Romans 6:3

Thursday, May 18, 2006

η PRT αγνοειτε V-PAI-2P οτι CONJ
do you not know that
.................οσοι K-NPM εβαπτισθημεν V-API-1P
.................all of us who have been baptised
......................................εις PREP χριστον N-ASM ιησουν N-ASM
......................................into Christ Jesus
......................................εις PREP τον T-ASM θανατον N-ASM αυτου P-
...................................................GSM εβαπτισθημεν V-API-1P
......................................into his death we have been baptised?

I have discussed briefly about baptism here.

What is of interest to me in v.3 is the preposition εις, into. What does it mean by "into Christ" and "into death"? I have looked into the more common "in Christ" before but what about "into Christ"?

Wallace suggests 8 possible meaning of εις:
1. Spatial: into, toward, in
2. Temporal: for, throughout
3. Purpose: for, in order to, to
4. Result: so that, with the result that
5. Reference/Respect: with respect to, with reference to
6. Advantage: for
7. Disadvantage: against
8. In the place of εν (with its various nuances)

In relation to (8), εν has the nuance of:
9. Spatial/Sphere: in (and various other translations)
10. Temporal: in, within, when, while, during
11. Association (often close personal relationship): with
12. Cause: because of
13. Instrumental: by, with
14. Reference/Respect: with respect to/with reference to
15. Manner: with
16. Thing Possessed: with (in the sense of which possesses)
17. Standard (=Dative of Rule): according to the standard of
18. As an equivalent for εις (with verbs of motion)

The preposition here in v.3 I believe take #1 and #9 where one is baptised into Christ and into death spatially. Initially I thought #4 sounds possible for death as a result as baptism, but I don't think it sounds right.

As such, to be baptised into Christ is to enter into a union with him and to be found in him. In the same way, being baptised into Christ also means participation in the death of Christ. It denotes a union into Christ's death. For the lack of better tools, a check into e-Sword results in εις χριστον taking the nuance of into Christ, only in relation to baptism. This could imply that we can only be in union with the Lord through his death.

Maeghan

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