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Discussion in 'Baptism' started by BG, Mar 31, 2009.
Was John's Baptism Christian Baptism?
No. It was a baptism of repentance, but it was not Trinitarian or even in Christ.
What he said.
25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
This is a much deeper question than might first appear. John Calvin felt that John's baptism was nothing less than Christian baptism. While I incline to the view that the two are definitely distinct (which puts me at odds with the master--one of only a few times I've disagreed with Calvin), it is plain that the earlier serves as a strong bridge from the OT to the NT. John the Baptist and His Baptism are together the transition element between the Testaments.
Whom did John baptize?
Baptists insist that John baptized "disciples" (i.e., confessors) only (Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:5). They say that it would be strange for the apostles to have known and practiced "disciples" baptism only (John 4:1f) and then go back to including professing adults, and their children (apart from a profession of faith) in the administration of the New Covenant sign of baptism as was done in the OT through circumcision.
Note that this argument doesn't convince me. I believe that John's baptism is not Christian baptism. They served different purposes. I also don't believe Baptists can adequately explain why Peter would extend the promise of the Spirit to his hearers and their children (and to all who are far off), why Scripture recorded family baptisms at all (which account for virtually half of all the actual examples of Christian baptisms) and the many other supporting evidences from both testaments. Paedo-baptism iin my opinion is more consistent with the entire Biblical doctrine of the covenants.
Moreover, baptism has OT precedents (Heb. 9:10ff). If the emphasis of these diverse washings was purification (vs. 13, ESV), if they were administered to families (as the original OT references of vss. 13, 19 and 21 indicate), and if John's baptism apparently incorporated with it the idea of purification (John 3:22ff especially vs. 25), is there reasonable evidence that John baptized families as well? Considering that God's covenant people in both testaments thought of themselves in terms of family (and tribal) units, is it plausible that when John proclaimed his message of repentance, those who came to be baptized brought their families with them to be washed also?
Any thoughts? Thanks.
I am not real dogmatic on this but it strikes me that John was calling covenant people to repent in general. Not the Same as Peter who called them to repent of not believing in the Messiah.
John's was the OT prophet calling the people to come back to the faith, the Day of the Messiah is really coming and they had better come back to faith they had all but left after the exiles. He knew the Phaisaical religion was not the heart religion of God and preached against their being false shepherd and calling them to repent.
So I see it only slightly transitional and different than Jonah, Jeremy, and other prophets calling people to repentance. And that, in that he was THAT VOICE, preparing the way of the Messiah.
Well they got straightened out it is not enough and now there is more
though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Were the twelve apostles baptised with anything other than John's baptism?
An excellent question. I do not believe there is any evidence from Scripture that they were.
However, there were at least a couple of differences between the Twelve and the disciples in Acts 19. The latter had never heard of the Holy Spirit; furthermore, they seem to be largely unfamiliar with Jesus and His ministry subsequent to John's preaching. Do these play some role into the somewhat unique situation of the Ephesian disciples?
yes Acts 1:5
5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
Does someone have to understand everything about salvation and Christianity for a Baptism to be valid? .....Not according to the CoF.
In that case they would have to be baptized by a minister adhering to the C of F
Obviously a child baptized into the covenant doesn't know too much.
We are also talking about an adult baptism in this case. And the WCF has in view a Christian baptism.
Calvin believed that John's Baptism was Christian.
I understand what you are saying, and I am aware of what Calvin said (it was also mentioned in a post above). But I think you are mixing apples and oranges too. The Ephesian disciples received an adult (non-Trinitarian) baptism of repentance from John and do not appear to be aware that the One of whom John spoke had even come.
The question was asked as to the baptism received by the Twelve. I was simply pointing out that their historical circumstances were different from that of the Ephesian disciples.
Tim, how do you know that it was non-Trinitarian?
They did not seem to know that Jesus was the Christ and they certainly did not know about the Holy Spirit (according to 19:2). It seems unlikely that it would have been Trinitarian.
Paul asks them into what were they baptized, and they respond by saying, "Into John's baptism." There is no baptism into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; there is no baptism into Christ (until v. 5 -- it is only then that they are baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus).
I have asked this question a few times on the board.
 sorry, but that thread continued and I had to retract. See below for links to a revised, more tentative commitment. C-M.
This is not possible grammatically. Sorry.
I had to back off my premise in the thread Martin quoted. So, I'm editing Martin's post to remove that reference to my earlier comments. Here are my revised thoughts, from later in that same thread:
Thank you for disagreeing with Calvin. Whether I follow your logic or his, I very much appreciate that you'll side with your studied understanding of the Word and not simply accept Calvin as inviolate gospel.
-----Added 4/2/2009 at 12:23:20 EST-----
How do you figure that they wouldn't have been Trinitarian? Were not the Father, Son and Holy Spirit found in the OT as well as the New? Just because they didn't know of Christ's coming in living history doesn't mean they didn't expect it at some point based on the scriptures they had at hand.
The PB ate half of my old post! I edited (added to) what I had originally written, and then when I came back, I found most of it was gone!
No matter. Let me say what I meant succinctly. Acts 19:2 says that the Ephesians had not even heard there was a Holy Spirit. And Acts 19:5 says that they were then baptized into the name of Jesus. If they were ignorant of the Holy Spirit and of Jesus, I still fail to see how this could be Trinitarian.
I ran across these words this morning from Richard Longenecker in his commentary on Acts and thought they were interesting:
"Doubtless in Paul's mind they were not rebaptized but baptized once and for all. When baptism by John the Baptist was seen as pointing beyond itself to Jesus (as with Apollos), it was apparently taken as a Christian baptism and was not repeated on learning and experiencing more of the faith. But when John's baptism was understood as rivaling commitment to Jesus, then on profession of faith in him, Christian baptism 'into the name of the Lord Jesus' was administered."
That quote was very interesting I had not heard that before.
I was really hoping to get a few responses from those of you who don't believe that John's Baptism is Christian. I am not looking to debate just curious as to what you believe.
Could I get some of you to respond to the following which I posted earlier.
What is a Baptism of repentance?
Does not repentance require a work of the Spirit?
How can a Church member/Disciple receive a Baptism of repentance and not know anything about the Spirit?
****I am not asking if they knew anything of the special gift of the Spirit.****
John 1:1 tells us that John's ministry started after the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I just assumed that John's ministry was a part of the Gospel. His ministry in my opinion was to prepare the people for the coming Messiah, call the faithful to repent (aided by the work of the Holy spirit) and receive the new sign of the NC. I also assumed that the OT faithful knew about the work of the Spirit.
Yesterday 02:28 AM
Not everyone who gets water baptized has anything to do with the Spirit
But as my early post said, He was calling Jews back to faithful Judaism from apostate Judaism. To be prepared for the coming Messiah. It was still Jewish and repentance for forsaking obedience to God and the laws. They still had to sacrifice, there was no Atonement yet to believe in differently. There was no accepting Christ as Messiah or Savior He hadn't come yet and done His work.
I think Christian Baptism was about these things, just as they could not have celebrated the Supper there with John as it hadn't been instituted yet. There was nothing to remember. So as we are baptized into Christs death burial and resurrection, ( Spiritually speaking, not literally stuck under water,) this had not happened yet.
So it was a transitional ritual, another OT washing or sprinkling or cleansing themselves like before the day of Atonement.
They had to be ritually clean. This was not the new sign of the NT, but a common OT cleansing. Note running water was used not a dirty pool that would signify unclean.
Lev 14:51 and he shall take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird and the running water and the living bird, with the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the scarlet.
Num 8: 6 "Take the Levites from among the children of Israel and cleanse them ceremonially. 7 Thus you shall do to them to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purification on them, NKJV
This is what John did, he sprinkled water from the shallow much running water place he was at where they would both go down into the water for him to get some to sprinkle. The water would never be in a pot or pool. Water had to be sprinkled, running or being poured to be ceremonially clean
John was doing the final ceremonial cleanse before The True Day of Atonement.
The Pharisees sent the Priests and Levites to ask John the Baptist if he was the Christ.
They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ...?" Jn 1:25
Was the baptism that Christ received of John, Christian baptism?