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

matter, gives a detailed exposition of this position.

In his op. cit., III:20:25, p. 175, Gravemeijer argues that the verses Acts 19:4-6 do not at all teach that the heretics were then baptized by Paul with water.  Gravemeijer reasons: Paul there merely told those men at Ephesus that after John himself had urged the people to believe in Jesus the Christ-ed One alias the Spirit-anointed Messiah, those who then heard or obeyed John's urgings were soon baptized by John himself in the Name of the One Who was then coming after him, that is the Lord Jesus.   After Paul had finished telling the men this at Ephesus, claims Gravemeijer, Paul simply laid his hands 'waterlessly' on them etc.

Gravemeijer grounds this view on the fact that the "foundational text" (viz. the Textus Receptus) has men…de in Acts 19:4-5.  [Thus the various editions of the Textus Receptus.  Compare those of Stephens (1550), of Bloomfield (1843), and of Knowling even in the 1908 Expositor’s Greek Testament (where however the men is noted as omitted in ’AlephABD, Vulg., Sah., Arm., Tisch., W.H., RV, Weiss & Wendt).  Kuyper too emphasized this omission (see n. 120 below).] 

Gravemeijer thus reads Acts 19:4-6 as follows: "Then Paul said, 'John truly (men) baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in Him Who would come after him,' that is, in Christ Jesus.  When (de) they [John’s people] heard [or heeded], they were baptized [by John and in Palestine] into the Name [or unto the authority] of the Lord Jesus.  Then, when Paul had laid his hands on them [the ex-unitarians in Ephesus], the Holy Spirit came upon them" etc.     For the whole statement of Acts 19:4-5 in the Greek Textus Receptus, see at nn. 92-93 above.

According to Gravemeijer, these Lukan verses are thus to be taken together as stating what Paul said, in corrective response to the heretics' statement anent "the baptism of John" at the end of Acts 19:3.  Only after recording this statement of Paul to the heretics about what John had really taught, does Luke go on to mention what Paul the apostle next did to them (in Acts 19:6).