Justin Martyr on Infant Baptism


#21

Quote them.

Many, many early Christians were born to Christian parents but were not baptised until later in life, some not until their deathbed.

Name them.

This was the teaching and practice of the church.

Prove it.

Jeremy


#22

You should be aware of all this already, Jeremy.


#23

By adding the phrase, “and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training,” I think Justin Martyr was intending his remarks about baptism to be applied only to the children of non-Christians, like himself, since, presumably, the children of Christians would be brought up in good habits and righteous training.

Under normal circumstances, infants are baptized only when there is, according to the Code of Canon Law, a “well-founded hope” that they will be brought up in the Christian faith.

Therefore, I don’t think Justin Martyr’s remarks have anything to say about infant baptism as it is practised in the Catholic Church.


#24

The fact that one can find writings of some of the Early Fathers that seem to contradict the practice of infant baptism - or of anything else - is far less than definitive. So what? They all didn’t agree on every detail. That’s what the Church is for - to sort it out.

Justin Martyr wasn’t/isn’t the be-all and end-all of baptismal or any other theology.


#25

Saying one ought to be aware of these things already amounts to dodging the question. Whether jeremy ought to be aware of them already or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that you are being asked to back up your claim and you have, as of yet, shown yourself unable to do so.

Many, many early Christians were born to Christian parents but were not baptised until later in life, some not until their deathbed.

This is because the early Church believed, as the Catholic Church does today, in Baptismal regeneration and temporal punishment due for sins, and many persons of the day wanted to hold off on Baptism until the moment of death so that it would be possible for a person to die with a completely clean slate without having to be a saint during life. This was particularly common among the wealthy and those in authority. Constantine, for instance, put off his baptism until his deathbed so that he could still “do emperor things” like killing people and being a nasty politician.


#26

Some people chose to put off their baptisms until their deathbeds specifically in the hope of entering heaven under the grace of baptism (which actually says a lot about the Catholic doctrine of regeneration, doesn’t it?), but this was not the official teaching of the Church as you well know. It was an error that the Church actually had to work to stamp out.

I await the documentation Jeremy asked you to provide.

Oh, and some response to post #15 which I will not forget. :thumbsup:


#27

Augustine, Jerome, Chrysostom, all three of the male Cappadocians (I’m not sure about Macrina)–actually I don’t know of any of the major fourth-century theologians who were baptized as infants. In fact, now I think about it, I’m not sure we have any specific account of a Church Father (before about 400) being baptized as an infant, though I think a good case can be made that Origen was.

Note that our clearest evidence for the children of Christian parents *not *being baptized is from the fourth century. Opponents of infant baptism claim that this means that infant baptism was an innovation (in fact a nun claimed this in one of my bouts of RCIA). But it could also mean that the views espoused by people like Tertullian had gained wide acceptance, replacing an earlier practice (for which Tertullian’s opposition is clear evidence) of baptizing infants.

In Christ,

Edwin


#28

Actually, it is not. It is merely a troubling observation.

Whether jeremy ought to be aware of them already or not is irrelevant.

Not if you are going to post on a thread on the very subject.

What is relevant is that you are being asked to back up your claim and you have, as of yet, shown yourself unable to do so.

So I have thus far been “unable” to back up my “claim”?

This is because the early Church believed, as the Catholic Church does today, in Baptismal regeneration and temporal punishment due for sins, and many persons of the day wanted to hold off on Baptism until the moment of death so that it would be possible for a person to die with a completely clean slate without having to be a saint during life.

LOL.

So one second you say that I have yet to back up my “claim,” yet you agree with me and claim the same.

I notice that you offered nothing to back up your “claim” either.

OK.

I guess I must…but you do not.


#29

So who was teaching all these Christians to put off their baptism when many were already born and raised in Christian homes?

It was an error that the Church actually had to work to stamp out.

Where was the outcry against this heresy?

Stamp out?

It was regular practice.

I thought infant baptism was the the command of Christ and the church since the beginning?

I await the documentation Jeremy asked you to provide.

You provided none yourself, Randy.

Why ask of me what you have not done yourself?


#30

Yes, Edwin.

We must also include Basil, Ambrose, and Rufinus at least.

These are all centuries after Pentecost.


#31

Atemi,
This is a Catholic forum, most of us here know our faith and are familiar with the doctrines and ideas posted by Randy and others. Since you are the one challenging it is incumbent on you to show proof.


#32

Wasn’t it accepted that Polycarp was baptized as an infant?

Don’t we have in the catacombs of Rome incicences Christians that were baptized as infants in the first century?

Wasn’t the first major conflict on baptizing infants whether to wait 8 days or not (sorry, if this has been addressed on this thread already)?


#33

Catholics here have already agreed with me…including Randy.

Interesting.

BTW, I did not challenge anything. I am just relating common church history. I cannot educate everyone of what they should already be aware of.


#34

I’m sorry but I can only smile and chuckle everytime I read this line of yours in the many posts on this forum. You have a very unique twist on things.


#35

Good point. That’s certainly a legitimate inference from his statement that he had served Christ for more than eighty years.

Don’t we have in the catacombs of Rome incicences Christians that were baptized as infants in the first century?

I don’t know–possibly there is such evidence, but I’d be surprised if it were that early. Do you have any source for this?

Wasn’t the first major conflict on baptizing infants whether to wait 8 days or not (sorry, if this has been addressed on this thread already)?

No, I don’t think so. I think the first major conflict was Tertullian’s critique of the practice based on his strict view of post-baptismal sin (also, he thought the sponsors were putting their own souls in danger if the person they sponsored was eventually damned).

Edwin


#36

Contarini,

I knew I could find it if I looked hard enough. This comes from revneal.org/Writings/aletter.htm

And, finally, archeological discoveries in the Roman catacombs have long-ago proven that infant baptism was common in the primitive Roman Churches. Two clear examples, among dozens of similar inscriptions, are all that we really need to support this claim. A man with the resounding Roman/Latin name of Murtius Verinus placed on the tomb of his children the inscription: “Verina received Baptism at the age of ten months, Florina at the age of twelve months.” The date of this tomb has been firmly established by radio-carbon dating of the children’s bones as being 105 AD +/- 4 years. Another tomb, not far away from this one, has the inscription: “Here rests Achillia, a newly-baptized infant; she was one year and five months old, died February 23rd…” and then follows the year of the reigning emperor, which dates her death to 91 AD. [see W. Wall, “History of Infant Baptism”, 2 Vols., London, 1900. and other related articles in various archeological journals from early this century.

[/quote]


#37

No one has to formally teach error…it creeps in on its own.

Where was the outcry against this heresy?

Outcry from whom?

Stamp out?

Sure. It is not the norm today is it?

It was regular practice**.**

That does not mean it is theologically correct. Contraception and abortion are regular practice, too. Does this make them correct?

I thought infant baptism was the the command of Christ and the church since the beginning?

This is because you are in error. I have said previously that there is no explicit teaching on infant baptism but that the practice of the Church was to baptize entire households including the young children living therein.

You provided none yourself, Randy.

Why ask of me what you have not done yourself?

Is it because you do not read what I post that you make this claim? See posts 9 & 10.

These are very significant. :thumbsup:

[SIGN]Post #15 Ignored Count: 2[/SIGN]


#38

You’re the one making claims; it’s your job to substantiate them.

Jeremy


#39

Atemi,

If you want to discuss the matter and show us to be mistaken, then you need to provide evidence. This thread doesn’t have that purpose; it was intended for something else. Either way, however, you still aren’t giving any evidence.

If someone disagrees with me when I say that the speed limit is 30 mph, it is easy to say that they ought to already be aware that it is in fact 30, but that doesn’t mean that I win the argument just because they ought to know. I need to show them the sign, which should be easy to do.

In the same way, you can say what we ought to know all day long, and it may be true, but unless you show us the evidence, it’s a meaningless statement. It also rings very strongly of being unable to provide the documentation, especially if this documentation is so readily available that we ought to already know of it.

So far as my agreeing with you that persons put off Baptism until death is concerened, I never denied that it was, I was simply explaining to you that the reason had nothing to do with the validity of infant Baptism.


#40

So who was teaching all these Christians to put off their baptism when many were already born and raised in Christian homes?

No one has to formally teach error…it creeps in on its own.

An “error” spread throughout the church and taught by her too?

**Where was the outcry against this heresy? **

Outcry from whom?

You supposedly have heresy and “error” sweeping through the church, Randy.

Where was the outcry from Rome?

Where were the ECFs all demanding such erroneous practices be destroyed?

Where were all the bishops ready to sit in Council to repudiate such false teaching?

It ain’t there.

The reason it is not there is because it is the bishops and Rome teaching this. These faithful believers, including some ECFs themselves, did not just make this up.

***Stamp out? ***

Sure. It is not the norm today is it?

Again, you make a claim that the church tried to “stamp” this “error” out, yet cannot offer any evidence. At least what I say is common knowledge of church history as is evidenced from the posts of some of our Catholic friends here.

Saying the church was “stamping out” this “error,” without any witness of such from church history, is not convincing.

The fact is that what you call an “error” was a practice of the church from the beginning…and lasted for centuries.

It was regular practice.

That does not mean it is theologically correct.

Where are the church records of all the bishops rising up to attack such a grave error and practice?

Even Saints were doing it!

Where was their constant correction from Rome through the decades?

Nothing…

Contraception and abortion are regular practice, too. Does this make them correct?

The difference is that the church teaches against these things and we have tons of records saying so.

We cannot say the same of delayed baptism way beyond infancy and sometimes even adulthood.

I thought infant baptism was the the command of Christ and the church since the beginning?

This is because you are in error. I have said previously that there is no explicit teaching on infant baptism but that the practice of the Church was to baptize entire households including the young children living therein.

If infant baptism was not commanded by the Apostles for Christian babies, then we can all be content to understand that infant baptism is not Apostolic doctrine.

Optional infant baptism is no doctrine of anything. Such would reject the RC idea of Original Sin to begin with…the whole reason for infant baptism.


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