3000 Baptized in less than one day, really?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

    Today I reflected on the happenings on this Penticost and specifically about this verse. A few questions came to mind:
    1) "Those who accepted his message" - those that got saved
    2) "were baptized" - does this mean that they necesarily were all baptized in one day?
    3) "three thousand were added" - were they added because they believed or because they were baptized?
    4) "to their number" - the number of the disciples, et al
    5) "that day" - what was actually done 'that day'? What did Luke consider a 'day' (ie, sun up to sun down or 12:00AM-11:59PM)?

    Why would we consider that they were necessarily baptized that day?

    Logistics: Where would they have baptized? How long would it take to get there on foot?

    The crowd: The crowd was surely bigger than three thousand since not all believed. How much time does it take for a crowd of 3,000+ to gather and then also get each individual's attention? Was the crowd monolith in their attention and synchronized in thier thought? Scripture states the crowd gathered in response to what they heard and that they were bewildered, amazed and perplexed, and some mocked. I have never seen such a sized crowd with all individuals in this kind of state of mind. After the 3000 believed, was there be any vetting by the apostles to try to assure that they understood and were authentic?

    Time: Peter states it was around 9:00am when he started preaching. So, the baptisms probably did not start until 10:00am at the earliest. In addition to what is recorded of Peter's sermon, scripture states, "With many other words he warned them". Who knows how long that went on? How much time did they have to Baptize? Did not their 'day' end in the early evening thus beginning the next 'day'? Would that be 6:00pm or so? Would that give the baptizers only 8 hours to complete the baptizings? If so, they would have to baptize 375 per hour, which would come to 31+ per apostle per hour (12 apostles).

    Baptizers: Who were the ones leading the believers in baptism? Would it be just the 12 apostles?

    It seems to me that the idea of baptizing 3000 in such a small amount of time under these circumstances would be to force a certain reality upon the scripture that the scripture doesn't require.

    In conclusion, I'd propose that this is an example of how our dogma can force and contort reality to comply with our beliefs. "They HAD to be baptized THAT DAY because our dogma of church membership requires such, therefore that was the reality and it couldn't have been any different."
     
  2. Winman

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    Well it doesn't say that all 3000 were baptized that day, only that all 3000 that received the Lord were baptized.

    There is another possibility as well, we are told there were about 120 disciples gathered together in Acts 1:15, perhaps all of these disciples were allowed to baptize, that would work out to 25 per disciple, a very credible number.
     
    #2 Winman, Jun 26, 2011
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  3. Salty

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    Another point to consider - the 3,000 saved - was that number based on all, or just the men; as the custom was.

    with women and children, could eaisly have been another 2-5 thousand? additional folks :confused:
     
    #3 Salty, Jun 26, 2011
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  4. Winman

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    double post
     
    #4 Winman, Jun 26, 2011
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  5. quantumfaith

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    Is it possible that they were baptized "en masse"?
     
  6. menageriekeeper

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    Sprinkling wouldn't take that long at all and wouldn't require a pool of water. A bucket or two would have done the whole crowd.

    :eek:

    :D
     
  7. humblethinker

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    My thoughts exactly Winman. My background is that of Funda-Indi-Bap and my prescribed beliefs were that a person is not a member until they are baptized. As a youth I spent over a year as an 'outsider' (but still very devoted to the church) because I had not been baptized yet, which excluded me from various observances and service opportunities. Also, it was my understanding that only preachers could baptize.

    Regarding this passage, I think both of your assessments are possible and even probable.

    What caught my attention that, assuming your first proposition, people "added to their number" meant that they were considered insiders or 'members', if you will, before they were baptized. This would have challenged several beliefs that, as a fundy, I would not have been able to accept. If they were 'members' befor they were baptized then they would be candidates for partaking of communion, voting in church business, sing in the choir/orchestra, teach a class, lead in prayer, be trusted with a church key, excercise their spiritual gifts, etc. It was understood that all of this was only for 'members' of the church.
    What constitutes 'membership'? Should we put more requirements on being part of the Body than what scripture requires?
     
  8. revmwc

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    Baptism of the Holy Spirit takes place immediately and all were Baptized with the Holy Spirit. Water baptism would follow.
     
  9. humblethinker

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    Are you suggesting that this is the meaning of "Those who accepted his message were baptized"? If so, then would you agree that Peter would had to have been talking about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when he told the people that they should, "Repent and be baptized"?

    It seems clear to me that Peter was referring to a water baptism and that the crowd understood it as such and were baptized as such.
     
  10. revmwc

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    They were to be identified with Christ and water Baptism would follow but we repent and be indentified with Christ. From Websters: : to purify or cleanse spiritually especially by a purging experience or ordeal
     
  11. humblethinker

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    Your reply doesn't seem to ansswer the questions in my last post. Is your answer indicating disagreement with those questions or is it indicating agreement but with extra clarification?
     
  12. revmwc

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    Peter was refering to water baptism in His sermon and 3000 souls were added to the church that day, all were baptized into the Holy Spirit and followed in water baptism.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    That day (Pentecost) 3000 saved/immersed in identification with their repetance and faith.

    Now if you think of the way MANY baptize today
    One at a time
    Testimony
    XYZ words
    Dunked
    Back out, new one in

    You are taking 5 minutes per person. One man baptizes 12 in an hour (12 disciples = 144 an hour) and you have 20+ hours minimum, with no potty break

    BUT

    Jewish Baptism was done by the individual, without words, quietly dunking themselves under the water. With 7 major pools near Mt Zion where the events of Pentecost unfold, it would take only a few hours at most for those who heard/believed the Word were obedient and bound together.

    No sore-armed preacher trying to dunk each one. No swarming crowds trying to cram a small baptistry. Siloam is today a small pool, about 15% of the size at the time of Christ. Bethesda pool with seven porches is larger than 2 olympic swimming pools.

    3000 baptism in one day? Not any big deal. Seriously.
     
  14. humblethinker

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    I did not know that Jews baptized themselves. However, this doesn't seem likely to me since all other Jewish baptisms we see in th bible are not done as such. It seems expected that it would have been like jesus's baptism, which was by someone else, John the baptist. We also see in scripture that jesus' disciples baptized people. Philip also baptized the eunuch. The idea that the apostles would have instructed the crowd to baptize themselves seems a stretch.

    Thank you for the info about the pools.

    In your first scenario, I agree but they would not have 20 hours to baptize in to still be considered 'that day'.

    I think a reasonable understanding is that 3000 got saved that day and were baptized soon after but not within that day.
     
  15. revmwc

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    They were Baptized by the Holy Spirit that very day, but the physical water batize would follow as it could be performed. If we say they were baptized that day then we must do as the C of C do and have the Baptismal waters ready for anyone who receives Christ and makes a profession of faith, so we can immediately dunk them.

    But we don't do that, although my Pastor tries to Baptize them as soon as possible like the very next Sunday. Others have a time of teaching and learning before they baptize someone.
     
  16. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  17. sag38

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    We could debate the logistics all day long and never really know the truth as to how and how long. Non of us were there so all we can do is speculate. The important thing is that scripture says that they were baptized. (I would speculate in an expedient manner as possible.) They were following Christ's command to baptize disciples and that's good enough for me.
     
  18. JesusFan

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    remember though the crpwd heareing peter preach...

    Think was quite specific to the Jewish hearers assembled there...

    basically require each one of them to repent of being those who denied/crucified jesus as a false Messiah, turn to Him and receive Him as the real promised Messiah, and to be baptised now as a visible/outward sign that true repentance and faith to Jesus had really happened!

    Show waqter baptism used to show/confirm in a tangle sense true salvation had come to them, and also that the person they were baptised in, IE, Jesus, was the One who remitted their sins!
     
  19. humblethinker

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    Of couse it's good enough. I agree. But my op is regarding the idea that those saved were or were not considered a part of or a member of the church. I'm wanting to address the idea that church membership (as Paul discussed "members of the body") is only possible after the event of and is conditional to water baptism.

    I guess you could say I'm addressing this to those who hold to the ideas that the local church is the only 'church' there is and that baptism is a requirement for church membership.

    I propose, that regardless of how it happened, all the people were considered members "that day" even though all may not have been baptized that day.
     
  20. sag38

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    At the church I pastor we do not accept into membership disobedient Christians. One is clearly disobedient who does not submit himself or herself for baptism in a timely manner.
     

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