Was Baptism by Pouring taught by the Apostles?

There are many catholic sources that say the mode of baptism was later changed from immersion to pouring/sprinkling because it was more convenient for the sick. But where did God ever say we can change it?? Did Jesus and the apostles ever teach pouring? Do we see any clear examples of it in the N.T.?

Baptism by sprinkling or pouring began to replace immersion about the 2nd and 3rd centuries. [New Catholic Encyclopedia. 1977. Volume 2, page 65].

Infant baptism is believed to be a late 2nd century development. [Encyclopedia of Religion Hastings Volume 2, page 393-393].

Was Jesus Christ poured on? The Bible says He came up out of the water. No sprinkling here. Why did John always baptize in the River? Did Philip sprinkle the Ethiopian eunuch’s head? They were in the middle of nowhere and yet Philip took him to where there was much water.

If you continue reading you will find references to, “much water, into the water, and up out of the water.” There are no documented accounts in the word of God to validate infant baptism by way of “sprinkling.” You will however find proofs of water baptism by “immersion”, and in each account they were at an age of accountability, and were baptized as a response to the preaching of the word.

I seriously doubt there was a large body of water in the jail where Saint Paul could baptize his jailer.

Water is only the ‘outward sign’

Non-Christians who seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try to do God’s will as they know it through the dictates of conscience can also be saved without water baptism; they are said to desire it implicitly.(Catechism, 1261).

Exactly right. In Luther’s Small Catechism:

Thirdly.

How can water do such great things?–Answer.

It is not the water indeed that does them, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus, chapter three: By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.

In addition, it is not necessarily true that all baptisms in the time of the apostles were done by immersion. From the LCMS website:

**Q. The LCMS uses the “sprinkle” method of baptism, if you will. The people of the Bible, including Jesus, were baptized using the immersion method. Why doesn’t our church follow the way Jesus was baptized by John? **
A. On the basis of the evidence provided in the New Testament, it is not possible to prove that the term “baptize” always refers to immersion, nor that the Baptisms mentioned were all done by immersion–implying (in the view of some) that only Baptisms done by immersion can be considered valid. In fact, taken as a whole the evidence suggests otherwise. In some cases the term “baptize” is synonymous with “wash” (Tit. 3:5-6; see also Heb. 9:19; Eph. 5:26, Acts 22:16, and Mark 7:1-4—a passage in which some earlier translators considered the term “baptize” to include the washing of “dining couches”), and it is highly likely that Baptisms were performed in the early church by methods other than immersion. Three thousand were baptized on Pentecost in Jerusalem, where no river exists and no mention is made of other large quantities of water that would or may have been used. In fact, the shortage of water supplies in general in many parts of the ancient world would have precluded Baptism by immersion. As the Supplementary Volume of The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible correctly notes, “It is unlikely that in Jerusalem, Samaria, Damascus, Philippi, Corinth, Rome, or Asia Minor enough water was always available for a full bath” (87).

It should be noted that very early in Christian history methods other than immersion were used and allowed. The Didache requires the administrant of Baptism to “pour water three times on the head” (7:3). No mention is made of immersion. Early Christian art depicts Baptisms of persons standing in shallow pools with water poured on the head (see David Scaer, Baptism, 96-101).

Lutherans have therefore held that the manner of Baptism (that is, immersion, pouring, sprinkling, etc.) does not determine whether a Baptism is valid, any more than the manner of distributing the Lord’s Supper (common cup, individual glasses) affects the validity of this Sacrament. Only the Word of God and the “element” (water), according to divine institution, makes a Baptism valid.

Jon

Baptism in the Gospels requires water and the correct spoken form. Thats the norm.
Christ said ‘water’ without quantifying how much water, nor how little. Water is generally water whatever the volume.
Here are some paintings of the Baptism of Christ, painted long before the reformation.

Andrea del Verrocchio …1435 1488ad
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e8/Andrea_del_Verrocchio_002.jpg/300px-Andrea_del_Verrocchio_002.jpg

Piero della Francesca …1415 1492ad

and my favorite painter of the time; Fra Angelico.1395 – February 18, 1455
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/80/Fra_Angelico_-_Baptism_of_Christ.JPG

Response #1

Baptism: Immersion Only?
catholic.com/library/Baptism_Immersion_Only.asp

Although Latin-rite Catholics are usually baptized by infusion (pouring), they know that immersion (dunking) and sprinkling are also valid ways to baptize. Fundamentalists, however, regard only baptism by immersion as true baptism, concluding that most Catholics are not validly baptized at all.

Although the New Testament contains no explicit instructions on how physically to administer the water of baptism, Fundamentalists argue that the Greek word baptizo found in the New Testament means “to immerse.” They also maintain that only immersion reflects the symbolic significance of being “buried” and “raised” with Christ (see Romans 6:3-4).

It is true that *baptizo *often means immersion. For example, the Greek version of the Old Testament tells us that Naaman, at Elisha’s direction, “went down and dipped himself [the Greek word here is *baptizo] seven times in the Jordan” (2 Kgs. 5:14, Septuagint, emphasis added).

But immersion is not the only meaning of baptizo. Sometimes it just means washing up. Thus Luke 11:38 reports that, when Jesus ate at a Pharisee’s house, “[t]he Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash baptizo] before dinner.” They did not practice immersion before dinner, but, according to Mark, the Pharisees “do not eat unless they wash nipto] their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they wash themselves baptizo]” (Mark 7:3–4a, emphasis added). So baptizo can mean cleansing or ritual washing as well as immersion.

A similar range of meanings can be seen when baptizo is used metaphorically. Sometimes a figurative “baptism” is a sort of “immersion”; but not always. For example, speaking of his future suffering and death, Jesus said, “I have a baptism baptisma] to be baptized baptizo] with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:50) This might suggest that Christ would be “immersed” in suffering. On the other hand, consider the case of being “baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

In Acts 1:4–5 Jesus charged his disciples “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” Did this mean they would be “immersed” in the Spirit? No: three times Acts 2 states that the Holy Spirit was poured out on them when Pentecost came (2:17, 18, 33, emphasis added). Later Peter referred to the Spirit falling upon them, and also on others after Pentecost, explicitly identifying these events with the promise of being “baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 11:15–17). These passages demonstrate that the meaning of baptizo is broad enough to include “pouring.”

Response #2

The Didache
After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. If you have no living water, then baptize in other water, and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Before baptism, let the one baptizing and the one to be baptized fast, as also any others who are able. Command the one who is to be baptized to fast beforehand for one or two days (Didache 7:1 [ca. **A.D. 70]).

\Infant baptism is believed to be a late 2nd century development. [Encyclopedia of Religion Hastings Volume 2, page 393-393].\

**So believed by WHOM?

This is not so. It’s a hold-over from Judaism.

As well as circumcision for males, ALL Gentile converts to Judaism, regardless of sex, must be immersed in the Mikveh (ritual bath) as part of the ceremonies for conversion. This includes a Gentile infant adopted by Jewish parents who intend to raise the infant in the Jewish faith.

For ANYONE, the ceremony of conversion is NOT considered complete until this is done.

In other words, infant baptism was invented by pre-Christian Jews, and the Church merely continued the practice, much less is it something invented by that nasty ole pope feller.

I might add that. following the use of the Rite of Mikveh, Christians for the first few centuries, regardless of age, were baptized in the nude.

Furthermore, there are references to baptism by pouring that are earlier than the second century.

I will be the first to admit that baptism should normally be by immersion, but the Church has always acknolwedged that there are times when it cannot be practiced, so we come as close to it as we can.

After all, it’s not the amount of water that saves. It’s like arguing that the servings of Communion should be a certain size. God is NOT limited by quantity of water, wine, or bread.**

[size=2]

[size=2]Baptism by sprinkling or pouring began to replace immersion about the 2nd and 3rd centuries. [New Catholic Encyclopedia. 1977. Volume 2, page 65].[/size]

Infant baptism is believed to be a late 2nd century development. [Encyclopedia of Religion Hastings Volume 2, page 393-393].

Was Jesus Christ poured on? The Bible says He came up out of the water. No sprinkling here. Why did John always baptize in the River? Did Philip sprinkle the Ethiopian eunuch’s head? They were in the middle of nowhere and yet Philip took him to where there was much water.

If you continue reading you will find references to, “much water, into the water, and up out of the water.” There are no documented accounts in the word of God to validate infant baptism by way of “sprinkling.” You will however find proofs of water baptism by “immersion”, and in each account they were at an age of accountability, and were baptized as a response to the preaching of the word.

[/size]Response #3

The early church did not question whether they SHOULD baptize infants…the only argument seems to have been over whether they had to wait until the eighth day like the Jews.

Cyprian

“Should we wait until the eighth day as did the Jews in circumcision? No, the child should be baptized as soon as it is born.” (To Fidus 1: 2).

“In respect of the case of infants, which you say ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after birth, and that the law of ancient circumcision should be regarded, so that you think that one who is just born should not be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day, we all thought very differently in our council. For in this course which you thought was to be taken, no one agreed; but we all rather judge that the mercy and grace of God is not to be refused to any one born of man… Spiritual circumcision ought not to be hindered by carnal circumcision… we ought to shrink from hindering an infant, who, being lately born, has not sinned, except in that, being born after the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of the ancient death at its earliest birth, who approaches the more easily on this very account to the reception of the forgiveness of sins - that to him are remitted, not his own sins, but the sins of another” (Letter 58 to Fidus).

“As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born” (*Letters *64:2 [A.D. 253]).

Or in the room where St. Paul himself was Baptized.

I believe that the first century Apostolic document called the Didache describes Baptism by pouring.

I can walk into a river up to my knees and then step out again and accurately say that I “came up out of the river”, so yes it is possible that John the Baptist poured water over Jesus and also Philips over the Ethiopian. Nothing specifically says that they were totally immersed. Many places in the scripture suggest immersion, but none actually “Prove” it, leaving that the Baptism could have taken another form instead of total immersion.

How many modes of Baptism are there supposed to be?? Are there many acceptable modes of being baptized? Not according to the apostle Paul. He wrote: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Why do roman catholics keep ignoring the fact that Jesus came “up out of the water”. Is this pouring on the head?

Sometimes it was difficult for John the Baptist to carry out his special ministry because of the scarcity of water in that dry area. We are told that “John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.” John 3:23. The Bible includes this interesting bit of inspired information to show us that there is only one proper way. John could not take a jug of water and fulfil his appointed ministry by sprinkling or pouring. He was compelled to remain in cities along the Jordan River where there was sufficient water for total immersion. The people had to come to him in order to have their old sinful lives “buried” in the waters of baptism.

Thank God you’re not living in Siberia.

Where does it say there were infants when whole households were baptized? In the book of Acts, the texts show the whole house is said to do that which Infants could not do. And what is it infants cannot do? Believe.…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 18:8. . Before baptism one must hear and understand the Gospel.

Tertullian wrote:: “There is no difference whether one is washed in a sea or a pool, in a river or in a fountain, in a lake or in a channel: nor is there any difference between those whom John dipped in the Jordan, and those whom Peter dipped in the Tiber…We are immersed in the water.”

It is possible that early Christians did baptize by sprinkling only in extreme circumstances when baptism by immersion was not possible. However, we can’t read into passages what isn’t there and try and build a case around it. Many of the details of passages like those found in Acts 16:33-34 (the baptism of the jailer) and Acts 2:37 (the baptism of 3,000 people at Jerusalem) are absent, and the Bible does not specifically state that baptism by sprinkling took place.

For example, Acts 16:33-34 seems to suggest that the jailor was baptized immediately, but the Bible does not say he was baptized by sprinkling. For all we know, he went immediately to a nearby stream and was baptized by immersion. However, this was an urgent situation because Paul and Silas were escaping from jail and they had to hurry and baptize the jailer and his family. One can draw any number of conclusions so you can’t isolate such passages and use them as “proof texts”. However infant baptism is very different and not considered an extreme circumstance.

Do you want to rewrite the scripture on John the Baptist?

Don’t ancient catacombs depict Jesus being baptized by John while standing in the river with water being poured over his head?

Are there any ancient depictions of baptism by immersion?

Acts 9:18-19 provides the most over-looked evidence that St. Paul himself was not immersed. He was hungry and weak (unable to walk to a river) and was only given food (to regain his physical strength) after he was baptized in Judas’ house of course.

placido

There is one baptism, and it is Trinitarian: I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Why do non-denominational controversialists keep ignoring the fact that someone who is standing only knee-deep in water can be said to come up out of the water onto dry land after having a cup of water poured over their head?

Why do these same people keep ignoring the fact that Paul wrote not only of one baptism but of one faith - the faith that was clearly Catholic from the beginning - and choose instead to ignore the sacraments and the hierarchy of the Church established by Jesus?

Since they do not accept the teachings of the Catholic Church and cannot agree even amongst themselves on matters of doctrine, they prove (by their own admission) that they do not hold to ONE FAITH. Thus, they nullify the Word of God in order to follow their own “human traditions”.

Sometimes it was difficult for John the Baptist to carry out his special ministry because of the scarcity of water in that dry area. We are told that “John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.” John 3:23. The Bible includes this interesting bit of inspired information to show us that there is only one proper way. John could not take a jug of water and fulfil his appointed ministry by sprinkling or pouring. He was compelled to remain in cities along the Jordan River where there was sufficient water for total immersion. The people had to come to him in order to have their old sinful lives “buried” in the waters of baptism.

This is another failed attempt to undermine the God-given authority of the Catholic Church.

Perhaps you might give the Bible a closer read…the texts say that crowds…whole regions…went out to be baptized by John.

Pretty tough to baptized a crowd with a small jug of water, don’t you think?

Acts 16:14-16 (New International Version)
14One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.

No mention of “believing” there!

Acts 16:29-34
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

Lots of believing in this passage. However, notice that Paul tells the jailer that through his faith, his entire household will be saved. “Believe…and you will be saved…and your household.”

1 Corinthians 1:15-17 (New International Version)
15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)

No mention of believing or of infants…just the curious word “household” again.

Household after household after household. Are we to actually believe, Yankee_drifter that not one of these households (and I think there are five mentioned specifically in scripture as being baptized) contained a single child under the age of reason? Remember, this wasn’t a culture in which families only had one or two kids…large families were considered to be a blessing from God.

So, it’s more than a stretch to believe that NONE of these families contained kids whom the parents would not want to have baptized.

Moreover, Paul clearly understands that through the faith of the Jewish parents, a child was brought into the covenant relationship through circumcision…how much more so for the child of parents who have accepted the gospel? After all, Paul himself calls baptism the “circumcision of Christ”. Who is circumcised? Adult converts and infants of believing parents.

In the book of Acts, the texts show the whole house is said to do that which Infants could not do. And what is it infants cannot do?

I have shown the opposite; there is mention of households where belief by every single individual member is not mentioned. Moreover, I have shown that Jewish infants could not accept the Law of Moses before being circumcised, yet God commanded their circumcision based upon the faith of the parents.

For all we know, he went immediately to a nearby stream and was baptized by immersion. However, this was an urgent situation because Paul and Silas were escaping from jail and they had to hurry and baptize the jailer and his family. One can draw any number of conclusions so you can’t isolate such passages and use them as “proof texts”. However infant baptism is very different and not considered an extreme circumstance.

Paul and Silas were not escaping…they remained in the jail until morning.

Acts 16:35-40
35When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.” 37But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”
38The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.

And you want to tell us that WE don’t know the Word of God? How did you put it…ah, yes…are you for real? :stuck_out_tongue:

Do you want to kill people ‘dunking’ them in a frozen river at -35 degrees centigrade?

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