So did Jesus baptize or not.


#1

Tonight at RCIA the leader referred to Jesus
baptizing. I suggested that He didn’t and that it was
his apostles who baptized. She said that she would
find the Scripture (in John) and show it to me next
we.

I think she was referring to this verse:

John 3:22
*After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the
region of Judea, where he spent some time with them
baptizing.

Yet when you go to:

John 4:1-2

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard
that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples
than John (although Jesus himself was not baptizing,
just his disciples),
*

*22-26] Jesus’ ministry in Judea is only loosely
connected with John 2:13-3:21; cf John 1:19-36.
Perhaps John the Baptist’s further testimony was
transposed here to give meaning to “water” in John
3:5. Jesus is depicted as baptizing (John 3:22);
contrast John 4:2.

**1-42] Jesus in Samaria. The self-revelation of Jesus
continues with his second discourse, on his mission to
"half-Jews." It continues the theme of replacement,
here with regard to cult (John 4:21). Water (John
4:7-15) serves as a symbol (as at Cana and in the
Nicodemus episode).

***[2] An editorial refinement of John 3:22, perhaps
directed against followers of John the Baptist who
claimed that Jesus imitated him.

So did Jesus baptize or not.


#2

Hi reidtgang,

If the gospel says that He baptized, He baptized. However, there is no evidence that this baptism is more than just a “baptism of water” as that of John the Baptist. Jesus has often said that the Spirit will come **after **his Resurrection.See John 7,39 :

He was speaking of the Spirit that those who believe in Him were to receive, for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Verbum


#3

Is this controversial in some way? Does it have some deeper meaning if Jesus baptized or not?


#4

John (3:22 and 4:1) tells us that Jesus baptized, but (4:2) that the Disciples, not Jesus Himself, did the baptizing.

The language used is significant here, inasmuch as even today in the Sacrament of Baptism, it is* Christ Himself who baptizes*, even though someone else performs the action of the baptizing…


#5

[quote=reidtgang]Tonight at RCIA the leader referred to Jesus
baptizing. I suggested that He didn’t and that it was
his apostles who baptized. She said that she would
find the Scripture (in John) and show it to me next
we.

I think she was referring to this verse:

John 3:22
*After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the
region of Judea, where he spent some time with them
baptizing.

Yet when you go to:

John 4:1-2

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard
that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples
than John (although Jesus himself was not baptizing,
just his disciples),
*

*22-26] Jesus’ ministry in Judea is only loosely
connected with John 2:13-3:21; cf John 1:19-36.
Perhaps John the Baptist’s further testimony was
transposed here to give meaning to “water” in John
3:5. Jesus is depicted as baptizing (John 3:22);
contrast John 4:2.

**1-42] Jesus in Samaria. The self-revelation of Jesus
continues with his second discourse, on his mission to
"half-Jews." It continues the theme of replacement,
here with regard to cult (John 4:21). Water (John
4:7-15) serves as a symbol (as at Cana and in the
Nicodemus episode).

***[2] An editorial refinement of John 3:22, perhaps
directed against followers of John the Baptist who
claimed that Jesus imitated him.

So did Jesus baptize or not.

[/quote]

Unless one wants to posit two authors for the Gospel of St. John, it seems the verse of chapter 4 is simply clarifying the verse of chapter 3. Inspired writers are as free to clarify as non-inspired ones. :wink:


#6

In english I could read that as
Jesus was not baptizing people in general, any that would come, but that he was baptizing ONLY his desciples.

I don’t know what the greek says; is that is a possible interpretation?

It would make sense if you understand baptism as a path to entry into the Church rather than just a symbol of someone who wants to change his life.


#7

Frequently in Scripture - as in much ancient writing - we encounter literary depictions of activities in which secondary and instrumental causations are not included. Thus, we read that “Pilate wrote” the trilingual superscription for the Cross of our Lord (John 19:19-22). Now, busy and important Roman procurators were not in the habit of taking the time personally and directly to write out the titles for condemned criminals; that would have been a duty of an inferior officer. When the Scripture says, “Pilate wrote”, it means to tell us that “Pilate caused to be written…” This manner of speaking, as pointed out, was very common. The logic is: A causes B and B causes C, therefore A causes C. When written out, the secondary and instrumental cause is omitted, but it is implicit in the reasoning.

Applied to our verses about Baptism, we thus see that there is no discrepancy in the assertions that “Jesus baptized” and that “Jesus did not baptize; rather his disciples did so”. We understand that, in having His disciples do the baptizing, Jesus Himself was baptizing, by way of instrumental/secondary causation. This dynamic also figures into the traditional Catholic understanding of Baptism as an instrumental cause of sanctifying grace, as earlier mentioned.


#8

Now I’ve had a chance to look it all up in the original Greek. :nerd:

Evan’s hypothetical solution to the problem is intriguing, but not borne out by the Greek “ouk…alla” construction. It seems to me that the problem is - as is all too often the case - caused by the nincompoops in the translations committees.

Here is how John 4:1-2 reads as translated literally (forgive the Yoda-speak):
“As then knew the Lord that heard the Pharisees that Jesus more disciples makes and baptizes than John though indeed Jesus himself not so much baptized but rather the disciples of him he left Judea and went away again into Galilee.”

That is, “As the Lord therefore knew that the Pharisees heard that ‘Jesus makes and baptizes more disciples than John!’ - though truly Jesus himself did not baptize, but his disciples instead…”

Observe that the news heard by the Pharisees is in the **present ** tense! It should therefore be translated, as I have done, as a quote from those who reported the activities of Jesus to the Pharisees. The notion that it was Jesus who was baptizing was thus simply no more than hearsay circulated among his opponents.


#9

Just a thought: Perhaps another point to be made here is that John says Jesus WILL baptize-- in the Holy Spirit and fire. So Christ DOES baptize and His baptism will be not only redemptive(water=cleansing) but transformative(heat and fire= transforming). When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit we are not only cleansed from our sins but also receive the third person of the Trinity who begins to mold us into the likeness of God. This would be impossible without Christ’s sacrifice. Christ’s baptisms are carried out by His Church-- Christ’s representative on earth(as Christ is in the father we are in Him).Therefore, Jesus’ literal act of baptizing others would not be NECESSARY to make the statement “Jesus baptizes” the truth.


#10

It seems to me that a question needs to be raised. Who has authority to baptize to begin with? Those who performed the baptism, that is, the disciples,had to have been baptized themselves. The baptism of John would not do, since, in Acts, those who had received the baptism of John had to be baptized a second time in the name of Jesus.Therefore, Jesus had to baptize at least one apostle; tradition claims Peter was baptized by Jesus, and then he(Peter) baptized the rest of the apostles.

Andre


#11

I know this is 6 years late, but wanted to laud the sentiment expressed by Verbum above: "If the gospel says that He baptized, He baptized." Amen!

deb1 asked: "Is this controversial in some way? Does it have some deeper meaning if Jesus baptized or not? " Fantastic question (that has been asnwered), but raises (I think) an important point. Simply this - the answer to that question should have no impact on our interpretation of the Scripture.

On the other hand, labeling the translators as "nincompoops" (whether intended to be humorous or not) sets a poor example. Such men labored diligently to translate the Scriptures, some at the cost of their lives. If you disapprove of their work, so be it. But let's not critique the work by insulting the men who produced it. And the notion that translating (from any language, let alone ancient Greek) can be reliably accomplished with a simple literal word for word translation is absurd.

One quick example: In Spanish, "buenos" means good and "dias" means day. So, "buenos dias" is "good day", right? I stood in front of a Spanish speaking crowd one Sunday afternoon and drew laughter when I employed my amateur Spanish and greeted them "buenos dias". "Buenos dias" is "good morning".

Regardless, the complaint is that the translation hides the fact that the statement in John 4:1 is hearsay. But that fact is not hidden at all. The verse as we have it makes clear that the report of Jesus baptizing is what the Pharisees heard. I suppose the same thing could be said of John 3:26 (that this report was what John the Baptist heard). However, John 3:22 directly states that Jesus baptized. No hearsay.


#12

I have understood these passages to show that Jesus has already begun delegating his authority to his authorized agents.


#13

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