Baptism of John



I am posting this thread because I don’t really understand the baptism of John. Did it forgive sins? I would assume this because it seems that Jesus implies that it is from heaven (Mt 21:25). If not - well I’m debating some non-denomination Christians, and indeed have talked with others, who believe that water baptism isn’t necessary, and that you must have a spiritual baptism - I thought John’s baptism was unto the remission of sins, and therefore proved the need of a water baptism. :confused:

Anyone want to help me out?



Hi Catholig,

John’s baptism was a sort of sacramental. Its efficacy, for forgiving sins, depended on the dispositions of the one receiving it. But it was nothing like our baptism, which does not only cleanse us from the original stain and from all sins, but makes us adopted children of God,heirs to heaven and participants in the life of the Trinity.

One of the few passages of the Bible that has an official interpretation from the Church is this one :

“Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).

The interpretation is that water baptism is necessary.

There is a good presentation on baptism at



I asked a priest today and he said that it didn’t forgive sins.



Sure. :slight_smile: I think this will help:


Hi Catholig,

I asked a priest today and he said that it didn’t forgive sins.

What did not forgive sin?



Nice question as a former Baptist, we always looked at John the Baptist as our base on they way Baptism works. But the early church which we believe was Catholic, taught early on about the new sacrament of baptism which we believe everyone needs in order to trully become a member of the church. It just happens that our view and other protestant views of the church or body of Christ are a bit different from a theological standpoint. Even though there are some church communities and christians that are in deed a part of the Body of Christ or the Catholic Church in one way or another, all those outside of the Catholic Church are not in full communion with the Church.

Bottom line when your discussing Baptism between Catholics and other protestant groups its not always going to be comparing apples to apples.

Its also a challenge to teach about this sacrament because a protestant for the most part does not feel that your resources and or traditions are credible. This is just another reason why they are a protestant.


The Baptism of St. John the Baptist.



DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit