In Dr. Ryrie's revised edition of Dispensationalism, [copyright 1995, Moody Press]

on pages 205 and 206 we find the following statements:


Note the above highlighted portion, it contains a quote from the book,

A DISPENSATIONAL THEOLOGY, by Charles F. Baker [Grace Bible

Publications, 2d ed. 1971; page 502]. Dr. Ryrie follows the quote with;

"...however, he insists that it [i.e. the preposition en] cannot be translated the

same way in all instances, thus proving two baptisms."


What Dr. Ryrie does not share is the full text and proof, a very good proof

that Ryrie could not deal with, so Ryrie did not mention the powerful facts

opposing his partial and misrepresentative "quote". Below is more of the

context of the portion quoted, in most of its context, page 502 of Baker's

classic work on a true Dispensationalism, [pages 503 and 504 follow]


Note that Baker indicates that "...if it can be proved". Ryrie cannot and does not

prove that the preposition MUST be translated the same in such situations.

In fact, Baker, then on pages 503 and 504 of A DISPENSATIONAL THEOLOGY,

puts forth an essay by the then living Vernon Schutz.

Below is Schutz's reply to the

empty claims of Dr. Ryrie. As I understand it, Ryrie never did or could reply

to Schutz. Schutz's reply is short, so slowly read it all, and concentrate, it is

utter simplicity, very clear.

Dr. Ryrie concedes that en can sometimes mean "with," "by," or "in," but he asks us to face the "possibility that in both instances it does mean the same and refers to the same baptism." Since Dr. Ryrie has coupled two ideas together let us examine them one at a time. His plea to us rests partially on the basis that we translate en "consistently" in both cases since "it is used in exactly the same phrase with the Spirit." But we do not always translate en the same way simply because it is used in the same phrase with the same noun. For instance, would you always translate the preposition en when used with the noun heaven "IN heaven?" Would you translate Matthew 5:34, "Swear not at all; neither IN heaven," or "Swear not at all; neither BY heaven?" Does Christ tell us not to swear IN heaven? How much sense does that make? Obviously we must translate en "BY" here.

Now let's look at Matthew 5:45; 6:9 and 22:30. Would Dr. Ryrie suggest that we should "consistently" translate en "by" since it is used in exactly the same phrase with the word "heaven?" How much sense does it make to translate en "BY" in these passages? "Your Father which is BY heaven?" "Our Father which art BY heaven?" "But are as the angels BY heaven?" It is best to change the word BY in these passages to IN. The point is, you must not always translate en the same way in all cases even when used with the same noun. It is the sense of the passage that determines whether it should be IN heaven or BY heaven, and it is the sense of the passage and context that determines whether it should be IN the Spirit or BY the Spirit.

It is important to see that we do not actually build our position on the preposition itself, even though at first glance it may seem as though we do. We depend more on the sense of the passage than does Dr. Ryrie. Dr. Ryrie, however, keeps focusing our attention on the translation of the preposition. He would like the Greek en translated "IN" the Spirit in both cases. As a result of this he carefully restricts himself to using only Acts 1:5 with 1 Corinthians 12:13. The promise Christ speaks of in Acts 1:5 is recorded in four other places. They are Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; and John 1:33. Dr. Ryrie does not mention or list these other passages. There is good reason for this. It will be noted in the Greek texts that God does not find the Greek preposition en so important, for, although it appears before the words "water" and "Holy Spirit" in John 1:33 and Matthew 3:11, in Luke's account it only appears before the words "Holy Spirit" but it does not appear before "water," and in Mark's account the preposition does not appear at all. This shows that the true sense of these passages is not really dependent on the preposition. To demonstrate this more graphically, translate Matthew 3:11 as either "with," or "by," or "in." Take your choice. It is still evident who the baptizing agents are, even though one preposition may serve better than another one.

"I (John) indeed baptize you with/by/in water.. .; but He (Christ) shall baptize you with/by/in the Holy Spirit."

Changing the prepositions does not destroy the obvious sense of the [i.e. of THIS] passage. The argument does not really rest on one little preposition as Dr. Ryrie would have you believe. It is clear that John is the baptizing agent. It is equally clear, because of the parallelism, that Christ is the baptizing agent. Since it is not possible to make the water the baptizer in this passage, neither is it possible to make the Spirit the baptizer. Christ was the agent baptizing on the day of Pentecost.

from TRUTH magazine, 1969, Vol. XIX, No. 3, page 57. Titled: "An Answer to an Analysis of Our Position". By the late pastor Vernon A. Schutz. [profiled on this website on the PEOPLES/PLACES link].

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Thus Vernon Schutz makes his case. A simple one, it is. He does not delve deeply into

grammatical categories (such as instrument/agency, patient, sphere et al)

but does he need to?

His use of "sense" implies common sense, as well as a mature

grammatical sense.

In I Corinthians 12:13, the SPIRIT is the baptizing agent, He - THE SPIRIT- puts

each elected person INTO the body of Christ [with no water involved!].

In Acts 1:5, we know that it

was Jesus Christ Who put the Spirit in them - Acts 2:4

(they were filled - aorist passive), and John 1:33, Jesus baptizes

WITH the Holy Spirit; Mark 1:8 and others! Usually kingdom signs accompanied

these types of Acts/Pentecostal baptisms. There are numerous

other baptisms in the Bible, contray to popular Baptist shillings.

© copyright 2006, by Mr. Gary S. Dykes


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