Was this baptism by immersion?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Isaiah40:28, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    I've always been taught that the eunuch was immersed based on the phrases, "down into" and "up out of".
    Meaning the baptizee must go "down into" the water and come "up out of" it.
    But the use of "both" and "they" going down and coming up out is confusing.
    Phillip is said to have gone down and come up as well.
    Obviously he wasn't being baptized; he was the baptizer.
    So are these prepositional phrases indicating immersion or just that they went down into an area where there was water and they used some of it for baptism and they came back up to the road?

    *Something I just thought about after I reread the bolded phrases was the ordering of the passage.
    1) both went down into the water
    2) Philip baptized him
    3) both came up out of the water

    Now I'm not sure at all why immersion is read into this passage. Ahhh!
     
    #1 Isaiah40:28, Feb 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 29, 2008
  2. Zenas

    Zenas
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    You're looking at "went down into the water" and "came up out of the water." You're right, these don't show with any certainty that there was an immersion. However the phrase "Philip baptized him" does show an immersion. "Baptize" is derived from the Greek word "baptizein", which evolved from the Greek work "baptein" which means "to dip."
     
  3. Isaiah40:28

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    But these phrases "down into" and "up out of" are used by Baptists to show the validity of immersion are they not?
     
  4. Salamander

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    I don't believe the plain of the water determines baptism in this sense: one is still baptized by immersion even if they didn't get totally under the water, but did intend to be totally immersed as being under the water.

    To nit-pick is to nit-pick, and I don't have lice.

    Sprinkle? Not!
     
  5. Isaiah40:28

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    I'll ask again.

    But these phrases "down into" and "up out of" are used by Baptists to show the validity of immersion are they not?
     
  6. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Immersion is valid, that's not the argument. The argument is that it's the exclusive mode. And you're right, these verses don't prove that.

    Another person mentioned the meaning of the word. It means "dip." I'll go with that though I'm not a legalist to say that it is the only valid mode. It's like saying that communion must be a big dinner instead of the little crackers and tiny cups.

    I can see why pouring or sprinkling would be preferred for those who are bed-ridden or cannot otherwise be immersed.
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    I've heard some people try to use those phrases to make that point, but I don't think they are correct. The word that's transliterated as "baptize" means "to dip, plunge, or immerse."

    That's really all the evidence you need.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The phrase "down into the water" is not here used as an equivalent for "baptize" (as you are trying to make it out to be). If it were, then the passage would be redundant, saying "they baptized (went down into the water) so that he could be baptized."

    The point of "down into the water" is that there was no way to baptize without both of them going "down into the water." That is because in order to "baptize" there had to be enough water to "go down into." Sprinkling or pouring would not need a situation where they could "go down into the water."
     
  9. Isaiah40:28

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    I'm not trying to make out anything.
    I'm asking a question about what I was taught and what is put forward by Baptists today.

    So you are using the phrases to validate the Baptist view of immersion, right?

    That's what I'm trying to figure out.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    My comment wasn't perjorative. It was a comment on your current understanding.

    I understand.

    First, I reject the terminology of "Baptist view of immersion" as prejudicial. Let's remove it from the realm of a denominational label and examine what the Scriptures say without prejudice.

    Second, the phrases certainly teach attendant circumstances that are necessary for baptism. There was no reason for Philip and the eunuch to "go down into the water" if sprinkling or pouring was going to be used to baptize. They went down into the water because that was the only way to get into a position to baptize the eunuch. They could not baptize him without going down into the water.

    So again, "down into the water" is not baptism, since as you rightly pointed out, PHilip also went down into the water. You seemed, in your first post, to be trying to equate "down into the water" with baptism, and I have never seen a Baptist make that argument. The argument is that they went down into the water because that was the only way that they could immerse the eunuch. And it is an argument that has no real refutation that doesn't involve special pleading.

    But the phrases certainly and without question indicate that immersion was biblical baptism since the phrases describe what was necessary to get into a place where baptism could be carried out.
     
  11. Isaiah40:28

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    That's the argument that I've heard and what I find when I search for "immersion" articles by Baptists.
    I'd like to counter that argument.

    In the passage I've quoted, the road is where Phillip speaks to the eunuch.
    Then when they leave the road to go to the water, they are said to go "down into the water".
    The road was higher than the water, so Phillip and the eunuch went down to where the water was accessible. They both walk into the water, Phillip leans down, scoops up some water into his hand and pours it over the eunuch.
    Then they both walk out of the water, back up to where the chariot sat waiting on the road.
    I don't see the phrases "down into" and "up out of" necessitating baptism by immersion only.
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    Where's the scriptural support to make the claim that Phillip poured water from his hand onto the eunuch? That's something you're inserting into the text.

    They don't, but the very word "baptism" does. The world "baptism" is actually a transliteration of the Greek word, "baptizo", which means to dip, plunge, or immerse. That's the evidence.

    Going down into the water and coming out of the water is simply describing how they got into a body of water where the eunuch could be immersed.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    There is no need to walk "into" and "out of" the water if all that is needed is handful of water to pour over the eunuch. Furthermore, there is no need to use the word baptize when something other than baptism is in view. The words for pour or sprinkle are never used for baptism in the NT, and with good reason: Baptism is not pouring or sprinkling.

    What you describe here going be accomplished simply by going down beside the water, not "into" it. That is not what the text says.
     
  14. Isaiah40:28

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    I'm not saying he did.
    I'm suggesting a way in which it would still be necessary to go "down into the water" even if immersion wasn't what was intended.
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    Okay, but in that case, only Phillip needed to go "down into the water."
     
  16. Isaiah40:28

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    Yes, it certainly may be accomplished by standing next to the water.
    However, it could also be done by standing in the water as well with minimal effort needed.
     
  17. Isaiah40:28

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    Let's say, it was a lake, pond, river or creek with banks.
    Leaning over the side of the bank without falling head in, to scoop water so that you can carry it to pour it over someone's head is a bit unwieldy.
    Stepping down in together makes it easier to scoop and pour if that is the intention and can be done with simply getting your feet wet.
    That's all I'm suggesting.
    The phrases by themselves do not limit the the action of sprinkling or pouring which was what I was taught and what is argued here and elsewhere.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    I think you are stretching in the worst kind of way here to avoid what the text says.
     
  19. Isaiah40:28

    Isaiah40:28
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    No, I'm not trying to avoid what the text says.
    I'm questioning a line of argumentation, which is: it must be immersion since it says they went "down into" and "came out of".
    You apparantly subscribe to that argument. I don't think I do anymore.
    You can say "baptizo means immerse and that's why they had to go down into the water".
    Fine, that's makes sense.
    Arguing the negative, that it cannot support pouring or sprinkling because the phrases only lend themselves to immersion is simply not true.
    Yet Baptists do it.
     
  20. Aaron

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    That is something missed by almost every Baptist expositor. It's as if none of them has ever filled a vessel by dipping it into a pond or creek. Getting into the water is just as expedient for pouring or sprinkling as it is for immersion.

    As Baptist Believer stated, the mode isn't in the the fact of the candidate and administrator getting into the water, it's in the meaning of the word baptism.

    Here are two links discussing the meaning of the word baptizo. One is from a Reformed source. Baptists tend to exclude any meaning for the word other than "dip." I'm a dunker myself, but as I said, I'm not legalistic about it.

    http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=907

    http://www.wrs.edu/Materials_for_Web_Site/Courses/Theology_4/Chapter_8-Mode_Baptism.pdf
     

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