Immersion baptism (help!)


A Protestant told me that no baptism in the Bible was done by sprinkling but by full immersion and that’s why all baptisms should be done by immersion. Any defense to that?


Ezekiel 36: 22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.

23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations will know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.

24 For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.

25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.

26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.

28 You shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

And the Bible never says full immersion is necessary or was always used, anyway.


The Didache, an early Christian text which included instructions on how to perform baptism, gave preference to immersion, but allowed for sprinkling in cases of water scarcity. That helps with the historical perspective,


Just because the NT does’t mention sprinkling doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Water was the source of life, and there were rivers available.


Two points:

  1. Most Catholic baptisms aren’t done by sprinkling; they’re done by pouring. Other denominations sprinkle. Protestants don’t always appreciate that differentiation.

  2. The Bible never specifies a method - just water.


thanks for the clarification. I need to make sure I say pouring instead of sprinkling.


Your Protestant friend is certainly entitled to his opinion on this, but that hasn’t been the thought over the centuries. Paragon’s 15th Century painting of the baptism of Christ shows that the idea that baptism was done by pouring is very ancient.


Just curious where he thinks the Bible states the person being Baptized was immersed?

I would also ask him why we don’t hear about the uproar from the Jerusalem authorities when St. Peter polluted the city’s water supply when he baptized (immersed) three thousand unwashed people.

I would have hated to have been the 3000th person that day. :wink:

You don’t have anything to prove here. He is the one making the assertion and needs to prove only immersion was used by the Apostles.

God Bless


Well I always saw artist renditions of Jesus being in the Jordan River but that John The Baptist poured the water over Jesus’ head. Don’t know if that’s official but that’s what I think as long as it’s done with WATER only and in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit it is all good.


The Gospels say (in English translation) “'as Jesus was coming up out of the water… '” I suppose this could mean as he came up after being immersed or as he walked up the bank out of the water. I’ve never heard any dispute that Jesus was immersed.


To be honest every artistic rendition of Jesus’ Baptism I’ve ever seen shows John pouring water over Jesus’ head.

As you point out that could mean either option you state. Which still gives no definitive evidence that one can only Baptize with immersion.

I don’t dispute whether or not Jesus was immersed, I dispute someone stating they can definitively know he was immersed.

God Bless


His defense was that then the Bible talks about baptism they always spoke about going down to the river and that baptism in Greek means immersion. Thanks for everyone’s help.


This is a common comeback, but your friend hasn’t done his due diligence. The word baptizo can mean immersion but doesn’t always mean immersion in the Bible. Luke 11:38 for instance.

Here is a good article on the subject.

God Bless


The Catholic Church does not baptise by sprinkling, water is poured on the person’s head.


Yeah, you’re exactly right and that’s what I told him and he said yeah it can be used in many ways but when it’s used specifically to baptize it means full immersion. At that point I knew nothing could really convince him.


All you can do is to say your piece. Sometimes you are going to run into an impasse


Well, once again he is the one who made the assertion so the burden of proof is on him. I would have to say your only response at this point would be.

I understand what you are saying and would love to agree with you, however, I read the Bible every day and I am not coming to the same interpretations that you do. Could you help me out and show me the authority bestowed upon you by Jesus that would help me believe that your interpretation of Scripture is infallible? This way I can be certain that your interpretation is correct and mine is not?


God Bless


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

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