Synopsis: What About Baptism?

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CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi All:

On the previous, now locked, thread some of you (Steve Owen, Semper Fi, etc) asked if I would summarize the book I recommended earlier. I will try to do so and still keep the power of the arguments, Lord willing.

What About Baptism? A Discussion of the Mode, Candidate, and Purpose of Christian Baptism, by Ralph E. Bass, Jr.

He begins the book by investigating in-depth the definitions of the words used in the Bible (Old and New Testaments) that Baptists use to "prove" their view of Baptism. It is in these definitions that the credo-baptist thinks he has the advantage. However, a detailed look at the way the Bible uses these words produces a much different understanding to the neutral observer. Here are the various words the Bible uses transliterated from the Greek:

1) Bapto verb "To dip, dye, to put into and remove."
2) Baptidzo verb "To envelope, to merse (merge - to put together so as to remain together, to unite)
3) Baptismos noun "A washing, an act of cleansing."
4) Baptisma noun "A rite or ceremony of baptism."
5) Baptisteis noun "One who baptizes."

He points out that the word Bapto means to dip. He then points out that the word Baptidzo has a very different meaning: "it is characterized by the idea of 'putting in and leaving in' or 'envelopment'. The purpose of this envelopment is to produce a change of condition in the object enveloped. In the ancient Greek world if a person was Baptidzo in water, he was drowned. He was enveloped by the water without a withdrawal from the water. This produced a change of condition - from life to death."

A better definition of baptidzo when we look at the Bible's use of it (see below) would be to "merge, merse, or unite." The English word "immerse" and the Greek word baptidzo both mean to place under water without the provision to remove from the water. Thus, they both make a poor substitute for the idea of "dipping." Baptidzo carries the idea of putting together so as to remain together. The idea of "dipping" (to put in and to pull out) does not properly translate baptidzo. The real meaning of the word, as we shall see when we look at the Biblical use of it, is found in a change of condition.

The Believer in Christ is Baptized (baptidzo) by the Spirit, and is thus united to Him by the working of the Holy Spirit throughout his whole life. The idea of "dipping" (to put in and bring out) does not reflect accurately the Biblical concept of Baptism.

Chapter One: Its Mode:

Illustrated in the Jewish Ceremonies Referred to in the Book of Hebrews

When referring to the ritual purifications in the Old Testament the Apostle Paul notes that these washings (baptismos) were accomplished by means of pouring or sprinkling. Hebrews 9:9-22 reads:

Accordingly both the gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and drink and various washings (baptismos), regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation ... (vs 13) For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God ... (vs 19) For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people ... (vs 21) And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
The English word used here for washings is the Greek word baptismos or baptism and is referenced throughout the passage as sprinkling. The purifications/washings in the Old Testament that are specifically referred to in the New Testament as baptisms were done by sprinkling or pouring. This is further proved:

Then for the unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the burnt purification from sin and flowing water shall be added to them in a vessel. And a clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the furnishing and on the persons who were there, and on the one who touched the bone or the one slain or the one dying natural or the grave, Numb 19:17-18 (Heb 9:13)

See also: Ex 24:6-8 - which is referred to in Hebrews 9:19; Leviticus 8:19 (Hebrews 9:21); and Leviticus 16:14 (Hebrews 9:21 as well).

"Now what do these comparisons of Old Testament references to Hebrews 9 tell us? There is no complexity here: the washings (baptismos) spoken of in the Book of Hebrews are sprinklings.

You can see for yourself that the author of Hebrews, quoting the Old Testament accounts of sprinklings calls them baptisms. Therefore, by the authority of Scripture, sprinklings are an acceptable mode for baptisms."

As Bass continues in his book you will find that sprinkling is the only Biblical (both Old and New Testament) mode of Baptism.

The Baptisms (purifications) performed by John the Baptist were sprinklings.

When the Jews disputed with the disciples of John they questioned them concerning his work which they called purification:

And John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and they were coming and were being baptized ... There arose therefore a discussion on the part of John's disciples with a Jew about purification, John 3:23-26.
By observing the behavior of John the Baptist the Jews came to the conclusion that he was performing rites of purification. All of the rites of purification that the Jews were familiar with were done by sprinkling:

We have already looked at Numbers 19 above.

Anyone who touches a corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him, Numbers 9:13.

To cleanse the house then, he shall take two birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop, and he shall slaughter the one bird in an earthenware vessel over running water. Then he shall take the cedar wood and the hyssop and the scarlet string, with the live bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, as well as in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times, Leviticus 14:49-51.

See also: Numbers 8:7; Ps 51:7.

The syllogism goes like this:

1) The Jews knew that rites of purification were performed only by sprinkling.
2) John the Baptist - to them - were performing rites of purification by his baptisms.
3) Therefore, John the Baptist was baptizing by sprinkling.

"Had John been immersing at Aenon the subject of 'purifying' would never have been raised, for the purifications of the Old Testament were never by immersion." - Jesus refers to John as the greatest of the Old Testament prophets.

Illustrated in the question of John the Baptist being the Messiah

The ministry of John the Baptist centered around baptism. In doing so it appeared to the Jews that John was fulfilling certain prophecies concerning the Messiah. So they asked him the question, John 1:19,20. They were thinking about the following verses - compared to the NT description of John the Baptist:

For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, (Ezekiel 36:24 - compare with Acts 1:5)

He will sprinkle many nations, Is 52:13-15.
If you continue reading in the Ez 36 passage you will find that sprinkling clean water, cleansing from sin, and the Holy Spirit are all mentioned. These three are all associated with John the Baptist's ministry.

Illustrated in our Lord's Baptism

Jesus was baptized in order to "fulfill all righteousness," Mt 3:13-17. As our sacrifice and High Priest He had to perfectly conform Himself to all of the Laws of Moses. Some of these criterion included:

1) He had to be thirty years old or older - Numbers 4:3,23 compare Luke 3:23.

2) He had to be called of God, as was Aaron - Exodus 28:1 and Hebrews 5:4-6.

3) He had to be sprinkled - Numbers 8:5-7 reads:

Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Take the Levites from among the sons of Israel and cleanse them. And thus you shall do to them, for their cleansing: sprinkle purifying water on them

So Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him; and he consecrated Aaron, Lev 8:30.
If Jesus was anointed in any other way than that of sprinkling then He would not have been fulfilling all righteousness! Acts 10:38-39.

To anoint is to pour or sprinkle. Christ was consecrated by water and anointed by the Holy Spirit. The picture of Holy Spirit baptism is water baptism by pouring or sprinkling.

There is no anointing by dipping in the Bible.

Illustrated in the Relationship of Water Baptism to the Holy Spirit

Baptism with water portrays the way the Holy Spirit baptized His Church. Notice how water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism are identified in the New Testament:

John answered and said to them all, 'As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire, Luke 3:16

And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, Which, he said, you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not too many days from now, Acts 1:4,5.
Now, notice the mode of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit:

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them, Acts 2:3.

...but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: And it shall be in the last days, God says, That I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all of mankind, Acts 2:16-17.

Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit He has poured forth this which you both see and hear, Acts 2:23.

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, Acts 10:44-45.

And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and coming upon Him, Mat 3:16-17.

And John bore witness saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and remaining upon Him, John 1:32.

And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, Luke 3:22.

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, Titus 3:5-6

Mr. Bass continues quoting the following Scriptures: Acts 2:16-18; Isaiah 55:3; Acts 11:15-16.

To try to separate baptism from the work of the Holy Spirit is to do violence to the whole revelation of the Scriptures upon the subject. Real baptism is the work of the Holy Spirit, and water (ritual) baptism is that which symbolizes His work. Yet the most uneducated reader cannot fail to see that in the New Testament believers were not dipped into the Spirit, nor were they immersed in Him, nor plunged down into Him and taken out, but, to the contrary, the Spirit was shed forth, was poured out, fell, came, or rested upon them, and as a result they were baptized with the Holy Ghost. Baptism then is not the person's being put into the element, but rather the element's being put upon the person.

Illustrated by the Sprinkling of Blood

Mr. Bass unrolls a whole roll of Scripture verses to prove this:

Ex 29:16 - and shall take its blood and sprinkle it around on the altar
Ex 29:20 - and sprinkle the rest of the blood around
Le 1:5 - the blood and sprinkle the blood around on the altar
Le 1:11 - the priests shall sprinkle its blood
Le 3:2 - the priests shall sprinkle the blood
Le 3:8 - Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood
Le 4:6 - in the blood, and sprinkle some of the blood
Le 4:17 - in the blood, and sprinkle it
Le 5:9 - he shall also sprinkle some of the blood of the sin
Le 7:2: - and he shall sprinkle its blood
Le 16:14-19
Le 17:6 - And the priest shall sprinkle the blood
Nu 18:17 - You shall sprinkle their blood
Nu 19:4 - blood with his finger, and sprinkle
2 ki 16:15 - and their libations; and sprinkle on it all the blood
Eze 43:18 - offerings on it and to sprinkle blood

Heb 9:22 - blood of the calves and the goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled.

Hebrews 10:22 - having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 12:24 - and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

1 Peter 1:2 - according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood.

Time has run up on me, and I must end at this point. I understand that there are questions which credo-baptists might have concerning the above. The above is not exhaustive, and Mr. Bass addresses those questions in the ensuing pages.

Blessings,

Rob
 
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CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
A lot of the argumentation is good. I'm not sure, though, that the Levitical regulations are a good departure point for understanding Christ's baptism. After all, Christ was after the order of Melchizedek and so not of the order of Levi or Aaron. I had toyed with the idea of the priestly baptism, but one of my professors at GPTS helped me see the disconnect.
 

Spinningplates2

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you Robert. This is exactly what I believe and I have have never seen a better summary. Reading this was pure joy.
 

Quickened

Puritan Board Senior
Thank you for sharing this. I was curious about the book but unable to ask for some insight earlier. This presents the topic in a manner i have not previously heard and i find it quite interesting!

I'm starting to think i might pick up this book
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

You are all very welcome. :)

I am presenting Mr. Bass' arguments for infant baptism from his book - arguments that I am in complete agreement with. Each of the points in the Original Post can stand alone, in their Biblical context, as proof for sprinkling/pouring as the Biblical mode of Baptism. Consequently, if there is a weakness in one point such does not overthrow the Biblical nature of sprinkling as the mode of Baptism. A credo-baptist, in order to deny sprinkling as the Biblical mode of Baptism, would have to refute all of the points above, and not just the ones that he thinks he can refute.

Since I have not seen a comprehensive and Biblical refutation of sprinkling/pouring from the credo-baptist contingent, then I can assume that they admit the Biblical foundations of the mode of sprinkling. This would further be substantiated if they simply ignore the Original Post, and then seek to answer Mr. Bass' points that will be presented below. Such a tacit admission would be a singular blow to their views on dipping.

An interesting point to consider:

Before I continue I would like to point out that the Greek word which Baptists make so much fuss about (Bapto meaning "to dip") appears in the New Testament in only three places. None of these verses has anything even remotely related to the mode of Baptism:

Luke 16:24 - And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water...
John 13:26 - Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it...
Rev 19:13 - And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood...
The actual word which Baptists claim that teaches their mode of Baptism as dipping is never actually used in the New Testament to describe the mode! It is clear that the Holy Spirit knew the word, but never used it in relation to the mode of Baptism.

Mr. Bass continues in presenting Infant Baptism in his next chapter wherein he points out the the subjects of Baptism are the Seed of Abraham and their children.

Chapter 2:
Its Candidates: Believers and Their Children:

"Who are the proper candidates for Christian baptism?" The answer is: "believers and their children." Does the Bible teach this doctrine? These seven points demonstrate conclusively that baptism is the New Testament counterpart to Old Testament circumcision. What was true of circumcision in the Old Testament is, in many cases, true of baptism in the New Testament.

Circumcision and Baptism: Signs of the Covenant:

Mr. Bass uses O. Palmer Robertson's definition of a Covenant: "A covenant is a bond in blood sovereignly administered." A Covenant binds two parties together, and it is sealed with the shedding of blood. There is only one Covenant - all other Covenants are simply expressions of that Covenant, and they never diminish the privileges of those who were beneficiaries of a preceeding covenant. The One Covenant is called the Covenant of Redemption. All other covenants are simply outworkings of this one Covenant:

The Adamic Covenant - The covenant of commencement.
The Noahic Covenant - The covenant of preservation.
The Abrahamic Covenant - The covenant of promise.
The Mosaic Covenant - the covenant of Grace.
The Davidic Covenant - the covenant of the kingdom.
The New Covenant - The covenant of consummation.

God relates with His people only through the Covenant.

A covenant will have a rite of initiation and a rite of ongoing fellowship. The predominant rite of initiation in the Old Testament community of believers was circumcision. The Old Testament rite of fellowship was Passover. In the New Testament we recognize that the Lord's Supper has replaced Passover as the rite of continued fellowship.

What about a New Testament rite of initiation? Is there no such rite in the New Testament - a rite by which we enter into the Church? Of course there is: it is baptism. Notice the correspondence then: The Lord's Supper corresponds to Passover, and baptism corresponds to circumcision. One replaces the other. Mr. Bass quotes from the New Bible Dictionary online from the article on "Baptism":

It is clear then that, from the first, baptism in the name of Jesus functioned as the rite of entry or initiation into the new sect of those who called upon the name of Jesus...

He then quotes from John Murray:

...to think organically of the Scripture revelation is much more difficult than to think atomistically. The argument for infant baptism rests upon the recognition that God's redemptive action and revelation in this world are covenantal. In a word, redemptive action is covenant action and redemptive revelation is covenant revelation. Embedded in this covenantal action of God is the principle that the infant seed of believers are embraced with their parents in the covenant relation and provision. It is this method of God's administration of grace in the world that must be appreciated. It belongs to the New Testament as well as to the Old. It is its presence and significance that grounds infant baptism. And it is the perception of its significance that illumines for us the meaning of this ordinance.
The endpoint of this section is that New Covenant Baptism is the counterpart to Old Covenant circumcision.

The Covenant Continues In Force Today:

Mr. Bass acknowledges that there are those who recognize that the Old Testament had covenants, but that there are some who claim such a distinction between these covenants and the new covenant that the Old Covenant is no longer relevant to the New Covenant. Such is a major Biblical mistake. God calls the Old Covenants "eternal":

And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting coveant to be God to you and to your descendants after you," Gen 17:7

It is you who are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with your fathers... Acts 3:25.

The time is coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, Jer 31:31

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you, Lk 22:20
If baptism was not given in the New Covenant as the rite of initiation, then what would have been the rite used in the New Testament? Circumcision would have continued if baptism had not replaced it. Why? Because circumcision was the sign and seal of the eternal covenant God gave to Abraham. Its continuance was independent of the Mosaic covenant/law. Because it is eternal, if it had not been replaced by baptism it would stell be in force today. The Abrahamic covenant existed before the Mosaic covenant, and continues to exist now (Rm 11:26, 27; 4:16, 17), although expanded and enriched in the New Covenant.

[This, I believe, is the crux that the Baptist does not understand concerning the covenants - That all of the OT covenants listed above continue in the New Covenant. The Reformed often refer to this as "Covenant continunity." Mr. Bass goes on.]

Because the covenants remain, the signs of the covenant remain. And because the covenants remain, the candidates of the covenant remain also, believers (as the Seed of Abraham) and their children, just as it had been for two thousand years prior to the New Testament period.

The Candidates for the Covenant Sign Remain Unchanged:

Circumcision as the inititation rite into the Covenant has changed; it is now baptism. There is no indication in the Scriptures that the candidates have changed: they are as they have always been the Seed of Abraham and their children.

It is you who are the sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your seed all the familes of the earth shall be blessed ... For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself, Acts 2:25, 39.
Mr. Bass quotes Charles Hodge:

Children, therefore, were included in the covenant of grace as revealed under the old dispensation, and consequently were members of the Church as it was then constituted. In the sight of God parents and children are one. The former are the authorized representatives of the latter; they act for them; they contract obligations in their name. In all cases, therefore, where parents enter into covenant with God, they bring their children with them.
[This is called Federal Theology. Such an understanding is even among the unbelievers who say that children born in the United States of America are Americans, and, are under the protection of the Constitution.]

Neither circumcision nor Baptism Equate to Salvation:

I believe that we all agree to this statement. It has been the policy of Presbyterians everywhere to emphasize that children of the Seed of Abraham are not automatically regenerate. I will skip this section as it is too obvious.

When Participated in by Adults, the Faith of the Adults is Required:

This, again is agreed upon by all. Presbyterians hold that anyone who comes to faith in Jesus Christ, and was not baptized as an infant, needs to be baptized.

When Participated in by Infants, the faith of parents is Required:

Children of the Seed of Abraham are part of the community of faith. If the parents were not part of the covenant, then neither was the child. No infant could present himself for circumcision. It was the faith of the parent that brought the child to this act of obedience.

For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him, Gen 18:19.
As Abraham was called to Godly parenthood and given a sign of the covenant as an indication of this fact, so we are called to Godly parenting as well and given a sign - baptism - for the same reason. The faith of Abraham drove hiim to circumcise Isaac and raise him in the faith. In time, Isaac embraced the faith of his father. So it is with believers today. By faith we baptize our children, looking forward with hope to the time when our children will share that faith and embrace the truths of their baptism.

Obedience to the Gospel Call Results in the Loss of Covenant Privileges?

Now here is an interesting scenario: a Jew new in his faith comes to the Church seeking baptism, that rite of initiation into the New Testament Church. But when he does, he is told something startling. He may become a part of the community of faith, but his children cannot! They must remain outside of this community until they make a personal confession of faith. What a dilemma! To fail to respond in faith and become a part of the new community of faith would result in him being utterly destroyed:

And it shall be that every sould that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people, Acts 3:23

There is no passage in the New Testament that forbids the children of believers baptism. There are several passages that do encourage it: Acts 2:39, 1 Cor 7:14. If the children of believers were outside of the Covenant, then these passages would make no sense. Mr. Bass quotes Samuel Miller:

We cannot imagine that the privileges and the sign of infant membership to which all the first Christians had been so long accustomes, could have been abruptly withdrawn, without wounding the hearts of parents, and producing in them feelings of revolt and complaint against the new economy. Yet we find no hint of this recorded in the history of the apostilic age. Upon our principles, this entire silence presents no difficulty. The old principle and practice of infant membership, so long consecrated by time, and so dear to all the feelings of parental affection, went on as before.

The New Testament Does Not Instruct Us to Baptize Children:

Now this point is repeated endlessly; we are never told to baptize our children in the New Testament - case closed!

In addressing this point, let's start with the unbelieving Jews of that period. The Jews found fault with Christians at every point that Christians deviated from the Old Testament Scriptures and Jewish practices. But notice that there are no criticisms of Christians by Jews for neglecting their children by dropping them from the covenant.

Why not?

Those who left Judaism and became Christians nowhere complained about not being allowed to bring their children with them into the Church, as they had traditionally done in Judaism.

Why not?

The answer to both questions is that the Children of the Seed of Abraham continued to receive their covenant promises and blessings in the New Covenant. Mr. Bass quotes Francis Shaeffer:

The only reason possible for the New Testament not dealing with this problem is that the problem did not exist. The only possible reason that there was no problem in the Jews' mind was that the believing Jews did apply the covenant sign to their children. They baptized their babies as they had circumcised them in the Old Testament dispensation.
Why are there no specific instructions given on the baptism of children in the New Testament? Because no specific instructions are needed to continue doing what you have always done. However, if Christianity did indeed change the spiritual status of children by putting them out of the community of believers, could it be expected that a two-thousand year old custom of making children members of this covenant community be dropped from practice without one word of explanation or justification? Mr. Bass quotes Philip Schaff:

...we have presumptive and positive arguments fo the apostolic origin and character of infant baptism, first, in the fact that circumcision as truly prefigured baptism, as the Passover the holy Supper; then in the organic relation between Christian parents and children; in the nature of the new covenant, which is even more comprehensive than the old; in the universal virtue of Christ, as the Redeemer of all sexes, classes, and ages, and especially in the import of his own infancy, which has redeemed and sanctified the infantile age.

There is no such positive command in the Scripture for excluding children from the New Covenant.

All of the evidence in the New Testament points to the continuation of the inclusion of the children of the Seed of Abraham in the New Covenant.

Baptism replaces Circumcision:

This whole section is a restatement of the Biblical similarities between Circumcision and Baptism. I believe that Mr. Bass has shown this relationship to be Biblical above, and if anyone want me to go over this material in the future, then I will do so on another post.

Blessings,

Rob
 

Laudante

Puritan Board Freshman
Mode of baptism

Hi, Rob and the rest of the august company:

I really don´t have much time now, but I will just make a few comments regarding the mode of Baptism. Later I´ll try to take some time to give my humble opinion on the candidates issue.

I consider myself 51% Credo-Baptist (as well as 51% supralapsarian). This places me on the LBC side, but I still have a 49% of conviction that I might be wrong, what makes me try to be as objective as possible. I don´t feel committed with one particular tradition or the other, and that gives me certain unbiased aproach, or at least I like to think so.

Regarding the mode of baptism, the issue was very clearly settled down in the Didache, written by native Greek speakers, just a few years after the apostles, and possibly by direct disciples of them. I´m not saying it is the word of God, of course, but I think that it is a very reliable historic document regarding how the early Christians, who knew perfectly what the verbs bapto and baptidso meant. In Didache we are told that the first option should be immersion in cold running water, the second, immersion in cold still water, the third, immersion in warm still water, and the fourth, sprinkling. I don´t have the time now to go and check, but this is what I remember. Forgive me if I´m wrong.

Now, in the passage quoted in the book to prove that John was making purifications (John 3:23-26), we are told also that John baptized there, because there was "much water". Why would John need to be in a place with much water if he was only to sprinke?

I´m not against sprinkling as a possible method (unlike most baptists), but to say that sprinkling in the ONLY possible way is a little bit exagerated. And so is the argument that everything related with purification in OT is by sprinkling. Let me just give one example, and very closely related with NT baptism: the consecration of the priests. Jesus seems very clearly to imply that there is a connection between the consecration of the priest the first time the will minister, with the Christian baptism, and between the washing of the hands and feet every subsequent time they (the priests) entered to minister, with the washing of the hands and feet that early Christians practiced after the Master. (John 13:10).

The consecration of the priests appears in Ex. 29, Lev. 8, 16:4, et al. In all these cases the verb used in the Septuagint is bathing (from louo), and not washing (nipsetai, nipto), as some versions render. In Lev 16:4, for example, we read:

καὶ λούσεται ὕδατι πᾶν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ (and he shall wash his flesh in water). The proper rendering would be "and he should bathe ALL HIS BODY (pan to soma)". Lousetai comes from louo. See what the Strong´s says regarding this verb:

3068. louo (loo'-o)

A primary verb; to bathe (the whole person; whereas nipto means to wet a part only, and pluno to wash, cleanse garments exclusively) -- wash.

It´s interesting that the Septuagint makes a distinction of verb here and in the passages that speak of the regular washing of hands and feet of the priests (not their once-in-life consecration). In those cases, like Ex. 30:17-21, the verb used is Nipsetai (from nipto, to cleanse).

So it is about 90% sure that the priests, the first time they entered to minister, washed their whole body, probably dipping into the basin, and all the following times, they only cleansed their hands and feet, i.e. an ablution.

And not only the priests did this in their consecration, but also the persons that had suffered an infectious skin disease had to take a bath (whole body) before becoming ceremonially clean. We find this in Lev. 14:8:

"The one to be cleansed shall then wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe (lousetai, from louo) in water and BE CLEAN (i.e. purification). Now afterward, he may enter the camp, but he shall stay outside his tent for seven days."

Isn´t this clearly related with Baptism?

And also, very significantly, Jesus makes exactly the same verbal distinction in John 13:10. For the body washed (clear reference to Baptism) he uses a verb that comes from louo, and for the washing of hands and feet, he uses a verb that comes from nipto.

Also, Heb. 10:22 says:

"...having our hearts sprinkled (rherantismenoi, from rhantiso 4472) clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed (bathed, lelousmenoi, from louo again) with pure water."

Why not use sprinkling or cleansing for the body, but BATH?

So, in summary, although this topic can be very much extended, I conclude that purification in OT not only had to do with SPRINKLING. This knocks down the argument based on John 3:23-26, and even, considering the "much water" issue, it helps easily to convert the argument in support of immersion!

In Christ
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Also, Heb. 10:22 says:

"...having our hearts sprinkled (rherantismenoi, from rhantiso 4472) clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed (bathed, lelousmenoi, from louo again) with pure water."

Hebraisms generally repeat things for emphasis, as well as using the sign for the thing signified, or the thing signified for the sign. Having our hearts sprinkled and our bodies washed is referring to the same thing: baptism. Hearts sprinkled is the inward reality; bodies washed is the outward sign.

Cheers,
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi, Rob and the rest of the august company:

I really don´t have much time now, but I will just make a few comments regarding the mode of Baptism. Later I´ll try to take some time to give my humble opinion on the candidates issue.

I consider myself 51% Credo-Baptist (as well as 51% supralapsarian). This places me on the LBC side, but I still have a 49% of conviction that I might be wrong, what makes me try to be as objective as possible. I don´t feel committed with one particular tradition or the other, and that gives me certain unbiased aproach, or at least I like to think so.

Regarding the mode of baptism, the issue was very clearly settled down in the Didache, written by native Greek speakers, just a few years after the apostles, and possibly by direct disciples of them. I´m not saying it is the word of God, of course, but I think that it is a very reliable historic document regarding how the early Christians, who knew perfectly what the verbs bapto and baptidso meant. In Didache we are told that the first option should be immersion in cold running water, the second, immersion in cold still water, the third, immersion in warm still water, and the fourth, sprinkling. I don´t have the time now to go and check, but this is what I remember. Forgive me if I´m wrong.

Now, in the passage quoted in the book to prove that John was making purifications (John 3:23-26), we are told also that John baptized there, because there was "much water". Why would John need to be in a place with much water if he was only to sprinke?

I´m not against sprinkling as a possible method (unlike most baptists), but to say that sprinkling in the ONLY possible way is a little bit exagerated. And so is the argument that everything related with purification in OT is by sprinkling. Let me just give one example, and very closely related with NT baptism: the consecration of the priests. Jesus seems very clearly to imply that there is a connection between the consecration of the priest the first time the will minister, with the Christian baptism, and between the washing of the hands and feet every subsequent time they (the priests) entered to minister, with the washing of the hands and feet that early Christians practiced after the Master. (John 13:10).

The consecration of the priests appears in Ex. 29, Lev. 8, 16:4, et al. In all these cases the verb used in the Septuagint is bathing (from louo), and not washing (nipsetai, nipto), as some versions render. In Lev 16:4, for example, we read:

καὶ λούσεται ὕδατι πᾶν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ (and he shall wash his flesh in water). The proper rendering would be "and he should bathe ALL HIS BODY (pan to soma)". Lousetai comes from louo. See what the Strong´s says regarding this verb:

3068. louo (loo'-o)

A primary verb; to bathe (the whole person; whereas nipto means to wet a part only, and pluno to wash, cleanse garments exclusively) -- wash.

It´s interesting that the Septuagint makes a distinction of verb here and in the passages that speak of the regular washing of hands and feet of the priests (not their once-in-life consecration). In those cases, like Ex. 30:17-21, the verb used is Nipsetai (from nipto, to cleanse).

So it is about 90% sure that the priests, the first time they entered to minister, washed their whole body, probably dipping into the basin, and all the following times, they only cleansed their hands and feet, i.e. an ablution.

And not only the priests did this in their consecration, but also the persons that had suffered an infectious skin disease had to take a bath (whole body) before becoming ceremonially clean. We find this in Lev. 14:8:

"The one to be cleansed shall then wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe (lousetai, from louo) in water and BE CLEAN (i.e. purification). Now afterward, he may enter the camp, but he shall stay outside his tent for seven days."

Isn´t this clearly related with Baptism?

And also, very significantly, Jesus makes exactly the same verbal distinction in John 13:10. For the body washed (clear reference to Baptism) he uses a verb that comes from louo, and for the washing of hands and feet, he uses a verb that comes from nipto.

Also, Heb. 10:22 says:

"...having our hearts sprinkled (rherantismenoi, from rhantiso 4472) clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed (bathed, lelousmenoi, from louo again) with pure water."

Why not use sprinkling or cleansing for the body, but BATH?

So, in summary, although this topic can be very much extended, I conclude that purification in OT not only had to do with SPRINKLING. This knocks down the argument based on John 3:23-26, and even, considering the "much water" issue, it helps easily to convert the argument in support of immersion!

In Christ

Greetings Ricardo:

Very well done. Though you have not answered all of the arguments in the Original Post I am impressed with the way you handled this one.

To the easy question first. It has been estimated that John the Baptist Baptized over 100,000 people during his ministry - he would need a lot of water to do so!

To bounce a similar question off of you - when Peter and the Apostles baptized 3,000 people in one day - where did they get the water to do all those dippings? In the OT great crowds were Baptized by sprinkling (Ex 24:8). Also, Peter preached until about noon - which means that 12 Apostles had to dip 3,000 people all in the space of 12 hours!

I think your reference to John 13:10 militates against the view that dipping is indicated. Washing, in the NT, only a part of a person indicates that the whole person is "bathed". The same Greek root word is used here, but simply means a part of the body is washed. (ho leloumenos ou cheiras) I believe this is an operative concept in the New Covenant: One can be considered "bathed" when only a part has been washed. Such is the text of the verse:

Jesus saith to him, He that is washed (leloumenos bathed) needeth not save to wash (nipto sprinkled/poured) his feet, but is clean every whit...

I am at a loss as to how you are reading Leviticus 8:10-12 which reads:

And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.
The word rendered "sprinkled" is the Hebrew word nazah which literally means "to sprinkle." I have great respect for the NT use of the LXX, but it may be that the LXX translators are not using the Greek word in its literal sense. This may be especially so since we have seen that Christ is not using the Greek word in its literal sense either in John 13:10.

I might caution you concerning the use of root words as definitions. This is the mistake made by Baptists which I mentioned in the beginning of the Original Post. The Greek root word Bapto does mean "to dip." However, the Greek word Baptidzo (which has as its root Bapto) does not mean "to dip."

lousantes, for example, is used in Acts 10:37 to indicate the washing of a corpse, but this washing was not a bath, but done with sponges or towels to clean the corpse. The "washing" of the body of Jesus before His crucifixion was done in this way, Mt 26:12; Mk 14:8.

elousen (which is louw in the aorist tense) is used in Acts 16:33 where it is highly unlikely that the jailor gave Paul and all those with him a bath. He simply washed (elousen) their wounds.

lousetai used in the LXX at Lev 14:8 and 16:4. Again, the root word louw is not used. When I checked the Hebrew in these verses - the words do not specifically indicate "bathing."

For those who are more English minded - when a suffix or prefix is added to a word - the definition usually (not always) changes. The example of the English word "Age" comes to mind. The word "Age" can mean "a certain amount of time" like "The Age of the Dinosaurs." However, when the suffix "less" is added to the word we have "Ageless" which can mean "an eternity, without age, etc..." The two words have different meanings simply because a prefix/suffix is added.

This is the great error of the Baptists - who want to use the root word Bapto as the definition of all words which have Bapto as its root. This is simply not the case. I am afraid that you are using the same kind of error in your understanding of louw.

I am curious as to how you got Greek fonts imported into your text. I am not very computer savvy, and I would like to learn how to do that. Until then I will have to trudge along using transliterations. By the way - the last letter in the root word (louwis an Omega (w) not an Omicron (o) which is what Strong's seems to indicate. I think Augustus Strong did a great job with the concordance, but his Greek leaves much to be desired.

Blessings,

Rob
 
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Hungus

Puritan Board Freshman
I found this book helpful in my own switching. Quick question, have you looked at the 2nd edition? I am a bit dubious if on my fixed income 15 dollars for an extra 20 pages of an e-text is worth it.
 

A.J.

Puritan Board Junior
Regarding the mode of baptism, the issue was very clearly settled down in the Didache, written by native Greek speakers, just a few years after the apostles, and possibly by direct disciples of them. I´m not saying it is the word of God, of course, but I think that it is a very reliable historic document regarding how the early Christians, who knew perfectly what the verbs bapto and baptidso meant. In Didache we are told that the first option should be immersion in cold running water, the second, immersion in cold still water, the third, immersion in warm still water, and the fourth, sprinkling. I don´t have the time now to go and check, but this is what I remember. Forgive me if I´m wrong.

The Didache says,

Didache 7:1
But concerning baptism, thus shall ye baptize. Having first recited all these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in living (running) water.

Didache 7:2
But if thou hast not living water, then baptize in other water; and if thou art not able in cold, then in warm.

Didache 7:3
But if thou hast neither, then pour water on the head thrice in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

Robert:

The Second (updated) edition is the copy that I am using. It is not fundamentally different from the first (you will find no "new" points in it), but it does expand and augment the Biblical references from the first edition. If you are on a limited budget, then it is not necessary to get.

I have also been notified that Reformation Media seems a bit slow in sending out their copies of this book. It may be wise to download the updated copy from the author.

A.J.

Thank you for posting the Didache. There is nothing in the Didache that specifically says "dipping." Which is one of the reasons why I did not interract with it. The other is that Baptists pride themselves on being "Biblical" - they even have a joke about going to a paedobaptist booktable and not finding a Bible! Yet, they will turn to Greek dictionaries and things like the Didache to prove their position "Biblically."

When John the Baptist was baptizing he was doing so in "running water," but it is clear he was sprinkling.

Blessings,

Rob
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Thanks, Rob. That took a lot of time, but for many of us it will help clarify our thinking.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I appreciate the information in this post. I have though been wondering about this since I read it a couple days ago:

However, a detailed look at the way the Bible uses these words produces a much different understanding to the neutral observer

I have been wondering where a neutral observer was found, that his views could be made known (I don't mean that snidely, though there is no way of putting it that doesn't sound as if I did).
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

TimV:

Thank you. The clarity is all on the part of Mr. Bass. He should be commended for producing such a clear and concise work on the subject.

A Mere Housewife:

I was simply trying to note that if you put your prejudices aside for awhile, and let the Scriptures speak for itself, then you will find the teachings of infant baptists to be Biblical.

Grace and Peace,

Rob
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Mr. Wieland, thanks for clarifying what you meant. I personally don't think any convincing argument can be founded on either side being more 'neutral' than another; but I don't mean to distract the thread. Thanks again.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Hi Rob,

As one who has a somewhat closer acquaintance with a mere housewife than you do, I would like to point out that your assumption that she has prejudices she needs to put aside in order to see that infant baptism is the teaching of Scripture, is hardly the most stellar example of your own neutrality - which was her point to begin with.

Saying "a neutral observer sees what I see" takes for granted your own neutrality; but since advocacy is normally inconsistent with neutrality, and you are an advocate, it seems unlikely that you are neutral. Before the tu quoque comes back at me let me point out that people can say "you're not neutral" without affirming that they themselves are.
 
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Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
[Moderator]
Since this board includes both Presbyterians and Baptists, certain rules of etiquette must be observed for it to continue to run smoothly. Chief among these is the generally unspoken "Don't play the 'Well that's just because you Presbyterians/Baptists don't know how to read objectively' Card" rule.
[/Moderator]
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

Well, anyway, I have summarized about half of the book (47 pages out of 100). The second half of it deals with various arguments that dippers have used to justify their position (pgs. 48-82), and a final section detailing the purpose of Baptism.

He identifies four basic arguments that dipper's use to promote their theory: 1) The word baptidzo means "to dip"; 2) The prepositions used in baptism require dipping; 3) The early history of the church illustrates the overwhelming practice of dipping; and, 4) Romans 6 and Colossians 2 clearly teach a dipping mode of baptism.

I think that #1 has been dealt with fairly well above by Mr. Bass, so I will skip that section. Since dippers pride themselves on being "biblical" and make jokes about paedo-baptists not using the Bible to defend their views, then I will skip #3 as well - even though Mr. Bass shows that the assumptions which dippers make concerning Church history are simply that - assumptions. It is not a Biblical argument to appeal to Church history, thus I will not deal with it.

This leaves us with two Biblical arguments that dippers use to justify their position on only dipping adult professing believers.

Prepositions:

Mr. Bass gives a list of every preposition found in relation to Baptism, and how they are used in the Scripture:

en can mean: "In, on, at. near. to, by, before, among, with, within, when."

Mt. 3:11 - I baptize you with (en) water for repentance...
Also, Jn 1:31, 33; Mk 1:5; 3:6.

eis can mean: "Into, in, toward, to, among, near, on, for, against, as, at."

Mk 1:9 ...Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in (eis) the Jordan.

In the dative case eis/men carries only the meaning, "by means of, with"

Lk 3:16 John answered them all, I baptize you with (men dative) water...
Acts 1:5 For John baptized with(men) water...
Also, Acts 11:16; Mk 1:8; Jn 1:26

No preposition is used in Acts 10:47.

anabaino means: "To go up." In Mt 3:16 it is combined with apo "From, away from, because of, with, for, of, by."

Mt 3:16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of (anabaino apo) the water.

katabaino means: "To go down." In Acts 8:38 it is combined with the word eis - "From, out of, away from, by, of, because of." In verse 39 anabaino is combined with ek - "From, out of, away from, by, of, because of."

Acts 8:38 Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into (katabaino eis) the water...
Acts 8:39 When they came up out of (anabaino ek) the water...

A look at the prepositions does not lend one to think that dipping occured in the passages. This is especially noteworthy in Acts 8:38,39 where both Philip and the Eunuch were described as "going down into" and coming "up out of" the water. Only the Eunuch was "baptized" (baptidzo), but they are both described as "going down into" and coming "up out of" the water. Mr. Bass writes:

It is simply impossible to tell for sure if the people being baptized went into, down to, near, at, in, or by the water. in addition, even if they did go "into" the water, it is not possible to tell if they went into the water to their ankles, calves, knees, thighs, etc. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either not honest or simply does not understand the language of the New Testament Greek, and therefore should not be commenting on it. The preposition argument is a non-argument used, on occasion, in an effort to suggest scholarship in the study of the subject.
Romans 6:1-11 and Colossians 2:8-14

[In my opinion these two passages are the strongest Biblical argument that dippers have for adult dipping as the mode of Baptism. However, they do not say what the dipper wants them to say.]

Mr. Bass quotes the two texts:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that gracce might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us wha have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing that, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus, Rom 6:1-11.
Colossians 2:8-14

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all oour transgressions, having conceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross, Colossians 2:8-14
Mr. Bass first notes that though baptism is mentioned here the idea of water is not present in these verses. If the verses are meant to teach us the mode of baptism, then why is the idea of water not present?

The passages are not speaking about water baptism, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit of which water baptism is simply a symbol. That is why water is not mentioned. That is also why references to Christ's burial and resurrection are not meant to teach a mode of baptism, but to teach something else, something far more important. That something is a product of our actual baptism by the Holy Spirit, not out symbolic baptism by water.

The Romans 6 passage clearly states that we are baptized into his death because we are baptized into Christ. Jesus Christ died on the Cross. How, then, does water baptism illustrate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?

Dippers might argue, with some plausibility, that dipping illustrates His burial and resurrection, but that is not what Romans 6:3-5 is saying. Water baptism (whether done by pouring or dipping) does not in any way convey the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion. Jesus died on the Cross - not in a hole in the ground.

Death, Burial and Resurrection:

Furthermore, it is impossible for dipping to illustrate the actual death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The baptismal formula used by those that dip is "buried in the likeness of His death, raised in the likeness of His resurrection." But was Jesus buried in a hole in the ground and covered with dirt? Did he emerge from such a hole? All of the Gospels are in agreement that Jesus Christ was not buried in a hole in the ground, but in a sepulchre, and was probably laid on a stone slab. His resurrection consisted of Him sitting upright and walking out past the stone door placed there to seal the tomb.

Does the Baptist mode of baptism portray the real burial and resurrection of Christ in the Biblical way? No, it does not!

The Death of Christ on the Cross is abundantly celebrated by the Church in the Lord's Supper: For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes, 1 Cor 11:26.

The Resurrection of Christ is celebrated every Sunday in our worship of the Risen Son Jesus Christ. Mr. Bass quotes from James Chaney's book William the Baptist:

Immersion involves essential error. Pressed by the exigency of their theory, immersionists have really subverted the ordinance of baptism. From its scriptural significance as a symbol of the Spirit's work in purifying the soul by applying 'the blood of sprinkling,' they, by seizing upon a mere figurative expression of the Apostle Paul, have made it a symbol of the 'death, burial, and resurrection' of Christ. They have, therefore, two ordinances setting forth the work of Christ, and none to set forth distinctively the work of the Spirit.
The baptist err when they make both sacraments depict the work of Christ with neither depicting the work of the Holy Spirit. As a result, they totally miss the point of Baptism!

Why then is burial mentioned in the Bible?

The "burial" of Christ was a confirmation that he was truly dead. It is a misnomer in modern day usage, because it brings to mind one being "buried" in a hole in the ground. I admit I was tripped up by this word for a long time. But Jesus was not "buried" as we understand it today. His body was placed/buried in a sepulchre, not in a hole in the ground.

Why then is "baptized" mentioned?

Paul is using the word "baptized" to indicate our being merged, or immersed, or united by the Spirit of God to Christ. Which is exactly what he is saying:

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, Romans 6:5
He is using baptidzo in a figurative sense to indicate the Holy Spirit merging or uniting us into Christ in both His death and resurrection.

Baptismal Regeneration?

Though dippers do not believe that Water Baptism saves it follows though that if these passages teach the literal baptism in water, then it would appear that such baptism is necessary in order for one to be saved. If you are not baptized in water, they have the Apostle saying, then you are not united into His death, burial, and resurrection. This is not a problem if you recognize that these passages are referring to the Holy Spirit baptism, for Spirit baptism is certainly required for salvation, and His baptism equates with salvation.

Next, Mr. Bass gives four passages from Scripture that talk about being "baptized into":

1 Cor 10:1-5 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses...

1 Cor 12:12-14 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body...

Gal 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Rom 6:3-4 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Baptism, in all of these usages, indicates that the people, or person being "baptized," were united to the object of the baptism, i.e. Moses, the Church, or Jesus Christ. So, what does "baptize into" mean? It means to merge into or unite and thereby identify with in a special way. Indeed, in the Romas 6 passage, Paul goes on and makes this very point himself, For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of Hisdeath, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection Romans 6:5. United that is the point exactly.

On page 73 Mr. Bass has a section entitled "Objections to the dipper's Argument." I will have to reserve that for a time later on.

Blessings,

Rob
 

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

Well, anyway, I have summarized about half of the book (47 pages out of 100). The second half of it deals with various arguments that dippers have used to justify their position (pgs. 48-82), and a final section detailing the purpose of Baptism.

He identifies four basic arguments that dipper's use to promote their theory: 1) The word baptidzo means "to dip"; 2) The prepositions used in baptism require dipping; 3) The early history of the church illustrates the overwhelming practice of dipping; and, 4) Romans 6 and Colossians 2 clearly teach a dipping mode of baptism.

I think that #1 has been dealt with fairly well above by Mr. Bass, so I will skip that section. Since dippers pride themselves on being "biblical" and make jokes about paedo-baptists not using the Bible to defend their views, then I will skip #3 as well - even though Mr. Bass shows that the assumptions which dippers make concerning Church history are simply that - assumptions. It is not a Biblical argument to appeal to Church history, thus I will not deal with it.

This leaves us with two Biblical arguments that dippers use to justify their position on only dipping adult professing believers.

Prepositions:

Mr. Bass gives a list of every preposition found in relation to Baptism, and how they are used in the Scripture:

en can mean: "In, on, at. near. to, by, before, among, with, within, when."

Mt. 3:11 - I baptize you with (en) water for repentance...
Also, Jn 1:31, 33; Mk 1:5; 3:6.

eis can mean: "Into, in, toward, to, among, near, on, for, against, as, at."

Mk 1:9 ...Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in (eis) the Jordan.

In the dative case eis/men carries only the meaning, "by means of, with"

Lk 3:16 John answered them all, I baptize you with (men dative) water...
Acts 1:5 For John baptized with(men) water...
Also, Acts 11:16; Mk 1:8; Jn 1:26

No preposition is used in Acts 10:47.

anabaino means: "To go up." In Mt 3:16 it is combined with apo "From, away from, because of, with, for, of, by."

Mt 3:16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of (anabaino apo) the water.

katabaino means: "To go down." In Acts 8:38 it is combined with the word eis - "From, out of, away from, by, of, because of." In verse 39 anabaino is combined with ek - "From, out of, away from, by, of, because of."

Acts 8:38 Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into (katabaino eis) the water...
Acts 8:39 When they came up out of (anabaino ek) the water...

A look at the prepositions does not lend one to think that dipping occured in the passages. This is especially noteworthy in Acts 8:38,39 where both Philip and the Eunuch were described as "going down into" and coming "up out of" the water. Only the Eunuch was "baptized" (baptidzo), but they are both described as "going down into" and coming "up out of" the water. Mr. Bass writes:

It is simply impossible to tell for sure if the people being baptized went into, down to, near, at, in, or by the water. in addition, even if they did go "into" the water, it is not possible to tell if they went into the water to their ankles, calves, knees, thighs, etc. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either not honest or simply does not understand the language of the New Testament Greek, and therefore should not be commenting on it. The preposition argument is a non-argument used, on occasion, in an effort to suggest scholarship in the study of the subject.
Romans 6:1-11 and Colossians 2:8-14

[In my opinion these two passages are the strongest Biblical argument that dippers have for adult dipping as the mode of Baptism. However, they do not say what the dipper wants them to say.]

Mr. Bass quotes the two texts:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that gracce might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us wha have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing that, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus, Rom 6:1-11.
Colossians 2:8-14


Mr. Bass first notes that though baptism is mentioned here the idea of water is not present in these verses. If the verses are meant to teach us the mode of baptism, then why is the idea of water not present?

The passages are not speaking about water baptism, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit of which water baptism is simply a symbol. That is why water is not mentioned. That is also why references to Christ's burial and resurrection are not meant to teach a mode of baptism, but to teach something else, something far more important. That something is a product of our actual baptism by the Holy Spirit, not out symbolic baptism by water.

The Romans 6 passage clearly states that we are baptized into his death because we are baptized into Christ. Jesus Christ died on the Cross. How, then, does water baptism illustrate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?

Dippers might argue, with some plausibility, that dipping illustrates His burial and resurrection, but that is not what Romans 6:3-5 is saying. Water baptism (whether done by pouring or dipping) does not in any way convey the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion. Jesus died on the Cross - not in a hole in the ground.

Death, Burial and Resurrection:

Furthermore, it is impossible for dipping to illustrate the actual death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The baptismal formula used by those that dip is "buried in the likeness of His death, raised in the likeness of His resurrection." But was Jesus buried in a hole in the ground and covered with dirt? Did he emerge from such a hole? All of the Gospels are in agreement that Jesus Christ was not buried in a hole in the ground, but in a sepulchre, and was probably laid on a stone slab. His resurrection consisted of Him sitting upright and walking out past the stone door placed there to seal the tomb.

Does the Baptist mode of baptism portray the real burial and resurrection of Christ in the Biblical way? No, it does not!

The Death of Christ on the Cross is abundantly celebrated by the Church in the Lord's Supper: For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes, 1 Cor 11:26.

The Resurrection of Christ is celebrated every Sunday in our worship of the Risen Son Jesus Christ. Mr. Bass quotes from James Chaney's book William the Baptist:

Immersion involves essential error. Pressed by the exigency of their theory, immersionists have really subverted the ordinance of baptism. From its scriptural significance as a symbol of the Spirit's work in purifying the soul by applying 'the blood of sprinkling,' they, by seizing upon a mere figurative expression of the Apostle Paul, have made it a symbol of the 'death, burial, and resurrection' of Christ. They have, therefore, two ordinances setting forth the work of Christ, and none to set forth distinctively the work of the Spirit.
The baptist err when they make both sacraments depict the work of Christ with neither depicting the work of the Holy Spirit. As a result, they totally miss the point of Baptism!

Why then is burial mentioned in the Bible?

The "burial" of Christ was a confirmation that he was truly dead. It is a misnomer in modern day usage, because it brings to mind one being "buried" in a hole in the ground. I admit I was tripped up by this word for a long time. But Jesus was not "buried" as we understand it today. His body was placed/buried in a sepulchre, not in a hole in the ground.

Why then is "baptized" mentioned?

Paul is using the word "baptized" to indicate our being merged, or immersed, or united by the Spirit of God to Christ. Which is exactly what he is saying:

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, Romans 6:5
He is using baptidzo in a figurative sense to indicate the Holy Spirit merging or uniting us into Christ in both His death and resurrection.

Baptismal Regeneration?

Though dippers do not believe that Water Baptism saves it follows though that if these passages teach the literal baptism in water, then it would appear that such baptism is necessary in order for one to be saved. If you are not baptized in water, they have the Apostle saying, then you are not united into His death, burial, and resurrection. This is not a problem if you recognize that these passages are referring to the Holy Spirit baptism, for Spirit baptism is certainly required for salvation, and His baptism equates with salvation.

Next, Mr. Bass gives four passages from Scripture that talk about being "baptized into":

1 Cor 10:1-5 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses...

1 Cor 12:12-14 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body...

Gal 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Rom 6:3-4 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

Baptism, in all of these usages, indicates that the people, or person being "baptized," were united to the object of the baptism, i.e. Moses, the Church, or Jesus Christ. So, what does "baptize into" mean? It means to merge into or unite and thereby identify with in a special way. Indeed, in the Romas 6 passage, Paul goes on and makes this very point himself, For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of Hisdeath, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection Romans 6:5. United that is the point exactly.

On page 73 Mr. Bass has a section entitled "Objections to the dipper's Argument." I will have to reserve that for a time later on.

Blessings,

Rob

Rob,
When you wander into Romans 6, and Col2. you correctly identify that Spirit Baptism is primary in understanding these verses. Does Romans 6 speak of actual saving union? The passage makes no sense if the persons addressed are not saved already. If the people are not already believer's they will continue in sin because they would not be indwelt by the Spirit. Romans 8:7
He is speaking to persons already born from above. He is describing to them their actual condition of being indwelt by the Spirit.
You mention 1Cor10 . 1 cor 12 Gal3 correctly pointing out how Union is used and described in these passages. Just last week there was a similar thread and many of the padeos got a laugh at pointing out that in 1 Cor 10, and 1Pet. 3:21 the only people who were immersed were the unbeliever's,
the egyptian soldiers, and the world of the ungodly in Noah's day.
The water fully immersing them caused death.In both cases the judgment of God resulted in death. Those in the ark safely were borne up through the water of judgment. Those with Moses were rightly related to the deadly flood waters of judgment.
In Romans 6 those who are in saving Union with Christ come through the judgment .
49I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

50But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
It is only those who are found IN HIM by Spirit Baptism that come through the judgment and walk in new life.
In Romans 6 the order is Indicitive/Imperative right? In light of who you are,live as children of light. It must come from the inside out,from streams of living water.
The mixed multitude that followed Moses were delivered from Egypt but were never rightly related to the promise, not being mixed with faith
Hebrews 4
1Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

2For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
so they perished in the wilderness testing, as will all false professors.
If you are searching for a clue as to the mode which expresses this deliverance from the judgment, I think the immersion that many laugh at, Noah's flood water, Red Sea drowning, speak very well to it.
 

A.J.

Puritan Board Junior
When you wander into Romans 6, and Col2. you correctly identify that Spirit Baptism is primary in understanding these verses. Does Romans 6 speak of actual saving union? The passage makes no sense if the persons addressed are not saved already. If the people are not already believer's they will continue in sin because they would not be indwelt by the Spirit. Romans 8:7
He is speaking to persons already born from above. He is describing to them their actual condition of being indwelt by the Spirit.

Anthony, is Paul saying that he actually knows that the people he is addressing are in fact regenerate? Is that what you are saying? It would be better to say that Paul is addressing them on the basis of their profession. This is especially seen in the warning passages found in the same epistles where he discusses in detail the meaning of baptism (cf. Rom. 6 with 11:11-24; Col. 2:11-12 with 1:21-23; Gal. 3:27 with 5:4; etc.). Why does Paul give warning remarks to the New Covenant people of God at all? Also, the apostle clearly indicates that children are included among those whom he addresses in his churches (Eph. 6:1-4; Col 3:20-21).

If you are searching for a clue as to the mode which expresses this deliverance from the judgment, I think the immersion that many laugh at, Noah's flood water, Red Sea drowning, speak very well to it.

But WHO were immersed? WHO were baptized?

The wicked people of Noah's time were certainly immersed, but Noah and his family were not immersed. And yet God's saving of Noah's household is called a baptism.

The Egyptians were also immersed. The Israelites were not immersed, but it is said that God's people were baptized. The Israelites in fact walked on dry land (Heb. 11:29). The clouds poured out water on them according to the Psalms (77:17).

Both 1 Cor. 10 and 1 Peter 3 offer no proof to the immersionist argument.

Blessings!

-----Added 8/6/2009 at 03:24:58 EST-----

Robert, thanks again for taking the time. :)
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi Anthony:

I think that A.J. answered your post nicely. Since you have not addressed any of the points made before Mr. Bass started addressing the issue of the Rom and Col passages, then can I assume that you agree with all of the material presented before this?

Are you willing to admit that Sprinkling/Pouring is the Biblical mode of Baptism? If not, then where are the flaws in the paedo-baptist views concerning mode presented prior?

Blessings,

Rob
 

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
When you wander into Romans 6, and Col2. you correctly identify that Spirit Baptism is primary in understanding these verses. Does Romans 6 speak of actual saving union? The passage makes no sense if the persons addressed are not saved already. If the people are not already believer's they will continue in sin because they would not be indwelt by the Spirit. Romans 8:7
He is speaking to persons already born from above. He is describing to them their actual condition of being indwelt by the Spirit.

Anthony, is Paul saying that he actually knows that the people he is addressing are in fact regenerate? Is that what you are saying? It would be better to say that Paul is addressing them on the basis of their profession. This is especially seen in the warning passages found in the same epistles where he discusses in detail the meaning of baptism (cf. Rom. 6 with 11:11-24; Col. 2:11-12 with 1:21-23; Gal. 3:27 with 5:4; etc.).
Why does Paul give warning remarks to the New Covenant people of God at all?
Also, the apostle clearly indicates that children are included among those whom he addresses in his churches (Eph. 6:1-4; Col 3:20-21).

If you are searching for a clue as to the mode which expresses this deliverance from the judgment, I think the immersion that many laugh at, Noah's flood water, Red Sea drowning, speak very well to it.

But WHO were immersed? WHO were baptized?

The wicked people of Noah's time were certainly immersed, but Noah and his family were not immersed. And yet God's saving of Noah's household is called a baptism.

The Egyptians were also immersed. The Israelites were not immersed, but it is said that God's people were baptized. The Israelites in fact walked on dry land (Heb. 11:29). The clouds poured out water on them according to the Psalms (77:17).

Both 1 Cor. 10 and 1 Peter 3 offer no proof to the immersionist argument.

Blessings!

-----Added 8/6/2009 at 03:24:58 EST-----

Robert, thanks again for taking the time. :)

AJ,
Paul is addressing those who have professed salvation. He has explained their standing as to what it means to be justified back from 3:24-through chapter5.
As we move into chapter 6 he answers the question posed in 6:1,2
can we, or should we continue in sin. When he answers the question he speaks of the actual positition of a real christian who has been born from above. Only a christian can be described as he lays it out in this chapter. You asked:
Why does Paul give warning remarks to the New Covenant people of God at all?
The passage is instructive for believer's and those who do not believe also.
All warnings given in the NT. are warnings to those who have trusted in the works of the flesh rather than the work of the Spirit for salvation.
I indicated this when I wrote about the 1 cor 10:1-11 passage along with Hebrews 4:1-2.
AJ when you said this:
This is especially seen in the warning passages found in the same epistles where he discusses in detail the meaning of baptism (cf. Rom. 6 with 11:11-24; Col. 2:11-12 with 1:21-23; Gal. 3:27 with 5:4; etc.).[
are you saying that the baptism with water accomplishes placing a dead sinner in saving union with Christ , In the death/ when He died,we died in HIM
when he rose from the dead/ we rose in Him.
Your position at best says that water is a sign pointing to this.
My position is these passages describe only those to whom are actually saved by the Spirit indwelling them already.
1cor 12:13. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
This is only true of believers. as here in Gal 3
27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ
Water baptism does not do this. Spirit baptism does
The text does not say; as many of you as have been water baptized into the external administration of the visible body of Christ, have received a sign of what benefits could be yours , if you improve your baptism to a point where at some time you come to faith ,and put on Christ, although we can never know for sure if you have put on Christ.

AJ then you ask this:
Why does Paul give warning remarks to the New Covenant people of God at all?
Also, the apostle clearly indicates that children are included among those whom he addresses in his churches (Eph. 6:1-4; Col 3:20-21).
[/QUOTE]
The warnings are given to any who come in to an assembly but are not actually saved. Like the mixed multitude Num 11;4-5. The New Covenant people make use of the warning passages in self examination .
5Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Children are addressed because they also need instruction,as they grow and mature. Their are children who believe also- MT 18:6
 

louis_jp

Puritan Board Freshman
A couple of minor observations here:

First, Baptist children are "in the church" and "part of the community" even before they are baptised. I wish Presbyterians would stop framing the issue this way. It's not helpful.

Second, could it be that Jews did not object to the position of their children with regard to baptism, simply because they continued to circumsize them? (see, e.g., Acts 21:21-25). If anything, this would seem to be an argument in favor of credo-baptistm.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

louis:

The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith excludes children from the visible church in chapter 26 section 6 which reads:

The members of these churches are saints by calling, visibly manifesting and evidencing (in and by their profession and walking) their obedience unto that call of Christ; and do willingly consent to walk together, according to the appointment of Christ; giving up themselves to the Lord, and one to another, by the will of God, in professed subjection to the ordinances of the Gospel.
Since it is the dippers argument that "children are incapable of saving faith," and, thus are unable to "visibly manifesting and evidencing ... their obedience unto that call of Christ..." They are, by definition, not members of the covenant community.

If they were members, then there can be no objection to them being baptized, because baptism is a sign of being in the covenant community.

Second, Acts 21:21 says that Paul was teaching them not to circumcise. If their children were then cast out of the covenant community, then there would have been an outcry. This is a good text that teaches the transition between the Old and the New Covenant: Paul is teaching them not to circumcise because baptism has taken its place.

Anthony, my friend in Jesus:

You have misconstrued what Mr. Bass and A.J. have said. It is the paedo-baptist position that Paul is addressing professing believers. Those who profess faith in Christ can either be regenerate or not regenerate (see the London Baptist Confession, 26:2,3). Notice the "if" statements in Rom 6:

For if we be planted with him to the similitude of his death... vs 5

Wherefore, if we be dead with Christ... vs 8

The passages are effective only to the elect, but they are given to all who profess faith in Jesus Christ.

I think you are doing this to dodge the main point that Mr. Bass is driving at:

How does water baptism by dipping illustrate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ?

How does water baptism by dipping illustrate the Biblical narrative of the burial of Jesus Christ in a Sepulchre?

And, you have passed over my question:

Since you have not commented on the Biblical evidence given concerning the Mode of water baptism being sprinkling/pouring, then are you willing to admit that it is the only Biblical mode of water baptism?

If not, then please address the presentation of the mode of baptism first, before going to an argument that you think you can answer.

Blessings,

Rob
 

louis_jp

Puritan Board Freshman
Robert,

I think the Acts passage indicates that Paul did not teach them not to circumsise, but was unfairly accused of doing so. Notice verses 24-25.

On the other point, may I ask you what is the practical difference between Presbyterian children and Baptist children and their place in the life of the church?
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Robert,

I think the Acts passage indicates that Paul did not teach them not to circumsise, but was unfairly accused of doing so. Notice verses 24-25.

On the other point, may I ask you what is the practical difference between Presbyterian children and Baptist children and their place in the life of the church?

Louis:

I have to ask you the same question: Since you have not commented upon the mode of Baptism presented in the Original Post, then are you in agreement with the conclusion - that Sprinkling/Pouring is the only Biblical mode of water baptism?

I am reticent about answering your questions above because you have not committed yourself to answering the mode of baptism. However, I will do so.

Paul is not unfairly being accused of teaching that baptism has replaced circumcision. It is everywhere in his epistles: Rm 2:25,28; 1 Cor 7:19; Col 2:11,16; Gal 5:6; Eph 2:11. Acts 21:24ff does not mention circumcision. Paul then was accommodating himself to matters that were indifferent - especially when a vow was made (vs 23). We are to fulfill our vows unto the Lord unless that vow causes us to commit a sin - then such a vow is without power over us. The four men who made the vow - however foolish it was - were not committing a sin, therefore Paul accommodates himself to their vow to fulfill it.

As to your other question: The practical difference is that Presbyterians baptise their covenant children, credo-baptists do not. If the credo-baptist believes that his children are part of the covenant community, then he is disobedient to the Word of God by not baptizing them.

Blessings,

Rob
 

louis_jp

Puritan Board Freshman
Rob,

Your post was about more than just the mode of baptism. You basically summarized an entire book (which was greatly appreciated, btw). I was only addressing two of the subsidiary points you raised. I said they were "minor" observations.

At this point, I'm content to let it drop. The issue concerning the Acts 21 passage has become rather confused, and I don't feel like going back and disentangling it. On the other issue, I think we are likely to continue talking past each other.

I should clarify that I am open to being persuaded to your view, but, as I was saying, the way you guys sometimes frame the issue doesn't help your case.
 
Last edited:

Iconoclast

Puritan Board Junior
Hello Rob,
The if in Romans 6 is not a contingency.
3are ye ignorant that we, as many as were baptized to Christ Jesus, to his death were baptized?

4we were buried together, then, with him through the baptism to the death, that even as Christ was raised up out of the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we in newness of life might walk.

5For, if we have become planted together to the likeness of his death, [so] also we shall be of the rising again;

6this knowing, that our old man was crucified with [him], that the body of the sin may be made useless, for our no longer serving the sin;

7for he who hath died hath been set free from the sin.

8And if we died with Christ, we believe that we also shall live with him,

9knowing that Christ, having been raised up out of the dead, doth no more die, death over him hath no more lordship;

10for in that he died, to the sin he died once, and in that he liveth, he liveth to God;

11so also ye, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to the sin, and living to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.
it is more of a settled condition for a born again person, in other words as in verse 4 we were buried together/ his explanation only makes sense if real believers are in view.
I answered the question on immersion in reference to 1pet3, 1 cor 10.
those immersed died,not being rightly related to the judgment ie, in the ark, with moses at the red sea, and found in Christ come through safely.
Noah did not get wet in the ark [not even sprinkled:smug:] those with Moses came through on dry ground [ not even sprinkled by the cloud above or the wall of water] sprinkling does not fit even though I recall you in other posts have tried to imply that somehow they got sprinkled.
I enjoyed the material you posted, but I do not see or agree with the conclusions Mr. Bass or you draw from it.
I have found that such long presentations, which attempt to labour to make a point are more times than not trying to make up for a deficency. In this case the lack of NT, verses that can in any way suggest infant baptism.
Lumping together all kinds of verses that use the words sprinkle , dip, pour,annoint, purify, mixing together water , Spirit, oil, and other things were commanded in the OC. as if this somehow speaks directly to NT. baptism does not follow.
The pouring out of the Spirit does not relate to the mode of baptism.
The sprinkling of the blood does not relate to the mode of baptism
, The water of seperation of numbers 19 does not speak to NT.baptism I do think it speaks to JN.3;3-5
The priest was to bath his flesh in water vs 7,8 he was ceremonially unclean. In Hebrews 10;22 you attempted to answer the post by Laudante when he questioned you on this, but I do not find it convincing.
I make no claim to be a greek, or hebrew expert. The padeo writers use verses than do an end run saying in the greek this, or in the Hebrew that.
If you read credo writers that suggest otherwise.
I do not see in the book of Acts this kind of long winded, gigantic facade erected like an obstacle course in order for someone to get the message.
The other brother mentioned Acts 21
20And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

21And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
The jews objected because they clearly saw something New was being done.
They did not say - Paul teaches that the sign of the covenant has been changed, we baptize infants, rather than circumcise now. He clearly taught them they ought not to circumcise their children.
In Acts 15 no one said baptism is a "sign" a replacement sign to be given to infants.
I did skip over Much of what you pasted from the book because each section, and many of your conclusions based on his book I would not be in agreement with. I was thankful you posted what you did however, so i was just trying to avoid being contentious with you:)
I agree that these words were used. sprinkle, pour, etc. in their OT.context,and when quoted in books like Hebrews, 9-10. I do not believe it follows that they translate to baptismal mode however.
I find it amusing that you can correctly identify Spirit baptism, and what it means in reference to union with Christ, at certain times.
but if I played sermons by padeo pastors who confuse the issue of whether or not water or Spirit baptism is being discussed in the passages and what they actual benefits would be, there would be two different stories.
Sometime we can sit with open bibles together and look at some of our posts and discuss them, seeing where we can come to agreement, and what is it that separates us. If I am traveling through Pittsburgh I will try and contact you.
That being said because of the amount of times the language of sprinkling, sprinkling many nations,
25Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
is used, I can see where Mr. Bass, you, or any other believer keeps pushing for it to speak to mode. This reminds me more of the Numbers 19 passage.
 
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