It sometimes concerns me that certain terms are not really translated, or have acquired some meaning or understanding (in our minds) that is different or more “specialized” than the meaning of the actual term. One such term is “Baptize” which is a modification of the Greek, “Baptizo” which Strong defines thus:
*]to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
*]to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe
Not to be confused with 911, bapto. The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptised’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptising the vegetable, produces a permanent change. When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g. Mark 16:16. ‘He that believes and is baptised shall be saved’. Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle! Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989.
So - Based on the above information, how would you choose to translate the various verses where “Baptized” is used in the Gospels…?
and they were (baptized) by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. might change to :
and they were (immersed?, cleansed?), by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be (baptized) by you, and do you come to me?”
John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be (cleansed?, immersed?, changed?) by you, and do you come to me?”
So - What say you. What term would you choose as the best translation if you cannot use “Baptized” (or baptism or other derivatives) in any place where it used in the Gospel…