Defending Catholic Baptism - Immersion vs Pouring


#1

**So I was having a friendly debate about baptism - :smiley:

about how certain protestant groups immerse and believe that is the only way to have a valid baptism :rolleyes:

and Catholics usually pour water** :cool:

i found this and it was a great help - catholic.com/tracts/baptism-immersion-only

Love Catholic Answers :bounce:

*but so im going to Generate my response and I need some help articulating it

so I was going to say -
*
yes they wordd baptizo - used for baptism meant it immersed but was also used for washing or cleansing - like before you eat dinner or go somewhere. and When Jesus said go forth and baptize in the name of the Father son and holy spirit he didn’t give a set of instructions they blatantly stated you need immersion to make it count

and when Peter gave his first Sermon and baptized approx 3 thousand people it was found by archaeologist that immersion of 3000 people was incredibly unlikely - because of the lack of water supply and even with the water they did have, chances are was not used because Jerusalem would not have let them use for letting 3000 people getting dunked in - so they most likely poured, not to mention any pictures of baptism in early Christianity shows being poured, and even those fortunate to have rivers it shows people standing in the river with water being poured on them - even Didache, a Syrian liturgical manual that was widely circulated among the first few centuries of Christianity didn’t speak of immersion but of pouring and using pretty much any water available , living or not, cold or warm, not to mention where in the bible does it say there will be a bible and you must follow it - that why Catholics go by the bible, magisterium (church teaching) and tradition

if anyone can better state that or go over any points i mistated or could have stated better i would appreciate it! :thankyou:


#2

[quote="mab23, post:1, topic:295281"]
**So I was having a friendly debate about baptism - :D

about how certain protestant groups immerse and believe that is the only way to have a valid baptism :rolleyes:

and Catholics usually pour water** :cool:

i found this and it was a great help - catholic.com/tracts/baptism-immersion-only

Love Catholic Answers :bounce:

*but so im going to Generate my response and I need some help articulating it

so I was going to say -
*
yes they wordd baptizo - used for baptism meant it immersed but was also used for washing or cleansing - like before you eat dinner or go somewhere. and When Jesus said go forth and baptize in the name of the Father son and holy spirit he didn't give a set of instructions they blatantly stated you need immersion to make it count

and when Peter gave his first Sermon and baptized approx 3 thousand people it was found by archaeologist that immersion of 3000 people was incredibly unlikely - because of the lack of water supply and even with the water they did have, chances are was not used because Jerusalem would not have let them use for letting 3000 people getting dunked in - so they most likely poured, not to mention any pictures of baptism in early Christianity shows being poured, and even those fortunate to have rivers it shows people standing in the river with water being poured on them - even Didache, a Syrian liturgical manual that was widely circulated among the first few centuries of Christianity didn't speak of immersion but of pouring and using pretty much any water available , living or not, cold or warm, not to mention where in the bible does it say there will be a bible and you must follow it - that why Catholics go by the bible, magisterium (church teaching) and tradition

if anyone can better state that or go over any points i mistated or could have stated better i would appreciate it! :thankyou:

[/quote]

The Jordan River is not far from Jerusalem. They would have proceeded there at Pentecost and baptized the 3000. Remember there were 120 who were in the room at Pentecost. Not sure if the women helped with the baptism, but let us say 90 of those there were men and they did the baptism.

They wouldn't have baptized in any other way. There was only one way Jews baptized, and it is the way John the Baptist baptized. I can't imagine the Apostles doing anything else at this point in time.


#3

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:2, topic:295281"]
The Jordan River is not far from Jerusalem. They would have proceeded there at Pentecost and baptized the 3000. Remember there were 120 who were in the room at Pentecost. Not sure if the women helped with the baptism, but let us say 90 of those there were men and they did the baptism.

They wouldn't have baptized in any other way. There was only one way Jews baptized, and it is the way John the Baptist baptized. I can't imagine the Apostles doing anything else at this point in time.

[/quote]

ahh interesting - how would you explain why we pour vs full immersion


#4

Have your friend look up the early Christian writing of the Didache. In chapter 7 of the Didache it describes the various ways of Baptism, and pouring is one of them.


#5

[quote="mab23, post:3, topic:295281"]
ahh interesting - how would you explain why we pour vs full immersion

[/quote]

I was very surprised when I actually sat and read the Rite of Baptism for Infants to discover that it presumes a Baptism by immersion (at least the Canadian Rite does). The Pastoral Notes stress immersion as the preferred method for a fuller sign of the dying and rising again to new life.

That's why our parish started offering immersion about 12 years ago. We give parents the choice and about 30% opt for immersion. There is resistance from older parishioners who think this is a newfangled invention and sometimes put pressure on their children and grandchildren to only have their kids baptized by pouring (one young mom who had her first child immersed had her second baptized by pouring 'because my Nan wasn't happy that the first one was immersed').


#6

[quote="Phemie, post:5, topic:295281"]
I was very surprised when I actually sat and read the Rite of Baptism for Infants to discover that it presumes a Baptism by immersion (at least the Canadian Rite does). The Pastoral Notes stress immersion as the preferred method for a fuller sign of the dying and rising again to new life.

That's why our parish started offering immersion about 12 years ago. We give parents the choice and about 30% opt for immersion. There is resistance from older parishioners who think this is a newfangled invention and sometimes put pressure on their children and grandchildren to only have their kids baptized by pouring (one young mom who had her first child immersed had her second baptized by pouring 'because my Nan wasn't happy that the first one was immersed').

[/quote]

Yes, immersion is a preferred method when it is possible. Some new churches are now being built with an area where immersion can take place.

However, it does need to be made known that Baptism by pouring is valid, and proof that the early Christians did it is in the Didache.


#7

Although my Protestant mother questions the validity of my baptism :rolleyes: I KNOW I received a valid sacrament. There were some changes that took place in my life after vigil which I can only ascribe to the GRACE that came from Baptism, Confirmation and Communion. I also believe the Didache which states 3 valid forms of Baptism. I would have LOVED an immersion for the symbolism but that wasn't possible. I have no concerns about the validity of my baptism. :thumbsup:


#8

[quote="mab23, post:1, topic:295281"]
**So I was having a friendly debate about baptism - :D

about how certain protestant groups immerse and believe that is the only way to have a valid baptism :rolleyes:

and Catholics usually pour water** :cool:

i found this and it was a great help - catholic.com/tracts/baptism-immersion-only

Love Catholic Answers :bounce:

*but so im going to Generate my response and I need some help articulating it

so I was going to say -
*
yes they wordd baptizo - used for baptism meant it immersed but was also used for washing or cleansing - like before you eat dinner or go somewhere. and When Jesus said go forth and baptize in the name of the Father son and holy spirit he didn't give a set of instructions they blatantly stated you need immersion to make it count

and when Peter gave his first Sermon and baptized approx 3 thousand people it was found by archaeologist that immersion of 3000 people was incredibly unlikely - because of the lack of water supply and even with the water they did have, chances are was not used because Jerusalem would not have let them use for letting 3000 people getting dunked in - so they most likely poured, not to mention any pictures of baptism in early Christianity shows being poured, and even those fortunate to have rivers it shows people standing in the river with water being poured on them - even Didache, a Syrian liturgical manual that was widely circulated among the first few centuries of Christianity didn't speak of immersion but of pouring and using pretty much any water available , living or not, cold or warm, not to mention where in the bible does it say there will be a bible and you must follow it - that why Catholics go by the bible, magisterium (church teaching) and tradition

if anyone can better state that or go over any points i mistated or could have stated better i would appreciate it! :thankyou:

[/quote]

Both are valid.
BUT the protestant cannot argue that the Catholic one is not valid.


#9

Baptism is a sacrament, and a common formulation of sacraments is that they are symbols that deliver that which they symbolize.

What baptism symbolizes is purification by washing -- we are washed in the waters of life and so made clean of original sin.

Now, I don't know about all of you, but I wash myself every day at least once in the shower. Water pours over me. I am not submerged beneath it. (I am not submerged beneath it even on the rare occasion I take a shower -- I wouldn't dream of lowering my head into dirty water!). Yet, behold, I am clean afterwards. So clearly it is not meaningless to speak of washing as if it were only efficacious if one were submerged completely in water. Every one of us knows you can be washed just as well by having water poured over you.


#10

Hello,

CCC paragraph 1239 states that triple immersion in the baptismal water is the most expressive way to perform a baptism. However it adds that from ancient times it has been performed by pouring as well. Notice that it does not say full immersion - just immersion. How wet you get is not the point. The wetness factor does convey a fuller symbolism and when you believe that baptism is only symbolic then you can understand why one would insist on making the symbol as full as they can. It is all they have left since they have rejected the truth of the saving effect of baptism. As Catholics we can appreciate symbolism and so may wish to be fully immersed or may choose another mode. The important thing for Catholics is that we understand and believe what Peter says which is that baptism saves us (1 Peter 3:15).

The real question to ask him is why he thinks his interpretation of the Scripture is correct. He is in a very small school of fish in his belief of immersion only. Most Protestant denominations disagree with him. John Calvin, John Wesley, and Martin Luther all would have disagreed with him. They believed that the mode choosen was of no consequence. If he trusts Martin Luther to tell him what books should be in the Bible then surely he trusts Martin Luther's interpretation of the content of those books, right?

You may also want to read St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica 3, Question 66, art.7
www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa

Peace,
-Suzin


#11

You can also reference the Didache, which is an Early Church document that discusses the precepts of the Church.

It was a 2nd century "How To" manual on how to be a Christian

Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.

So if the Church in AD 110 considered pouring to be valid, why not your friend's church?


#12

[quote="mab23, post:1, topic:295281"]
**So I was having a friendly debate about baptism - :D

about how certain protestant groups immerse and believe that is the only way to have a valid baptism :rolleyes:

and Catholics usually pour water** :cool:

i found this and it was a great help - catholic.com/tracts/baptism-immersion-only

Love Catholic Answers :bounce:

[/quote]

I would think referencing the Didache would be your best "authority" for your position. If that's good enough for your fellow debaters then you are done. But I suspect you are going to have to first convince them that there are writings other than the Bible which actually help us to understand what the early Christians believed and practiced. I wonder how many of them even know there are early Christian writings other than the Bible (and perhaps the apocryphal gospels.)

I would not attempt to so much to convince this group that baptism by pouring is some ideal form of baptism as to demonstrate that it was a very early practice amongst Christians. That alone may be something they need to chew on for a while.

I would count it as a "score" if you convince these Christians that the dicache and the writings of the early Church fathers are worth reading.


#13

*Thanks for all the replies *

I have since showed what the cannon supported, and that full immersion was never specified - so how immersed you get can vary and doesn't add to or diminish the validity of baptism - and I brought up the Didache - and specifically enjoyed bringing up that that Martin Luther, John Wesley , and Calvin didn't have a problem with pouring, and if you are fine with Luther telling you which books are in the bible, you should have a problem with his view of pouring just as valid as immersion

no real response other than "interesting..." :thumbsup:

again thanks , and I hope this thread can be helpful for anyone else


#14

[quote="mab23, post:3, topic:295281"]
ahh interesting - how would you explain why we pour vs full immersion

[/quote]

For one thing, it is harder to assume they baptized 3000 by pouring in First Century Palestine. They don't have plumbing back then, it is very unlikely they have enough water.

We pour because it came out of necessity. As the faith expanded it went to places where bodies of water are not accessible. Though most cities back then would be located near a river, lake or sea. But they travelled extensively and its possible they came to areas with small communities that do not have access to a large body of water. Perhaps a town only with a well. And given water is a scarce resource, they wouldn't draw water to fill a tub or trough for baptism, so they did pouring.

As Phemie pointed out, baptism in the Catholic Church is always pressumed to be by immersion. But it seems at least in recent centuries that pouring became preferred and by today it is the norm. And most parents wouldn't agree to their infants being immersed.


#15

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:2, topic:295281"]
The Jordan River is not far from Jerusalem. They would have proceeded there at Pentecost and baptized the 3000. Remember there were 120 who were in the room at Pentecost. Not sure if the women helped with the baptism, but let us say 90 of those there were men and they did the baptism.

They wouldn't have baptized in any other way. There was only one way Jews baptized, and it is the way John the Baptist baptized. I can't imagine the Apostles doing anything else at this point in time.

[/quote]

What do you mean by not far. A google search said it was 30 km which I believe equals a little under 20 miles. If this is correct, than I doubt that they traveled that distance to be baptized. Since the Didache shows that there were other forms I can't imagine that immersion was the only way that Jews baptized. :shrug:


#16

[quote="adrift, post:15, topic:295281"]
What do you mean by not far. A google search said it was 30 km which I believe equals a little under 20 miles. If this is correct, than I doubt that they traveled that distance to be baptized. Since the Didache shows that there were other forms I can't imagine that immersion was the only way that Jews baptized. :shrug:

[/quote]

It is even more unlikely that they would have poured water for baptism. This is First Century Palestine, there are no faucets with running water. Unless you are suggesting they would empty out their drinking water stores for this baptism.


#17

No but they did have springs and pools.
The Water System of Ancient Jerusalem1. The Gihon: main supply of fresh water of the ancient city

This would only have been enough for pouring.


#18

[quote="adrift, post:17, topic:295281"]
No but they did have springs and pools.

The Water System of Ancient Jerusalem1. The Gihon: main supply of fresh water of the ancient city

This would only have been enough for pouring.

[/quote]

Good point, there are pools around the temple. Although I would think the Scripture would mention that if they did it in the temple pool. I'm sure the pharisees and sadducees wouldn't have taken it lightly that 3000 people were baptized in the temple pools in one day, all of them were Jewish (only gentiles are baptized into becoming Jewish).


#19

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