An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 52 of 270
English tongue when we perpetrated this outrage in Accepted in the Beloved
but the long silence suggests that it meets a need.
A word of explanation to any who may be puzzled at the difference
between louo and louein.  It is all a matter of custom.  Some grammarians
always use the infinitive 'to wash' louein, others adopt the first person
singular present indicative, 'I wash', louo.  There is little to choose
between them, but for consistency's sake, we adhere to one presentation and
use in our publications the first person.
Three Phases of Cleansing that have Doctrinal Equivalents
Three words conclude our survey of the references to the act of washing
in the New Testament that have any bearing upon the believer's acceptance,
and these three are louo, pluno and nipto.  'The grammarians remark a
difference between louein, and plunein and niptein that louein is spoken of
the whole body, plunein of garments and clothes, and niptein of the hands'
Louo+ is considered by some to be from luo, 'to loosen', and the
washing which this word represents, generally contains the idea of loosening
any unclean element that may adhere.  In Acts 16:33 the Authorized Version
translation, 'and washed their stripes', does not recognize the presence of
the preposition apo.  It should be read, 'washed (the blood) from their
stripes'.  This verb, louo, is frequently used by the LXX to translate the
Hebrew rachats, the word employed in speaking of the ceremonial washings of
the law.  This is referred to in Hebrews:
'Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having
our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed
with pure water' (10:22).
Should any be inclined to urge a literal interpretation from the
reference to the washing of the body, let him first of all consider what he
must do with 'hearts' that are 'sprinkled' from an evil conscience.  The
Hebrews would find no difficulty in the apparent mixture of metaphors
but would immediately associate Old Testament typical washings with their New
Testament spiritual equivalents.  We cannot introduce Revelation 1:5 here, as
the best texts read, lusanti, 'loosed', instead of lousanti, 'washed'.
Washing in blood would defile, not cleanse.  Sprinkling with blood and
washing in water are alone known to the Old Testament (save in Psa. 58:10).
The question of Revelation 7:14 will come up when we deal with the
Greek verb pluno.  A very solemn thought is suggested by Peter's use of louo:
'But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is
turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her
wallowing in the mire' (2 Pet. 2:22).
The sow that is washed ever so clean is a sow still.  Sheep that have
strayed return to the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls (1 Pet. 2:25); but
sows, be they ever so clean externally, return to the mire.  Unless the
washing be intimately associated with regeneration (Tit. 3:5) it is of no
avail.  Before we turn to John 13:10 for the first reference to louo we must
acquaint ourselves with nipto which occurs in the same verse.  There are
seventeen occurrences in the New Testament, but not one refers to the bathing