Acts 1:5

5 for 1John baptized with water, 2but you will be baptized 3with[a] the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Acts 1:5 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 1:5

For John truly baptized with water
Or "in water", as he himself says, ( Matthew 3:11 ) John's baptism was water baptism, an immersion of persons in water: he was the first administrator of it, and therefore is here mentioned by name; and his, and the baptism of the Spirit, are opposed; for there were others, as the disciples of Christ, that baptized in water as well as John: and these words are not to be understood of the words of the Lord, by the mouth of John, which the disciples heard, for they were not then called when John spoke the words in ( Matthew 3:11 ) nor indeed are they the same with these; but these are the words of Christ himself, and which the apostles heard from his own mouth, as is clear from ( Acts 11:16 ) though they are not recorded by any of the evangelists; and these are not the only words which Luke repeats, that the evangelists are silent about; see ( Acts 20:35 )

but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost;
that is, by himself; for it is Christ's prerogative to baptize with the Spirit, as John foretold of him, and it designs such an extraordinary and plentiful donation of the gifts of the Spirit, as may be expressed by a baptism; in which the apostles, on the day of "Pentecost", were, as it were, to be immersed, and with them covered; as Cyril of Jerusalem F8 observes,

``as he, (o endunwn en toiv udasi) , "who is plunged in water, and baptized", is encompassed by the water on every side, so are they that are wholly baptized by the Spirit.''

Not many days hence;
within ten days, for this was on the fortieth day from his death, which was at the passover, these words were said; and on the fiftieth day from thence was the feast of Pentecost, when this had its fulfilment.


F8 Cateches. 17. sect. 8. p. 247.

Acts 1:5 In-Context

3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me;
5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Acts 11:16; See Matthew 3:11
  • 2. Acts 11:16; See Matthew 3:11
  • 3. Acts 2:1-4

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.