Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Mode of Baptism

The credobaptist argues that the word baptizo is always translated immersion. I strongly disagree with that notion, as evidenced throughout the Bible.
1 Corinthians 10:1-2 "For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea".
Were the Jews immersed by a cloud? Certainly not: The Jews passed through the sea on dry ground. (Exodus 14:22).
Hebrews 9:10 "but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation".
This passage refers to Old Testament ceremonial cleansings, which were never by immersion, but always by sprinkling. The baptisms mentioned in this chapter (verses 13, 19, 21) are all via sprinkling.
Mark 7:4 "and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches".
If baptizo always means immerse, then the Jews were immersed after each coming from the market place, which is impossible as most lacked such facilities in their homes. If the word always means immersion that would mean that the Jews immersed their couches too: that would be foolish.
Luke 11:38 "The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner".
Did Jesus immerse himself before eating dinner?
Leviticus 14:6 "He shall take the live bird with the cedarwood and the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, and dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water".
It is scientifically impossible for a bird cannot to be completely immersed in its own blood. This word is baptizo in the Septuagint.
Additionally, it would be impossible for many baptisms in the New Testament to be by performed by the method of immersion. For example, a eunuch was baptized by a desert road.
Almost always, the immersion only camp resort to Acts 8:38-39 to prove their position. They show that Philip AND the eunuch BOTH came up out of the water: Did Philip immerse himself simultaneously with the eunuch? The plain interpretation is that they stepped into the river together and stepped out together.
The Westminster Confession states, “dipping of the person into water is not necessary, but Baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person”. On this, G.I. Williamson comments “The word baptizo does not mean immersion… the term does not have that precise meaning”. He concludes that water baptism is legitimately performed by “immersion, sprinkling or pouring”.
(C) J. Williams


  1. Dear Baptist Christian brothers and sisters, the "ritual" or mode of baptism is not what is important! If we must do everything EXACTLY as Christ did it, why do Baptists use "shooter glasses" in their Lord's Supper instead of passing around ONE "cup" as Christ did? The Baptist insistence on strict adherence to the ritual of Baptism is a violation of the New Covenant. We are no longer bound by ritual, but by the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and souls of men.

    The mode of Baptism is not what matters. What matters is the convert's submission to God's command to be baptized, and God's response in and to this act.

  2. Exodus 14:21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD DROVE THE SEA BACK WITH A STRONG EAST WIND and turned it into dry land (or land). The waters were divided,

    1 Corinthians 10:1-2 "For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and ALL WERE BAPTISED IN THE CLOUD AND IN THE SEA".

    The bible means what it says - spray from the wall of water of the sea and from the cloud by rain sprinkling down:

    Psa 77:15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
    Psa 77:16 The waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.
    Psa 77:17 The clouds POURED DOWN WATER, the heavens resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.
    Psa 77:18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.
    Psa 77:19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.
    Psa 77:20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.