Yet another Infant Baptism proof - from St. Paul


#1

As I was Lectoring at daily Mass today, I came across the story in Acts where Paul and Silas are jailed at Phillippi (Acts 16: 22-34).

After the earthquake, the jailor comes and finds out the status of the prisoners and finds them still there, so he doesn’t kill himself in shame. Listen to Paul’s response very closely, especially to what he doesn’t say:

   ***“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved***.”

He doesn’t say, you and your household who are of age. He says, you and your household! Paul then goes and baptizes the jailor and his entire household. Now Paul, who is a visitor to Phillippi, would probably not be very intimately familiar with this jailor and his family enough to know that he doesn’t have kids 12 and under. Look at where they are housed in the jail

When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake.

Not many family members would be willing to venture into this part of the jail, wouldn’t you say? But Paul emphatically says, you and your household will be saved!!!

Sounds to me like Paul is anticipating the baptism of anyone of any age of the jailor’s family.

What are your thoughts on this?


#2

Circumstantial proof certainly. Definitive proof? No, because we don’t know for sure whether or not his household included children. Maybe it did, but maybe he was childless. Or maybe his children were of age and no longer living in his household. I personally believe in infant baptism, but you can’t look at this passage as definitive proof one way or the other.


#3

and it was practiced in the early Church. The Bible isn’t explicit in Adult Only baptism either…

Patristic Sources:

“And many, both men and women, who have been Christ’s disciples from childhood, remain pure and at the age of sixty or seventy years…” Justin Martyr, First Apology, 15:6 (A.D. 110-165).

“And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God [baptism]; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who as passed through the world without sins.” Aristides, Apology, 15 (A.D. 140).

“Polycarp declared, 'Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour?” Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp, 9 (A.D. 156).

“For He came to save all through means of Himself–all, I say, who through Him are born again to God–infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 2,22:4 (A.D. 180).

“I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord.” Polycrates, Fragment in Eusebius’ Church History, V:24:7 (A.D. 190).

“And they shall baptise the little children first. And if they can answer for themselves, let them answer. But if they cannot, let their parents answer or someone from their family.” Hippolytus of Rome, Apostolic Tradition, 21 (c. A.D. 215).

“[T]herefore children are also baptized.” Origen, Homily on Luke, XIV (A.D. 233).

“For this reason, moreover, the Church received from the apostles the tradition of baptizing infants too.” Origen, Homily on Romans, V:9 (A.D. 244).

“Baptism is given for the remission of sins; and according to the usage of the Church, Baptism is given even to infants. And indeed if there were nothing in infants which required a remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous.” Origen, Homily on Leviticus, 8:3 (post A.D. 244).


#4

III. Infant Baptism
Gen. 17:12, Lev. 12:3 - these texts show the circumcision of eight-day old babies as the way of entering into the Old Covenant - Col 2:11-12 - however, baptism is the new “circumcision” for all people of the New Covenant. Therefore, baptism is for babies as well as adults. God did not make His new Covenant narrower than the old Covenant. To the contrary, He made it wider, for both Jews and Gentiles, infants and adults.

Job 14:1-4 - man that is born of woman is full of trouble and unclean. Baptism is required for all human beings because of our sinful human nature.

Psalm 51:5 - we are conceived in the iniquity of sin. This shows the necessity of baptism from conception.

Matt. 18:2-5 - Jesus says unless we become like children, we cannot enter into heaven. So why would children be excluded from baptism?

Matt 19:14 - Jesus clearly says the kingdom of heaven also belongs to children. There is no age limit on entering the kingdom, and no age limit for being eligible for baptism.

Mark 10:14 - Jesus says to let the children come to Him for the kingdom of God also belongs to them. Jesus says nothing about being too young to come into the kingdom of God.

Mark 16:16 - Jesus says to the crowd, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” But in reference to the same people, Jesus immediately follows with “He who does not believe will be condemned.” This demonstrates that one can be baptized and still not be a believer. This disproves the Protestant argument that one must be a believer to be baptized. There is nothing in the Bible about a “believer’s baptism.”

Luke 18:15 – Jesus says, “Let the children come to me.” The people brought infants to Jesus that he might touch them. This demonstrates that the receipt of grace is not dependent upon the age of reason.

Acts 2:38 - Peter says to the multitude, “Repent and be baptized…” Protestants use this verse to prove one must be a believer (not an infant) to be baptized. But the Greek translation literally says, "If you repent, then each one who is a part of you and yours must each be baptized” (“Metanoesate kai bapistheto hekastos hymon.”) This, contrary to what Protestants argue, actually proves that babies are baptized based on their parents’ faith. This is confirmed in the next verse.

Acts 2:39 - Peter then says baptism is specifically given to children as well as adults. “Those far off” refers to those who were at their “homes” (primarily infants and children). God’s covenant family includes children. The word “children” that Peter used comes from the Greek word “teknon” which also includes infants.

Luke 1:59 - this proves that “teknon” includes infants. Here, John as a “teknon” (infant) was circumcised. See also Acts 21:21 which uses “teknon” for eight-day old babies. So baptism is for infants as well as adults.

scripturecatholic.com/baptism.html#tradition-II


#5

Great insight Notworthy. Had never thought of that before - that Paul makes his statement including everyone *without *knowing their ages. Age does not seem to be a factor in regards to who can be baptized.

Nita


#6

Agreed–age not a factor, everyone is to be baptized regardless. Notworthy, I have actually heard this story cited to defend Infant Baptism on Catholic Radio–so you are picking the same thing up on your own: good ears/eyes!


#7

You are correct, in a way, RR. I don’t know if they were of age, and you don’t know if they are of age. And I’d lay you odds that Paul wouldn’t have known either. Yet, even without this knowledge, Paul definitively says, “You and your household”. He doesn’t say, “Hey, you got any very young kids? No? Well then, you and your household will be saved”. You get my point?


#8

Yes, I’ve heard the story given numerous times. Remember, household meant you and your family, your servants and slaves, and their families. The odds of there being an infant in the household are pretty good.

But I’ve never heard anyone point out that Paul says “you and your household” sight unseen (not that I’m looking for kudos).


#9

Consider these verses:

Act 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot."
Act 8:30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
Act 8:31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.

The eunuch HAD to UNDERSTAND! - can a baby understand? Can you cause a baby to understand an issue like salvation and remission of sins?

Act 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

They HAD to REPENT! - can a baby repent? What does a baby have to repent for?

Act 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
Act 16:34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
again, can you cause a baby to believe? I think not!

Read your Bible for yourself, the Bible, not some othert book put together by common men!


#10

Who said I was reading “some othert book put together by commen men”? I was Lectoring at Mass, as I plainly stated. You know we Catholics read Scriptures from the Bible, don’t you? The Mass has far more Biblical references than probably any Church Service you’ve been to!

With that being said, we can trade Bible Quotes with each other all day long, Like:
“Let the children (literally “infants - including those too young to walk”) come to me, for surely the Kingdom of God belongs to them”.
or
"Circumcision, which pre-figured Baptism…" - Circumcision was done on who?

But instead of trading quips, why don’t you refute what I said in the OP.
(Edited By Moderator) :wink:


#11

The baby’s baptism is to wash away the original sin, for the adults it is original and actual sin. This passage makes it evident that there is something more to baptism than repentance and belief.
For the parents of the infants/children in the household, there is a promise to raise the children to know Jesus Christ.


#12

o.k. Notworthy, I’m not exactly sure what lectoring is; I guess it’s some sort of lecture. I guess you are referring to Luke 18:16 "But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Luk 18:17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Are you trying to say that at this point Christ was baptizing children? I’d say you are inferring much more than is there. Even to me; just a guy in the pews, it is painfully obvious that the lesson Christ is teaching is that we must have the purity of a child if we are to inherit a home in heaven.

To whom did circumcision apply? To the first century Christians? You know better! Circumcision applied to the jews, NOT to the first century Christians! Weak argument!

(Edited By Moderator)


#13

Well, I’ll give you a clue, I was reading from Acts. I even gave you the verses. So, one who is not even Catholic can assume that I was reading from Scriptures.

As a lector, which is done by the Laity, on Sundays we read usually from the Old Testament, then we recite a Psalm, (or most of one), then we read from one of the Epistles. Then the priest reads from one of the Gospels.

At Daily Mass, which I was at, we only read from the Old Testament and the Psalms. Then the priest goes to the Gospel.

I guess you are referring to Luke 18:16 "But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Luk 18:17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Are you trying to say that at this point Christ was baptizing children? I’d say you are inferring much more than is there.

I didn’t say Jesus was referring to Baptism. I just meant that Jesus is saying the Kingdom of Heaven is for these little children. Look at the context of the verse(s). The apostles were trying to keep the children away from Jesus. Jesus corrects them, saying let them come to Him. I can only infer that Jesus is saying that these children belong in the Kingdom of Heaven. How do we enter? Through Baptism.

Even to me; just a guy in the pews, it is painfully obvious that the lesson Christ is teaching is that we must have the purity of a child if we are to inherit a home in heaven.

Yes, Christ speaks that we must be like children, but in another part of the Gospels. The context of this story, though, is that these children belong there. It doesn’t say, when they grow up. It says they belong.

To whom did circumcision apply? To the first century Christians? You know better! Circumcision applied to the jews, NOT to the first century Christians! Weak argument!

I do know better. I never made that claim. I simply said, and I was referring to St. Paul’s writings. I think he knows better, too! :wink:
Paul makes a direct link between circumcision and baptism. Circumcision to the Jews brought a child into the Covenant of Moses. Paul shows that Baptism brings us into the Covenant of Christ. But Paul does NOT say, “Cicumcision, which pre-figures Baptism, except this time children aren’t allowed”. So I can only infer that children are part of the Covenant.

Finally, you mention, sarcastically I might add, my lack of charity. Charity? Where does CHARITY figure into our salvation?

Only that Christ commanded all Christians to love one another, as He has loved us.

And frankly, in your posts, I don’t feel the love!!! :wink: We both love God with all our hearts, man. Let’s treat each other like Christ asks us to, wouldn’t you say?

Other than, of course, that God sent His son to die for us that we might be able to contact His blood through baptism, we must be obedient, just as Christ was obedient!

Your gonna have to do better than this!Billbush, when you preach obedience to Christ to a Catholic, YOU ARE PREACHING TO THE CHOIR!!! God Bless You, my friend!!!


#14

I think Notworthy is suggesting that it really didn’t matter to Paul whether their were kids at home or not…he was comfortable making a blanket statement because he was comfortable baptizing infants.

My $.02. :tiphat:


#15

And the choir sings Amen!!!


#16

You can not infer that Christ was sayingh small children with no understanding need baptism! There is no way you can make that leap. Yes, I do have love and compassion but I have a hard time accepting someone who is much more tied to the everchanging words of men and try to tie people to their man-made laws. (Edited By Moderator- Off topic post)


#17

There are numerous errors in your post, but you need to start new threads on each topic you want to discuss. One topic per post, please.

As for this thread:

Do Infants Need Baptism?

Job 14:1-4
1 "Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. 2 He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure. 3 Do you fix your eye on such a one? Will you bring him before you for judgment? 4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!

Psalm 51:5
5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

We are conceived in the iniquity of sin. This shows the need for baptism from the moment of conception.

Jesus Extols Child-like Faith

Matthew 18:2-5
2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus says unless we become like children, we cannot enter into heaven. **So why would children be excluded from baptism? **

Jesus Receives Little Children and Infants

Matt 19:13-15
13Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

Mark 10:13-16
13People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

**Jesus says to let the children come to Him for the kingdom of God also belongs to them. There is no age limit on entering the kingdom, and no age limit for being eligible for baptism. **

Luke 18:15-17
15People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Children are born in original sin and need baptism to wash away this stain.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


#18

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s irrelevant whether his household actually had children. All that’s relevant is that the word “household” (oikia) definitively included chidlren if there were children.

The household baptisms are definitive biblical proof of the permissibility of infant baptism because we know what the word oikia means and what the recipients of the letter would interpret it to mean. We don’t have to know whether the particular households baptized in the New Testament contained children; we need only know that a hypothetical head of the house with infant children, when reading (or hearing, more likely) of the New Testament household baptisms, would follow suit and have himself and his infant children baptized.

Jeremy


#19

Your error is believeing that God cannot communicate with the mind and soul of an infant.


#20

I’m getting tired of Protestants constantly referring to “Mary worship.”

IMO, there should be a pre-standard for Protestants before they can post: study the articles on Catholicism here at Catholic Answers so they are at least sufficiently educated to engage in a debate/conversation.


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