When did Jesus institute baptism?


#1

Hi all.

This just struck me the other day. The funny thing is I’ve read and studied the Gospel of John a number of times and it was only the other day that I had to step back and re-read a particular verse. It was this verse:

“After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptised.” (John 3:22 RSV)

This is after the famous chat with Nicodemus and good evidence, if any is needed, that when Jesus is talking about “water and the Spirit” he means baptism.

But…

If Jesus and the apostles baptised before his death and resurrection, what kind of baptism do you think it was? Sacramental? Would the graces of baptism (which come as a result of Christ’s death and resurrection) have been retroactive?

Jonathan


#2

The traditional answer is Matthew 28:19, just before Jesus ascended to Heaven.

I don't know the status of the baptisms in John's gospel but they take place before the establishment of the Church so it is possible that they were baptisms of repentance, similar to John's. John 4:2 states that only the disciples were baptizing, BTW.


#3

Jesus as God was fully capable of forgiving sins. Remember the paralised man? Jesus, said get up and walk, your sins are forgiven. It is my understanding that Baptism was instituted in the Jordan. When Jesus submitted to Baptism, and the Holy Spirit decended on him, and the Father Blessed him. The complete trinity was present!

The Trinity testified to the importance of Baptism.


#4

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 6 March 1274) makes the distinction that Baptism was really instituted when Christ was baptized, and became obligatory after His Passion and Resurrection.

Summa Theologica III:66:2:

On the contrary, Augustine says in a sermon on the Epiphany (Append. Serm., clxxxv): “As soon as Christ was plunged into the waters, the waters washed away the sins of all.” But this was before Christ’s Passion. Therefore Baptism was instituted before Christ’s Passion.

I answer that, As stated above (Question 62, Article 1), sacraments derive from their institution the power of conferring grace. Wherefore it seems that a sacrament is then instituted, when it receives the power of producing its effect. Now Baptism received this power when Christ was baptized. Consequently Baptism was truly instituted then, if we consider it as a sacrament. But the obligation of receiving this sacrament was proclaimed to mankind after the Passion and Resurrection. First, because Christ’s Passion put an end to the figurative sacraments, which were supplanted by Baptism and the other sacraments of the New Law. Secondly, because by Baptism man is “made conformable” to Christ’s Passion and Resurrection, in so far as he dies to sin and begins to live anew unto righteousness. Consequently it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise again, before proclaiming to man his obligation of conforming himself to Christ’s Death and Resurrection.


#5

[quote="Glacies, post:4, topic:317327"]
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 6 March 1274) makes the distinction that Baptism was really instituted when Christ was baptized, and became obligatory after His Passion and Resurrection.

Summa Theologica III:66:2:

[/quote]

For if it was a true sacrament, it brought about washing away sin, then Jesus applied his merits of the cross before he actually died to those who were baptised before good Friday.

So there was justification before his death. And the first converts were not on Penticost.

BTW, i'm asking more than telling.


#6

The opinion of the Angelic Doctor is one among many. A number of writers prefer the institution to have happened at the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan, others with the conversation with Nicodemus, and some after the Passion of Our Lord. The dogmatics book of Dr. Ludvig Ott expounds as follows:

The exact time of the institution of Baptism cannot be established from Holy Writ. Theologians are divided in their opinions. Some assign as the time of institution the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan (Petrus Lombardus, Sent. IV 3, 5; St. Thomas, S. th. III 66, 2; Cat. Rom. II 2, 20); others the conversation with Nicodemus (Peter Abelard; cf. St. Bernard of Clairvaux; Ep. 77), others the promulgation of the mandate of Baptism before the Ascension (Hugo of St. Victor, De sacr. II, 6, 4; Mag. Roland). The first two views are based on the improbable assumption, that the baptism of the Disciples was Christian sacramental Baptism. Against the first opinion we may note above all the silence of Holy Writ; against the second, the external circumstances, in which the word of Jesus on the necessity of Baptism for salvation were spoken. The probabilities are in favour of the occasion in Mt. 28, 19; still the mandate of Baptism does not exclude an earlier institution.

St. Bonaventure (Com. in Ioan. c. 3. n. 19) seeks to unify the various opinions in the following fashion. According to the matter (materialiter) Baptism was instituted when Christ was baptised; according to the form (formaliter) when he rose from the dead and gave the form (Mt. 28, 19); according to the effect (effective), when He suffered, for it received its power from the Passion; according to the purpose (finaliter), when foretold its necessity and its benefit (John 3, 5).

The Blessed Virgin came to being in state of grace due to the Immaculate Conception which was according to the 1854 Apostolic Consitution Ineffabilis Deus "in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ".


#7

[quote="Glacies, post:6, topic:317327"]
The opinion of the Angelic Doctor is one among many. A number of writers prefer the institution to have happened at the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan, others with the conversation with Nicodemus, and some after the Passion of Our Lord. The dogmatics book of Dr. Ludvig Ott expounds as follows:

The Blessed Virgin came to being in state of grace due to the Immaculate Conception which was according to the 1854 Apostolic Consitution Ineffabilis Deus "in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ".

[/quote]

Thankx for the info.


#8

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