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Acts 19:2-4

Context
19:2 and said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” 1  They replied, 2  “No, we have not even 3  heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 19:3 So Paul 4  said, “Into what then were you baptized?” “Into John’s baptism,” they replied. 5  19:4 Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, 6  that is, in Jesus.”

1 tn The participle πιστεύσαντες (pisteusante") is taken temporally.

2 tn Grk “they [said] to him” (the word “said” is implied in the Greek text).

3 tn This use of ἀλλά (alla) is ascensive and involves an ellipsis (BDAG 45 s.v. ἀλλά 3): “No, [not only did we not receive the Spirit,] but also we have not heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” However, this is lengthy and somewhat awkward in English, and the ascensive meaning can be much more easily represented by including the word “even” after the negation. Apparently these disciples were unaware of the provision of the Spirit that is represented in baptism. The language sounds like they did not know about a Holy Spirit, but this seems to be only linguistic shorthand for not knowing about the Spirit’s presence (Luke 3:15-18). The situation is parallel to that of Apollos. Apollos and these disciples represent those who “complete” their transition to messianic faith as Jews.

4 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Grk “they said.”

6 sn These disciples may have had their contact with John early on in the Baptist’s ministry before Jesus had emerged. This is the fifth time Luke links John the Baptist and Jesus (Acts 1:5; 11:16; 13:25; 18:25).



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