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Featured Christian Bible context only: the baptisms of John and Jesus

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Jim, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    NOTE: This is for anyone, Christian or not, who agrees to argue only from Christian Bibles. Interpretations, and literal or figurative can be argued, but no debates about historicity or authorship.

    In the Bible stories about Jesus, it looks to me like in his time there is a popular practice that in English translations is called “baptism.” It looks to me like a symbol of cleansing for various purposes. One of those purposes is to prepare for some event. The baptisms might normally be done by priests, but they can also be done by prophets, and John is a prophet in popular thinking. He is traveling around, baptizing people in preparation for the mission of Jesus.

    It looks to me like the water in the baptism of Jesus is the water that He mentions to the woman at the well.

    John 4:14 “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

    Somehow the disciples have the idea that everyone who wants to follow Jesus needs to be baptized with physical water in the way that is currently popular, and Jesus has no objection to that.

    I don’t see any reason in any of that to think that baptism with physical water is a requirement for following Jesus, or that God has rules about when and how to do it.
     
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  2. RESOLUTION

    RESOLUTION Active Member

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    John said:- "
    King James Bible
    John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

    Jesus baptiszed with the Holy Spirit. John had been filled with the Holy Spirit since before his birth. The outward baptism of water is the washing away of sins but the anointing of the Holy Spirit is the water of life within you the abundance of life from the Holy Spirit. Being baptised with the Holy Spirit is the most important baptism this is the mark of God on a true believer and is the giver of life. Jesus said :- My words are spirit and they are life."
     
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  3. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Jesus presented himself to John at the Jordan River to be baptized by him. (Matthew 3:13-17) John at first objected, knowing that Jesus was the one sent by God whose sandals he said he was not fit to untie. But Jesus allayed his fears and said that it was fitting this one time to do this...so John acceded and baptized Jesus who at that moment was anointed with God's spirit and prepared for his difficult role as Messiah. (Luke 3:21)

    Christian baptism is not the same as John's baptism because it was for the remission of sins committed against the Law of Moses. Jesus did not have any sins over which to be repentant, so his baptism was different. It was a presenting of himself to symbolically 'die' to his former life and be 'raised' to do the will of his Father. God's voice was heard accepting his son's public act of dedication.

    For those who wanted to become disciples of Jesus, baptism was a necessary requirement because it was a symbol of a person doing what Jesus did....dying to a former life course where one's own will was paramount and being raise to do the will of God first in life.

    Jesus' last command to his disciples was....
    "Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit". (Matthew 28:19)

    You see, it was a command, not a recommendation.

    If you understand the symbolism it makes sense. The apostle Peter explained that we are saved through the water of baptism, like Noah was saved through the water in the ark.

    1 Peter 3:2-21...
    "....when God was patiently waiting in Noah’s day, while the ark was being constructed, in which a few people, that is, eight souls, were carried safely through the water.
    21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, is also now saving you...."

    Baptism is a necessary requirement for Christians.
     
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  4. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    Do you see Jesus saying anywhere in the gospel stories that the water for His baptism is physical water, and not the water of life?
     
  5. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Jesus was a Jew.. He would have supported the Mikveh.

    Baptism and Immersion in Judaism - Wild Olive
    www.wildolive.co.uk/baptism.htm
    Baptism is a Greek translation of tevila, meaning Immersion. Jewish immersion is usually done in a Mikveh, which means a pool where water has gathered. A Mikveh is an essential in any Synagogue and they were also part of the temple.
     
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  6. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    When do you think Jews are baptized in the gospel stories? How often, on what occasions, or in what circumstances?
     
  7. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    First off, it's important to understand that Adam's sin brought death to all because "in Adam all sinned". This means that all mankind share the same flesh and blood nature as Adam. And that nature is sinful nature.
    Jesus was under the same death penalty as the rest of mankind because all have sinned in Adam.

    Jesus himself personally committed no sin but because he took upon himself the sinful flesh nature he too needed to be baptized. .As he said: "to fulfill all righteousness"
     
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  8. KenS

    KenS Veteran Member
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    Although there is a living water, that you mentioned, I believe there is sufficient proofs that there was and is a baptism in water and I think the early church would understand better if it was just a figurative baptism...

    John 3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

    It was understood that they were talking about water in this case:

    Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

    Obviously, Phillip would understand if a water baptism wasn't necessary, the eunuch wouldn't have asked and Phillip wouldn't have baptized.

    Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

    The Apostle Peter would have definitely known if water was not a component in the baptism.

    There are additional scriptures that give the understanding that water baptism is part of one's faith in action.
     
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  9. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Read about the Jewish mikveh. You don't have to guess.
     
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  10. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    It makes sense to me that Jesus would respect the Jewish customs of His time, and approve of His Jewish followers doing so. It also makes sense to me that the disciples are following some Jewish custom of their time when they baptize people with physical water. Is there any reason to think that Jesus would want that Jewish custom to be imposed on all of His gentile followers?

    Is there anything in the gospel stories about Jesus baptizing any of the twelve with physical water?
     
  11. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Jim should read about the Jewish mikveh from a Christian on-line source referred to him by a non-Jew??? LOL! He would be better served by going to RF Judaism DIR and asking RF's Jews.
     
  12. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    There are plenty of Jewish sources..
     
  13. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    A. You raise a good question, and the plain truth is that we don’t really know whether Jesus baptized anyone with water during the two and a half years of his public ministry. The scriptural passage to which you refer (John 3:22) would seem to indicate that Jesus did baptize, along with some of his disciples.

    However, if you continue on just a few more verses, you will read (John 4:1-3): “Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself was not baptizing, just his disciples), he left Judea and returned to Galilee.”

    The synoptic writers — Matthew, Mark and Luke — offer no clarity on this, because they are silent on the question of Jesus baptizing.

    Did Jesus baptize anyone? Lectors and the she/he problem
     
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  14. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for amending my point. There are some Jewish sources in RF; and--no surprise--there are a plethora of Jewish sources outside of RF.
    How does that change the fact that neither an on-line Christian source nor an RF non-Jew (which includes you and me) are not Jewish sources?
     
  15. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Jesus. I didn't offer to explain Jewish ritual immersion to him. You're going to break something jumping to conclusions.
     
  16. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    It appears the baptism is about discipleship rather than actual cleansing. John the Baptist does his baptizing in the stinky Jordan, perhaps to make the point that there is now something wrong with baptism by men into their names. He is perhaps announcing the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:34 "No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the Lord'..." but everything John the Baptist says is being spoken to Jews not to gentiles. We can't really be sure of every nuance of his meaning. I'm just beginning to pick up on it thanks to various influences. Thanks for your question, teacher.

    Paul comments about baptism into Christ (Rom 6:3), refers to it as being clothed with Christ and dying with Christ (Gal 3:27) or baptized into Moses (1Cor 10:2). Being baptized into the Holy Spirit is probably baptism into something else other than a man's training. You are John's disciple when you are baptized by John the Baptist, but John says there is a better baptism than than that which Jesus is bringing (John 1). Paul later points out that its wrong to be baptized in the name of Paul or of Apollos which he says is the division of Christ. He is disappointed that some of those baptized by Apollos and himself have started a rivalry over it.

    Later on division of Christ is given the coined name 'Antichrist' in 1 John. For many centuries everyone tries not to have schisms. They still try not to today, but its like trying to keep people from taking slices out of a cherry pie.

    To those unfamiliar with the canon and its verse markings keep in mind John 1 means the first chapter of the gospel of John while 1 John does not. 1 John refers to the first of three letters I,II,III John which are much shorter. I refer to both John 1 and to 1 John in this post, so try not to get confused when that happens. The first chapter of 1 John is 1 John 1 ! The second chapter is 1 John 2, and the verses are addressed like 1 John 2:7 and so on.

    Most likely baptism into the holy spirit is part and parcel of the denying one's self mentioned by Jesus in the gospels. I suppose he is talking about some stuff that none of us is educated about -- something to do with discipleship in Jewish traveling culture post-Babylon. To stick to the Bible-books and ignore historical resources and other resources requires some guess work, but it appears that discipleship and adoption are related concepts in Judaism. In Christ you are adopted by the heavenly father and all are baptized into one great family. You aren't adopted into a denomination or teaching system, and most Christians do understand that to some degree. Some do not. Some would have it that if you don't have your doctrines right according to themselves then you are just way, way out there and aren't really Christians. I believe that is a very divisive point of view and one which denies the essence of everything Christian, but I understand too the difficulty of hanging with people who don't agree. There really are many churches I just couldn't stand and which would absolutely faint if they had to endure a speech from me.
     
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  17. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    It looks to me like the baptism of Jesus is about some kind of personal transformation that’s somehow analogous to a physical cleansing after being made unclean, maybe like a washing away of sins. His water of life cleanses us in some way that enables us to enter into the Kingdom that he has been telling us about. He agrees for His Jewish followers to practice the Jewish baptism customs of His time, which apparently includes baptizing people who decide to follow Him, but I don’t see any reason to think that He would want that to be imposed on all of His gentile followers. However that may be, I don’t see any rules from Him about when and how to do it.
     
  18. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Jesus didn't start a new religion during his lifetime.
     
  19. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I
    I agree, but how does that relate to what He means by “water,” when He talks about His baptism?
     
  20. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    @Jim

    In your OP, you wrote: "I don’t see any reason in any of that to think that baptism with physical water is a requirement for following Jesus, or that God has rules about when and how to do it."
    My short response: Water baptism may be obligatory in order to become an accepted member of this or that group of Christians, but it is not an obligatory act when following Jesus.

    My longer response: From Psalm 51 (minus the last two verses) [New American Standard Bible]:

    1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
    According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
    2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
    And cleanse me from my sin.
    3 For I know my transgressions,
    And my sin is ever before me.
    4 Against You, You only, I have sinned
    And done what is evil in Your sight,
    So that You are justified when You speak
    And blameless when You judge.
    5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    And in sin my mother conceived me.
    6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
    And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
    7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    8 Make me to hear joy and gladness,
    Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
    9 Hide Your face from my sins
    And blot out all my iniquities.
    10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
    11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
    And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
    12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
    And sustain me with a willing spirit.
    13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
    And sinners will be converted to You.
    14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
    Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
    15 O Lord, open my lips,
    That my mouth may declare Your praise.
    16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
    You are not pleased with burnt offering.
    17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

    TRIVIA:
    • Water Baptism -- John the Baptist. The nature and content of John's baptism:
      • Mark 1: 4,5 "John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins."
    • Water Baptism -- Jesus and his disciples. Essentially the same baptism as John's, but it's different in the sense of Jesus being present, Jesus giving authority to his own disciples to baptize, and the fact that Jesus baptized more people than John.
      • John 3: 22 "After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized."
      • John 3: 26 "And they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified – behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!' "
      • John 4: 1-3 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee."
    • Baptism of Suffering – Jesus (and the disciples).
      • Luke 12: 49,50 [Jesus says:] "I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!" (This "baptism" has been interpreted as being "submerged in a sea” of opposition, suffering and hatred)
      • Matthew 20: 22,23 (also Mark 10: 38-40) "But Jesus answered and said, '“You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' They said to Him, 'We are able.' So He said to them, 'You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.' ”
    • Water Baptism in the Name of Jesus AFTER Jesus' resurrection and prior to his ascension.
      • Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
      • Mark 16:15,16 "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved: but he who does not believe will be condemned.' ”
      • Acts 2: 38 "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
      • Acts 8:12 "But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
      • Acts 8: 35-38 "And the eunuch said, 'See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?' Then Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' .... both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him."
      • NOTE: Pre-crucifixion and post-crucifixion baptisms are similar in that both are in water and both are preceded by a call to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.
    • Baptism in (or with) the Holy Spirit.
      • When John was asked about his baptism, he always mentioned the one who was coming after him, (the Messiah), who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire
        • Matthew 3:11 / Luke 3:16 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I.....He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
        • Mark 1:8 "I indeed baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
      • Jesus himself told the disciples just before he ascended.
        • Acts 1:5,8 For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.....But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
        • Day of Pentecost. Acts 2: 1-4 "When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
     
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