Baptism as a necessity

I was raised as a Southern Baptist. I was always taught that you don’t have to be baptized. Now that I’m Catholic, this is an area that comes up for discussion with my family members quite often. What I want to know who first taught that baptism is not necessary, and when was it taught?

Reading recommendations:

*]Necessity of Baptism (Catholic Encyclopedia)
*]The Necessity of Baptism (tract, Catholic Answers)[/LIST]

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