Acts 8:14-17?

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Future_Prodigy

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HEre luke makes a distinction between being baptized in the name of Jesus and the outpouoring of the spirit via the apostles… how are we to interpret this? This seems to go directly against the sacramental teaching of baptism.
 
Those passages are cross-referenced in the CCC in these places:

“From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism. For this reason in the Letter to the Hebrews the doctrine concerning Baptism and the laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian instruction. The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church.”(98) (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 1288)

The hand. Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying hands on them.(51) In his name the apostles will do the same.(52) Even more pointedly, it is by the Apostles’ imposition of hands that the Holy Spirit is given.(53) The Letter to the Hebrews lists the imposition of hands among the “fundamental elements” of its teaching.(54) The Church has kept this sign of the all-powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit in its sacramental epicleses. (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 699)
 
St. Augustine has this to say on the selected passage:

But He who remitteth by man, can also remit even without man. For He who is able to give by another, hath no less the power to give by Himself. To some He gave by the ministry of John. By whom did He give to John himself? With good reason, as God wished to show this, and to attest this truth, when certain in Samaria had had the Gospel preached to them, Ac 8,5 and had been baptized, and baptized by Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven deacons that were first chosen, they did not receive the Holy Ghost, though they had been baptized. Tidings were brought to the disciples who were at Jerusalem, and they came to Samaria,21 in order that they who bad been baptized, might by imposition of their hands receive the Holy Ghost. And so it was; “They came and laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”22 For the Holy Ghost was at that time given in such sort, that He even visibly showed Himself to have been given. For they who received Him spake with the tongues of all nations; to signify that the Church among the nations was to speak in the tongues of all. So then they received the Holy Ghost, and He appeared evidently to be in them. Which when Simon saw, supposing that this power was of men, he wished it might be his also. What he thought to be of men, he wished to buy of men. “How much money,” says he, “will ye take of me, that by imposition of my hands the Holy Ghost may be given?” Then Peter says to him with execration, “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this faith. For thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thy money perish with thee;23 and the rest which he spake in the same place suitably to the occasion. (Augustine on NT 99)
 
St. Thomas Aquinas has this to say:

On the contrary Augustine says (Super Joan., Tract. v): “Those who were baptized with John’s baptism needed to be baptized with the baptism of our Lord.”
I answer that According to the opinion of the Master (Sent. iv, D, 2), "those who had been baptized by John without knowing of the existence of the Holy Ghost, and who based their hopes on his baptism, were afterwards baptized with the baptism of Christ: but those who did not base their hope on John’s baptism, and who believed in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, were not baptized afterwards, but received the Holy Ghost by the imposition of hands made over them by the apostles."And this, indeed, is true as to the first part, and is confirmed by many authorities. But as to the second part, the assertion is altogether unreasonable. First, because John’s baptism neither conferred grace nor imprinted a character, but was merely “in water,” as he says himself (Mt 3,11). Wherefore the faith or hope which the person baptized had in Christ could not supply this defect. Secondly, because, when in a sacrament, that is omitted which belongs of necessity to the sacrament, not only must the omission be supplied, but the whole must be entirely renewed. Now, it belongs of necessity to Christ’s baptism that it be given not only in water, but also in the Holy Ghost, according to Jn. 3:5: “Unless a man be born of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Wherefore in the case of those who had been baptized with John’s baptism in water only, not merely had the omission to be supplied by giving them the Holy Ghost by the imposition of hands, but they had to be baptized wholly anew “in water and the Holy Ghost.”

Reply to Objection: 1. As Augustine says (Super Joan., Tract. v): “After John, baptism was administered, and the reason why was because he gave not Christ’s baptism, but his own . . . That which Peter gave . . . and if any were given by Judas, that was Christ’s. And therefore if Judas baptized anyone, yet were they not rebaptized . . . For the baptism corresponds with him by whose authority it is given, not with him by whose ministry it is given.” For the same reason those who were baptized by the deacon Philip, who gave the baptism of Christ, were not baptized again, but received the imposition of hands by the apostles, just as those who are baptized by priests are confirmed by bishops. (Summa Theologica III Qu.38 a.6)
 
My understanding of this scripture is that while they had been baptised, they had not received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as the Apostles had on Pentecost. It was more a confirmational thing.
 
The Catholic Answers tracts says
Rather, the phrase “baptized in the name of Jesus” is simply Luke’s way to distinguish Christian baptism from other baptisms of the period, such as John’s baptism (which Luke mentions in Acts 1:5, 22, 10:37, 11:16, 13:24, 18:25, 19:4), Jewish proselyte baptism, and the baptisms of pagan cults (such as Mithraism). It also indicates the person into whose Mystical Body baptism incorporates us (Rom. 6:3).
It comes form this link catholic.com/library/Trinitarian_Baptism.asp
 
HEre luke makes a distinction between being baptized in the name of Jesus and the outpouoring of the spirit via the apostles… how are we to interpret this? This seems to go directly against the sacramental teaching of baptism.
sacramental teaching on Baptism is that in addition to remitting original sin and actual sin, imprinting an indelible character on the soul, initiating one into the Catholic Church, literal dyingto sin and rising to new life in Christ, by pouring of or immersion in water, in the Name of the Father, the soul receives the infusion of the Holy Spirit. So I am not seeing the contradiction you perceive.
 
there is definitely an inherent contradiction in this statement. They had previously been baptized in the ‘name of the Lord Jesus’ but had not received the holy spirit till the apostles laid there hands on them. From above, someone mentioned the laying on of hands is continued today in the practice of confirmation, so basically we, those whose are not confirmed, are like those in this passage… walking around without the holy spirit (despite church teaching that it is given at baptism) till we become confirmed.

I don’t understand how sacramentology makes sense of this biblical dichotomy between being baptized in the name of the Lord, being baptized with water, having hands laid upon you and having a legitimate Christian baptism
 
Does receiving the Holy Spirit have to be a one time deal? Don’t we receive Grace throughout our lives?
 
Yes but this passage and other nt passages make the case that at certain types of baptism we dont receive ANY spirit till the laying on of hands by the apostles, this si why i have brought it up. this is why i say there is definitely an inherent contradiction in this statement. They had previously been baptized in the ‘name of the Lord Jesus’ but had not received the holy spirit till the apostles laid there hands on them. From above, someone mentioned the laying on of hands is continued today in the practice of confirmation, so basically we, those whose are not confirmed, are like those in this passage… walking around without the holy spirit (despite church teaching that it is given at baptism) till we become confirmed.

I don’t understand how sacramentology makes sense of this biblical dichotomy between being baptized in the name of the Lord, being baptized with water, having hands laid upon you and having a legitimate Christian baptism
 
Yes but this passage and other nt passages make the case that at certain types of baptism we dont receive ANY spirit till the laying on of hands by the apostles, this si why i have brought it up. this is why i say there is definitely an inherent contradiction in this statement. They had previously been baptized in the ‘name of the Lord Jesus’ but had not received the holy spirit till the apostles laid there hands on them. From above, someone mentioned the laying on of hands is continued today in the practice of confirmation, so basically we, those whose are not confirmed, are like those in this passage… walking around without the holy spirit (despite church teaching that it is given at baptism) till we become confirmed.

I don’t understand how sacramentology makes sense of this biblical dichotomy between being baptized in the name of the Lord, being baptized with water, having hands laid upon you and having a legitimate Christian baptism
The Catholic Church teaches that we do receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism. This conforms to Our Lord’s words
  1. to Nicodemus concerning the need to be born again/anew “of water and the Spirit”. (John 3:5)
  2. to baptize in the “name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Mt 28:19-20)
Also:
  1. St. Peter’s words: “Repent and be baptized,…for the forgiveness of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
  2. St. Paul’s words: “washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5)
Acts 8:14-17 has to be interpreted in a manner that does not conflict with the above passages (and any other pertinent passages). God can bestow His Spirit in more than one way, and more than one time (eg the apostles when Jesus breathes on them (John 20:22-23) and then later the Father sends the Holy Spirit like tongues of fire on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

The Catechism has Catholic teaching on the two sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation in paragraphs #1210-1314. You might find it helpful to read that section.

Nita
 
Does anyone have anything to add to this thread? I’m still having a hard time reconciling this passage with Catholic teaching that we receive the Holy Spirit at baptism. The passage doesn’t seem to imply a ‘more complete’ infusion of the Spirit by laying on of hands, but rather the initial infusion of the Spirit.

Please help!
 
I’m still having a hard time reconciling this passage with Catholic teaching that we receive the Holy Spirit at baptism.
You are either misunderstanding Catholic teaching, or I am misunderstanding you. Baptism washes away our sins, while Confirmation is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, the Catechism says that “it completes the grace of Baptism. (1315)” That is exactly what happened here in Acts 8, here is the quote

Acts 8:16 For he was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

This is totally Catholic all the way! Does this help? If not then where are you having trouble seeing it line up?
 
Are you thinking the Church teaches that we receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism? Maybe that is where you are misunderstanding. The Church teaches that we receive the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, which is the laying on of hands.
 
Are you thinking the Church teaches that we receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism? Maybe that is where you are misunderstanding. The Church teaches that we receive the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, which is the laying on of hands.
Hi Copland,

We do receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism.

Under The Sacrament of Baptism:
CCC #1215 This sacrament is also called “the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one “can enter the kingdom of God”.

CCC#1241 The anointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one “anointed” by the Holy Spirit, …

CCC #1265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte “a new creature,” an adopted son of God, who has become a “partaker of the divine nature,” member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Under The Sacrament of Confirmation:
CCC #1285 …It must be exxplained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. …

Nita
 
Hi Copland,

We do receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism.

Under The Sacrament of Baptism:
CCC #1215 This sacrament is also called “the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one “can enter the kingdom of God”.

CCC#1241 The anointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one “anointed” by the Holy Spirit, …

CCC #1265 Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte “a new creature,” an adopted son of God, who has become a “partaker of the divine nature,” member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Under The Sacrament of Confirmation:
CCC #1285 …It must be exxplained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. …

Nita
This is why I’m confused…this passage from Acts (and a couple others in Acts, also) seem to say that even though people were baptized, they hadn’t yet received the Holy Spirit until they were laid upon with hands. One passage - I think it’s in Acts 10 but I’'ll have to check - says they received the Holy Spirit when they **believed **in Jesus Christ.
 
Baptism, we are cleansed by the Holy Spirit, but we do not receive the outpouring of the Spirit. As Peter Lombard says, Confirmation offers a greater increase of virtues, while baptism avails rather for remisssion. Then Lombard quotes Rabanus saying, “in the unction of baptism the Holy Spirit descends to consecrate a dwelling for God; in that of confirmation the sevenfold grace of the same Spirit, with all the plentitude of sancity and power, comes into a man.”

Do you see the difference?
 
Baptism, we are cleansed by the Holy Spirit, but we do not receive the outpouring of the Spirit. As Peter Lombard says, Confirmation offers a greater increase of virtues, while baptism avails rather for remisssion. Then Lombard quotes Rabanus saying, “in the unction of baptism the Holy Spirit descends to consecrate a dwelling for God; in that of confirmation the sevenfold grace of the same Spirit, with all the plentitude of sancity and power, comes into a man.”

Do you see the difference?
Ah. yes, now I think I finally get the distinction! THANK YOU!
But who are Peter Lombard and Rabanus?? Is this statement supported by the Catechism?
 
Here is about Peter Lombard accorrdng ot the Catholic Encyclopedia newadvent.org/cathen/11768d.htm And here is Rabanus newadvent.org/cathen/12617a.htm

I have a collection from the Library of Christian Classics that has Peter Lombards writings. I especially read his writings on Confirmation when I was taking RCIA and about to get confirmed. I read his famous work called The Four Books of Sentences, which is where I quoted from. It is such a wonderful work that St. Thomas Aquinas did a commentary on it diafrica.org/kenny/CDtexts/Sentences.htm
 
Your questions Elzee started a Catechism search for me. Came across several paragraphs that were interesting to me (especially CCC paragraphs 1290-1292 about the history of the Confirmation rite).
  1. We receive the Holy Spirit in all of the sacraments.
CCC#739 Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, … Through the Church’s sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body.
  1. Change in the tradition of when Confirmation administered.
CCC#1290 In the first centuries Confirmation generally comprised one single celebration with Baptism, forming with it a “double sacrament,” according to the expression of St. Cyprian. Among other reasons, the multiplication of infant baptisms all through the year, the increase of rural parishes, and the growth of dioceses often prevented the bishop from being present at all baptismal celebrations. In the West the desire to reserve the completion of Baptism to the bishop caused the temporal separation of the two sacraments. The East has kept them united, so that Confirmation is conferred by the priest who baptizes. But he can do so only with the “myron” consecrated by a bishop.
CCC#1291 A custom of the Roman Church facilitated the development of the Western practice: a double anointing with sacred chrism after Baptism. The first anointing of the neophyte on coming out of the baptismal bath was performed by the priest; it was completed by a second anointing on the forehead of the newly baptized by the bishop. The first anointing with sacred chrism, by the priest, has remained attached to the baptismal rite; it signifies the participation of the one baptized in the prophetic, priestly, and kingly offices of Christ. If Baptism is conferred on an adult, there is only one post-baptismal anointing, that of Confirmation.
  1. A mark/seal unique to Confirmation is received with the sacrament.
CCC#1295 By this anointing the confirmand receives the “mark,” the seal of the Holy Spirit. …
Nita
 
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