They had only been baptized (Acts 8:16)

“As yet,

The Spirit

Had not come

Upon any of them.

They had only been baptized

In the name

Of the Lord Jesus.”

οὐδέπω γὰρ ἦν ἐπ’ οὐδενὶ αὐτῶν ἐπιπεπτωκός, μόνον δὲ βεβαπτισμένοι ὑπῆρχον εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ.

The author of Acts indicated that as yet (οὐδέπω γὰρ), the Spirit had not come upon any of them (ἦν ἐπ’ οὐδενὶ αὐτῶν).  They had only been baptized (μόνον δὲ βεβαπτισμένοι ὑπῆρχον) in the name of the Lord Jesus (εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ).  Baptism was a precondition for the reception of the Spirit, rather than the giving of the Holy Spirit.  They had prayed that the Holy Spirit might come, because the Samaritans had “only (μόνον)” been baptized.  Thus, they were lacking the gift of the Spirit.  This narrative clearly separated the bestowal of the Spirit from the act of baptism.  Various interpretations have been given to this text.  Either the Samaritans had already received the Holy Spirit and this is only a charismatic manifestation or a second reception of the Spirit.  The gift of the Spirit belongs only to the laying on of hands, so that baptism and the laying on of hands were normally joined, but only separated here.  Did God withhold the Spirit from these Samaritan Christians?  What is clear from this passage is that only the apostles could give the Holy Spirit and that these Samaritans had not received the Holy Spirit, even though they were baptized.  How do baptism and the Holy Spirit work together?

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