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a rite of purification or initiation, in which water is used; one of the sacraments (q.v.) of the Christian Church. The word baptism is simply an Anglicized form of the Greek βαπτισμός , a verbal noun from βαπτίζω (likewise Anglicized "baptize"), and this, again, is a derivative from βάπτω, the predominant signification of which latter is to whelm or "dye," Lat. tingo. Not being a verb implying motion, βαπτίζω is properly followed in Greek by the preposition ἐν, denoting the means or method (with the "instrumental dative"), which has unfortunately, in the Auth. Engl. Vers., often been rendered by the ambiguous particle "in," whereas it really (in this connection) signifies only with or by, or at most merely designates the locality where the act is performed. The derivative verb and noun are sometimes used with reference to ordinary lustration, and occasionally with respect to merely secular acts; also in a figurative sense. In certain cases it is followed by the preposition εἰς, with the meaning "to," "for," or "unto," as pointing out the design of the act, especially in phrases (comp. πιστεύειν εἰς ) expressive of the covenant or relation of which this rite was the seal. (In Mark 1:9, the εἰς depends upon ῏ηλθεν preceding; and in Mark 14:20, there is a constructio praegnans by which some other verb of motion is to be supplied before the preposition.) On these and other applications of the Greek word, see Robinson's Lex. of the N.T. s.v.; where, however (as in some other Lexicons), the statement that the primary force of the verb is "to dip, immerse," etc., is not sustained by its actual usage and grammatical construction. This would always require ἐν, "into," after it; which occurs in 15 examples only out of the exhaustive list (175) adduced by Dr. Conant (Meaning and Use of Baptizein, N. Y. 1860); and a closer and more critical examination will show that it is only the context and association of the word that in any case put this signification upon it, and it is therefore a mere gloss or inference to assign this as the proper sense of the term. The significations "p plunge," " submerge," etc., are here strictly derived, as cognates, from the more general and primitive one of that complete envelopment with a liquid which a thorough wetting, saturation, or dyeing usually implies. In like manner, Dr. E. Beecher (in a series of articles first published in the Am. Bib. Repos. during 1840 and 1841) has mistaken the allied or inferential signification of purification for the primitive sense of the word, whereas it is only the result expected or attendant in the act of washing. See further below.

As preliminary to the theological discussion of this subject, it will be proper here to discuss, more fully than can be conveniently done elsewhere, the classical and Biblical uses of the word, and some subordinate topics, reserving the conitroverted points for later consideration.

I. Philological Usage of the Word βαπτίζειν .

1. By Classical Writers. No instance occurs in these writers of the use of βάπτισμα, and only one in a very late author (Antyllus) of the use of its equivalent βαπτισμός; but the verb occurs frequently, especially in the later writers. It is used to designate:

(1.) The washing of an object by dipping it into water, or any other fluid, or quasi-fluid, for any purpose whatever: as βάπτισον σεαυτὸν εἰς θάλασσαν, "bathe yourself by going into the sea" (Plut. Maor. p. 166 A.); βαπτίζειν τὸν Διόνυσον πρὸς τὴν θάλατταν (Ibid. p. 914).

(2.) The plunging or sinking of an object: as Οὐδὲ γὰρ τοῖς ἀκολύμβοις βαπτίζεσθαι συμβαίνει ξύλων τρὸπον ἐπιπολάζουσι, where βαπτίζεσθαι, in the sense of "submersed," is contrasted with ἐπιπολάζουσι, in the sense of "float;" ἐν ὕδασι γενέσθαι τὴν

πορείαν συνέβη, μέχρι ὀμφαλοῦ βαπτιζομένων, being in water up to the navel (Strabo, Geogr. xiv, p. 667); μόλις ἕως τῶν μαστῶν ὅι πεζοὶ βαπτιζόμενοι διέβαινον (Polyb. in). So Pindar says (Pyth. 2:145), ἀβάπτιστός εἰμι, φελλὸς é ς, where the cork of the fisherman is. styled unbaptized, in contrast with the net which sinks into the water. From this, by metonomy of cause for effect, is derived the sense to drown, as ἐβάπτισ᾿ εἰς τὸν οϊ v νον, "I whelmed him in the wine" (Julian A Egypt. Anacreont.).

(3.) The covering over of any object by the flowing or pouring of a fluid on it; and metaphorically (in the passive), the being overwhelmed or oppressed: thus the Pseudo-Aristotle speaks of places full of bulrushes and sea-weeds, which, when the tide is at the ebb, are not baptized (i.e. covered by the water), but at full tide are flooded over (Mirabil. Auscult. § 137, p. 50, in Westermann's edit. of the Script. Rer. Mir. Gr.); Diodorus Siculus (bk. 1) speaks of land animals being destroyed by the river overtaking them (διαφθείρεται βαπτιζόμενα ); Plato and Athenaeus describe men in a state of ebriety as baptized (Sympos. p. 176 B.; and Deipnos.v.); and the former says the same of a youth overwhelmed with sophistry (Euthyd. 277 D.); Plutarch denounces the forcing of knowledge on children beyond what they can receive as a process by which the soul is baptized (De Lib. educ.); and he speaks of men as baptized by debts (Galbae, c. 21); Diodorus Siculus speaks of baptizing people with tears (bk. 1, c., 3); and Libanius says, "He who hardly bears what he now bears, would be baptized by a little addition" (Epist. 310), and "I am one of those baptized by that great wave" (Ep. 25).

(4.) The complete drenching of an object, whether by aspersion or immersion; as Ἀσκὸς βαπτίζῃ, δῦναι δὲ τοι οὐ θέμις ἐστι, "As a bladder thou shalt be washed (i.e. by the waves breaking over thee), but thou canst not go down" (Orac. Sibyll. de Athenis, ap. Plutarch, Thesei).

From this it appears that in classical usage βαπτίζειν is not fixed to any special mode of applying the baptizing element to the object baptized; all that is implied by the term is, that the former is closely in contact with the latter, or that the latter is wholly in the former.

2. By the Septuagint. Here the word occurs only four times, viz. 2 Kings 5:14 : "And Naaman went down and baptized himself (ἐβαπτίσατο ) seven times in the river Jordan," where the original Hebrew is וִיִטְבֹּל, from טָבִל, to dip, plunge, immerse; Isaiah 21:4; Isaiah 21:6 Iniquity baptizes me" ( ἀνομία με βαπτίζει ), where the word is plainly used in the sense of overwhelm, answering to the Hebrews בָּעִת, to come upon suddenly, to terrify; Judith 12:7, "She went out by night . . . and baptized herself (ἐβαπτίζετο ) at the fountain;" and Sirach 31:30, [Sirach 34], "He who is baptized from a corpse" (βαπτιζομένος ἀπὸ νεκροῦ ), etc. In these last two instances the word merely denotes washed, without indicating any special mode by which this was done, though in the former the circumstances of the case make it improbable that the act described was that of bathing (comp. Numbers 19:19).

In the Greek, then, of the Sept., βαπτίζειν signifies to plunge, to bathe, or to overwhelm. It is never used to describe the act of one who dips another object into a fluid, or the case of one who is dipped by another.

3. In the New Testament. Confining our notice here simply to the philology of the subject, the instances of this usage may be classified thus:

(1.) The verb or noun alone, or with the object baptized merely: as βαπτισθῆναι, Matthew 3:13-14; βαπτισθείς, Mark 16:16; βαπτίζων , Mark 1:4; βαπτίσωνται, 7:4; βαπτίξεις , John 1:25; ἐβάπτισα, 1 Corinthians 1:14, etc.; βάπτισμα αὐτοῦ, Matthew 3:7; ž ν βάπτισμα, Ephesians 4:5; βάπτισμα, Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21, etc.; βαπτισμοὺς ποτηρίων, Mark 7:4; Mark 7:8; βαπτισμῶν διδαχῆς, Hebrews 6:2; διαφόροις βαπτισμοῖς, Hebrews 9:10.

(2.) With addition of the element of baptism: as ἐν ὕδατι, Mark 1:8, etc.; ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί, Matthew 3:11, etc.; ὕδατι , Luke 3:16, etc. The force of ἐν in such formulse has by some been pressed, as if it indicated that the object of baptism was in the element of baptism; but by most the ἐν is regarded as merely the nota dativi, so that ἐν ὕδατι means no more than the simple ὕδατι, as the ἐν πλοίῳ of Matthew 14:13, means no more than the πλοίῳ of Mark 6:32. (See Matthiae, sec. 401, obs. 2; Kuhner, sec. 585, Anm. 2.) Only in one instance does the accusative appear in the N.T., Mark 1:9, where we have εἰς τὸν Ι᾿ορδάνην , and this can hardly be regarded as a real exception to the ordinary usage of the N.T., because εἰς here is local rather than instrumental. In connection with this may be noticed the phrases καταβαίνειν εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ, and ἀποβαίνειν ἐκ or ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕδατος. According to some, these decisively prove that the party baptized, as well as the baptizer, went down into the water, and came up out of it. But, on the other hand, it is contended that the phrases do not necessarily imply more than that they went to (i.e. to the margin of) the water and returned thence.

(3.) With specification of the end or purpose for which the baptism is effected. This is usually indicated by εἰς : as βαπτίζοντες εἰς τὸ ὄνομα, Matthew 28:19, and frequently; ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς Χριστόν . . . εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ, Romans 6:3, al.; εἰς τὸν Μωυσῆν ἐβαπτίσθησαν, 1 Corinthians 10:3; εἰς ἕν σῶμα ἐβαπτίσθημεν , 1 Corinthians 12:13; βαπτισθήτω ἕκαστος . . . εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, Acts 2:38, etc. In these cases εἰς retains its proper significancy, as indicating the terminus ad quem, and tropically, that for which, or with a view to which the thing is done, modified according as this is a person or a thing. Thus, to be baptized for Moses, means to be baptized with a view to following or being subject to the rule of Moses; to be baptized for Christ means to be baptized with a view to becoming a true follower of Christ; to be baptized for his death means to be baptized with a view to the enjoyment of the benefits of his death; to be baptized for the remission of sins means to be baptized with a view to receiving this; to be baptized for the name of any one means to be baptized with a view to the realization of all that the meaning of this name implies, etc. In one passage Paul uses ὑπὲρ to express the end or design of baptism, βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν, 1 Corinthians 15:29; but here the involved idea of substitution justifies the use of the preposition. Instead of a preposition, the genitive of object is sometimes used, as βάπτισμα μετανοίας Luke 3:3, al.= βάπτισμα εἰς μετανοίαν, the baptism which has μετανοία as its end and purpose.

(4.) With specification of the ground or basis on which the baptism rests. This is expressed by the use of ἐν in the phrases ἐν ὀνόματι τίνος, and once by the use of ἐπί with the dative, Acts 2:38 : "to be baptized on the name of Christ, i.e. so that the baptism is grounded on the confession of his name" (Winer, p. 469). Some regard these formulae as identical in meaning with those in which εἰς is used with ὄνομα, but the more exact scholars view them as distinct.

The two last-mentioned usages are peculiar to the N.T., and arise directly from the new significancy which its writers attached to baptism as a rite.

II. Non-ritual Baptisms mentioned in the N.T. These are:

1. The baptism of utensils and articles of furniture, Mark 7:4; Mark 7:8.

2. The baptism of persons, Mark 7:3-4; Luke 11:38, etc.

These are the only instances in which the verb or noun is used in a strictly literal sense in the N.T. and there may be some doubt as to whether the last instance should not be remanded to the head of ritual baptisms. These instances are chiefly valuable as bearing on the question of the mode of baptism; they show that no special mode is indicated by the mere use of the word baptize, for the washing of cups, of couches, and of persons is accomplished in a different manner in each case: in the first by dipping, or immersing, or rinsing, or pouring, or simply wiping with a wet cloth; in the second by aspersion and wiping; and in the third by plunging or stepping into the bath.

3. Baptism of affliction, Mark 10:38-39; Luke 12:50. In both these passages our Lord refers to his impending sufferings as a baptism which he had to undergo. Chrysostom, and some others of the fathers, understand this objectively, as referring to the purgation which his sufferings were to effect (see the passages in Suicer, Thes. s.v. βάπτισμα, 1:7); but this does not seem to be the idea of the speaker. Our Lord rather means that his sufferings were to come on him as a mighty overwhelming torrent (see Kuinol on Matthew 20:22-23; Blomfield, ibid.). Some interpreters suppose there is an allusion in this language to submersion as essential to baptism (see Olshausen in loc.; Meyer on Mark 10:38); but nothing more seems to be implied than simply the being overwhelmed in a figurative sense, according to what we have seen to be' a common use of the word by the classical writers.

4. Baptism with the Spirit, Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; Acts 11:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13. In the first of these passages it is said of our Lord that he shall baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Whether this be taken as a hendiadys = the Spirit as fire, or as pointing out two distinct baptisms, the one by the Spirit, the other by fire; and whether, on the latter assumption, the baptism by fire means the destruction by Christ of his enemies, or the miraculous endowment of his apostles, it does not concern us at present to inquire. Respecting the intent of baptism by the Spirit, there can be little room for doubt or difference of opinion; it is obviously a figurative mode of describing the agency of the Divine Spirit given through and by Christ, both in conferring miraculous endowments and in purifying and sanctifying the heart of man. By this Spirit the disciples were baptized on the day of Pentecost, when "there appeared unto them cloven tongues of fire, and it sat upon each of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:3-4); by this Spirit men are saved when they are "born again of water and of the Spirit" (John 3:5); when they receive "the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5); and when there is the putting away from them of the filth of the flesh, and they have the answer of a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21); and by this Spirit believers are baptized for one body, when through his gracious agency they receive that Spirit, and those impulses by which they I are led to realize their unity in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:11). Some refer to the Spirit's baptism also, the apostle's expression, ž ν βάπτισμα, Ephesians 4:5; but the common and more probable opinion is that the reference here is to ritual baptism as the outward sign of that inner unity which the εϊ v ς Κύριος and the μία πίστις secure and produce (see Alford, Ellicott, Meyer, Matthies, etc. etc. in loc.). In this figurative use of the term "baptism" the tertium comparationis is found by some in the Spirit's being viewed as the element in which the believer is made to live, and in which he receives the transforming influence; while others find it in the biblical representation of the Spirit as coming upon men, as poured upon them (Isaiah 32:15; Zechariah 12:10; Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17), and as sprinkled on them like clean water (Ezekiel 36:25).

5. Baptism for Moses. In 1 Corinthians 10:2, the apostle says of the Israelites, "And they all received baptism ( the middle voice is selected to express a receptive sense,' Meyer) for Moses (εἰς τὸν Μωυσῆν ἐβαπτίσαντο ) in (or by, ἐν ) the cloud, and in (or by) the sea." In the Syr. εἰς r. M. is translated "by the hand of Moses;" and this is followed by Beza and others. Some render una cum Mose; others, aupiciis Mosis; others, in Mose, i.e. "sub ministerio et ductu Mosis" (Calvin), etc. But all these interpretations are precluded by the proper meaning of εἰς . and the fixed significance of the phrase βαπτίζειν εῖς in the N.T. The only rendering that can be admitted is "for Moses," i.e. with a view to him, in reference to him, in respect of him. "They were baptized for Moses. i.e. they became bound to fidelity and obedience, and were accepted into the covenant which God then made with the people through Moses" (Ruckert in loc.; see also Meyer and Alford on the passage).

III. The Types of Baptism.

1. The apostle Peter (1 Peter 3:21) compares the deliverance of Noah in the Deluge to the deliverance of Christians in baptism. The apostle had been speaking of those who had perished "in the days of Noah when the ark was a-preparing, in which few, that is eight souls, were saved by water." According to the A.V., he goes on, "The like figure whereunto baptism doth now save us." The Greek, in the best MSS., is ῾῏Ο καὶ ἡμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σώζει βάπτισμα . Grotius well expounds ἀντίτυπον by ἀντίστοιχον, "accurately corresponding." The difficulty is in the relative . There is no antecedent to which it can refer except ὕδατος, "water;" and it seems as if βάπτισμα must be put in ap- position with , and as an explanation of it. Noah and his company were saved by water, "which water also, that is, the water of baptism, correspondingly saves us." Even if the reading were ω῏ /, it -would most naturally refer to the preceding ὕδατος . Certainly it could not refer to κιβωτοῦ, which is feminine. We must, then, probably interpret that, though water was the instrument for destroying the disobedient, it was yet the instrument ordained of God for floating the ark, and so for saving Noah and his family; and it is in correspondence with this that water also, viz. the water of baptism, saves Christians. Augustine, commenting on these words, writes that "the events in the days of Noah were a figure of things to come, so that they who believe not the Gospel, when the church is building, may be considered as like those who believed not when the ark was preparing; while those who have believed and are baptized (i.e. are saved by baptism) may be compared to those who were formerly saved in the ark by water" (Epist. 164, tom. 2, p. 579). "The building of the ark," he says again, "was a kind of preaching." "The waters of the deluge pre-signified baptism to those who believed punishment to the unbelieving" (ib.).

It would be impossible to give any definite explanation of the words "baptism doth save us" without entering upon the theological question of baptismal regeneration. The apostle, however, gives a caution which no doubt may itself have need of an interpreter, when he adds, "not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer (ἐπερώτημα ) of a good conscience toward God." Probably all will agree that he intended here to warn us against resting on the outward administration of a sacrament, with no corresponding preparation of the conscience and the soul. The connection in this passage between baptism and "the resurrection of Jesus Christ" maybe compared with Colossians 2:12.

2. In 1 Corinthians 10:1-2, the passage of the Red Sea and the shadowing of the miraculous cloud are treated as types of baptism. In all the early part of this chapter the wanderings of Israel in the wilderness are put in comparison with the life of the Christian. The being under the cloud and the passing through the sea resemble baptism; eating manna and drinking of the rock are as the spiritual food which feeds the church; and the different temptations, sins, and punishments of the Israelites on their journey to Canaan are held up as a warning to the Corinthian Church. It appears that the Rabbins themselves speak of a baptism in the cloud (see Wetstein in loc., who quotes Pirke R. Eliezer, 44; see also Schottgen in loc.). The passage from the condition of bondmen in Egypt was through the Red Sea, and with the protection of the luminous cloud. When the sea was passed the people were no longer subjects of Pharaoh, but were, under the guidance of Moses, forming into a new commonwealth, and on their way to the promised land, It is sufficiently apparent how this may resemble the enlisting of a new convert into the body of the Christian Church, his being placed in a new relation, under a new condition, in a spiritual commonwealth, with a way before him to a better country, though surrounded with dangers, subject to temptations, and with enemies on all sides to encounter in his progress.

3. Another type of, or rather a rite analogous to, baptism was circumcision. Paul (Colossians 2:11) speaks of the Colossian Christians as having been circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, when they were buried with Christ in baptism, in which they were also raised again with him (ἐν ω῏ / περιετμήθητε . . . . συνταφέντες αυτῷ ἐν τῷ βαπτίσματι . The aorist participle, as often, is contemporary with the preceding past verb." Alford in loc.). The obvious reason for the comparison of the two rites is that circumcision was the entrance to the Jewish Church and the ancient covenant, baptism to the Christian Church and to the new covenant; and perhaps also that the spiritual significance of circumcision had a resemblance to the spiritual import of baptism, viz. "the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh," and the purification of the heart by the grace of God. Paul therefore calls baptism the circumcision made without hands, and speaks of the putting off of the sins of the flesh by Christian circumcision (ἐν τῇ περιτομῇ τοῦ Χριστο à ), i.e. by baptism.

4. Before leaving this part of the subject, we ought perhaps to observe that in more than one instance death is called a baptism. In Matthew 20:22; Mark 10:39, our Lord speaks of the cup which he had to drink, and the baptism that he was to be baptized with; and again, in Luke 12:50, "I have a baptism to be baptized with." It is generally thought that baptism here means an inundation of sorrows; that, as the baptized went down in the water, and water was to be poured over him, so our Lord meant to indicate that he himself had to pass through "the deep waters of affliction" (see Kuinol on Matthew 20:22; Schleusner, s.v. βαπτίζω ). In after times martyrdom was called a baptism of blood. But the metaphor in this latter case is evidently different; and in the above words of our Lord baptism is used without any qualification, whereas in passages adduced from profane authors we always find some words explanatory of the mode of the immersion. Is it not then probable that some deeper significance attaches to the comparison of death, especially of our Lord's death, to baptism, when we consider, too, that the connection of baptism with the death and resurrection of Christ is so much insisted on by Paul?

IV. Names of Baptism.

1. "Baptism" (βάπτισμα : the word βαπτισμός occurs only three times, viz. Mark 7:8; Hebrews 6:2; Hebrews 9:10). The verb βαπτίζειν from βάπτειν, to wet) is the rendering of טָבִל, to plunge, by the Sept. in 2 Kings 5:14; and accordingly the Rabbins used, טְבילָה for βάπτισμα. The Latin fathers render βαπτίζειν by tingere (e.g. Tertull. adv. Prax. c. 26, "Novissimo mandavit ut tingerent in Patrem Filium et Spiritum Sanctum"); by mergere (as Ambros. De Sacramentis, lib. 2, c. 7, "Interrogatus es, Credis in Deum Patrem Omnipotentem? Dixisti Credo; et mersisti, hoc est sepultus es"); by mergztare (as Tertullian, De Corona Militis, c. 3, "Dehinc ter mergitamur"); see Suicer, s.v. άναδυω. By the Greek fathers the word βαπτίζειν is often used figuratively for overwhelming with sleep, sorrow, sin, etc. Thus ὑπὸ μέθης βαπτιζόμενος εἰς ὕπνον, buried in sleep through drunkenness. So μυρίαις βαπτιζόμενος φρόντισιν, absorbed in thought (Chrysost.). Ταῖς βαρυτάταις ἁμαρτίαις βεβαπτισμενοι, steeped in sin (Justin M.). See Suicer, s.v. βαπτίζω .

2. "The Water" (τὸ ὕδωρ ) is a name of baptism which occurs in Acts 10:47. After Peter's discourse, the Holy Spirit came visibly on Cornelius and his company; and the apostle asked, "Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost?" In ordinary cases the water had been first administered, after that the apostles laid on their hands, and then the Spirit was given. But here the Spirit had come down manifestly; before the administration of baptism; and Peter argued that no one could then reasonably withhold baptism (calling it "the water") from those who had visibly received that of which baptism was the sign and seal. With this phrase, τὸ ὕδωρ, "the water," used of baptism, compare "the breaking of bread" as a title of the Eucharist, Acts 2:42.

3. "The Washing of Water" (τὸ λουτρὸν τοῦ ὕδατος , "the bath of the water") occurs Ephesians 5:26. There appears clearly in these words a reference to the bridal bath; but the allusion to baptism is clearer still, baptism of which the bridal bath was an emblem, a type, or mystery, signifying to us the spiritual union betwixt Christ and his church. For as the bride was wont to bathe before being presented to the bridegroom, so washing in the water is that initiatory rite by which the Christian Church is betrothed to the Bridegroom, Christ.

There is some difficulty in the construction and interpretation of the qualifying words, ἐν ῥήματι , " by the word." According to the more ancient interpretation, they would indicate that the outward rite of washing is insufficient and unavailing without the added potency of the Word of God (comp. 1 Peter 3:21), "Not the putting away the filth of the flesh," etc.); and as the λουτρὸν τοῦ ὕδατος had reference to the bridal bath, so there might be an allusion to the words of betrothal. The bridal bath and the words of betrothal typified the water and the words of baptism. On the doctrine so expressed the language of Augustine is famous: ‘‘ Detrahe verbum, et quid est aqua nisi aqua? Accedit verbum ad elementum, et fit sacramentum" (Tract. 80 ins Johan.). Yet the general use of ῥῆμα in the New Testament and the grammatical construction of the passage seem to favor the opinion that the Word of God preached to the church, rather than the words made use of in baptism, is that accompaniment of the laver without which it would be imperfect (see Ellicott, in loc.).

4. "The washing of regeneration" (λουτρὸν παλιγγενεσίας ) is a phrase naturally connected with the foregoing. It occurs Titus 3:5. All ancient and most modern commentators have interpreted it of baptism. Controversy has made some persons unwilling to admit this interpretation; but the question probably should be, not as to the significance of the phrase, but as to the degree of importance attached in the words of the apostle to that which the phrase indicates. Thus Calvin held that the "bath" meant baptism; but he explained its occurrence in this context by saying that "Baptism is to us the seal of salvation which Christ hath obtained for us." The current of the apostle's reasoning is this. He tells Titus to exhort the Christians of Crete to be submissive to authority, showing all meekness to all men: "for we ourselves were once foolish, erring, serving our own lusts; but when the kindness of God our Savior and His love toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we performed, but according to His own mercy He saved us by (through the instrumentality of) the bath of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost (διὰ λουτροῦ παλιγγενεσίας καὶ ἀνακαινώσεως Πνεύματος ἁγίου ), which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we might be made heirs of eternal life through hope (or according to hope, κατ᾿ ἐλπίδα ).'' The argument is, that Christians should be kind to all men, remembering that they themselves had been formerly disobedient, but that by God's free mercy in Christ they had been transplanted into a better state, even a state of salvation (ἔσωσεν ημᾶς ), and that by means of the bath of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit. If, according to the more ancient and common interpretation, the laver means baptism, the whole will seem pertinent. Christians are placed in a new condition, made members of the Church of Christ by baptism, and they are renewed in the spirit of their minds by the Holy Ghost.

There is so much resemblance, both in the phraseology and in the argument, between this passage in Titus and 1 Corinthians 6:11, that the latter ought by all means to be compared with the former. Paul tells the Corinthians that in their heathen state they had been stained with heathen vices; "but," he adds, "ye were washed" (lit. ye washed or bathed yourselves, ἀπελούσασθε ), "but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God." It is generally believed that here is an allusion to the being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; though some connect "sanctified" and "justified," as well as "washed," with the words "in the name," etc. (see Stanley, in loc.). But, however this may be, the reference to baptism seems unquestionable.

Another passage containing very similar thoughts, clothed in almost the same words, is Acts 22:16, where Ananias says to Saul of Tarsus, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord" (ἀναστὰς βάπτισαι καὶ ἀπόλουσα τὰς ἁμαρτίας σου, ἐπικαλεσάμενος τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ). See Calvin's Commentary on this passage.

5. "Illumination" (φωτισμός ). It has been much questioned whether φωτίζεσθαι , "enlightened," in Hebrews 6:4; Hebrews 10:32, be used of baptism or not. Justin M., Clement of Alexandria, and almost all the Greek fathers, use φωτισμός as a synonym for baptism. The Syriac version, the most ancient in existence, gives this sense to the word in both the passages in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, and other Greek commentators so interpret it; and they are followed by Ernesti, Michaelis, and many modern interpreters of the highest authority (Wetstein cites from Orac. Sibyll. 1, ὕδατι φωτίζεσθαι ). On the other hand, it is now very commonly alleged that the use is entirely ecclesiastical, not scriptural, and that it arose from the undue esteem for baptism in the primitive church. It is impossible to enter into all the merits of the question here. If the usage be scriptural, it is to be found only in the two passages in Hebrews above mentioned; but it may perhaps correspond with other figures and expressions in the New Testament. The patristic use of the word may be seen by referring to Suicer, s.v. φωτισμός, and to Bingham (E. A. bk. 11, ch. 1, § 4). The rationale of the name, according to Justin Martyr, is, that the catechumens, before admission to baptism, were instructed in all the principal doctrines of the Christian faith, and hence

"this laver is called illumination, because those who learn these things are illuminated in their understanding" (Apol. 2:94). But if this word be used in the sense of baptism in the Epistle to the Hebrews, as we have no mention of any training of catechumens in the New Testament, we must probably seek for a different explanation of its origin. It will be remembered that φωταγωγία was a term for admission into the ancient mysteries. Baptism was without question the initiatory rite in reference to the Christian faith (comp. τρία βαπτίσματα μιᾶς μυήσεως, Can. Apost. 1). Now that Christian faith is more than once called by Paul the Christian "mystery."

The "mystery of God's will" (Ephesians 1:9), "the mystery of Christ" (Colossians 4:3; Ephesians 3:4), "the mystery of the Gospel" (Ephesians 6:19), and other like phrases, are common in his epistles. A Greek could hardly fail to be reminded by such language of the religious mysteries of his own former heathenism. But, moreover, seeing that "in Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," it seems highly probable that in three memorable passages Paul speaks, not merely of the Gospel or the faith, but of Christ himself as the great Mystery of God or of godliness.

(1) In Colossians 1:27, we read, "the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, τοῦ μυστηρίου τούτου, ὅς ἐστιν Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν

(2) In Colossians 2:2, Lachmann, Tregelles, and Ellicott, as we think on good grounds, adopt the reading τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ Θεοῦ, Χριστοῦ, rightly compared by Bp. Ellicott with the preceding passage occurring only four verses before it, and interpreted by him "the mystery of God, even Christ."

(3) It deserves to be carefully considered whether the above usage in Colossians does not suggest a clear exposition of 1 Timothy 3:16, τὸ τῆς εὐσεβείας μυστήριον ὃς ἐφανερώθη κ . τ . λ· For, if Christ be the "Mystery of God," he may well be called also the "Mystery of godliness;" and the masculine relative is then easily intelligible, as being referred to Χριστός understood and implied in μυστήριον; for, in the words of Hilary, "Dens Christus est Sacramentum."

But, if all this be true, as baptism is the initiatory Christian rite admitting us to the service of God and to the knowledge of Christ, it may not improbably have been called φωτισμός, and afterward φωταγωγία, as having reference, and as admitting to the mystery of the Gospel, and to Christ himself, who is the Mystery of God.

V. We pass to a few of the more prominent passages, not already considered, in which baptism is referred to.

1. John 3:5 "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" has been a well-established battle-field from the time of Calvin. Hooker states that for the first fifteen centuries no one had ever doubted its application to baptism (Eccl. Pol. v, 59). Zuinglius was probably the first who interpreted it otherwise. Calvin understood the words "of water and of the Spirit" as ἕν διὰ δυοῖν, "the washing or cleansing of the Spirit" (or rather perhaps "by the Spirit"), "who cleanses as water," referring to Matthew 3:11 ("He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire"

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Baptism'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​b/baptism.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
 
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