Apostles' baptism

Hi everyone,

I’ve been engaging in conversation with a baptist lady. Recently we got on to the topic of Baptism, which she and her church doesn’t believe is necessary but is strongly encouraged. I was trying to explain to her that it is indeed necessary as part of the normative part of becoming a Christian, extenuating circumstances aside (i.e., the thief on the cross). One of her replies was that aside from Paul, there is no record of any of the apostles getting baptized. I didn’t really have an answer for that. Any input?



Hi dle101,
For me the key factors are obedience and impediments. It is our choice to be obedient to God. When these choices are impeded by things beyond our control, i.e. the cross for the thief, that changes things and at this time we appeal to God’s sovereignty. The catch is when all impediments are removed how will you respond to His obedience? IOW, if the theif was able to come down off the cross would he have asked for baptism or not?

Also on the other note about what scripture doesn’t record, please see Jn 21:25


Baptism can be done with water, blood and desire.

The apostles and several others were baptized by fire in Pentecost. That was an unique form of baptism.

The good thief was baptized by desire because he didn’t died because he was a Christian.

Also, Jesus declared to his Apostles in John 15:3: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” And in John 13:10 when Jesus washed the feet of the Apostles: "Jesus told him [Peter], “Whoever has already bathed needs only to wash his feet, and he will be completely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you [referring to Judas Iscariot].”

Jesus commanded his Apostles in Mt. 28:18-20a: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

If baptism is only an outward sign of what has already happened in the soul, why command it to be done? Jesus could have merely said as much. But no, he commanded them to baptize as well as make disciples and teach new believers.

Jesus gave us the sacraments for our benefit, but as God he is not bound by them. They are meant as sure ways of infusing grace into our souls, but they are not the only ways in which God can do it. This has always been the teaching of the Church.

We aren’t Protestant. Protestants, hold to a rule that everything must be explicit in Scripture. Except the rule that everything must be explicit in Scripture. Which, of course, is nowhere to be found in Scripture.

So, first of all, Jesus has a certain command. He said:

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Jesus doesn’t hold the Apostles do different standards. Therefore, if they claim to believe, they must also have been baptized.

Second, Jesus also said:

John 3
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. …

Baptists don’t believe that Baptism is either necessary or efficacious. So, they disregard this verse. But for us, we believe we are born again in Baptism and therefore, we believe that Jesus would have required the Apostles to be baptized before they could be His disciples.

And finally, Scripture also says:

John 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

You probably recognize the foot washing episode at the Last Supper? Right?

**6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

St. Peter balked at the idea that Jesus, the Son of God, would bend down to wash his feet.

7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

Jesus tried to persuade him by saying that, although he didn’t understand the meaning of the gesture, now, he would understand it, later.

**8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. **

But St. Peter still objected. He didn’t want to see his beloved Master doing such a humiliating task.

Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

But Jesus said, “If I don’t wash your feet, you’ll have to leave my company.”

9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

To which St. Peter replied, “well, if washing is so important, then wash me from head to toe.”

Pause for a moment. Here comes the part that addresses the Protestant objection that the Apostles were not baptized. Keep two things in mind.

  1. Baptism means washing.
  2. Jesus is washing the 12 Apostles’ feet.

10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

Did you get that?

He that is washed, means, “he that is baptized”.

*Needeth not to be washed save his feet *, means, “does not need to be baptized again, but needs to repent, confess his sins and be reconciled to God.”

and ye are clean, means that he has been washed of his sins because he has been baptized.

but not all. This is a reference to Judas Iscariot, who was baptized, but did not believe. Thus, bringing on himself the curse of Mark 16:16.

Therefore, then, in this verse, Jesus says that all the people whose feet He washed, were baptized (i.e. washed). And since it is only the Apostles who were baptized, Jesus has just revealed that the Apostles were baptized. He just doesn’t come out and use the word, “baptized”. He uses a different word, which means the same thing.

I hope that helps.

I also thought of Jn 21:25. Jesus left us the Church, which is the pillar and foundation of truth to address these issues as well. Just because something is not recorded in the Bible does not mean it did not occur.

Acts 2:38/New International Version

**B]Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.



…the problem with protestants is that they are so bent on protesting that they do not even realize (or accept) when they protest against the Word of God.

Who is greater, Jesus or His Apostles?:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]13 Then Jesus appeared: he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. 14 John tried to dissuade him. ‘It is I who need baptism from you’ he said ‘and yet you come to me!’ 15 But Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that righteousness demands’. At this, John gave in to him.

(St. Matthew 3:13-15)
Would it not be odd that Jesus, Who did not need Baptism, would be Baptized while His Apostles, who did in deed need Baptism, would refrain from being Baptized?

…and, what is the Great Commission, that the Gospel be Preached?:

18 Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations;** baptise them in the name**

of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’ (St. Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus Commands that His Apostles Baptize people of all nations–Jesus does not Teach that Baptism is optional; rather, He Teaches that Baptism is necessary for Salvation:

3 Jesus answered: ‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born from above

, he cannot see the kingdom of God’. 4 Nicodemus said, ‘How can a grown man be born? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?’ 5 Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly,** unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God**: 6 what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above. (St. John 3:3-7)
While some twist an interpretation of this passage to sooth their theology and construct credibility into their rejection of the Sacrament of Baptism, did Jesus Taught that (Baptism as an empty symbol), and did the Apostles Teach that, and did the infant Church Teach that?:

44 While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit came down on all the listeners. 45 Jewish believers who had accompanied Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should be poured out on the pagans too, 46 since they could hear them speaking strange languages and proclaiming the greatness of God. Peter himself then said, 47 ‘Could anyone refuse the water of baptism to these people, now they have received the Holy Spirit just as much as we have?’ 48 He then gave orders for them to be baptised

in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterwards they begged him to stay on for some days. (Acts 10:44-48)
…here is the most perfect example of a clear instance where Baptism, if it is merely a symbolic gesture, could be omitted!

…these people have Received the Holy Spirit… it’s a mini Pentecost… everyone is celebrating the Blessings… yet, St. Peter not only calls attention to the need of Baptizing these new Believers but he actually commands that they be Baptized!

…was there any objection? …did anyone suggest that since they already demonstrated that they were strong in the Spirit there was no need for water Baptism?

No! They Obeyed Jesus’ Command: ‘…go, and Baptize all the nations!’

…coincidentally, here’s one more passage that demonstrates the necessity of Baptism, while, simultaneously, rejecting sola Scriptura:

…30 When Philip ran up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ 31 ‘How can I’ he replied ‘unless I have someone to guide me

?’ So he invited Philip to get in and sit by his side…

35 Starting, therefore, with this text of scripture **Philip proceeded to explain the Good News of Jesus **to him. 36 Further along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘Look, there is some water here; is there anything to stop me being baptised?’ 38 He ordered the chariot to stop, then Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water and Philip baptised him… (Acts 8:26-40)
…here’s an avid student of Sacred Scriptures who, once instructed in the Faith, not only recognizes the need of Baptism but yearns for it!

Maran atha!




…well, we know this because it is written down; but we do not know what has not been written down; is there a passage in Scriptures that states that the Twelve were not Baptized by John or by Jesus or by one of Jesus’ other disciples?

This is the fallacy with sola Scriptura; it espouses “must be in Scriptures” with “proof” and, the funny thing about it, it rejects/ignores Scriptures themselves when their tenets of theology is challenged/rejected by Scriptures.

…Scriptures recorded Jesus paying His and St. Peter’s taxes… but they do not record any of the other Apostles’ payments of those taxes, are we to assume that they were tax-scoffers?

Maran atha!


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