Baptismal History

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Lorelei, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. Lorelei

    Lorelei
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    I am currently doing a study on baptism. In trying to deal with such doctrines as baptismal regeneration and infant baptism, I am trying to find some information from history itself. I can find many resources proving that infant baptism was not practiced by the early church, but unfortunately these documents also profess baptism as necessary for salvation.

    Can anyone point me to some resources that show historically baptism was practiced as we see it practiced in the NT. I would also like to see where and why baptismal regeneration snuck into the church. From my current research it seems that it was already being taught while the Bible was being penned.

    ~Lorelei
     
  2. Doubting Thomas

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    Available resources seem to indicate that baptismal regeneration was taught from the beginning by all the apostolic/postapostolic fathers. (At the very least there is no documentation that any early church father taught to the contrary.) Or to put it another way, there is no evidence that it "snuck into the church"--it seems to be taken for granted that this was the apostolic teaching.
     
  3. gb93433

    gb93433
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    What some think of as baptismal regeneration is not that at all. In Acts 2:38 when it says, "Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

    If one understand the context of this verse it is easy to see that it does not agree with the doctrine today of what we often call baptismal regeneration. The context is that the early church never separated baptism and salvation. It is much like the idea that for one to say he is saved and asked to prove it by being baptized. When a person was baptized it meant that they announced that their lord of master was Christ. In effect they renounced their allegiance to the emperor. By doing this the emperor could have had that person executed. Some of the emperors expected absolute allegiance.

    So if a person was willing to stand against the possibility of execution by naming Christ as their Lord do you think they would be saved? I think so!
     
  4. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Lorelei,

    It is my understanding that the first mention of infant baptism historically is by the writer Tertullian who wrote against the practice in the third century. However, Tertullian also argued in favor of baptismal regeneration.

    In Tertullian's writings in favor of baptismal regeneration he refutes the arguments of those who did not believe in it. The arguments he refutes are the same arguments that Baptists would make against Campbellites today.

    The fact that he saw fit to defend baptismal regeneration proves there were people at that time who argued against it. These wouldn't have been those practicing infant baptism because infant baptism stems from a belief in baptismal regeneration.

    Tertuallian's writings against salvation by faith alone, then, confirm the existence at that time of "baptist" people who were not baptismal regenerationists.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  5. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Lorelei,

    I erroneously stated that Tertullian wrote in the 3rd century. Actually, he wrote in the second century.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  6. Doubting Thomas

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    Yeah, and they were known as "Gnostics".
     
  7. Lorelei

    Lorelei
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    Mark,

    Thanks, that is an excellent point. I will look up some info on Tertullian.

    ~Lorelei
     
  8. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Yeah, and they were known as "Gnostics". </font>[/QUOTE]Doubting Thomas,

    Actually, Tertullian argued against the "Cainites" - whatever that means. I'm not througly conversant with Tertullian's writings, but what I have read of his refutation of the "Cainites" would indicate nothing other than that they believed in salvation by faith alone and, thus, were accused by Tertullian of not believing in baptism; just as, ironically, Campbellites often accuse Baptists of not believing in baptism - if you can figure that out. [​IMG]

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  9. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Actually baptism per se was also in Judaism and in the secular world and predated the NT. It was through self baptism that a non-Jew was accepted into Judaism. Baptism is an invented word by the pedobaptists because they did not believe in immersion but rather infant baptism by sprinkling. What they actually translated did not agree with their theology so they came up with a way to accomodate their theology. When they tried to translate the NT they simply transliterated the Greek word baptisma. That is how the word baptism came about. The word baptisma correctly translated means to dip, immerse, or wash.

    That same word was used in the secular world. For example if one wanted to say a ship sank they would use the same word we translate into baptism.

    Baptism is an invented word out of convenience.

    [ September 13, 2003, 11:26 AM: Message edited by: gb93433 ]
     

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