Acts 10:47 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 10:47, NIV: Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.'

Acts 10:47, ESV: “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

Acts 10:47, KJV: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Acts 10:47, NASB: 'Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?'

Acts 10:47, NLT: 'Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?'

Acts 10:47, CSB: "Can anyone withhold water and prevent these people from being baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? "

What does Acts 10:47 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter and six other Jewish Jesus-followers (Acts 11:12) have just watched the first recorded case of the Holy Spirit indwelling a group of Gentiles. The new converts were devout God-followers, but they are not circumcised, and Peter has not laid his hands on them. But they are empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak in languages they don't know (Acts 10:44–46).

Peter was vaguely warned this would happen, but the other six had no idea that Gentiles could follow Jesus. Peter puts the situation into perspective. Whatever their preconceived notions, these Gentiles have received the Holy Spirit and there is no reason why they shouldn't be welcomed into the young church. As Peter will say to the church in Jerusalem, "If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?" (Acts 11:17).

Today, when someone comes to a saving faith in Jesus, the church they attend typically has them go through a class on baptism to make sure they understand the faith and what baptism represents. It is not a requirement for salvation—a point proven here—rather, it is a public sign that the person identifies with Jesus and His teaching. In the time of the New Testament, however, baptism was performed at the time the person chose to follow Jesus—often immediately after (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 36–38; 9:18; 10:47–48; 16:15, 33; 19:5). Considering the fact baptism is not a universal part of most modern cultures, as it was to the Jews, it's probably good that most churches make sure the new convert knows what it means, but it's also likely we sometimes wait longer than is necessary.