Baptism by Immersion ... The Only Valid Baptism?

Continuing on the subject of baptism, I have a good protestant friend - Church of God member ( ) , that believes baptism by immersion is the only valid baptismal form.

Neither sprinkling nor pouring forms allowed…

In water baptism by immersion, and all who repent should be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Anyone agree with him?

Apologetic thoughts from Catholics (and catholics of similar view) on starting the conversation with him?

The Didache says:

7:1 But concerning baptism, thus shall ye baptize.
7:2 Having first recited all these things, baptize {in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit} in living (running) water.
7:3 But if thou hast not living water, then baptize in other water;
7:4 and if thou art not able in cold, then in warm.
7:5 But if thou hast neither, then pour water on the head thrice in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
7:6 But before the baptism let him that baptizeth and him that is baptized fast, and any others also who are able;
7:7 and thou shalt order him that is baptized to fast a day or two before

The Didache is not scripture, but it was written at or near the end of the 1st century, so it provides a window of what was acceptable in an era when the Apostles, or at least their disciples, were still alive. It seems their acceptance of pouring, and thereby sprinkling, should be evidence that it was a practice of the time, and there’s no reason to doubt its efficacy.


It seems a little ironic but those who believe Baptism must be by immersion tend to be those who don’t think Baptism does anything anyway.


FWIW The entire debate comes from the phrase “coming up out of the water”. I note that every adult baptism I have witnessed in a catholic church involves people coming up out of the water, the water in which the knelt and had water poured over them.

To insist that the head must go below the water is to insist, ironically, on the teachings of man and not on the precise words of scripture alone.

The way i heard the phrase “coming up out of the water” means that the person was under the water, Jesus,. But the funny thing is that He came up out of the water after He was baptised so it really only means that Jesus put distance between Him and John the baptist so there would be no confusion.

Well if they want to be “literal” to any one saying that, point to the fact that Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river, therefore their baptism by inmersion in a “pool” is invalid. Tell them they need to go to the Jordan to be “properly” baptized. But since they do not believe Baptism does anything what’s the point? Sprinkled, inmersed, or at the Jordan, it’s just a symbol! Right? :shrug:
Definetively tong in cheak on my comments. :rolleyes:

:thumbsup: I, too, have pointed out to “Immersion only” people that it should then be Jordan River only, they didn’t find any relavence:shrug:.

As a protestant friend of mine pointed out to his pastor, “So the amount of water matters?!?!”.:confused:

No, the debate comes from the fact that baptize means to be immersed in water. However I agree with JonNC. Tradition of the church from the earliest days is that other methods are admissible.

Tell your friend in the 3 verses that appera in the Bible were the “whole household was baptized”, that no were does it mention that they were baptized in the a lake. Back in those days they didn’t have bathtub, so if these baptisms were performed in the house, the only logical thing was by sprinkling

I suggest they read the dideche

A point not lost on me as a boy. Thats why when it came time for my baptism I asked to be baptised like Jesus was outdoors in a river. And so it was a protestant pastor wound up getting permission from the state park to build a small temporary dam to pool enough water for us to hold service out in the woods and submerse us in the cold mountain stream water.

I still kinda like that.

As do I. What a nice pastor to have made that happen for you,

Hello Pork, No i do not agree. Nowhere in the Bible does it state Jesus was Baptized
by immersion. He came out of the water does not equate to immersion! :rolleyes:
Those who believe immersion is the only valid method also believe it has no real value anyway.:shrug:


Your friend is ignorant of Christian history.

The Didache
After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. If you have no living water, then baptize in other water, and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Before baptism, let the one baptizing and the one to be baptized fast, as also any others who are able. Command the one who is to be baptized to fast beforehand for one or two days (Didache 7:1 [ca. **A.D. 70]).

So, in the first century (while at least one Apostle was still alive), Christians were immersing and pouring.

Here’s more:

Baptism: Immersion Only?

As do I, :smiley:
Peace, Carlan

As I said above, the word baptism means to be immersed in water. That is its original meaning. The very use of the word means that Jesus was baptized by immersion.

Those who believe immersion is the only valid method also believe it has no real value anyway.:shrug:

There are plenty. Many among the more hardline Athonites, to begin with.

rite of purification: a religious ceremony in which somebody is sprinkled with or immersed in water to symbolize purification. In some Christian baptisms, the person is named as well as being accepted into the Christian faith.
This does Not say that Christ was immersed. He may have been but immersion is not the only valid method. That’s the subject of this thread.


I dont think it actually matters. If the person is getting baptised because he/she is told they have to, then it wouldnt be valid because of the intent of the person(s). How about a region where its cold? Or what if the person just had some sort of operation and cant be immersed due to the stitches? I think if it is done in the Trinity, then it wouldnt matter how much holy water was used. What about extreme cases of people being close to death where there may not be a tank of water to immerse someone in?

Given that it wasn’t a rite when Christ did it, I have to assume you’re using an English language dictionary. Yes, that is the modern definition.

The word, in Koine Greek, means to be immersed, or flooded by (the word is also used to describe the crowds flocking to Christ). You have to use the language of the authors if you want to know what the word implies. You can’t use a modern English dictionary for an ancient Greek word.

I can’t speak for other faiths, but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practices baptism by immersion only, and believes that it has real value (i.e. that it is necessary, and that it does something).

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