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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Baptism. The Scriptures speak of baptism "in" or "with" water, "with the Holy Ghost, and with fire," Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5; and Jesus compared his sufferings to "a baptism," Luke 12:50. John (called "the Baptist," Matthew 11:11;) preached "the baptism of repentance," and baptized in the river Jordan those confessing their sins, Mark 1:4-5. Jesus was baptized by John "to fulfill all righteousness," Matthew 3:15. His disciples were baptizing more than John. John 3:22; John 4:1-2. Jesus at his ascension appointed baptism for all disciples, "Teach all nations, baptizing them." etc., Matthew 28:19. Paul says the baptized "put on Christ," Galatians 3:27; and "by one Spirit are baptized into one body," 1 Corinthians 12:13. Baptism with water is associated with remission of sins, Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; and birth by the Spirit, John 3:5; Acts 11:27. Paul speaks also of being "buried with him [Christ] in baptism unto death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead... even so we," Romans 6:4. Baptism of the Holy Spirit was bestowed at Jerusalem, Samaria, Cesarea and Ephesus, Acts 2:1-4; Acts 10:44; Acts 19:6. This gift sometimes followed and sometimes preceded baptism by water. Many instances of baptism are noted; the terms "baptism," "baptized," and "baptizing," occurring about 100 times in the New Testament. They are not found in the Old Testament, although "wash," Psalms 51:2; Psalms 51:7; Jeremiah 2:22, and "sprinkling," Leviticus 7:14; Numbers 8:7; Ezekiel 36:25, are there sometimes used as figurative of cleansing. Among the instances of baptism mentioned in apostolic times are: 3000 at Pentecost, Acts 2:41, men and women, including Simon the Sorcerer at Samaria; the Ethiopian Eunuch, 8:12, 13, 38; Saul; Cornelius and his Gentile company, 10:47; Lydia and "her household," 16:15; the Philippian jailer "and all his," 16:33; and "the household of Stephanas," 1 Corinthians 1:16. At Ephesus twelve who had received John's baptism only were again baptized "in the name of the Lord Jesus," Acts 19:2-5. Some, it is said, were "baptized for the dead," 1 Corinthians 15:29. And the Israelites were "baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea," 1 Corinthians 10:2. Peter compares baptism to the saving of Noah from the flood in the ark, 1 Peter 3:21. Paul urges the Ephesians to Christian unity on the plea that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." Ephesians 4:5. See also 1 Corinthians 12:13. The consideration of the mode, subjects, effects, and administration of baptism belongs to theological and denominational works.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Baptism'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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