I recently posted some brief thoughts on household texts in the New Testament as they are used in the Baptism debate. I think it fair of me to bring out a little further my exegetical thoughts around the texts and will endeavour to do so in following posts beginning here with Acts 10 and 11.
Luke, (as a paedobaptist might point out) seems to continually stress the entirety or all-ness of the households; All the household, the whole household, the entire household, etc., possibly indicating the increased likelihood of infants.
Acts 10 is no exception: all the household were baptised. However a careful look of Acts 10-11 will show us other important all's. First we have a prophetic word given in 11:14, ‘He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’ [emphasis mine] And Second back in 10:44, 46, ‘While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word...they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God.’ [emphasis mine]
To point out that Luke keeps insisting on the entirety or all-ness of the household to include non-professing children, the following logic must be applied:
- All heard the message by which they would be saved
- All received the Holy Spirit + spoke in tongues
- All were baptised
- Infants heard the message by which they would be saved
- Infants received the Holy Spirit + spoke in tongues
- Infants were baptised
To keep the logic that all means infants must also mean three things:
1. Infants heard so presumably understood (by the spirit) the message of Salvation
2. Infants received the Holy Spirit
3. This manifested itself in the infant by speaking in tongues
It appears from this that a paedobaptist position that uses the texts this way can remain consistent if one accepts the regenerative faith of the infant pre-Baptism.
Perhaps Luke has a different purpose for these household texts than is often appealed to by the paedobaptist brother or sister - namely the coming of Gentiles (God-fears in this instance) into the covenant.