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Baptism (from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
rite A rite is an established, ceremonial A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be pre ...
of
admission
admission
and
adoption Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting Parenting or child rearing promotes and supports the physical fitness, physical, emotional, Social change, social, and intellectual development of a child from infant, infancy to ...
, almost invariably with the use of water, into
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
. It may be performed by sprinkling or pouring water on the head, or by immersing in water either partially or completely. The
synoptic gospel The gospels of Gospel of Matthew, Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Mark, and Gospel of Luke, Luke are referred to as the synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar or sometimes identical wor ...
s recount that
John the Baptist John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
baptised Jesus
baptised Jesus
. Baptism is considered a
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. Baptism according to the
Trinitarian formula The Trinitarian formula is the phrase "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" ( grc-x-koine, εἰς τό ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καί τοῦ Υἱοῦ καί τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος, eis t ...
, which is done in most
mainstream Christian Nicene Christianity is a set of Christian doctrinal traditions which reflect the Nicene Creed, which was formulated at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and amended at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381. History By the 2nd and 3 ...
denominations, is seen as being a basis for
Christian ecumenism Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion b ...
, the concept of unity amongst Christians. Baptism is also called christening, although some reserve the word "christening" for the baptism of infants. It has also given its name to the Baptist churches and denominations.
Martyr A martyr (, ''mártys'', "witness", or , ''marturia'', stem Stem or STEM may refer to: Biology * Plant stem, the aboveground structures that have vascular tissue and that support leaves and flowers ** Stipe (botany), a stalk that supports some ...

Martyr
dom was identified early in Church history as "baptism by blood", enabling the salvation of martyrs who had not been baptized by water. Later, the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
identified a
baptism of desire Baptism of desire ( la, Baptismus flaminis) is a teaching of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord ...
, by which those preparing for baptism who die before actually receiving the sacrament are considered saved. Some Christian thinking regards baptism as necessary for
salvation Salvation (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in re ...

salvation
, but some writers, such as
Huldrych Zwingli Huldrych Zwingli or Ulrich Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland Map of the Swiss Confederacy by Sebastian Münster () The Protestant Reformation in Switzerland was promoted initi ...

Huldrych Zwingli
(1484–1531), have denied its necessity.
Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Ref ...

Quakers
and
the Salvation Army The Salvation Army (TSA) is a Christian denomination, Christian church and an international charitable organisation. The organisation reports a worldwide membership of over 1.7 million, consisting of soldiers, officers and adherents collectivel ...

the Salvation Army
do not practice water baptism at all. Among denominations that practice water baptism, differences occur in the manner and mode of baptizing and in the understanding of the significance of the rite. Most Christians baptize using the trinitarian formula "in the name of the
Father A father is the male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot sexual reproduction, reproduce sex ...

Father
, and of the
Son A son is a male Male (symbol: ♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete (sex cell) known as sperm, which fuses with the larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male organism cannot sexual reproduction ...
, and of the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the ...

Holy Spirit
" (following the
Great Commission In Christianity, the Great Commission is the instruction of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus, resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciple (Christianity), disciples to spread the gospel to all the nations of the world. The most famous versio ...
), but some baptize using Jesus' name only. Much more than half of all Christians baptize infants; many others regard only
adult baptism Believer's baptism (occasionally called credobaptism, from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, ...

adult baptism
as true baptism. The term "baptism" has also been used metaphorically to refer to any ceremony, trial, or experience by which a person is initiated, purified, or given a name.


Etymology

The English word ''baptism'' is derived indirectly through
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
from the neuter
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
concept noun ''báptisma'' (Greek , "washing-ism"),, , , . ''The several Greek words from which the English word ''baptism'' has been formed are used by Greek writers (in
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
, in the
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals Roman numerals are a that originated in and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe wel ...
, and in the New Testament) with a great ''latitude of meaning'', including "to make Christian" and "baptisma pyros (baptism of fire)"''
The University of Texas at Austin, College of Liberal Arts, Linguistics Research Center, ''Indo-European Lexicon'', PIE (Proto-Indo-European) ''Etymon'' and IE (Indo-European) ''Reflexes'': "baptism"




(''scroll down to "baptism"'')
Online Etymological Dictionary: "baptize"


— two parallel online sources, Search God's Word and Eliyah, for "''Strong's numbers''":
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible: Greek Lexicon ''907'' ''βαπτίζω'' "baptize"''907'' ''baptizo'' "baptize"''908'' ''βάπτισμα'' "baptism"''908'' ''baptisma'' "baptism"''909'' ''βαπτισμός'' "baptisms"''909'' ''baptismos'' "baptisms"
an
''910'' ''βαπτστἠς'' "baptist" ''910'' ''baptistes'' "baptist"
which is a
neologism A neologism (; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
in the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
derived from the masculine Greek noun ''baptismós'' (), a term for ritual washing in Greek language texts of
Hellenistic Judaism Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism Judaism ( he, יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Kingdom of Judah, Judah", via Ancient Greek, Greek ''Ioudaismos''; the term itself is of Anglo-Latin origin c. 1400) i ...
during the
Second Temple period The Second Temple period in Jewish history Jewish history is the history of the Jews, and their nation, Judaism, religion and Jewish culture, culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions and cultures. Although Judaism a ...
, such as the
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals Roman numerals are a that originated in and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe wel ...
. Both of these nouns are derived from the verb ''baptízō'' (, "I wash"
transitive verb A transitive verb is a verb A verb, from the Latin ''wikt:verbum#Latin, verbum'' meaning ''word'', is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''bec ...
), which is used in Jewish texts for ritual washing, and in the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
both for ritual washing and also for the apparently new rite of ''báptisma''. The Greek verb ''báptō'' (), "dip", from which the verb ''baptízō'' is derived, is in turn hypothetically traced to a reconstructed
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
root *''gʷabh-'', "dip".
American Heritage Dictionary of the English language ''The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language'' (''AHD'') is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United St ...
,
page 33
'.
The Greek words are used in a great variety of meanings. and in Hellenism had the general usage of "immersion," "going under" (as a material in a liquid dye) or "perishing" (as in a ship sinking or a person drowning), with the same double meanings as in English "to sink into" or "to be overwhelmed by," with bathing or washing only occasionally used and usually in sacral contexts.


History

Baptism has similarities to Tvilah, a Jewish purification ritual of immersing in water, which is required for, among other things,
conversion to Judaism Conversion to Judaism ( he, גיור, ''giyur'') is the process by which non-Jews adopt the Jewish religion and become members of the Jewish ethnoreligious community. It thus resembles both religious conversion, conversion to other religions ...
, but which differs in being repeatable, while baptism is to be performed only once. (In fact, the
Modern Hebrew Modern Hebrew ( he, עברית חדשה, ''ʿivrít ḥadašá ', , ''Literal translation, lit.'' "Modern Hebrew" or "New Hebrew"), also known as Israeli Hebrew or Israeli, and generally referred to by speakers simply as Hebrew ( ), is the ...
term for "baptism" is "Christian Tvilah".)
John the Baptist John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
, who is considered a forerunner to Christianity, used baptism as the central sacrament of his messianic movement. The apostle Paul distinguished between the baptism of John, ("baptism of repentance") and baptism in the name of Jesus, and it is questionable whether Christian baptism was in some way linked with that of John. However, according to Mark 1:8, John seems to connect his water baptism as a type of the true, ultimate baptism of Jesus, which is by the Sprit. Christians consider
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...
to have instituted the sacrament of baptism. Though some form of immersion was likely the most common method of baptism in the early church, many of the writings from the ancient church appeared to view this mode of baptism as inconsequential. The Didache 7.1–3 (AD 60–150) allowed for affusion practices in situations where immersion was not practical. Likewise, Tertullian (AD 196–212) allowed for varying approaches to baptism even if those practices did not conform to biblical or traditional mandates (cf. De corona militis 3; De baptismo 17). Finally, Cyprian (ca. AD 256) explicitly stated that the amount of water was inconsequential and defended immersion, affusion, and aspersion practices (Epistle 75.12). As a result, there was no uniform or consistent mode of baptism in the ancient church prior to the fourth century. By the third and fourth centuries, baptism involved
catechetical Catechesis (; from Greek: , "instruction by word of mouth", generally "instruction") is basic Christian religious education In secular usage, religious education is the teaching of a particular religion (although in the United Kingdom the ter ...
instruction as well as
chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
,
exorcism Exorcism (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...
s,
laying on of hands The laying on of hands is a religious practice. In Judaism Judaism ( he, יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Kingdom of Judah, Judah", via Ancient Greek, Greek ''Ioudaismos''; the term itself is of Anglo-Latin ...
, and recitation of a
creed A creed, also known as a confession of faith, symbol, or statement of faith, is a statement of the shared belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology ...
. In the
early middle ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
infant baptism became common and the rite was significantly simplified. In Western Europe
Affusion Affusion (la. ''affusio'') is a method of baptism Baptism (from the noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a of and , almost invariably with the use of water, into . It may be performed by or water on the head, or by either partial ...
became the normal mode of baptism between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, though immersion was still practiced into the sixteenth. In the medieval period, some radical Christians rejected the sacrament of baptism. Sects such as the
Tondrakians Tondrakians ( hy, Թոնդրակեաններ) were members of an anti-feudal, heretical Christian sect that flourished in medieval Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a l ...
,
Cathars Catharism (; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...
,
Arnoldists Remains of Arnold of Brescia burned at the stake at the hands of the Papal guards Arnoldists were a Proto-Protestant Christian movement A Christian movement is a Christian theology, theological, political, or philosophical interpretation of Christ ...
, Petrobrusians, Henricans,
Brethren of the Free SpiritThe Brethren of the Free Spirit were adherents of a loose set of beliefs deemed heretical by the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members ...
and the
Lollards Lollardy, also known as Lollardism or the Lollard movement, was a Proto-Protestantism, Proto-Protestant Christianity, Christian religious movement that existed from the mid-14th century until the 16th-century English Reformation. It was initially ...
were regarded as heretics by the Catholic Church. In the sixteenth century,
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citiz ...

Martin Luther
retained baptism as a sacrament, but Swiss reformer
Huldrych Zwingli Huldrych Zwingli or Ulrich Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland Map of the Swiss Confederacy by Sebastian Münster () The Protestant Reformation in Switzerland was promoted initi ...

Huldrych Zwingli
considered baptism and the
Lord's supper The Eucharist (; also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper among other names) is a Christian rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * rites o ...
to be symbolic.
Anabaptist Anabaptism (from New Latin language, Neo-Latin , from the Greek language, Greek : "re-" and "baptism", german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re-ba ...
s denied the validity of the practice of infant baptism, and rebaptized converts.


Mode and manner

Baptism is practiced in several different ways.
Aspersion Aspersion (la. ''aspergere/aspersio''), in a religious Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a ...
is the sprinkling of water on the head, and
affusion Affusion (la. ''affusio'') is a method of baptism Baptism (from the noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a of and , almost invariably with the use of water, into . It may be performed by or water on the head, or by either partial ...
is the pouring of water over the head. Aspersion or sprinkling best describes cleansing aspect of baptism as indicated in Psalm 51:7, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow”. Affusion or pouring best describes anointing, which points to the pouring of the Holy Spirit unto the believing person as indicated in many of the Old Testament types of anointing kings, prophets, and priests with oil. Immersion or submersion best describes burial and resurrection of the believer in Christ. The word " immersion" is derived from
late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, kn ...
''immersio'', a noun derived from the verb ''immergere'' (''in'' – "into" + ''mergere'' "dip"). In relation to baptism, some use it to refer to any form of dipping, whether the body is put completely under water or is only partly dipped in water; they thus speak of immersion as being either total or partial. Others, of the Anabaptist belief, use "immersion" to mean exclusively plunging someone entirely under the surface of the water. The term "immersion" is also used of a form of baptism in which water is poured over someone standing in water, without submersion of the person. On these three meanings of the word "immersion", see
Immersion baptism Immersion baptism (also known as baptism by immersion or baptism by submersion) is a method of baptism Baptism (from the noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a of and , almost invariably with the use of water, into . It may be per ...
. When "immersion" is used in opposition to "submersion", it indicates the form of baptism in which the candidate stands or kneels in water and water is poured over the upper part of the body. Immersion in this sense has been employed in West and East since at least the 2nd century and is the form in which baptism is generally depicted in early Christian art. In the West, this method of baptism began to be replaced by
affusion Affusion (la. ''affusio'') is a method of baptism Baptism (from the noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a of and , almost invariably with the use of water, into . It may be performed by or water on the head, or by either partial ...
baptism from around the 8th century, but it continues in use in
Eastern Christianity Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), ...
. The word submersion comes from the
late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, kn ...
(''sub-'' "under, below" + ''mergere'' "plunge, dip") and is also sometimes called "complete immersion". It is the form of baptism in which the water completely covers the candidate's body. Submersion is practiced in the Orthodox and several other Eastern Churches. In the
Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran , caption = Archbasilica of Saint Joh ...
of the Catholic Church, baptism by submersion is used in the
Ambrosian Rite The Ambrosian Rite, also called the Milanese Rite, is a Catholic Church, Catholic Latin rites, Western Liturgy, liturgical Catholic Liturgical Rites, rite. The rite is named after Ambrose, Saint Ambrose, a Bishop (Catholic Church), bishop of Milan ...
and is one of the methods provided in the
Roman Rite #REDIRECT Roman Rite The Roman Rite ( la, Ritus Romanus) is the main liturgical rite of the Latin or Western Church, the largest of the sui iuris particular Churches that make up the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred ...
of the baptism of infants. It is seen as obligatory among some groups that have arisen since the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abra ...
, such as
Baptists Baptists form a major branch of Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Cath ...
.


Meaning of the Greek verb ''baptizein''

The Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell and Scott gives the primary meaning of the verb ''baptízein'', from which the English verb "baptize" is derived, as "dip, plunge", and gives examples of plunging a sword into a throat or an embryo and for drawing wine by dipping a cup in the bowl; for New Testament usage it gives two meanings: "baptize", with which it associates the
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals Roman numerals are a that originated in and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe wel ...
mention of
Naaman Naaman ( he, נַעֲמָן, "pleasantness") the Aramean was a commander of the armies of Ben-Hadad II, the king of Aram-Damascus, in the time of Jehoram of Israel, Joram, Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), king of Israel. According to the Bible, Naama ...

Naaman
dipping himself in the
Jordan River ) , name_native_lang = , name_other = , name_etymology = Hebrew: ירדן (yardén, ''“descender”''), from ירד (yarad, ''“descended”'') , image = 20100923 mer morte13.JPG , image_size = , ima ...

Jordan River
, and "perform ablutions", as in Luke 11:38.Liddell & Scott: entry βαπτίζω
"βαπτ-ίζω, A. dip, plunge, 'ξίφος εἰς σφαγήν' J.BJ2.18.4; 'σπάθιον εἰς τὸ ἔμβρυον' Sor.2.63:—Pass., of a
trephine Image:Ancientgreek surgical.jpg, A trephine with a center pin can be seen on the left. A trephine (; from Greek ''trypanon'', meaning an instrument for boring). is a surgical instrument with a cylindrical blade. It can be of one of several dimensi ...
, Gal.10.447; ... 2. draw wine by dipping the cup in the bowl, Aristopho 14.5; 'φιάλαις β. ἐκ . . κρατήρων' ..." The usage examples quoted here mean "a sword into his throat"; "a sword into the foetus"; "draw with cups from bowls"
Although the Greek verb ''baptízein'' does not exclusively mean dip, plunge or immerse (it is used with literal and figurative meanings such as "sink", "disable", "overwhelm", "go under", "overborne", "draw from a bowl"), lexical sources typically cite this as a meaning of the word in both the
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals Roman numerals are a that originated in and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe wel ...
'In the Sept.: 2 Kgs. 5:13, 14 we have loúō (3068), to bathe and baptízomai. See also , where plúnō (4150), to wash clothes by dipping, and loúō (3068), to bathe are used. In , báphō, to dip, and plúnō, to wash by dipping are used', Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G908). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.'In the LXX βάπτειν (βαπτίζειν occurs only at 4 Βασ. 5:14) as a rendering of טָבַל, "to dip," is used for the dipping of the morsel in wine at Ru. 2:14, of feet in the river at Jos. 3:15, of the finger in blood in the Torah of sacrifices at Lv. 4:6, 17 etc., of the dipping of unsanctified vessels in water in the laws of purification at Lv. 11:32 (בא hiph). In the latter case, however, πλύνω (כבס) and λούομαι (רחץ) are more common, as in Lv. 15:11, 13 etc. The sevenfold dipping of Naaman (2 K. 5:14) perhaps suggests sacramental ideas and illustrates the importance of the Jordan. In the later Jewish period טבל (b. Ber., 2b of the bathing of priests; Joma, 3, 2ff. etc.) and βαπτίζειν become tech. terms for washings to cleanse from Levitical impurity, as already in Jdt. 12:7; Gk. Sir. 31(34):30. The טְבִילָה of proselytes belongs to this context.', Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964–c1976. Vols. 5–9 edited by Gerhard Friedrich. Vol. 10 compiled by Ronald Pitkin. (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (1:535). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. and the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
. "While it is true that the basic root meaning of the Greek words for baptize and baptism is immerse/immersion, it is not true that the words can simply be reduced to this meaning, as can be seen from Mark 10:38–39, Luke 12:50, Matthew 3:11 Luke 3:16 and Corinthians10:2." Two passages in the
Gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...

Gospel
s indicate that the verb ''baptízein'' did not always indicate submersion. The first is Luke 11:38, which tells how a Pharisee, at whose house Jesus ate, "was astonished to see that he did not first wash (''ἐβαπτίσθη'', aorist passive of ''βαπτίζω''—literally, "was baptized") before dinner". This is the passage that Liddell and Scott cites as an instance of the use of ' to mean ''perform ablutions''. Jesus' omission of this action is similar to that of his disciples: "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash (') not their hands when they eat bread". The other Gospel passage pointed to is: "The Pharisees...do not eat unless they wash (', the ordinary word for washing) their hands thoroughly, observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they wash themselves (literally, "baptize themselves"—''βαπτίσωνται'', passive or middle voice of ''βαπτίζω'')". Scholars of various denominations claim that these two passages show that invited guests, or people returning from market, would not be expected to immerse themselves ("baptize themselves") totally in water but only to practise the partial immersion of dipping their hands in water or to pour water over them, as is the only form admitted by present Jewish custom. In the second of the two passages, it is actually the hands that are specifically identified as "washed", not the entire person, for whom the verb used is ''baptízomai'', literally "be baptized", "be immersed", a fact obscured by English versions that use "wash" as a translation of both verbs. Zodhiates concludes that the washing of the hands was done by immersing them.'Washing or ablution was frequently by immersion, indicated by either baptízō or níptō (3538), to wash. In Mark 7:3, the phrase 'wash their hands' is the translation of níptō (3538), to wash part of the body such as the hands. In Mark 7:4 the verb wash in 'except they wash' is baptízomai, to immerse. This indicates that the washing of the hands was done by immersing them in collected water. See Luke 11:38 which refers to washing one's hands before the meal, with the use of baptízomai, to have the hands baptized.", Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G907). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers. The Liddell–Scott–Jones Greek-English Lexicon (1996) cites the other passage (Luke 11:38) as an instance of the use of the verb ''baptízein'' to mean "perform ablutions", not "submerge". References to the cleaning of vessels which use βαπτίζω also refer to immersion. As already mentioned, the lexicographical work of Zodhiates says that, in the second of these two cases, the verb ''baptízein'' indicates that, after coming from the market, the Pharisees washed their hands by immersing them in collected water. Balz & Schneider understand the meaning of βαπτίζω, used in place of ῥαντίσωνται (sprinkle), to be the same as βάπτω, to dip or immerse, a verb used of the partial dipping of a morsel held in the hand into wine or of a finger into spilled blood. A possible additional use of the verb ''baptízein'' to relate to ritual washing is suggested by Peter Leithart (2007) who suggests that Paul's phrase "Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead?" relates to Jewish ritual washing. In Jewish Greek the verb ''baptízein'' "baptized" has a wider reference than just "baptism" and in Jewish context primarily applies to the masculine noun ''baptismós'' "ritual washing" The verb ''baptízein'' occurs four times in the Septuagint in the context of ritual washing, ''baptismós''; Judith cleansing herself from menstrual impurity,
Naaman Naaman ( he, נַעֲמָן, "pleasantness") the Aramean was a commander of the armies of Ben-Hadad II, the king of Aram-Damascus, in the time of Jehoram of Israel, Joram, Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), king of Israel. According to the Bible, Naama ...

Naaman
washing seven times to be cleansed from
leprosy Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease (HD), is a long-term Long-Term Capital Management L.P. (LTCM) was a hedge fund''A financial History of the United States Volume II: 1970–2001'', Jerry W. Markham, Chapter 5: "Bank Consolidation", M. E. ...

leprosy
, etc. Additionally, in the New Testament only, the verb ''baptízein'' can also relate to the neuter noun ''báptisma'' "baptism" which is a
neologism A neologism (; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
unknown in the
Septuagint The Greek Old Testament, or Septuagint (, ; from the la, septuaginta, lit=seventy; often abbreviated ''70''; in Roman numerals Roman numerals are a that originated in and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe wel ...
and other pre-Christian Jewish texts. This broadness in the meaning of ''baptízein'' is reflected in English Bibles rendering "wash", where Jewish ritual washing is meant: for example Mark 7:4 states that the Pharisees "except they wash (Greek "baptize"), they do not eat", and "baptize" where ''báptisma'', the new Christian rite, is intended.


Derived nouns

Two nouns derived from the verb ''baptízō'' (βαπτίζω) appear in the New Testament: the masculine noun ''baptismós'' (βαπτισμός) and the neuter noun ''báptisma'' (βάπτισμα): *''baptismós'' (βαπτισμός) refers in Mark 7:4 to a water-rite for the purpose of purification, washing, cleansing, of dishes;Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, (3rd ed.) (165). Chicago: University of Chicago Press in the same verse and in Hebrews 9:10 to Levitical cleansings of vessels or of the body; and in Hebrews 6:2 perhaps also to baptism, though there it may possibly refer to washing an inanimate object.Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. (2000). Vol. 4: Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament Library (87). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books. According to
Spiros Zodhiates Spiros Zodhiates ( el, Σπύρος Ζωδιάτης; March 13, 1922 – October 10, 2009) was a Greek-American Greek Americans ( el, Ελληνοαμερικανοί, ''Ellinoamerikanoí'' , ''Ellinoamerikánoi'' ) are Americans Americ ...
when referring merely to the cleansing of utensils ''baptismós'' (βαπτισμός) is equated with ''rhantismós'' (ῥαντισμός, "sprinkling"), found only in Hebrews 12:24 and Peter 1:2, a noun used to indicate the symbolic cleansing by the Old Testament priest. *''báptisma'' (βάπτισμα), which is a
neologism A neologism (; from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
appearing to originate in the New Testament, and probably should not be confused with the earlier Jewish concept of ''baptismós'' (βαπτισμός),Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The Complete Word Study Dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G908). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers. Later this is found only in writings by Christians. In the New Testament, it appears at least 21 times: **13 times with regard to the rite practised by
John the Baptist John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
; **3 times with reference to the specific Christian rite (4 times if account is taken of its use in some manuscripts of Colossians 2:12, where, however, it is most likely to have been changed from the original ''baptismós'' than vice versa); **5 times in a metaphorical sense. *Manuscript variation: In Colossians, some manuscripts have neuter noun ''báptisma'' (βάπτισμα), but some have masculine noun ''baptismós'' (βαπτισμός), and this is the reading given in modern critical editions of the New Testament. If this reading is correct, then this is the only New Testament instance in which ''baptismós'' (βαπτισμός) is clearly used of Christian baptism, rather than of a generic washing, unless the opinion of some is correct that Hebrews 6:2 may also refer to Christian baptism. *The feminine noun ''baptisis'', along with the masculine noun ''baptismós'' both occur in Josephus' Antiquities (J. AJ 18.5.2) relating to the murder of John the Baptist by Herod. This feminine form is not used elsewhere by Josephus, nor in the New Testament.


Apparel

Until the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, most baptisms were performed with the candidates naked—as is evidenced by most of the early portrayals of baptism (some of which are shown in this article), and the early Church Fathers and other Christian writers. Deaconesses helped female candidates for reasons of modesty. Typical of these is
Cyril of Jerusalem Cyril of Jerusalem ( el, Κύριλλος Α΄ Ἱεροσολύμων, ''Kýrillos A Ierosolýmon''; la, Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus; 313 386 AD) was a theologian of the early Church. About the end of 350 AD he succeeded Maximus Maximus (Helle ...

Cyril of Jerusalem
who wrote "On the Mysteries of Baptism" in the 4th century (c. 350 AD): The symbolism is threefold: 1. Baptism is considered to be a form of rebirth—"by water and the Spirit"—the nakedness of baptism (the second birth) paralleled the condition of one's original birth. For example, St. John Chrysostom calls the baptism "λοχείαν", i.e., giving birth, and "new way of creation...from water and Spirit" ("to John" speech 25,2), and later elaborates: : 2. The removal of clothing represented the "image of putting off the old man with his deeds" (as per Cyril, above), so the stripping of the body before for baptism represented taking off the trappings of sinful self, so that the "new man", which is given by Jesus, can be put on. 3. As St. Cyril again asserts above, as Adam and Eve in scripture were naked, innocent and unashamed in the Garden of Eden, nakedness during baptism was seen as a renewal of that innocence and state of original sinlessness. Other parallels can also be drawn, such as between the exposed condition of Christ during His crucifixion, and the crucifixion of the "old man" of the repentant sinner in preparation for baptism. Changing customs and concerns regarding modesty probably contributed to the practice of permitting or requiring the baptismal candidate to either retain their undergarments (as in many Renaissance paintings of baptism such as those by ,
Tintoretto Tintoretto ( , , ; born Jacopo Robusti; late September or early October 1518Bernari and de Vecchi 1970, p. 83.31 May 1594) was an Italian painter identified with the Venetian school. His contemporaries both admired and criticized the speed with ...

Tintoretto
, Van Scorel,
Masaccio Masaccio (, , ; December 21, 1401 – summer 1428), born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was a Florentine artist who is regarded as the first great Italian painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance The Italian Rena ...

Masaccio
, de Wit and others) or to wear, as is almost universally the practice today, baptismal robes. These robes are most often white, symbolizing purity. Some groups today allow any suitable clothes to be worn, such as trousers and a
T-shirt '' A T-shirt, or tee shirt, is a style of fabric shirt A shirt is a cloth garment for the upper body (from the neck to the waist). Originally an worn exclusively by men, it has become, in , a catch-all term for a broad variety of upper-body ...

T-shirt
—practical considerations include how easily the clothes will dry (
denim Denim is a sturdy cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus '' Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cell ...

denim
is discouraged), and whether they will become see-through when wet.


Meaning and effects

There are differences in views about the effect of baptism for a Christian. Catholics, Orthodox, and most mainline Protestant groups assert baptism is a requirement for salvation and a
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
, and speak of "
baptismal regeneration Baptismal regeneration is the name given to doctrines held by major Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the s ...
". Its importance is related to their interpretation of the meaning of the "Mystical Body of Christ" as found in the New Testament. This view is shared by the
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic
and
Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
denominations, and by Churches formed early during the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abra ...
such as
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
and
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
. For example,
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citiz ...

Martin Luther
said: The
Churches of Christ Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is used to refer to the physical build ...
,"
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian Millenarianism (also millenarism), from Latin ''mīllēnārius'' "containing a thousand", is the belief by a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious ...
,
Christadelphians The Christadelphians (; or Christadelphianism) are a restorationist and millenarian Christian group who hold a view of biblical unitarianism. There are approximately 50,000 Christadelphians in around 120 countries. The movement developed in ...
, and
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism ...
espouse baptism as necessary for salvation. For Roman Catholics, baptism by water is a sacrament of initiation into the life of the children of God (''
Catechism of the Catholic Church The ''Catechism of the Catholic Church'' ( la, Catechismus Catholicae Ecclesiae; commonly called the ''Catechism'' or the ''CCC'') is a promulgated for the by in 1992. It sums up, in book form, of the Catholic faithful. Publication history ...
'', 1212–13). It configures the person to Christ (CCC 1272), and obliges the Christian to share in the Church's apostolic and missionary activity (CCC 1270). The Catholic holds that there are three types of baptism by which one can be saved: sacramental baptism (with water), baptism of desire (explicit or implicit desire to be part of the Church founded by Jesus Christ), and baptism of blood (
martyrdom A martyr ( Greek: μάρτυς, ''mártys'', "witness"; stem μαρτυρ-, ''martyr-'') is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a religious belief or cause as demand ...

martyrdom
). In his encyclical ''
Mystici corporis Christi ''Mystici corporis Christi'' (English: 'The Mystical Body of Christ') is a papal encyclical issued by Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XII ( it, Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (; 2 March 18769 October 1958), was head of the ...
'' of June 29, 1943,
Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XII ( it, Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (; 2 March 18769 October 1958), was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion C ...
spoke of baptism and profession of the true faith as what makes members of the one true Church, which is the body of Jesus Christ himself, as God the Holy Spirit has taught through the Apostle Paul: By contrast,
Anabaptist Anabaptism (from New Latin language, Neo-Latin , from the Greek language, Greek : "re-" and "baptism", german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re-ba ...
and
Evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salv ...
Protestants recognize baptism as an outward sign of an inward reality following on an individual believer's experience of forgiving grace.
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformat ...

Reformed
and
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu d ...

Methodist
Protestants maintain a link between baptism and regeneration, but insist that it is not automatic or mechanical, and that regeneration may occur at a different time than baptism.
Churches of Christ Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is used to refer to the physical build ...
consistently teach that in baptism a believer surrenders his life in faith and obedience to God, and that God "by the merits of Christ's blood, cleanses one from sin and truly changes the state of the person from an alien to a citizen of God's kingdom. Baptism is not a human work; it is the place where God does the work that only God can do." Thus, they see baptism as a passive act of faith rather than a meritorious work; it "is a confession that a person has nothing to offer God".Harold Hazelip, Gary Holloway, Randall J. Harris, Mark C. Black, ''Theology Matters: In Honor of Harold Hazelip: Answers for the Church Today'', College Press, 1998, , , 368 pages


Christian traditions

The
liturgy Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance ...
of baptism for
Catholics The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...
,
Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
,
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
,
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
, and
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu d ...
makes clear reference to baptism as not only a symbolic burial and resurrection, but an actual supernatural transformation, one that draws parallels to the experience of
Noah In the traditions of Abrahamic religions, Noah ''Nukh''; am, ኖህ, ''Noḥ''; ar, نُوح '; grc, Νῶε ''Nôe'' () features as the tenth and last of the Antediluvian , pre-Flood Patriarchs (Bible), patriarchs. His story appears in the ...

Noah
and the passage of the
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
through the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a North ...

Red Sea
divided by
Moses Moses he, מֹשֶׁה, ''Mōše''; also known as Moshe Rabbenu ( he, מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ "Moshe our Teacher"); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, ''Mūše''; ar, موسى '; el, Mωϋσῆς, ' () is considered the most important prophet in Judais ...

Moses
. Thus, baptism is literally and symbolically not only cleansing, but also dying and rising again with Christ. Catholics believe baptism is necessary to cleanse the taint of
original sin Original sin is the Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' a ...
, and so commonly baptise infants. The Eastern Churches (
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
and
Oriental Orthodoxy The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings ...
) also baptize infants on the basis of texts, such as Matthew 19:14, which are interpreted as supporting full Church membership for children. In these denominations, baptism is immediately followed by
Chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
and
Communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, reenacting the Last Supper **Communion (chant), the Gregorian chant that acc ...

Communion
at the next
Divine Liturgy Icon of Ss. Basil the Great (left) and John Chrysostom, ascribed authors of the two most frequently used Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgies, c. 1150 (mosaic in the Cappella Palatina, Palatine Chapel, Palermo). Divine Liturgy ( grc-gre, Θεία Λ ...
, regardless of age. Orthodox likewise believe that baptism removes what they call the ancestral sin of Adam. Anglicans believe that Baptism is also the entry into the Church and therefore allows them access to all rights and responsibilities as full members, including the privilege to receive Holy Communion. Most Methodists and Anglicans agree that it also cleanses the taint of what in the West is called original sin, in the East ancestral sin. Eastern Orthodox Christians usually insist on complete threefold immersion as both a symbol of death and rebirth into Christ, and as a washing away of sin.
Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran , caption = Archbasilica of Saint Joh ...
Catholics generally baptize by affusion (pouring); Eastern Catholics usually by submersion, or at least partial immersion. However, submersion is gaining in popularity within the Latin Catholic Church. In newer church sanctuaries, the baptismal font may be designed to expressly allow for baptism by immersion. Anglicans baptize by immersion or affusion. According to evidence which can be traced back to about the year 200, sponsors or godparents are present at baptism and vow to uphold the Christian education and life of the baptized. Baptists argue that the Greek word originally meant "to immerse". They interpret some Biblical passages concerning baptism as requiring submersion of the body in water. They also state that only submersion reflects the symbolic significance of being "buried" and "raised" with Christ. Baptist Churches baptize in the name of the
Trinity The Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian ...

Trinity
—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, they do not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation; but rather that it is an act of Christian obedience. Some "
Full Gospel Full may refer to: * People with the surname Full, including: ** Mr. Full (given name unknown), acting Governor of List of colonial heads of German Cameroon, German Cameroon, 1913 to 1914 * A property in the mathematical field of topology; see Full ...

Full Gospel
"
charismatic Charisma () is compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. Scholars in sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that s ...
churches such as
Oneness Pentecostal Oneness Pentecostalism (also known as Apostolic, Jesus' Name Pentecostalism, or the Jesus Only movement) is a nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheis ...
s baptize only in the name of Jesus Christ, citing Peter's preaching baptism in the name of Jesus as their authority.


Ecumenical statements

In 1982 the
World Council of Churches The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ...
published the
ecumenical Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians who belong to different Christian denominations work together to develop closer relationships among their churches and promote Christian unity. The adjecti ...
paper ''
Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (BEM), also known as the Lima Document, is a Christian ecumenical document adopted by members of the World Council of Churches in Lima Lima ( ; ) is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the ...
''. The preface of the document states: A 1997 document, ''Becoming a Christian: The Ecumenical Implications of Our Common Baptism'', gave the views of a commission of experts brought together under the aegis of the World Council of Churches. It states: Those who heard, who were baptized and entered the community's life, were already made witnesses of and partakers in the promises of God for the last days: the forgiveness of sins through baptism in the name of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on all flesh. Similarly, in what may well be a baptismal pattern,
1 Peter The First Epistle of Peter, usually referred to simply as First Peter and often written 1 Peter, is a book of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) ...
testifies that proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and teaching about new life lead to purification and new birth. This, in turn, is followed by eating and drinking , by participation in the life of the community—the royal priesthood, the new temple, the people of God—and by further moral formation. At the beginning of 1 Peter the writer sets this baptism in the context of obedience to Christ and sanctification by the Spirit. So baptism into Christ is seen as baptism into the Spirit. In the fourth gospel Jesus' discourse with
Nicodemus Nicodemus (; grc-gre, Νικόδημος, Nikódēmos) was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin mentioned in three places in the Gospel of John: * He first visits Jesus one night to discuss Jesus' teachings (). * The second time Nicodemus ...

Nicodemus
indicates that birth by water and Spirit becomes the gracious means of entry into the place where God rules.


Validity considerations by some churches

The vast majority of Christian denominations admit the theological idea that baptism is a
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
, that has actual spiritual, holy and salvific effects. Certain key criteria must be complied with for it to be valid, i.e., to actually have those effects. If these key criteria are met, violation of some rules regarding baptism, such as varying the authorized rite for the ceremony, renders the baptism illicit (contrary to the church's laws) but still valid. One of the criteria for validity is use of the correct form of words. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the use of the verb "baptize" is essential. Catholics of the
Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran , caption = Archbasilica of Saint Joh ...
, Anglicans and Methodists use the form "I baptize you...." Eastern Orthodox and some
Eastern Catholics The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches and in some historical cases referred to as ''Uniates'', are twenty-three East ...
use a
passive voice A passive voice construction is a grammatical voice In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...

passive voice
form "The Servant/(Handmaiden) of God is baptized in the name of...." or "This person is baptized by my hands...." Use of the
Trinitarian formula The Trinitarian formula is the phrase "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" ( grc-x-koine, εἰς τό ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καί τοῦ Υἱοῦ καί τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος, eis t ...
"in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" is also considered essential; thus these churches do not accept as valid baptisms of non-
Trinitarian The Christian theology, Christian doctrine of the Trinity (, from "threefold") defines God in Christianity , God as being Monotheism, one god existing in three wikt:coequal , coequal, wikt:coeternal , coeternal, Consubstantiality , consubsta ...
churches such as
Oneness Pentecostals Oneness Pentecostalism (also known as Apostolic, Jesus' Name Pentecostalism, or the Jesus Only movement) is a nontrinitarian movement within the Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformatio ...
. Another essential condition is use of water. A baptism in which some liquid that would not usually be called water, such as wine, milk, soup or fruit juice was used would not be considered valid. Another requirement is that the celebrant intends to perform baptism. This requirement entails merely the intention "to do what the Church does", not necessarily to have Christian faith, since it is not the person baptizing, but the Holy Spirit working through the sacrament, who produces the effects of the sacrament. Doubt about the faith of the baptizer is thus no ground for doubt about the validity of the baptism. Some conditions expressly do not affect validity—for example, whether submersion, immersion, affusion (pouring) or aspersion (sprinkling) is used. However, if water is sprinkled, there is a danger that the water may not touch the skin of the unbaptized. As has been stated, "it is not sufficient for the water to merely touch the candidate; it must also flow, otherwise there would seem to be no real ablution. At best, such a baptism would be considered doubtful. If the water touches only the hair, the sacrament has probably been validly conferred, though in practice the safer course must be followed. If only the clothes of the person have received the aspersion, the baptism is undoubtedly void." For many communions, validity is not affected if a single submersion or pouring is performed rather than a triple, but in Orthodoxy this is controversial. According to the Catholic Church, baptism imparts an indelible "seal" upon the soul of the baptized and therefore a person who has already been baptized cannot be validly baptized again. This teaching was affirmed against the
Donatist Image:Augustine and donatists.jpg, alt=Painting of Augustine of Hippo arguing with a man before an audience, Charles-André van Loo's 18th-century ''Augustine arguing with Donatists'' Donatism was a Christian sect leading to schism in the Catholic ...
s who practiced rebaptism. The grace received in baptism is believed to operate ''ex opere operato'' and is therefore considered valid even if administered in heretical or schismatic groups.


Recognition by other denominations

The
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic
,
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
,
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...

Anglican
,
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of ...
and
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu d ...

Methodist
Churches accept baptism performed by other denominations within this group as valid, subject to certain conditions, including the use of the Trinitarian formula. It is only possible to be baptized once, thus people with valid baptisms from other denominations may not be baptized again upon conversion or transfer. For Roman Catholics, this is affirmed in the Canon Law 864, in which it is written that " ery person not yet baptized and only such a person is capable of baptism." Such people are accepted upon making a profession of faith and, if they have not yet validly received the sacrament/rite of confirmation or chrismation, by being confirmed. Specifically, "Methodist theologians argued that since God never abrogated a covenant made and sealed with proper intentionality, rebaptism was never an option, unless the original baptism had been defective by not having been made in the name of the Trinity." In some cases it can be difficult to decide if the original baptism was in fact valid; if there is doubt,
conditional baptismMainline Christian theology (including Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle t ...
is administered, with a formula on the lines of "If you are not yet baptized, I baptize you...." The Catholic Church ordinarily recognizes as valid the baptisms of Christians of the Eastern Orthodox, Churches of Christ, Congregationalist, Anglican, Lutheran, Old Catholic, Polish National Catholic, Reformed, Baptist, Brethren, Methodist, Presbyterian, Waldensian, and United Protestant denominations; Christians of these traditions are received into the Catholic Church through the sacrament of
Confirmation In Christian denominations that practice infant baptism Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and wi ...

Confirmation
. Some individuals of the Mennonite, Pentecostal and Adventist traditions who wish to be received into the Catholic Church may be required to receive a
conditional baptismMainline Christian theology (including Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle t ...
due to concerns about the validity of the sacraments in those traditions. On the other hand, the Catholic Church has explicitly denied the validity of the baptism conferred in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The
Reformed Church Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christianity, Christian practice set ...

Reformed Church
es recognize as valid baptisms administered in the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
, among other Churches using the
Trinitarian formula The Trinitarian formula is the phrase "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" ( grc-x-koine, εἰς τό ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καί τοῦ Υἱοῦ καί τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος, eis t ...
. Practice in the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
for converts from other communions is not uniform. However, generally baptisms performed in the name of the Holy Trinity are accepted by the Orthodox Christian Church; Christians of the Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Old Catholic, Moravian, Anglican, Methodist, Reformed, Presbyterian, Brethren, Assemblies of God, or Baptist traditions can be received into the Eastern Orthodox Church through the sacrament of
Chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
. If a convert has not received the sacrament (mysterion) of baptism, he or she must be baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity before they may enter into communion with the Orthodox Church. If he has been baptized in another Christian confession (other than Orthodox Christianity) his previous baptism is considered retroactively filled with grace by
chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
or, in rare circumstances,
confession of faith A creed, also known as a confession, symbol, or statement of faith, is a statement of the shared beliefs of (an often religious) community in the form of a fixed formula summarizing core tenets. The earliest creed in Christianity Christian ...
alone as long as the baptism was done in the name of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The exact procedure is dependent on local canons and is the subject of some controversy.
Oriental Orthodox Church The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christianity, Eastern Christian churches adhering to Miaphysitism, Miaphysite Christology, with a total of approximately 60 million members worldwide. The Oriental Orthodox Churches are ...
es recognise the validity of baptisms performed within the Eastern Orthodox Communion. Some also recognise baptisms performed by Catholic Churches. Any supposed baptism not performed using the Trinitarian formula is considered invalid. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, all Orthodox Churches, Anglican and Lutheran Churches, the baptism conferred by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is invalid. An article published together with the official declaration to that effect gave reasons for that judgment, summed up in the following words: "The Baptism of the Catholic Church and that of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differ essentially, both for what concerns faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in whose name Baptism is conferred, and for what concerns the relationship to Christ who instituted it." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stresses that baptism must be administered by one having proper authority; consequently, the church does not recognize the baptism of any other church as valid. Jehovah's Witnesses do not recognise any other baptism occurring after 1914 as valid, as they believe that they are now the one true church of Christ, and that the rest of "Christendom" is false religion.


Officiator

There is debate among Christian churches as to who can administer baptism. Some claim that the examples given in the New Testament only show apostles and deacons administering baptism. Ancient Christian churches interpret this as indicating that baptism should be performed by the clergy except ''in extremis'', i.e., when the one being baptized is in immediate danger of death. Then anyone may baptize, provided, in the view of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the person who does the baptizing is a member of that Church, or, in the view of the Catholic Church, that the person, even if not baptized, intends to do what the Church does in administering the rite. Many Protestant churches see no specific prohibition in the biblical examples and permit any believer to baptize another. In the Roman Catholic Church,
canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure dis ...
for the
Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran , caption = Archbasilica of Saint Joh ...
lays down that the ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, priest or deacon, but its administration is one of the functions "especially entrusted to the
parish priest A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest#Christianity, priest, often termed a parish priest, ...

parish priest
". If the person to be baptized is at least fourteen years old, that person's baptism is to be referred to the bishop, so that he can decide whether to confer the baptism himself. If no ordinary minister is available, a
catechist Catechesis (; from Greek: , "instruction by word of mouth", generally "instruction") is basic Christian religious education In secular usage, religious education is the teaching of a particular religion (although in the United Kingdom the ter ...
or some other person whom the local
ordinary Ordinary or The Ordinary often refer to: Music * Ordinary (EP), ''Ordinary'' (EP) (2015), by South Korean group Beast * Ordinary (Every Little Thing album), ''Ordinary'' (Every Little Thing album) (2011) * Ordinary (Two Door Cinema Club song), "O ...
has appointed for this purpose may licitly do the baptism; indeed in a case of necessity ''any'' person (irrespective of that person's religion) who has the requisite intention may confer the baptism By "a case of necessity" is meant imminent danger of death because of either illness or an external threat. "The requisite intention" is, at the minimum level, the intention "to do what the Church does" through the rite of baptism. In the
Eastern Catholic Churches The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christi ...
, a deacon is not considered an ordinary minister. Administration of the sacrament is reserved to the Parish Priest or to another priest to whom he or the local
hierarch An ordinary (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...
grants permission, a permission that can be presumed if in accordance with canon law. However, "in case of necessity, baptism can be administered by a deacon or, in his absence or if he is impeded, by another cleric, a member of an institute of consecrated life, or by any other Christian faithful; even by the mother or father, if another person is not available who knows how to baptize." The discipline of the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
,
Oriental Orthodoxy The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings ...
and the
Assyrian Church of the East The Assyrian Church of the East ( syc, ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܖ̈ܝܐ, ʿĒḏtā ḏ-Maḏnḥā ḏ-ʾĀṯūrāyē, ar, كنيسة المشرق الآشورية), officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ( sy ...
is similar to that of the Eastern Catholic Churches. They require the baptizer, even in cases of necessity, to be of their own faith, on the grounds that a person cannot convey what he himself does not possess, in this case membership in the Church. The Latin Catholic Church does not insist on this condition, considering that the effect of the sacrament, such as membership of the Church, is not produced by the person who baptizes, but by the Holy Spirit. For the Orthodox, while Baptism ''in extremis'' may be administered by a deacon or any lay-person, if the newly baptized person survives, a priest must still perform the other prayers of the Rite of Baptism, and administer the
Mystery Mystery, The Mystery, Mysteries or The Mysteries may refer to: People * Mystery (pickup artist) Erik von Markovik (born September 24, 1971), more popularly known by his stage name, Mystery, is a Canadian pickup artist who developed a system of ...
of
Chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
. The discipline of
Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia * ...
and
Lutheranism Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a major ...
is similar to that of the Latin Catholic Church. For Methodists and many other Protestant denominations, too, the ordinary minister of baptism is a duly ordained or appointed minister of religion. Newer movements of Protestant
Evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salv ...
churches, particularly non-denominational, allow laypeople to baptize. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, only a man who has been ordained to the Aaronic priesthood holding the priesthood office of
priest A priest is a religious leader Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social w ...
or higher office in the
Melchizedek priesthood The priesthood of Melchizedek is a role in Abrahamic religions, modelled on Melchizedek, combining the dual position of king and priest. Hebrew Bible Melchizedek is a king and priest appearing in the Book of Genesis. The name means "King of Rig ...
may administer baptism. A
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian Millenarianism (also millenarism), from Latin ''mīllēnārius'' "containing a thousand", is the belief by a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious ...
baptism is performed by a "dedicated male" adherent."Questions From Readers", ''The Watchtower'', August 1, 1973, page 480, "In connection with baptism, it may also be noted that a baptism may be performed by a dedicated male even though no other human witnesses are present." Only in extraordinary circumstances would a "dedicated" baptizer be unbaptized (see section ''
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian Millenarianism (also millenarism), from Latin ''mīllēnārius'' "containing a thousand", is the belief by a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious ...
'').


Specific Christian groups practicing baptism

Anabaptist Anabaptism (from New Latin language, Neo-Latin , from the Greek language, Greek : "re-" and "baptism", german: Täufer, earlier also )Since the middle of the 20th century, the German-speaking world no longer uses the term (translation: "Re-ba ...
s and
Baptists Baptists form a major branch of Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Cath ...
recognize only
believer's baptism Believer's baptism (occasionally called credobaptism, from the Latin word meaning "I believe") is the Christianity, Christian practise of baptism as is understood by many evangelical denominations, particularly those that descend from the Anabap ...
or "adult baptism". Baptism is seen as an act identifying one as having accepted Jesus Christ as savior.


Anabaptist

Early Anabaptists were given that name because they re-baptized persons who they felt had not been properly baptized, having received infant baptism, sprinkling. The traditional form of Anabaptist baptism was pouring or sprinkling, the form commonly used in the West in the early 16th century when they emerged. Since the 18th century immersion and submersion became more widespread. Today all forms of baptism can be found among Anabaptist. Baptism memorializes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is considered a covenantal act, signifying entrance into the
New Covenant The New Covenant (Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew '; Koine Greek, Greek ''diatheke kaine'') is a biblical interpretation originally derived from a Book of Jeremiah#Sections of the Book, phrase in the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34), in the Hebrew ...
of Christ.


Baptist

For the majority of Baptists, Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."The Baptist Faith and Message," Southern Baptist Convention. Adopted, June 14, 2000. Accessed July 29, 2009: http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp#vii Baptism does not accomplish anything in itself, but is an outward personal sign that the person's sins have already been washed away by the blood of Christ's cross.''London Baptist Confession of 1644'', XVII. Web
London Baptist Confession of 1644. Dec 29, 2009
For a new convert the general practice is that baptism also allows the person to be a registered member of the local Baptist congregation (though some churches have adopted "new members classes" as a mandatory step for congregational membership). Regarding rebaptism the general rules are: *baptisms by other than immersion are not recognized as valid and therefore rebaptism by immersion is required; and *baptisms by immersion in other denominations may be considered valid if performed after the person having professed faith in Jesus Christ (though among the more conservative groups such as Independent Baptists, rebaptism may be required by the local congregation if performed in a non-Baptist church – and, in extreme cases, even if performed within a Baptist church that wasn't an Independent Baptist congregation) For newborns, there is a ceremony called child dedication.


Churches of Christ

Baptism in
Churches of Christ Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is used to refer to the physical build ...
is performed only by full bodily immersion, based on the Koine Greek verb ''baptizo'' which means to dip, immerse, submerge or plunge., an

, and
Submersion is seen as more closely conforming to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus than other modes of baptism. Churches of Christ argue that historically immersion was the mode used in the 1st century, and that pouring and sprinkling later emerged as secondary modes when immersion was not possible. Over time these secondary modes came to replace immersion. Only those mentally capable of belief and repentance are baptized (i.e., infant baptism is not practiced because the New Testament has no precedent for it). Churches of Christ have historically had the most conservative position on baptism among the various branches of the Restoration Movement, understanding baptism by immersion to be a necessary part of conversion. The most significant disagreements concerned the extent to which a correct understanding of the role of baptism is necessary for its validity. David Lipscomb insisted that if a believer was baptized out of a desire to obey God, the baptism was valid, even if the individual did not fully understand the role baptism plays in salvation. Austin McGary contended that to be valid, the convert must also understand that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. McGary's view became the prevailing one in the early 20th century, but the approach advocated by Lipscomb never totally disappeared. As such, the general practice among churches of Christ is to require rebaptism by immersion of converts, even those who were previously baptized by immersion in other churches. More recently, the rise of the International Churches of Christ has caused some to reexamine the issue. Churches of Christ consistently teach that in baptism a believer surrenders his life in faith and obedience to God, and that God "by the merits of Christ's blood, cleanses one from sin and truly changes the state of the person from an alien to a citizen of God's kingdom. Baptism is not a human work; it is the place where God does the work that only God can do." Baptism is a passive act of faith rather than a meritorious work; it "is a confession that a person has nothing to offer God." While Churches of Christ do not describe baptism as a "sacrament", their view of it can legitimately be described as "sacramental." They see the power of baptism coming from God, who chose to use baptism as a vehicle, rather than from the water or the act itself, and understand baptism to be an integral part of the conversion process, rather than just a symbol of conversion. A recent trend is to emphasize the transformational aspect of baptism: instead of describing it as just a legal requirement or sign of something that happened in the past, it is seen as "the event that places the believer 'into Christ' where God does the ongoing work of transformation." There is a minority that downplays the importance of baptism in order to avoid sectarianism, but the broader trend is to "reexamine the richness of the biblical teaching of baptism and to reinforce its central and essential place in Christianity." Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of
baptismal regeneration Baptismal regeneration is the name given to doctrines held by major Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the s ...
.Douglas A. Foster
"Churches of Christ and Baptism: An Historical and Theological Overview,"
''Restoration Quarterly'', Volume 43/Number 2 (2001).
However, members of the Churches of Christ reject this, arguing that since faith and repentance are necessary, and that the cleansing of sins is by the blood of Christ through the grace of God, baptism is not an inherently redeeming ritual. Rather, their inclination is to point to the biblical passage in which Peter, analogizing baptism to Noah's flood, posits that "likewise baptism doth also now save us" but parenthetically clarifies that baptism is "''not'' the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the ''response of a good conscience'' toward God" (1 Peter 3:21). One author from the churches of Christ describes the relationship between faith and baptism this way, "''Faith'' is the ''reason why'' a person is a child of God; ''baptism'' is the ''time at which'' one is incorporated into Christ and so becomes a child of God" (italics are in the source). Baptism is understood as a confessional expression of faith and repentance, rather than a "work" that earns salvation.


Lutheranism

In Lutheranism, Lutheran Christianity, baptism is a sacrament that baptismal regeneration, regenerates the soul. Upon one's baptism, one receives the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the ...

Holy Spirit
and becomes a part of the Church.


Methodism

The Methodist Articles of Religion (Methodist), Articles of Religion, with regard to baptism, teach: While baptism imparts grace, Methodists teach that a Born again#Methodism, personal acceptance of Jesus Christ (the first work of grace) is essential to one's salvation; during the second work of grace, entire sanctification, a believer is purified of
original sin Original sin is the Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' a ...
and made holy. In the Methodist Churches, baptism is a
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
of initiation into the visible Church. Covenant theology#Wesleyan covenant theology, Wesleyan covenant theology further teaches that baptism is a sign and a seal of the covenant of grace: Methodists recognize three modes of baptism as being valid—"immersion, sprinkling, or pouring" in the name of the Holy Trinity.


Moravianism

The Moravian Church teaches that baptism is a sign and a seal, recognizing three modes of baptism as being valid: immersion, aspersion, and affusion.


Reformed Protestantism

In Reformed baptismal theology, baptism is seen as primarily God's offer of union with Christ and all his benefits to the baptized. This offer is believed to be intact even when it is not received in faith by the person baptized. Reformed theologians believe the Holy Spirit brings into effect the promises signified in baptism. Baptism is held by almost the entire Reformed tradition to effect regeneration, even in infants who are incapable of faith, by effecting faith which would come to fruition later. Baptism also initiates one into the visible church and the covenant of grace. Baptism is seen as a replacement of circumcision, which is considered the rite of initiation into the covenant of grace in the Old Testament. Reformed Christians believe that immersion is not necessary for baptism to be properly performed, but that pouring or sprinkling are acceptable. Only ordained ministers are permitted to administer baptism in Reformed churches, with no allowance for emergency baptism, though baptisms performed by non-ministers are generally considered valid. Reformed churches, while rejecting the baptismal ceremonies of the Roman Catholic church, accept the validity of baptisms performed with them and do not rebaptize.


Catholicism

In Catholic teaching, baptism is stated to be "necessary for salvation by actual reception or at least by desire". Catholic discipline requires the baptism ceremony to be performed by deacons, Priesthood in the Catholic Church, priests, or bishops, but in an emergency such as danger of death, anyone can licitly baptize. This teaching is based on the Gospel according to John which says that Jesus proclaimed: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." It dates back to the teachings and practices of 1st-century Christians, and the connection between salvation and baptism was not, on the whole, an item of major dispute until
Huldrych Zwingli Huldrych Zwingli or Ulrich Zwingli (1 January 1484 – 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland Map of the Swiss Confederacy by Sebastian Münster () The Protestant Reformation in Switzerland was promoted initi ...

Huldrych Zwingli
denied the necessity of baptism, which he saw as merely a sign granting admission to the Christian community. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament." The Council of Trent also states in the ''Decree Concerning Justification'' from session six that baptism is necessary for salvation. A person who knowingly, willfully and unrepentantly rejects baptism has no hope of salvation. However, if knowledge is absent, "those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience." The Catechism of the Catholic Church also states: "Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its instigator the devil, one or more exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate". In the
Roman Rite #REDIRECT Roman Rite The Roman Rite ( la, Ritus Romanus) is the main liturgical rite of the Latin or Western Church, the largest of the sui iuris particular Churches that make up the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred ...
of the baptism of a child, the wording of the prayer of exorcism is: "Almighty and ever-living God, you sent your only Son into the world to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil, to rescue man from the kingdom of darkness and bring him into the splendour of your kingdom of light. We pray for this child: set him (her) free from original sin, make him (her) a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell with him (her). Through Christ our Lord." In the Catholic Church by baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins. Given once for all, baptism cannot be repeated. Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte "a new creature," an adopted son of God, who has become a "partaker of the divine nature," member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit. Sanctifying grace, the grace of justification, given by God by baptism, erases the original sin and personal actual sins. A valid baptism in the eyes of the Catholic Church, according to Canon 758 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, are those done by water, by immersion, affusion (pouring), or aspersion (sprinkling), in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit—not three gods, but Trinity, one God subsisting in three Persons. While sharing in the one divine essence, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct, not simply three "masks" or manifestations of one divine being. The faith of the Church and of the individual Christian is based on a relationship with these three "Persons" of the one God. Adults can also be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is claimed that Pope Stephen I, St. Ambrose and Pope Nicholas I declared that baptisms in the name of "Jesus" only as well as in the name of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" were valid. The correct interpretation of their words is disputed. Current canonical law requires the Trinitarian formula and water for validity. The Church recognizes two equivalents of baptism with water: "baptism of blood" and "
baptism of desire Baptism of desire ( la, Baptismus flaminis) is a teaching of the Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord ...
". Baptism of blood is that undergone by unbaptized individuals who are martyred for their faith, while baptism of desire generally applies to catechumens who die before they can be baptized. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes these two forms:
The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This ''Baptism of blood'', like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament. :— 1258
For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and Charity (virtue), charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. :— 1259
The Catholic Church holds that those who are ignorant of Christ's Gospel and of the Church, but who seek the truth and do God's will as they understand it, may be supposed to have an implicit desire for baptism and can be saved: Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.' Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity." As for unbaptized infants, the Church is unsure of their fate; "the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God".


United Protestants

In United Protestant Churches, such as the United Church of Canada, Church of North India, Church of Pakistan, Church of South India, Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Uniting Church in Australia and United Church of Christ in Japan, baptism is a
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
.


Eastern Orthodoxy

In Eastern Orthodoxy, baptism is considered a sacrament and mystery which transforms the old and sinful person into a new and pure one, where the old life, the sins, any mistakes made are gone and a clean slate is given. In Greek Orthodox Church, Greek and Russian Orthodox traditions, it is taught that through Baptism a person is united to the Body of Christ by becoming an official member of the Orthodox Church. During the service, the Orthodox priest blesses the Holy water in Eastern Christianity, water to be used. The catechumen (the one baptised) is fully immersed in the water three times in the name of the Trinity. This is considered to be a death of the "old man" by participation in the crucifixion and burial of Christ, and a rebirth into new life in Christ by participation in his resurrection. Properly a new name is given, which becomes the person's name. Babies of Orthodox families are normally baptized shortly after birth. Older converts to Orthodoxy are usually formally baptized into the Orthodox Church, though exceptions are sometimes made. Those who have left Orthodoxy and adopted a new religion, if they return to their Orthodox roots, are usually received back into the church through
Chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
. Properly and generally, the Mystery of Baptism is administered by bishops and other priests; however, in emergencies any Orthodox Christian can baptize. In such cases, should the person survive the emergency, it is likely that the person will be properly baptized by a priest at some later date. This is not considered to be a second baptism, nor is it imagined that the person is not already Orthodox, but rather it is a fulfillment of the proper form. The service of Baptism in Greek Orthodox (and other Eastern Orthodox) churches has remained largely unchanged for over 1500 years. This fact is witnessed to by St.
Cyril of Jerusalem Cyril of Jerusalem ( el, Κύριλλος Α΄ Ἱεροσολύμων, ''Kýrillos A Ierosolýmon''; la, Cyrillus Hierosolymitanus; 313 386 AD) was a theologian of the early Church. About the end of 350 AD he succeeded Maximus Maximus (Helle ...

Cyril of Jerusalem
(d. 386), who, in his ''Discourse on the Sacrament of Baptism'', describes the service in much the same way as is currently in use.


Jehovah's Witnesses

The Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses believes that baptism should be performed by complete immersion (submersion) in water and only when an individual is old enough to understand its significance. They believe that water baptism is an outward symbol that a person has made an unconditional dedication through Jesus Christ to do the will of God. Only after baptism, is a person considered a full-fledged Witness, and an official member of the Christian Congregation. They consider baptism to constitute ordination as a Christian minister, minister. Prospective candidates for baptism must express their desire to be baptized well in advance of a planned baptismal event, to allow for congregation Elder (Christianity)#Jehovah's Witnesses, elders to assess their suitability (regarding true repentance and conversion). Elders approve candidates for baptism if the candidates are considered to understand what is expected of members of the religion and to demonstrate sincere dedication to the faith. Most baptisms among Jehovah's Witnesses are performed at scheduled assemblies and conventions by elders and ministerial servants, in special pools, or sometimes oceans, rivers, or lakes, depending on circumstances, and rarely occur at local Kingdom Halls."Questions From Readers", ''The Watchtower'', August 1, 1973, page 480 Prior to baptism, at the conclusion of a pre-baptism talk, candidates must affirm two questions: Only baptized males (elders or ministerial servants) may baptize new members. Baptizers and candidates wear swimsuits or other informal clothing for baptism, but are directed to avoid clothing that is considered undignified or too revealing.""God's Prophetic Word" District Conventions", ''Our Kingdom Ministry'', May 1999, page 4 Generally, candidates are individually immersed by a single baptizer, unless a candidate has special circumstances such as a physical disability."Questions From Readers", ''The Watchtower'', November 15, 1986, page 31 In circumstances of extended isolation, a qualified candidate's dedication and stated intention to become baptized may serve to identify him as a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, even if immersion itself must be delayed. In rare instances, unbaptized males who had stated such an intention have reciprocally baptized each other, with both baptisms accepted as valid. Individuals who had been baptized in the 1930s and 1940s by female Witnesses due to extenuating circumstances, such as in concentration camps, were later re-baptized but still recognized their original baptism dates.


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism ...
(LDS Church), baptism is recognized as the first of several Ordinance (Latter Day Saints), ordinances (rituals) of the gospel. In Mormonism, baptism has the main purpose of remitting the sins of the participant. It is followed by Confirmation (Latter Day Saints), confirmation, which inducts the person into membership in the church and constitutes a baptism with the Holy Spirit. Latter-day Saints believe that baptism must be by full immersion, and by a precise ritualized ordinance: if some part of the participant is not fully immersed, or the ordinance was not recited verbatim, the ritual must be repeated. It typically occurs in a baptismal font. In addition, members of the LDS Church do not believe a baptism is valid unless it is performed by a Latter-day Saint one who has proper authority (a Priest (Latter Day Saints), priest or Elder (Latter Day Saints), elder). Authority is passed down through a form of apostolic succession. All new converts to the faith must be baptized or rebaptism (Mormonism), re-baptized. Baptism is seen as symbolic both of Jesus' death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus, resurrection and is also symbolic of the baptized individual discarding their "natural" self and donning a new identity as a disciple of Jesus. According to Latter-day Saint theology, faith and repentance are prerequisites to baptism. The ritual does not cleanse the participant of
original sin Original sin is the Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' a ...
, as Latter-day Saints do not believe the doctrine of original sin. Mormonism rejects infant baptism and baptism must occur after the age of accountability, defined in Latter-day Saint scripture as eight years old. Latter-day Saint theology also teaches baptism for the dead in which deceased ancestors are baptized vicariously by the living, and believe that their practice is what Paul wrote of in Corinthians 15:29. This occurs in Temple (Latter Day Saints), Latter-day Saint temples.


Non-practitioners


Quakers

Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Ref ...

Quakers
(members of the Religious Society of Friends) do not believe in the baptism of either children or adults with water, rejecting all forms of outward sacraments in their religious life. Robert Barclay's ''Apology for the True Christian Divinity'' (a historic explanation of Quaker theology from the 17th century), explains Quakers' opposition to baptism with water thus: Robert Barclay, Barclay argued that water baptism was only something that happened until the time of Christ, but that now, people are baptised inwardly by the spirit of Christ, and hence there is no need for the external sacrament of water baptism, which
Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Ref ...

Quakers
argue is meaningless.


Salvation Army

The Salvation Army does not practice water baptism, or indeed other outward sacraments. William Booth and Catherine Booth, the founders of the Salvation Army, believed that many Christians had come to rely on the outward signs of spiritual grace rather than on grace itself. They believed what was important was spiritual grace itself. However, although the Salvation Army does not practice baptism, they are not opposed to baptism within other Christian denominations.


Hyperdispensationalism

There are some Christians termed "Hyperdispensationalism, Hyperdispensationalists" (Mid-Acts dispensationalism) who accept only Paul's Epistles as directly applicable for the church today. They do not accept water baptism as a practice for the church since Paul who was God's apostle to the nations was not sent to baptize. Ultradispensationalists (Acts 28 dispensationalism) who do not accept the practice of the Lord's supper, do not practice baptism because these are not found in the Prison Epistles. Both sects believe water baptism was a valid practice for covenant Israel. Hyperdispensationalists also teach that Peter's gospel message was not the same as Paul's. Hyperdispensationalists assert: *The great commission and its baptism is directed to early Jewish believers, not the Gentile believers of mid-Acts or later. *The baptism of Acts 2:36–38 is Peter's call for Israel to repent of complicity in the death of their Messiah; not as a Gospel announcement of Atonement in Christianity, atonement for sin, a later doctrine revealed by Paul. Water baptism found early in the Book of Acts is, according to this view, now supplanted by the one baptism foretold by John the Baptist. Others make a distinction between John's prophesied baptism by Christ with the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit's baptism of the believer into the body of Christ; the latter being the one baptism for today. The one baptism for today, it is asserted, is the "baptism of the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the ...

Holy Spirit
" of the believer into the Body of Christ church. Many in this group also argue that John's promised Baptized by fire, baptism by fire is pending, referring to the destruction of the world by fire. Other Hyperdispensationalists believe that baptism was necessary until mid-Acts.


Debaptism

Most Christian churches see baptism as a once-in-a-lifetime event that can be sacramental character, neither repeated nor undone. They hold that those who have been baptized remain baptized, even if they renounce the Christian faith by adopting a non-Christian religion or by irreligion, rejecting religion entirely. But some other organizations and individuals are practicing debaptism.


Comparative summary

Comparative Summary of Baptisms of Denominations of Christian Influence. (This section does not give a complete listing of denominations, and therefore, it only mentions a fraction of the churches practicing "believer's baptism".)


Other initiation ceremonies

Many cultures practice or have practiced initiation rites, with or without the use of water, including the ancient Egyptian, the Hebrews, Hebraic/Jewish, the Babylonian, the Maya civilization, Mayan, and the Norsemen, Norse cultures. The modern Japanese practice of Miyamairi is such as ceremony that does not use water. In some, such evidence may be archaeology, archaeological and descriptive in nature, rather than a modern practice.


Mystery religion initiation rites

In the 20th century, it was common for scholars to draw parallels between rites from mystery religions and baptism in Christianity. Apuleius, a 2nd-century Roman Empire, Roman writer, described an initiation into the Greco-Roman mysteries, mysteries of Isis. The initiation was preceded by a normal bathing in the public baths and a ceremonial sprinkling by the priest of Isis, after which the candidate was given secret instructions in the temple of the goddess. The candidate then fasted for ten days from meat and wine, after which he was dressed in linen and led at night into the innermost part of the sanctuary, where the actual initiation, the details of which were secret, took place. On the next two days, dressed in the robes of his consecration, he participated in feasting. Apuleius describes also an initiation into the cult of Osiris and yet a third initiation, of the same pattern as the initiation into the cult of Isis, without mention of a preliminary bathing. The water-less initiations of Lucius, the character in Apuleius's story who had been turned into an ass and changed back by Isis into human form, into the successive degrees of the rites of the goddess was accomplished only after a significant period of study to demonstrate his loyalty and trustworthiness, akin to catechumenal practices preceding baptism in Christianity. Since the 1950s, scholars have dismissed the alleged connection between mystery rites and baptism. Jan Bremmer has written on the putative connection between rites from mystery religions and baptism;
There are thus some verbal parallels between early Christianity and the Mysteries, but the situation is rather different as regards early Christian ritual practice. Much ink was spilled around 1900 arguing that the rituals of baptism and of the Last Supper derived from the ancient Mysteries, but Nock and others after him have easily shown that these attempts grossly misinterpreted the sources. Baptism is clearly rooted in Jewish purificatory rituals, and cult meals are so widespread in antiquity that any specific derivation is arbitrary. It is truly surprising to see how long the attempts to find some pagan background to these two Christian sacraments have persevered. Secularising ideologies clearly played an important part in these interpretations but, nevertheless, they have helped to clarify the relations between nascent Christianity and its surroundings.


Gnostic Catholicism and Thelema

The Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, or Gnostic Catholic Church (the ecclesiastical arm of Ordo Templi Orientis), offers its Rite of Baptism to any person at least 11 years old. The ceremony is performed before a Gnostic Mass and represents a symbolic birth into the Thelemic community.


Baptism of objects

The word "baptism" or "christening" is sometimes used to describe the inauguration of certain objects for use.


Boats and ships

''Baptism of Ships'': at least since the time of the Crusades, rituals have contained a blessing for ships. The priest begs God to bless the vessel and protect those who sail in. The ship is usually sprinkled with holy water.


Church bells

The name ''Baptism of Bells'' has been given to the blessing of (bell (instrument), musical, especially Church bell, church) bells, at least in France, since the 11th century. It is derived from the washing of the bell with holy water by the bishop, before he anoints it with the oil of the infirm without and with chrism within; a fuming censer is placed under it and the bishop prays that these sacramentals of the Church may, at the sound of the bell, put the demons to flight, protect from storms, and call the faithful to prayer.


Dolls

"Baptism of Dolls": the custom of 'dolly dunking' was once a common practice in parts of the United Kingdom, particularly in Cornwall where it has been revived in recent years.


Yazidi baptism

The Yazidism#Religious practices, Yazidi baptism is called ''Mor kirin'' (literally: "to seal"). Traditionally, Yazidi children are baptised at birth with water from the ''Kaniya Sipî'' ("White Spring") at Lalish.


Mandaean baptism

Mandaeans revere
John the Baptist John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
and practice frequent baptism (masbuta) as a ritual of purification, not of initiation. They are possibly the earliest people to practice baptism. Mandaeans undergo baptism on Sundays (''Habshaba''), wearing a white sacral robe (Rasta) and consists of a triple full immersion in water, a triple ''signing'' of the forehead with water and a triple drinking of water. The priest (Rabbi) then removes a ring made of myrtle worn by the baptized and places it on his/her forehead. This is then followed by a handshake (kushta-''hand of truth'') with the priest. Living water is a requirement for baptism, therefore can only take place in rivers. All rivers are named ''Yardena'' Jordan River, (Jordan) and are believed to be nourished by the ''World of Light''. By the river bank, a Mandaean's forehead is anointed with sesame oil and partakes in a communion of bread and water. Baptism for Mandaeans allows for salvation by connecting with the ''World of Light'' and for forgiveness of sins.


See also


Related articles and subjects

* Amrit Sanchar, in Sikhism * Baptism by fire * Baptism of desire * Baptism of Jesus * Baptismal clothing * Baptismal vows * Baptistery * Believer's baptism * Catechumen * Anointing, Christening *
Chrismation Chrismation consists of the sacrament or mystery in the Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, ...
* Christifideles * Conditional baptism * Consolamentum * Disciple (Christianity) * Divine filiation * Emergency baptism * Infant baptism * Jesus-Name doctrine * Prevenient Grace * Ritual purification * Sacrament * Theophany * Water and religion


People and ritual objects

* Baptismal font * Baptistery * Chrism * Ghusl * Godparent * Holy water * Holy water in Eastern Christianity *
John the Baptist John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
* Mikvah * Misogi


Notes


References


Further reading

* * * * * . 26 pp. N.B.: States the Evangelical Anglican position of the Reformed Episcopal Church. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


"Writings of the Early Church Fathers on Baptism"

"Baptism."
Encyclopædia Britannica Online. * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Baptism In Christianity Baptism, Christian terminology Conversion to Christianity Rites of passage Ritual purity in Christianity Sacraments