Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Zerwick on Matthew 28:19

Maximilian Zerwick insists that εἰς τὸ ὄνομα in Mt 28:19 is being used sensu stricto "to suggest the end and effect of baptism" in the name of the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit: he explicitly connects baptizing with εἰς τὸ ὄνομα. I think Zerwick is also stressing the difference between εἰς and ἐν. See his work Biblical Greek, section 106.

While Zerwick perceives a noticeable lexical distinction between εἰς and ἐν without putting too much emphasis on there being one name for the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit. However, Zerwick does mention the Trinity while articulating the reason for Matthew using εις in 28:19 although I stress that he doesn't argue that all three have the same name.

By "end," I assume that he's referring to the telos of baptism (i.e., goal, purpose, function) and "effect" might be understood as its result (what baptism brings about). One is baptized (Zerwick possibly is arguing) "into" the name of Father, Son and Spirit rather than "in" the name of Father, KTL.

There may not be a major distinction between the two in this case, and for my purposes, it's not all that important.


Duncan said...

Does the didache have any bearing here?

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan, the Didache may have some bearing on other aspects of this Matthean account, but Zerwick is strictly dealing with grammatical features of the text as it now stands. I don't remember the Didache containing any material that affects the en/eis distinction, but maybe the relevant data is there.

Duncan said...

Got an English translation free from here but not the Greek:-

7:1 "Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water."

Edgar Foster said...

Here is the Greek text: 1. Περὶ δὲ τοῦ βαπτίσματος, οὕτω βαπτίσατε· ταῦτα πάντα πρειπόντες, βαπτίσατε εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος ἐν ὕδατι ζῶντι. 2. ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἔχῃς ὕδωρ ζῶν, εἰς ἄλλο ὕδωρ βάπτισον· εἰ δ’ οὐ δύνασαι ἐν ψυχρῷ, ἐν θερμῷ. 3. ἐὰν δὲ ἀμφότερα μὴ ἔχῃς, ἔκχεον εἰς τὴν κεφαλὴν τρὶς ὕδωρ εἰς ὄνομα πατρὸς καὶ υἱοῦ καὶ ἁγίου πνεύματος. 4. πρὸ δὲ τοῦ βαπτίσμος προνηστευσάτω ὁ βαπτίζων καὶ ὁ βαπτιζόμενος καὶ εἴ τινες ἄλλοι δύναται· κελεύεις δὲ νηστεῦσαι τὸν βαπτιζόμενον πρὸ μιᾶς ἢ δύο.


I don't think Zerwick references this text, but it's clear that Didache 7 has been influenced by Mt 28:19-20.