Iooannees men ebaptisen baptisma metanoias tooi laooi legoon eis Ton Erchomenon met' auton hina pisteusoosin, tout' estin Ton Christon Ieesoun).  It is the Textus Receptus which here has men.   See n. 97 below.  Note that Christon is omitted in P38, ’AlephABE 614 pc lat, 13,25,40, Vulg., Boh., Syr. H., Aethrro.; so Tisch., W.H., RV, Weiss, Wundt & Blass.  D has eis Christon.  The reading eis ton Ieesoun Christon is found in : Sah., Gig. & Pesch.  Other readings have: Christon Ieesoun.

93) Acts 19:5 (akousantes de ebaptistheesan eis to Onoma tou Kuriou Ieesou).  Here, akousantes is the aorist participle of the Greek verb for hear or hear-ken} [akouein].   This, like the word for hear-ken in the Germanic languages, cf. the German horchen [hearken] and its cognate gehorchen [obey], usually means not merely to listen but to hear well and hence also to heed.  See too n. 92 above.

94) Thus Dr. R. Stier: The Words of the Lord Jesus, Clark, Edinburgh, 1970, VIII p. 292 n. 2.  See too Dr. H. Heppe's Reformed Dogmatics, Baker, Grand Rapids, 1978 ed., pp. 625f; and  Dr. H.E. Gravemeijer’s Gereformeerde Geloofsleer III:20:25 p. 175 & nn. 1-3).  After asserting (very cogently) that baptisms administered by John were irrepeatable Christian water baptisms, Calvin himself went on to suggest (assailably!) that Paul did not himself give water baptism to his listeners in Acts 19:1-7.  See Calvin's Commentaries on the Acts of the Apostles (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, II, 1966), on Acts 19:1-6 and his Institutes of the Christian Religion IV:15:18 (in our text at nn. 97 & 104-107 below), and also see the Dordt Dutch Bible or Statenvertaling, Kok, Kampen, III:244:7 on Acts 19:4 (full text at our nn. 119 & 132 below).  See too Wolleb(ius) in Beardslee's op. cit. p. 132.  Also see our n. 95 below.

95) See n. 94 above.  Also consult: De Moor's Perpet. Comment. on Marck V:400f; Gravemeijer's op. cit. III:20:25 p. 175 & nn. 1-3; Dr. A. Kuyper Sr.: Sac. pp. 134f (in his Dog. Dict.}, Kok, Kampen, 2nd ed., IV) = in our text at n. 120 below.   Also see Wolleb(ius), in Beardslee's op. cit. p. 132.   Cf. H. Hoeksema: Reformed Dogmatics, Reformed Free Pub. Assoc., Grand Rapids, 1966, pp. 670-74 (see too our ch. IX at its n. 544 below).

96) Op. cit., VIII p. 292 n. 1.  However, as a very untypical Lutheran, Stier then further argues (Ib. pp. 292f): "The apostle cannot be regarded as having said that those who had obeyed the Baptist, akousantes, had been already baptized into the uttered and announced Name of the Lord Jesus….  'For John at the end of his baptism pointed to Jesus [Acts] chap. 13:25; wherefore it cannot be said that he baptized them in the Name of the Lord Jesus’….  Akousantes refers back to eipe te pros autous, verse 3, and ebaptistheesan stands in parallel with kai epithentos autois [in Acts 19:6]."   The historic Lutheran view, shared by historic Calvinists, is that Johannine baptism was Christian baptism, so that none of John's baptizees should have been rebaptized.  See H.E. Gravemeijer: op. cit. III:20:10 pp. 76f & 81f.

97)  Thus Calvin's Comm. on Acts 19:5 & Inst. IV:15:18 & Treatise Against the Anabaptists (Baker, Grand Rapids, rep. 1982).  Gravemeijer, who agrees with Calvin on this particular