No Infant Baptisms, you say?


#1

I’ve been constantly hounded by other faiths about Catholics “inventing” infant baptism sometime after the Great Apostasy. I came across the following text while the forums were down (I had to be doing SOMETHING constructive, after all), and I wanted to see if this is proof enough that it’s been around since the beginning of Christianity. Anyone disagree?

***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.

***Thanks,

NotWorthy


#2

Great quote do you know were we can get the origianl source material ie books. publication like archaelogy today or something?

Of course to many evangelicals and fundies you could have videotape of infant baptism circa 91 AD and it wouldn’t matter.
Hey where is that in the Bible?
Well the catacombs, church fathers etc etc it just doesn’t matter.
It’s interesting to me though but I don’t think it mean a hill of beans in apologetics.


#3

[quote=Maccabees]Great quote do you know were we can get the origianl source material ie books. publication like archaelogy today or something?

Of course to many evangelicals and fundies you could have videotape of infant baptism circa 91 AD and it wouldn’t matter.
Hey where is that in the Bible?
Well the catacombs, church fathers etc etc it just doesn’t matter.
It’s interesting to me though but I don’t think it mean a hill of beans in apologetics.
[/quote]

I disagree that this doesn’t mean something to apologetics. It depends on how open the person is. Not everyone that we try to convert is carring fundamentalist baggage. If, say a young Atheist, was just learning about Christianity, the above statement might help him understand the historical background of the church. Understanding the history might bring him into the Catholic church.


#4

I think it does matter to apologetics. Have you ever had a Fundamentalist show you in a book that the Catholic Church unequivocally invented infant baptism in the 5th century sometime after Constantine paganized the Church? If you can show them that this Tradition dates back to the first century, then you’ve made them question every other “fact” in that or any other anti-catholic book.

How many Churches are calling themselves Apostolic? How many Churches say thay “want to go back to the early Church”? Well here it is? You can’t get more Apostolic than this!

NotWorthy

By the Way, here’s the website where I found this quote. The author makes some more valid points and its worth reading.
revneal.org/Writings/aletter.htm


#5

Interestingly a Fundamentalist pastor in our area actually performs infat baptism and even explains it in a very Catholic way. Not surprising as he was a former Catholic, which is the sad part…


#6

I suppose your right it depends on the person but I have some people just deny deny deny unless it is in the Bible forget history or any other fact.
But yeah to someone with an open mind it is interesting so where is the primary source for this so we can acutally use it.
If i say I read this on catholic answers forum I don’t this is going to be regarded as legit you know.


#7

[quote=Maccabees]I suppose your right it depends on the person but I have some people just deny deny deny unless it is in the Bible forget history or any other fact.
But yeah to someone with an open mind it is interesting so where is the primary source for this so we can acutally use it.
If i say I read this on catholic answers forum I don’t this is going to be regarded as legit you know.
[/quote]

Here’s the website where I found this quote. The author, a Methodist Clergy man, makes some more valid points and its worth reading.
revneal.org/Writings/aletter.htm


#8

[quote=Milliardo]Interestingly a Fundamentalist pastor in our area actually performs infat baptism
[/quote]

Fundamentalism isn’t easy to define, but you may be referring to an evangelical Protestant. “Fundamentalist” is a term better reserved for those Protestants who are characterized by militancy and separatism; and most of those are baptistic in practice, meaning that they rebaptize converts who were baptized in infancy.

Methodists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans baptize infants, and these groups have many evangelical Bible-believing pastors. They also have plenty of the other kind, too, but we need not go into that :frowning:


#9

Those who try to tell you that the Catholic Church went back to paganism under Constantine don’t know their ear from their elbow. If it was true that we went pagan at that time then why is that that the Roman emperor Julian declared a persecution of the church because it WASN’T pagan just 48 years later?

It’s real easy to allege stuff as long as your audience is dumb enough to take it all at face value without checking the historic facts.

Another important historic fact is in the story of the martryrdom of Polycarp who told his persecutors that he 'd been a Christian for 86 years and God had not failed him and he would not deny him then. He was then burned alive while singing hymns. He was 86 years old at that time. You don’t even need a calculator to see that the man was baptized as an infant. That was recorded on Feb. 22nd of 156.
Pax vobiscum,


#10

Those who try to tell you that the Catholic Church went back to paganism under Constantine don’t know their ear from their elbow. If it was true that we went pagan at that time then why is that that the Roman emperor Julian declared a persecution of the church because it WASN’T pagan just 48 years later?

It’s real easy to allege stuff as long as your audience is dumb enough to take it all at face value without checking the historic facts.

Another important historic fact is in the story of the martryrdom of Polycarp who told his persecutors that he 'd been a Christian for 86 years and God had not failed him and he would not deny him then. He was then burned alive while singing hymns. He was 86 years old at that time. You don’t even need a calculator to see that the man was baptized as an infant. That was recorded on Feb. 22nd of 156.
Pax vobiscum,


#11

[quote=Maccabees]Great quote do you know were we can get the origianl source material ie books. publication like archaelogy today or something?

Of course to many evangelicals and fundies you could have videotape of infant baptism circa 91 AD and it wouldn’t matter.
Hey where is that in the Bible?
Well the catacombs, church fathers etc etc it just doesn’t matter.
It’s interesting to me though but I don’t think it mean a hill of beans in apologetics.
[/quote]

You have a point, to a die hard Fundie, nothing will ever convince them. They have been taught that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon and nothing will convince them otherwise. (I went throught that on these forums and I had ongoing debates from Sept-Jan with on fundie in particular.)

As for this archeological find not being helpful? For someone who was raised in one of these fundamentalist churches and they question what they were taught, this will be very helpful in finding what the ancient church really believed and practiced.


#12

I need to find evidence of this in Archeological references books… that is an awesome line of evidence.

… And I tend to disagree with the notion that it wouldn’t convince some fundamentalists. Not most, but some would be drawn by the antiquity of these finds.


#13

Here’s a note from the author of the letter and website I referenced:

As far as I know there are no photographs of the Roman catacomb walls where the children who had been baptized were originally laid to rest. The references may be photographed someplace, but I have never seen them myself. The work in question is the is the VERY old, yet well known multi-volume work by William Wall: The History of Infant Baptism - Vol. 1&2

These were actually originally published in 1705 and has been reprinted several times over the last 300. I have read a 1900 reprint copy of the 1889 edition of the text, but that was longer ago than 10 years and it was in the Library collection of Duke University Divinity School. I would love to find a copy of it for my own library, but there are very few copies of the book in circulation (I understand that it is available on a CD-Rom in .pdf format. I’ve tried to buy it in this format, and am hopeful that I’ll manage it some day).

[font=Arial]Anybody from Duke University around here?

NotWorthy
[/font]


#14

[quote=Church Militant]Another important historic fact is in the story of the martryrdom of Polycarp who told his persecutors that he 'd been a Christian for 86 years and God had not failed him and he would not deny him then… He was 86 years old at that time.
[/quote]

Do you know that he was 86 at the time? I assume that he was, but I don’t know how to prove it. Do you?

If we can’t prove it, he could have been, say, 94. That would give him eight years to ride the bus on Sundays, hear the gospel in Sunday School, get converted in VBS, and get baptized the next Sunday.

All fundamental Baptist churches that I’ve ever seen will baptize an eight-year-old who, after careful counseling, professes faith in Christ. And I’ve seen them even younger.

If we could nail this stuff down, there wouldn’t be a debate.


#15

St. Polycarp

Martyr (A.D. 69-155).

Uh, let’s see…carry the 5…subtract the 6…86! We have a winner!

Notworthy


#16

[quote=NotWorthy]St. Polycarp

Martyr (A.D. 69-155).

Uh, let’s see…carry the 5…subtract the 6…86! We have a winner!

Notworthy
[/quote]

And St. Ignatius of Antioch met with St. Polycarp on his way to be martyred in Rome. St. Ignatius wrote a letter to St. Polycarp, for St. Polycarp’s diocese. (St. Ignatius wrote about the physical presence in the Eucharist, and the fact that Christ established a Church governed by Bishops.) All though St. Ignatius did not write as many epistles as St. Paul, his epistles do give great testamony to what the Church believed after the last Apostle died.


#17

[quote=NotWorthy]St. Polycarp

Martyr (A.D. 69-155).

Uh, let’s see…carry the 5…subtract the 6…86! We have a winner!
[/quote]

:stuck_out_tongue: The date of birth that you cited is based on the words of Polycarp “eighty and six years have I served him” and the assumption that he was referring to his entire life. I don’t think we have any other way of establishing his date of birth and, therefore, his age at death.

Therefore, strong though the implication may be, it isn’t quite conclusive. If there were no arguments against infant baptism, the implication of Polycarp’s words would be compelling. But since there are strong arguments against infant baptism (matched, admittedly, by the strong arguments for it), a careful researcher will hold back from claiming that Polycarp’s words certainly indicate that he was baptized at the beginning of his life.

Unless, as I asked Church Militant, there is some way to prove Polycarp’s age at death that we haven’t brought forth yet.


#18

[quote=Kevan]:stuck_out_tongue: The date of birth that you cited is based on the words of Polycarp “eighty and six years have I served him” and the assumption that he was referring to his entire life.
[/quote]

Where did you get that from?

NotWorthy


#19

For a guy living in 150 AD, 86 is pretty darn old! To think he could have been any older is pretty far fetched.


#20

This is wonderful archeological data. However, lets look at Biblical data. The Jews circumcised their infants at 10 days (I think that’s the age) as an outward sign of the old covenant. The water of baptism is the outward sign of the new covenant. I think we need to help our Bible Christian brothers and sisters understand this parallel; after all, this information is in the Bible and that is what they value.


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