What proof can I show?


I recently had an exchange with a blogger, who cited a quote a Cardinal Hosius from the sixteenth century, which she felt proved that Baptists have been around as long as, well, John the Baptist.

Anyways, where I can I find information to prove to her that this is incorrect?

She told me to “show her” where this is untrue… I could use some help.



this site goes into the exact arguement you are looking for:

I’ll summerize

“Were it not that the baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers.” (Hosius, Letters, Apud Opera, pp. 112, 113.)" Quoted in the “Trail of Blood” by J. Carroll.

The site claims this statement does not appear in his writings

The complete works of Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius were published in two volumes in 1584 in Cologne, under the title “Opera Omnia”. The complete title reads as follows:


“Opera Omnia in Duos divisa tomos, quorum primus ab ipso auctore plurimus subinde in locis, integris & dimidijs paginis sic auctus & recognitus, ut novum opus fere censeri possit. Secundum autem totus novus, nuncque primus typis excusus.”

Apud Maternum Cholinum

Then the site has an extensive section on his view of baptists
(mainly that he lumped all groups of “re-baptizers” together)

Cardinal Hosius meant by the term “Anabaptist” a general term for any kind of re-baptizing sect. We see the proof of this in his assertion that the Donatists were Anabaptists. But we know, of course, that the Donatists had completely different beliefs from modern day Baptists (or even 16th century Anabaptists). For example, they only believed in re-baptism for those Christians who had apostasized under persecution and later returned. They did not say infant baptism was wrong, they did not say baptism must be by immersion only, they did not say baptism was merely a symbol. So it is absolutely wrong for modern-day Baptists to suggest that Cardinal Hosius testifies to their existence at the time of Augustine!

really just give her the link, it wont convert her but it should put the argument to rest.

here he goes into the roots of the baptists and the differences between them and anabaptists.


I showed her that exact site (I found it also on the web yesterday) and her reply was that this was one site, written by one person) she said, why isn’t there more info against this if it is incorrect than just one person writing about it, so I was trying to find other statements besides just this one person’s work. thanks!


From: The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2007 pp. 718-719, Copyright © 2007 by World Almanac Education Group, Inc, A WRC Media Company 512 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10018.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 4-3781
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) 0048-1382
ISBN-10: 0-88687-995-7; ISBN-13: 978-0-88687-995-2

Note: This is the exact same information presented in The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2007, all spelling, information, italics, bolded information categories, and wording is directly copied. The exact information can also be found on pp. 690-691 of The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2002 as published by the exact same company and corporation.


In radical reformation, objections to infant baptism, demands for church and state separation; John Smyth, English Separatist, in 1609; Roger Williams, 1638, Providence, RI.

Congregational; each local church is autonomous.

Scripture; some Baptist, particularly in the South, interpret the Bible literally.

Special rites:
[Baptism, usually early teen years and after, by total immersion;] Lord’s Supper.

Worship style varies from staid to evangelistic; extensive missionary activity.

Usually opposed to alcohol and tobacco; some tendency toward a perfectionist ethical standard.

[No creed; true church is of believers only, who are all equal.]

Believing no authority can stand between the believer and God, the Baptists are strong supporters of church and state separation.


The above is from The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2007. It clearly says that the Baptist’s origins are in 1609. If she has a problem with that, tell her to take it up World Almanac Education Group, Inc. I had this saved in my apologetics archive from a time when I had discussions with a Baptist that denied their own history.

Ask the blogger to prove her claim; she has the burden of proof because objective secular history says otherwise.

If she tries to pull a “trail of blood” argument, go to this site:


Steve Ray has an article “Trail of Blood: “What About Baptist Successionism”? “ that destroys that argument.

Let me know what else she says; I have experience with a Baptist history denier.


Tell her that so is Trail of Blood. :rolleyes: That booklet has about as much in common with real history as any “what if” fiction around.

“‘Ancient Baptists’ and Other Myths”


Thank you sooooo much, I will try this and see what she has to say!! :smiley:


There were three movements describing themselves as “baptists”. The first was John the Baptist’s movement. We don’t know exactly what happened, but there was clearly a certain amount of overlap with Jesus’ movement. They died out as a separate group some time after Josephus wrote.

The second were the Anabaptists. That is as ort of loose movement that begain in the Middle Ages in Munster, then had a revivial during the sixteenth century Reformation. The Mennonites and similar are descended from them.

The third were the followers of John Smyth, an ex-Anglican priest who re-baptised himself, although not by total immersion (that came later), on some theological grounds - Smyth was constantly changing his positions. The present Baptist denominations arose from the confusions of the Englsih Civil War.

Baptists sometimes try to associate themsleves with John The Baptist’s movement, because Smyth isn’t a terribly credible founder, although he seems to have been sincere enough. The link is entirely spurious. John the Baptist’s movement was dead as a separate movement to Christianity by the second century.


<<which she felt proved that Baptists have been around as long as, well, John the Baptist.>>

That might be the Baptists.

But Christianity is based on the life, death, and Resurrection of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.


When My Baptist friend told me they came from John the Baptist , I told her I didn’t think so because he is a saint in the Catholic Religion.!! She didn’t have a answer for that one, & changed the subject.!


There’s a great deal of rubbish & nonsense on the Net - unfortunately, people are not always prepared to change their opinions - my own favourite example of this is the popularity of “The Two Babylons”, which is much relied upon to “prove” everything from the Babylonian origin of Easter, or the Babylonian origin of the mitre, to the B.o. of IHS on Eucharistic hosts. It’s tosh - but that doesn’t mean that people don’t find it credible.

So with the “Trail of Blood” theory - it’s utterly frightful as history, but if people want to think that the Cathars or other mediaeval groups like them were Evangelical Protestants, that’s not much one can do :frowning: :slight_smile: Besides, a lot of people are semi-educated :eek: - & nobody is entirely & always free from making mistakes :slight_smile:

closed #12

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