Bible Articles on the Topic of Baptism

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Conversions in Acts: What Do They All Have in Common?

Hearing? Faith? Repentance? Confession? Baptism? Which of these characteristics were found with each incident of conversion in the Acts of the Apostles?

Julie and the Baptismal Card

When our son Adam was baptized, a sister [in the Lord, by the name of] Julie, went looking for a card to celebrate the baptism. Julie worked in downtown San Antonio, a city which is predominantly Hispanic and Catholic. She knew there was a “religious” shop near her office, and she assumed that she would be able to find a suitable card there. So off she went at lunch.

Meaning of Baptism

Baptism in faith is our meeting point with the saving death of Jesus Christ without which there is no forgiveness of sins and therefore no hope.

The Vital Importance of Baptism

Several times in earlier Studies we have mentioned the vital importance of baptism; it is the first step of obedience to the Gospel message. Hebrews 6:2 speaks of baptism as one of the most basic doctrines. We have left its consideration until this late stage because true baptism can only occur after a correct grasp of the basic truths which comprise the Gospel. We have now completed our study of these; if you wish to become truly associated with the great hope which the Bible offers through Jesus Christ, then baptism is an absolute necessity.

Into The Name

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...”

Was Apollos Re-baptized?

Question: Was Apollos, who knew only the baptism of John (Acts 18:25), required to be baptized a second time into Christ?

Were the Twelve Apostles Re-baptized?

Question: Did the twelve apostles, who had been baptized by John, have to be baptized a second time into Christ?

Those Whom Paul Baptized

I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should say that I baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas; besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel. (1 Corinthians 1:14-17)

Concerning the Baptism of John

Two passages from two consecutive chapters of Acts will bring us straight to the problem. “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly” (Acts 18:24-26).

How Did The Early Christians Baptize?

In the 19th century many scholars denied that immersion was the original mode of baptism.¹ McKay and Rogers wrote influential interpretations of the archaeological evidence,² and Dale’s linguistic study became the standard lexical resource for the anti-immersion position.³

Infant Baptism Through The Centuries

We could find no direct references to the baptism of infants in the second century. There is a statement of Irenaeus that has been taken to refer to the practice, but there is some question that it was so intended. Irenaeus writes: “For he came to save all by means of himself – all, I say, who by him are born again to God – infants, children, adolescents, young men and old men.” From its context, it is doubtful that the writer meant to countenance infant baptism, or that the practice was known to him (Against Heresies, II, xxiv. 4).

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:37-39)

Naaman’s Baptism

“So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.” (2 Kings 5:14, NRSV)

Baptism Is One of the Conditions of Salvation

“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” (Acts 2:37)

The Key to Bible Understanding: Baptism

Yes. The one baptism is closely connected with other elements of truth, One Lord, one faith. (Ephesians 4:5)

Baptism, Its Mode And Meaning

There has been very much written on the subject of baptism, perhaps more in an endeavor to evade the force of New Testament teachings than in support of them. The very fact that so much skill has been employed on the negative side of the question is a strong proof of the truth of the affirmative side. One glancing over the New Testament statements, implications and inferences on the subject cannot but be impressed with the boldness, not to say the presumption, of that undertaking which seeks to make the sprinkling of water in the face of a babe or an adult answer the purpose of baptism; nor is it any less surprising that there should be an effort to treat the subject as one of indifference,—as a doctrine which is not a vital part of the plan of salvation.

Code of Justinian: Holy Baptism Not To Be Repeated

The Codex Justinianus (Latin for “The Code of Justinian”) is one part of the Corpus Juris Civilis, the codification of Roman law ordered early in the 6th century AD by Justinian I, who was an Eastern Roman (Byzantine) emperor in Constantinople. Two other units, the Digest and the Institutes, were created during his reign. The fourth part, the Novellae Constitutiones (New Constitutions, or Novels), was compiled unofficially after his death but is now thought of as part of the Corpus Juris Civilis.

Were the Eleven Disciples of Jesus Baptised Again?

Until the time of John the Baptist baptism was not required of any believer. The baptism of Israel into Moses—in the cloud and in the sea—was not an individual requirement for salvation, but merely a figure whereby the people (as a nation) were segregated from others, and connected with God.

Belief Before Baptism

Before an infant is baptised (i.e., “christened”), the priest requires three Godparents to testify to their belief in the Apostles’ Creed, and then asks them—in their capacity as sponsors for the child—“Wilt thou (ostensibly the child) be baptised in this faith?” And because the child is much too young to reply, the Godparents are required to say, as from the child, “That is my desire.”

John’s Converts Need Not Have Been Re-Baptised?

I was very interested in the article in the March Testimony on the baptism of John. Unfortunately, I have not had the previous copies dealing with the subject, so please forgive me if I mention anything dealt with in the earlier articles.

Was John’s Baptism Christian Baptism?

H. J. H. (Manchester) writes: “It is not to be understood by the intentional brevity of my recent suggestion that evidence is lacking for the Apostolic and early Church tradition of the sufficiency of John’s baptism.

Three Distinct Baptisms?

D.S.A. (Blackpool, England) asks some very interesting questions regarding baptism. He writes: Are there three distinct baptisms spoken of in the New Testament viz.:

No Such Thing As Re-Immersion

Our notes in the February, 1944, Testimony, pp. 37 and 38, on the subject of Baptism have evoked considerable criticism, particularly as regards the validity of the baptism administered by John the Baptist. A Rhyl (North Wales) reader has sent in a pamphlet entitled Baptism—Its Importance, printed at the Mercury Offices, Llanelly, but without any indication of the author’s identity. There is much in the pamphlet which is questionable, but we can now only notice a paragraph headed “Was there re-Baptism.” Here it is, reproduced verbatim:

The Baptism of John: Was it “Christian” Baptism?

Our statement in the February issue of The Testimony, p. 38, that twelve disciples of John the Baptist were re-baptised by the Apostle Paul (see Acts 19:5) has been challenged by a number of readers in widely separated districts. These critics maintain very emphatically that Acts 19:5 simply means that John baptised his converts “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” and they reject the view that these 12 men at Ephesus were, or had any need to be, re-baptised.

The Sacrament of Baptism

There can be no denial of the fact that from the very commencement of the Christian movement, baptism was the initiating rite. John “the Baptist” baptised in anticipation of the coming of the Saviour. The disciples of Jesus baptised at the beginning of his ministry. During it he stressed the importance of baptism, and at the end he commanded its observance in the missionary work that followed his ascension. The apostles carried out this command whenever they made converts, and it became established as a very definite indication of the fidelity of the Christian to the Captain of his salvation.

The Sacraments

When the younger Pliny wrote to the Emperor Trajan about the Christians, he described them as meeting together to bind themselves with a sacramentum.

Dr. Mackinnon and Matthew 28:19

Question: In his book, “The Gospel in the Early Church,” Dr. James Mackinnon, Ph.D., D.D., D.Th., LL.D., Regius Professor Emeritus of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Edinburgh makes the following statement:—

John’s Baptism

The ideas associated with the baptism which was the central feature of John’s ministry are often vague or quite mistaken, so perhaps it may be worth-while to re-examine the gospels’ teaching about it.

Nicodemus

At that Passover when Jesus cleansed the temple he also worked a number of miracles. John calls them “signs”. These made a great impression, so that “many believed in (into) his name”. This phrase normally indicates thorough-going conversion to acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. Yet, strangely enough, “Jesus did not trust himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25). This triple emphasis on a guarded attitude towards the people reads strangely, coming as it does immediately after the first mention of many believing in his name. No clear-cut explanation of this difficulty has been advanced.

The Baptism of Jesus

At about the age of thirty Jesus came to John for baptism. It was the age when a Levite was allowed to begin service in the temple (Numbers 4:3), the age when Joseph began his great work in Egypt (Genesis 41:46), the age when David began to reign (2 Samuel 5:4). So now Jesus made the journey from Nazareth in Galilee specifically for the formal beginning of his public life. (For Bethabara, see Study 19).

The Baptism of Wooden Vessels and Couches

“The washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.” (Mark 7:4)

Change of Beliefs and Rebaptism

The following is from a letter written by a Cambridge reader, who asks for our advice:—

Baptism: A Historical Survey

An exhaustive treatment of the subject of baptism is not intended in this series of articles. It is desired, rather, to summarise the New Testament teaching concerning it, and then to trace the changes which have taken place in subsequent centuries, both with regard to the mode of baptism and the age of the one baptized.

Theodosian Code: Title 6: Holy Baptism Shall Not Be Repeated

1.² Emperors Valentinian and Valens³ Augustuses to Julianus, Proconsul of Africa.

Do Nothing: Jesus Has Done It All

There have been preachers who, in response to the question of repentant sinners: “What shall we do?”, have answered: “Do nothing: Jesus has done it all.” That, however, is not the Bible answer. When that question was put to the Apostle Peter, he said: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you for the remission of your sins.” Baptism was the divinely appointed means of identification with Christ and his sacrifice (Gal. 3:27–29; Rom. 6:3, 4). It is a very easy form of symbolical death and burial, a very slight humiliation and inconvenience compared with the shame and agony of the crucifixion.

Biblical Themes: Sacrifice and Atonement

Have you ever wondered what the deal is with baptism? And what’s the story with The Lord’s Supper? Flesh and blood? Huh? This fully animated video dives into all of these questions (and more) and details the purpose behind the rituals of the Christian faith. Since the garden, mankind has warred between a desire for peace and a compulsion to reject that peace and wreak havoc instead. Animal sacrifice, and then the ultimate sacrifice (Jesus), was needed in order to cover the consequences of evil on earth. Now, church communities take part in baptism and communion to encourage us to live like Jesus, and to transform us by having relationship with Him.

Open Bible Stories: John Baptizes Jesus

John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, grew up and became aprophet. He lived in the wilderness, ate wild honey and locusts, andwore clothes made from camel hair.

What is a Mikvah? An Introduction to the Jewish Ritual Bath

Learn about the Jewish ritual of immersing in water called the mikvah.

Wrested Scriptures: Baptism Unnecessary (1 Corinthians 1:17)

“Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.”

Wrested Scriptures: Baptism Not Important (John 4:2)

“Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.”

Wrested Scriptures: Infant Baptism (Mark 10:14 & Matthew 18:4)

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14)

Wrested Scriptures: Baptismal Pouring (Mark 7:4 & Luke 11:38)

“And when they come from the market, except they wash . . .” (Mark 7:4)

Wrested Scriptures: Only Believe (Romans 10:9,13)

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Ablution

ab-lū ́shun: The rite of ablution for religious purification seems to have been practiced in some form in all lands and at all times. The priests of Egypt punctiliously practiced it (Herodotus ii.37). The Greeks were warned “never with unwashed hands to pour out the black wine at morn to Zeus” (Hesiod, Opera et Dies v. 722; compare Homer, Iliad vi.266; Od. iv. 759). The Romans also observed it (Virgil, Aeneid ii.217); as did and do Orientals in general (compare Koran, Sura Romans 5:8, etc.).

Sacraments

The word “sacrament” comes from the Latin sacramentum, which in the classical period of the language was used in two chief senses: (1) as a legal term to denote the sum of money deposited by two parties to a suit which was forfeited by the loser and appropriated to sacred uses; (2) as a military term to designate the oath of obedience taken by newly enlisted soldiers. Whether referring to an oath of obedience or to something set apart for a sacred purpose, it is evident that sacramentum would readily lend itself to describe such ordinances as Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In the Greek New Testament, however, there is no word nor even any general idea corresponding to “sacrament,” nor does the earliest history of Christianity afford any trace of the application of the term to certain rites of the church. Pliny (circa 112 AD) describes the Christians of Bithynia as “binding themselves by a sacramentum to commit no kind of crime” (Epistles x.97), but scholars are now pretty generally agreed that Pliny here uses the word in its old Roman sense of an oath or solemn obligation, so that its occurrence in this passage is nothing more than an interesting coincidence.

Trine (Triune) Immersion

trīn trī ́ūn i-mûr ́shun:

Wash; Washing

wosh, wosh ́ing: The two usual Hebrew words for “wash” are רחץ, rāḥac, and כּבס, kābhaṣ, the former being normally used of persons or of sacrificial animals (Genesis 18:4, etc., often translated “bathe”; Leviticus 15:5, etc.), and the latter of things (Genesis 49:11, etc.), the exceptions to this distinction being few (for rāḥac, 1 Kings 22:38 margin; for kābhaṣ, Psalms 51:2, 7; Jeremiah 2:22; 4:14). Much less common are דּוּח, dūaḥ (2 Chronicles 4:6; Isaiah 4:4; Ezekiel 40:38) and שׁטף, shātaph (1 Kings 22:38; Job 14:19; Ezekiel 16:9), translated “rinse” in Leviticus 6:28; 15:11-12. In Nehemiah 4:23 the King James Version has “washing” and the Revised Version “water” for mayim, but the text is hopelessly obscure (compare the Revised Version margin). In the Apocrypha and New Testament the range of terms is wider. Most common is νίπτω, níptō (Matthew 6:17, etc.), with aponíptō in Matthew 27:24. Of the other terms, λούω, loúō (Susanna verses 15, 17; John 13:10, etc.), with apoloúō (Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11) and the noun loutrón (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 34:25b; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5), usually has a sacral significance. On βαπτίζω, baptí́zō (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 34:25a; Mark 7:4; Luke 11:38), with the noun baptismós (Mark 7:4 (text?); Hebrews 9:10), see BAPTISM. In Luke 5:2; Revelation 7:14; 22:14 the Revised Version occurs πλύνω, plúnō, while Judith 10:3 has περικλύζω, periklúzō. Virtually, as far as meaning is concerned, all these words are interchangeable. Of the figurative uses of washing, the most common and obvious is that of cleansing from sin (Psalms 51:2; Isaiah 1:16, etc.), but, with an entirely different figure, “to wash in” may signify “to enjoy in plenty” (Genesis 49:11; Job 29:6; the meaning in Song of Solomon 5:12 is uncertain). Washing of the hands, in token of innocence, is found in Deuteronomy 21:6; Matthew 27:24.

Mikweh

Literally, a “collection,” a “collected mass,” especially of water (Genesis 1:10; Exodus 7:19; Leviticus 11:36; comp. Isaiah 22:11). Because of the use made of this word in connection with ritual purification (Leviticus 11:36), it has become the term commonly used to designate the ritual bath. In all cases of ritual impurity it was necessary for the person or object to be immersed in a bath built in accordance with the rules laid down by the Rabbis (see Ablution; Baths; Purity). Since the Dispersion the custom of observing the laws of purity has on the whole fallen into desuetude, except in the case of the impure woman (see Niddah). With regard to her the laws are still observed in most Orthodox communities, and therefore the ritual miḳweh is still a necessary institution there. Some observant Jews, especially among the Ḥasidim, immerse themselves in the miḳweh in cases also of impurity other than niddah.

Baptism Dunk Tank

Baptism

The Conversion of Lydia

Baptism

Crispus with His Entire Household Converted

Baptism

Day of Pentecost

Baptism

The Disciples of Jesus Baptize

Baptism

John the Southern Baptist

baptism

Peter Baptizes Cornelius

Baptism

The Philippian Jailer Baptized

Baptism

Philip Baptizes New Converts

Baptism

Philip Baptizes Simon

Baptism

Handwashing in Judaism

Jewish law today prescribes several kinds of hand washing (Hebrew:, netilat yadayim):

Mikveh

Mikveh or mikvah (Hebrew: מִקְוֶה / מקווה, Modern mikve, Tiberian miqwe, pl. mikva'ot, mikvoth, mikvot, or (Yiddish) mikves, lit. “a collection”) is a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism. In the Hebrew Bible, the word is employed in its broader sense but generally means a collection of water. Several biblical regulations specify that full immersion in water is required to regain ritual purity after ritually impure incidents have occurred. A person was required to be ritually pure in order to enter the Temple. In this context, “purity” and “impurity” are imperfect translations of the Hebrew “tahara” and “tumah,” respectively, in that the negative connotation of the word impurity is not intended; rather being “impure” is indicative of being in a state in which certain things are prohibited until one has become “pure” again by immersion in a mikveh.

Ritual washing in Judaism

In Judaism, ritual washing, or ablution, takes two main forms. A tevilah (טְבִילָה) is a full body immersion in a mikveh, and a netilat yadayim which is the washing of the hands with a cup (see Handwashing in Judaism).

Sacraments of the Catholic Church

There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition. The sevenfold list of sacraments is often organized into three groups: the sacraments of initiation (into the Church, the body of Christ), consisting of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist; the sacraments of healing, consisting of Penance and Anointing of the Sick; and the sacraments of service: Holy Orders and Matrimony.