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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Should a person be baptized by a mere pouring or sprinkling or by complete immersion?

The Greek ba´pti·sma refers to the process of immersion, including submersion and emergence; it is derived from the verb ba´pto, meaning “dip.” (John 13:26) In the Bible, “to baptize” is the same as “to immerse.” The fact that baptism was also used to symbolize a burial indicates complete submersion. (See Rom. 6:4-6 and Col 2:12.) When one is immersed in water, one is temporarily “buried” out of sight and then lifted out.

“It is evident that Baptism in the early Church was by immersion.” - New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967, Vol. II, p. 56)

“The first Christians received baptism by immersion everywhere where water was found.” - Larousse du XXe Siècle, Paris, 1928

From the definition of baptism as stated above along with historical sources showing that the early Christians were baptized by immersion, it is clear that baptism is complete immersion or submersion in water, not a mere pouring or sprinkling.

Jesus was also a notable example. He was baptized in a sizable river, the Jordan, and after being baptized he came “up out of the water.” (Mr 1:10; Mt 3:13, 16) John selected a location in the Jordan Valley near Salim to baptize, “because there was a great quantity of water there.” (John 3:23)

Another example involves the Ethiopian eunuch. When asked to be baptized when they came to “a body of water”, they both “went down into the water.” Afterward they came “up out of the water.” (Acts 8:36-40)

For more, see:
Baptism and Your Relationship With God

What Is Baptism And Is It For Infants?

Your Decision to Serve God

Is baptism a requirement for salvation?

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