A Critique of James Dale's Series on Baptizō

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Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
A recent PB post made note of the online availability of James Dale’s series on baptizō. It is indeed a fascinating series. For those who may prefer Google Books’ format and interface, it is also available here.

I posted a review of Dale’s series here on PB about eight or nine years ago, and thought I would share an updated and somewhat expanded version for those who may be interested. The biggest additions would probably be the section on Greek Orthodox statements on the meaning of baptizō (beginning page 11) and one on Judaic baptisms (beginning page 75), which addresses the common non-immersionist proof texts of Mark 7:3–4, Luke 11:38 and Hebrews 9:9–22.

I recognize that the length of the review is probably both its greatest strength and weakness. But then again, it is responding to an 1800 page series…

Personally, I think Dale’s scholarship was by and large not good. In some aspects I think it was even preposterous. But, let each careful reader decide for themselves…

A Contrastive Survey of James Dale’s Theory of Baptizō and Baptism
 
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Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
I was asked about an appendix that’s mentioned in but not included as part of the paper I linked to. So I am making an additional link (both appendices are part of the same PFD file).

Appendix B: The History of Non-Immersion in Christian Baptism
Appendix C: Early Protestant Modal Practices


Researching this subject, and trying to develop a basic knowledge of various languages along the way, is more or less an ongoing hobby (somewhat like being on a treasure hunt…), and this portion is a still a work in progress. It likely won’t be completed for some years to come. As such there are still some loose ends in the footnotes, along with the inevitable typo and yet to be corrected defects in the text.

I am still in process of gathering historical data for the latter part of Appendix C, specifically with regard to the churches in Geneva, Scotland and England. I eventually hope to create a fairly extensive section pertaining to the Westminster Assembly’s (and various individual divines’) handling of the subject. While Lightfoot’s diary contains much valuable information in this regard, with the minutes of the assembly now available more has come to light.

In addition, since the above is after all Appendix B and C, I’ll link to Appendix A.

Baptizō in Hero of Alexandria’s Pneumatica
 
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