Can any man forbid the water? (Mhti to udwr dunatai kwlsai ti?). The negative mhti expects the answer No. The evidence was indisputable that these Gentiles were converted and so were entitled to be baptized. See the similar idiom in Luke 6:39 . Note the article with "water." Here the baptism of the Holy Spirit had preceded the baptism of water ( Acts 1:5 ; Acts 11:16 ). "The greater had been bestowed; could the lesser be withheld?" (Knowling). That these should not be baptized (tou mh baptisqhnai toutou). Ablative case of the articular first aorist passive infinitive of baptizw with the redundant negative after the verb of hindering (kwlsai) and the accusative of general reference (toutou). The redundant negative after the verb of hindering is not necessary though often used in ancient Greek and in the Koin (papyri). Without it see Matthew 19:14 ; Acts 8:36 and with it see Luke 4:42 ; Luke 24:16 ; Acts 14:18 . Cf. Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1061, 1094, 1171. The triple negatives here are a bit confusing to the modern mind (mhti in the question, kwlsai, to hinder or to cut off, mh with baptisqhnai). Literally, Can any one cut off the water from the being baptized as to these? Meyer: "The water is in this animated language conceived as the element offering itself for the baptism." As well as we (w kai hmei). The argument was conclusive. God had spoken. Note the query of the eunuch to Philip ( Acts 8:36 ).