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What baptism means as shown in and by the words of many witnesses, saints, and


1. Bellarmine (Roman Catholic), Disputations, Vol. III, p. 279: "Ordinarily

baptism is performed by immersion, and that to represent the burial of Christ."

2. Dollinger (Old Catholic), The Church and the Churches: "Baptists are, however,
from the Protestant point of view, unassailable, since for their demand of baptism
by submersion they have the clear Bible text."

3. Maldonatus (Catholic), Commentary on the Gospels. On Luke 12:50: "Whence it is,

that also martyrdom is called a baptism; a metaphor, as I think, taken from those
who are submerged in the sea, to put them to death. For in Greek, to be baptized
is the same as to be submerged."

4. Est (Catholic), Commentary on the Epistles. On Rom. 6:3: "For immersion

represents to us Christ’s burial; and so also his death. For the tomb is a symbol
of death, since none but the dead are buried. Moreover, the emersion, which
follows the immersion, has a resemblance to a resurrection. We are therefore, in
baptism, conformed not only to the death of Christ, as he has said, but also to
his burial and resurrection."

5. Arnoldi (Catholic), Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. On 3:6: "BAPTIZEIN, to

immerse, to submerge...It was, as being an entire submersion under the water,—
since washings were already a confession of impurity and a symbol of purification,
—the confession of entire impurity and a symbol of entire purification."

6. Bishop Bossuet (French Catholic): "To baptize signifies to plunge, as is

granted by all the world." (Quoted by A. Booth, Pedobaptism Examined, Vol. I, p.

7. R. Wetham (Catholic), Annotations on the New Testament. On Matthew 3:6: "The

word baptism signifies a washing, particularly when it is done by immersion, or by
dipping, or plunging a thing under water, which was formerly the ordinary way of
administering the sacrament of baptism."

8. Calmet (Catholic), Biblical Dictionary: "The Jews dipped themselves entirely

under the water, and this is the most simple notion of the word baptize."

9. Martin Luther (Founder of the Lutheran church). On the Sacrament of Baptism:

"First, the name baptism is Greek; in Latin" it can be rendered immersion, when we
immerse any thing into water, that it may be all covered with water. And although
that custom has now grown out of use with most persons (nor do they wholly
submerge children, but only pour on a little water), yet they ought to be entirely
immersed, and immediately drawn out. For this the etymology of the name seems to

10. Adolf Harnack (Lutheran). In the Independent, Feb. 19, 1885: "1. Baptizein
undoubtedly signifies immersion (eintauchen). 2. No proof can be found that it
signified anything else in the New Testament and in the most ancient Christian
literature. 3. There is no passage in the New Testament which suggests the
supposition that any New Testament author attached to the word baptizein any other
sense than immerse or submerge."

11. J. J. Van Oosterzee (Dutch Lutheran). Practical Theology, p. 419: "History

teaches that baptism at a very early period degenerated from the primitive
simplicity. It was originally administered by immersion."
12. Witsius (Dutch Lutheran). Oecon. Foed. IV, ch. 16: "It cannot be denied that
the original signification of the word baptizo is to plunge-to dip."

13. Augustus Neander (Lutheran). Church History, I, p. 310: "In respect to the
form of baptism, it was in conformity with the original institution and the
original import of the symbol, performed by immersion."

14. Bleek (German Lutheran): "Baptizo is the prevalent expression for baptism as
it originally took place by immersion under water." (Quoted by J. R. Graves,
John’s Baptism, p. 212.)

15. J. L. Mosheim (Lutheran). Ecclesiastical History, Book I, Cent. 1, part II,

ch. 4, para. VIII: "The sacrament of baptism was administered in this century,
without the public assemblies, in places appointed and prepared for that purpose,
and was performed by the immersion of the whole body in the baptismal font."

16. J. P. Lange (Lutheran). On Infant Baptism, p. 81: "Baptism in the apostolic

age was a proper baptism—the immersion of the body in water."

17. Augusti (Lutheran). Vol. V, p. 5: "The word baptism, according to etymology

and usage, signifies to immerse, submerge, etc; and the choice of the expression
betrays an age in which the latter custom of sprinkling had not been introduced."

18. Bretschneider (Lutheran). Theology, Vol. II, pp. 673, 681 (1828): "An entire
immersion belongs to the nature of baptism."

19. J. A. Bengel (Lutheran). Comment on Rom. 6:4: "Many waters: also the rite of
immersion is required."

20. H. A. W. Meyer (Lutheran). Critical Commentary on the New Testament. On Mark

7:4: "Moreover, ean mee baptisontai is not to be understood of washing the hands
(Lightfoot, Wetstein), but of immersion, which the word in classic Greek, and in
the New Testament, everywhere means."

21. Herman Venema (Lutheran): Eccl. Hist., Ch. 1, sec. 138: "It is without
controversy, that baptism in the primitive Church was administered by immersion
into water, and not by sprinkling."

22. Fritzsche (Lutheran). Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Vol. I, p. 120:

"Moreover Causaubon well suggested, that DUNDIN means to be submerged with the
design that you may perish, EPIPOLAZEIN to float on the surface of the water;
BAPTIZESTHAI to immerse yourself wholly, for another end than that you may perish.
But that, in accordance with the nature of the word BAPTIZESTHAI, baptism was then
performed not by sprinkling upon but by submerging, is proven especially by Romans

23. Olshausen (Lutheran). Comment on Matthew 18:1-15: "Particularly Paul (Rom.

6:4) treats of baptism in the twofold reference of that ordinance to immersion and
emersion, as symbolizing the death and resurrection of Christ."

24. Guericke (Lutheran). Church History, Vol. I, p. 100: "Baptism was originally
administered by immersion."

25. Salmasius (French Lutheran). Apud Witsium, Oecon. Fced. Book IV, ch. 16: "The
clinic only, because they were confined to their beds, were baptized in a manner
of which they were capable: not in the entire laver, as those who plunge the head
under the water; but the whole body had water poured upon it. Thus Novatus, when
sick, received baptism; being perikutheis, besprinkled, not baptistheis,

26. Rosenmuller (German Lutheran). Scholia, Matthew 3:6: "To baptize is to

immerse, or dip, the body, or part of the body which is to be baptized, going
under the water."

27. Tholuck (German Lutheran): Comment on Romans 6:4. "For the explanation of this
figurative description of the baptismal rite, it is necessary to call attention to
the well-known circumstance that, in the early days of the Church, persons, when
baptized, were first plunged below and then raised above the water." (Quoted in J.
R. Graves, John’s Baptism, p. 212).

28. William Wall (Episcopalian). History of Infant Baptism, Part II, ch. 2, p.
462: "Their [the primitive Christians] general and ordinary way was to baptize by
immersion, or dipping the person, whether it were an infant or grown man or woman,
into the water. This is so plain and clear by an infinite number of passages, that
as one cannot but pity the weak endeavors of such pedobaptists as would maintain
the negative of it; so also we ought to disown and show a dislike of the profane
scoffs which some people give to the English anti-pedobaptists, merely for their
use of dipping." This is a remarkably candid concession for him to make in
rebuking his own people and agreeing with the Baptists—the anti-pedobaptists.

29. Conybeare And Howson (Episcopalians). Life and Epistles of Paul. On Romans
6:3-4: "This passage cannot be understood unless it be borne in mind that the
primitive baptism was by immersion."

30. Joseph Bingham (Episcopalian). Antiquities of the Christian Church, Book XI,
ch. 11, sect. 1: "The Ancients thought that Immersion or burying under Water did
more lively represent the Death and Burial, and Resurrection of Christ, as well as
our own Death unto Sin, and Rising again to Righteousness...For which Reason they
observed the way of baptizing all Persons naked and divested, by a total Immersion
under Water, except in some particular cases of great Exigency, wherein they
allowed of Sprinkling, as in the case of Clinic Baptism, or where there was
scarcity of Water." Bingham was one of the great Antiquarians of all time.

31. Cave (Episcopalian). Primitive Christianity, Part I, ch. 10, p. 320: "The
party to be baptized was wholly immersed, or put under the water...As in immersion
there are, in a manner, three several acts—the putting the person into the water,
his abiding there for a little time, and his rising up again—so by these were
represented Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection; and in conformity thereunto
our dying unto sin, the destruction of its power, and our resurrection to a new
course of life."

32. Dean Stanley (Episcopalian). Syria and Palestine, Ch. 7, p. 306-307: "He came
baptizing, that is, signifying to those who came to him, as he plunged them under
the rapid torrent, the forgiveness and forsaking of their sins."

33. J. Lingard (Episcopalian). History and Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church,

Vol. I, p. 317: "The regular manner of administering it was by immersion, the time
the two eves of Easter and Pentecost, the place a baptistery, a small building
contiguous to the church."

34. Bishop Ellicott (Episcopalian). "There seems to be no reason to doubt that

both here and in Rom. 6:6, there is an allusion to the immersion and emersion in
baptism." (Quoted in J. R. Graves’ John’s Baptism, p. 218.)

35. J. B. Lightfoot (Episcopalian). On Matthew 3:6: "That the baptism of John was
the immersion of the body, in which manner both the ablutions of unclean persons
and the baptism of proselytes was performed, seems evident from those things which
are related of it; namely, that he baptized in the Jordan, and in Enon, because
there was much water; and that Christ, being baptized, went up out of the water."

36. Daniel Whitby (Episcopalian). Annotations on Romans 6:4: "And this immersion
being religiously observed by all Christians for thirteen centuries, and approved
by our church."

37. Jeremy Taylor (Episcopalian). The rule of Conscience, Book III, Ch. 4, Rule
15, 13: "’Straightway Jesus went up out of the water (saith the Gospel); He came
up, therefore he went down. Behold an immersion, not an aspersion.’ And the
ancient churches, following this of the Gospel, did not, in their baptism,
sprinkle with their hands, but immerged the catechumen or the infant...All which
are a perfect conviction, that the custom of the ancient churches was not
sprinkling, but immersion in pursuance of the sense of the word in the commandment
and example of our blessed Saviour."

38. H. H. Milman (Episcopalian). History of Christianity, III, p. 317: "The

baptism was usually by immersion; the stripping off the clothes was emblematic of
‘putting off of the old man.’"

39. Bishop Burnet (Episcopalian). Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles: "The

danger of dipping in cold climates may be a very good reason for changing the form
of baptism to sprinkling."

40. Bishop Towerson (Episcopalian). Of The Sacrament of Baptism, Part 3, p. 53:

"Now, what the command of Christ was in this particular, cannot well be doubted of
by those who shall consider the words of Christ (Matt. 28:19), concerning it, and
the practice of those times, whether in the baptism of John, or of our Savior. For
the words of Christ are, that they should baptize, or dip those whom they made
disciples to him (for so, no doubt, the word Baptizein properly signifies)."

41. Bishop William Sherlock (Episcopalian). "Baptism, or an immersion into water,

according to the ancient rite of administering it, is a figure of our burial with
Christ, and of our conformity to His death." (Quoted in E. T. Hiscox, New
Directory for Baptist Churches, p. 404.)

42. Samuel Clarke (Episcopalian). Exposition of Church Catechism, p. 294: "In the
primitive times the manner of baptizing was by immersion or dipping the whole body
into water."

43. Bloomfield (Episcopalian). Recens. Synop. On Romans 6:4: "Here is a plain

allusion to the ancient custom of baptizing by immersion and I agree with Koppe
and Rosenmuller, that there is reason to regret it should ever have been abandoned
in most Christian churches, especially as it has so evident a reference to the
mystic sense of baptism."

44. Prof. Browne (Episcopalian), in Smith’s Bible Dictionary, Art. Bap. Sup: "The
language of the New Testament and of the primitive Fathers sufficiently point to
immersion as the common mode of baptism."

45. G. A. Jacob (Episcopalian). Eccl. Polity of the New Testament, p. 258: "It
only remains to be observed that baptism, in the primitive Church, was evidently
administered by immersion of the body in water—a mode which added to the
significancy of the rite, and gave a peculiar force to some of the allusions to

46. Abp. Tillotson (Episcopalian). Works, Vol. I, p. 179: "Anciently those who
were baptized were immersed, and buried in the water, to represent their death to
sin; and then did rise up out of the water to signify their entrance upon a new
life. And to these customs the Apostle alludes."

47. Benson (Episcopalian). Comment on Romans 6:4: "Buried with Him by baptism-
alluding to the ancient manner of baptizing by immersion."

48. Bishop Fell (Episcopalian). Note on Romans 6:4: "The primitive fashion of
immersion under the water, representing our death, and elevation again out of it,
our resurrection or regeneration."

49. Sir John Floyer (Episcopalian). History of Cold Bathing, pp. 15, 61: "The
church of Rome hath drawn short compendiums of both sacraments; in the eucharist,
they use only the wafer; and instead of immersion, they introduced aspersion...I
have given now what testimony I could find in our English authors, to prove the
practice of immersion from the time the Britons and Saxons were baptized till King
James’ days; when the people grew peevish with all ancient ceremonies, and through
the love of novelty, and the niceness of parents, and the pretense of modesty,
they laid aside immersion."

50. W. F. Hook (Episcopalian). Church Directory (1854): "In performing the

ceremony of baptism the usual custom was to immerse and dip the whole body."

51. J. H. Blunt (Episcopalian). Dictionary of Doctrinal and Historical Theology

(1870): "The primitive mode of baptizing was by immersion, as we learn from the
clear testimony of holy scriptures of the fathers."

52. Wilson (Episcopalian). Christian Dictionary, Art. Baptism: "To baptize, to dip
one into water, to plunge one into water."

53. A. R. Fausset (Episcopalian). Critical and Experimental Commentary, on

Colossians 2:12: "Baptism is the burial of the old carnal life, to which immersion
symbolically corresponds: in warm climates, where immersion is safe, it is the
mode most accordant with the significance of the ordinance."

54. John Calvin (Founder of the Presbyterian Church). Institutes of the Christian
Religion, B. IV, ch. 15, on Baptism, 19: "The word baptize itself signifies
immerse, and it is certain that the rite of immersion was observed by the ancient

55. Philip Schaff (American Presbyterian). History of the Apostolic Church, p.

570: "Respecting the form of baptism, therefore (quite otherwise with the much
more important difference respecting the subject of baptism, or infant baptism),
the impartial historian is compelled by exegesis and history, ‘substantially to
yield the point to the Baptists, as is done, in fact (perhaps somewhat too
decidedly, and without true regard to the arguments just stated for the other
practice), by most German scholars."

56. J. Cunningham (Scotch Presbyterian). Growth of the Church, P. 173: "Baptism

means immersion and it was immersion. The Hebrews immersed their proselytes; the
Essenes took their daily baths; John plunged his penitents into the Jordan; Peter
dipped his crowd of converts into one of the great pools which were to be found in
Jerusalem. Unless it had been so, Paul’s analogical argument about our being
buried with Christ in Baptism would have had no meaning. Nothing could have been
simpler than baptism in its first form."

57. MacKnight (Scotch Presbyterian): "He submitted to be baptized—that is, to be

buried under the water by John, and to be raised out of it again, as an emblem of
His future death and resurrection." (Quoted in J. R. Graves, John’s Baptism, p.

58. Chalmers (Scotch Presbyterian): "The original meaning of the word baptism is
immersion and we doubt not that the prevalent style of the administration in the
apostles’ days was by an actual submerging of the whole body under water." (Quoted
in J. R. Graves, John’s Baptism, p. 216.)

59. George Campbell (Scotch Presbyterian). Translation of the Four Gospels, Note
on Matt. 4:11: "The word Baptizein, both in sacred writers and classical,
signifies to dip, to plunge, to immerse; and was rendered by Tertullian, the
oldest of the Latin fathers, tingere, the term used for dying cloth, which was by
immersion. It is always construed suitably to this meaning."

60. Theodore Beza (Presbyterian). Annotations on Matthew 7:4; Acts 19:3; Matthew
3:2: "Christ commanded us to be baptized, by which word it is certain immersion is

61. Assembly of Divines (Presbyterian). Annotations on Matthew 3:6; Romans 6:4:

"In this phrase (Col. 2:12) the Apostle seemeth to allude to the ancient manner of
baptism, which was to dip the parties baptized, and, as it were, to bury them
under the water for a while, and then to draw them out of it, and lift them up. To
represent the burial of our old man, and our resurrection to newness of life."

62. Leigh (Presbyterian). Critica Sacra, on Acts 8:38: "The native and proper
signification of it is, to dip into water, or to plunge under water."

63. Giovanni Diodati (Presbyterian). Annotations on Matthew 3:6: "Baptized—that is

to say, ducked in the water, for a sacred sign and seal of the expiation and
remission of sins."

64. G. J. Vossius (Presbyterian). Disputat. De Bapt. Disp. I, Thes. I, p. 25:

"Baptizein, to baptize, signifies to plunge. It certainly therefore signifies more
than epipolazein, which is, to swim lightly on the top; and less than dunein,
which is, to sink to the bottom, so as to be destroyed."

65. John Wesley (Founder of the Methodist Church). Note on Rom. 6:4: "Buried with
Him—alluding to the ancient manner of baptizing by immersion." From Wesley’s
Journal, from his embarking for Georgia, p. 11: "Mary Welsh, aged eleven days, was
baptized according to the custom of the first church, and the rule of the church
of England, by immersion."

66. Adam Clarke (Methodist). Comment on Romans 6:4: "It is probable that the
Apostle here alludes to the mode of administering baptism by immersion, the whole
body being put under water."

67. George Whitefield (Methodist). Eighteen Sermons, p. 297: "It is certain that
in the words of our text (Rom. 6:3-4) there is an allusion to the manner of
baptism, which was by immersion."

68. J. C. L Gieseler (Methodist). Eccl. Hist., First Period, Div. III (A. D. 193-
324), ch. 4, para. 71: "The condition of catechumen usually continued several
years; but the catechumens often deferred even baptism as long as possible on
account of the remission of sins by which it was to be accomplished. Hence it was
often necessary to baptize the sick; and for them, the rite of sprinkling was

69. G. P. Fisher (Congregationalist). The Beginnings Of Christianity, p. 565:

"Baptism, it is now generally agreed among scholars, was commonly by immersion."

70. Coleman (Congregationalist). Antiquities: "In the primitive Church, immersion

was undeniably the common mode of baptism."

71. Moses Stuart (Congregationalist). Essay on Baptism, p. 51: "Baptism means to

dip, plunge, or immerse into any liquid. All lexicographers and critics of any
note are agreed on this."

72. Doddridge (Congregationalist). Family Expositor on Romans 6:4: "It seems the
part of candor to confess, that here is an allusion to the manner of baptizing by
immersion, as most usual in those early times."

73. Waddington (Congregationalist). Church History, Ch. 2, sect. 3: "The

sacraments of the primitive Church were two: that of Baptism and the Lord’s
Supper. The ceremony of immersion, the oldest form of baptism, was performed in
the name of the three persons of the Trinity."

74. Leonard Woods (Congregationalist). Lectures: "Our Baptist brethren undertake

to prove from ecclesiastical history, that immersion was the prevailing mode of
baptism in the ages following the Apostles. I acknowledge that ecclesiastical
history clearly proves this."

75. L. L. Paine (Congregationalist). Professor of Eccl. Hist. in Bangor

Theological Seminary: "It may be honestly asked, by some, was immersion the
primitive form of baptism, and if so, what then? As to the question of fact, the
testimony is ample and decisive. No matter of Church history is clearer. The
evidence is all one way, and all Church historians of any repute agree in
accepting it...It is a point on which ancient, mediaeval and modern historians
alike—Catholic and Protestant, Lutheran and Calvinist have no controversy...But on
this one, of the early practice of immersion, the most distinguished antiquarians,
such as Bingham, Augusti (Coleman), Smith (Dictionary of the Bible), and
historians such as Mosheim, Gieseler, Hase, Neander, Milman, Schaff, Alzog
(Catholic), hold a common language." (Quoted in J. R. Graves, Act of Baptism, pp.
20-21. Dr. Paine further says: "Any scholar who denies that immersion was the
baptism of the Christian church for thirteen centuries betrays UTTER IGNORANCE or
SECTARIAN BLINDNESS." (Quoted by Graves, ibid, p. 33.)

76. Zwingli (Swiss Reformer). Annotations on Rom. 6:3: "Into his death." "When ye
were immersed into the water of baptism, ye were engrafted into the death of
Christ; that is, the immersion of your body into water was a sign, that ye ought
to be engrafted into Christ and his death, that as Christ died and was buried, ye
also may be dead to the flesh and the old man, that is, to yourselves."

77. Philip Melanchthon (German Reformer). Catec. Wit. (1580): "Baptism is

immersion into water, which is made with this admirable benediction."

78. Matthew Poole (Episcopalian). Annotations on John 3:23: "It is apparent that
both Christ and John baptized by dipping the body in the water, else they need not
have sought places where had been a great plenty of water."

79. Turretin (Swiss Calvinist). Institut. Loc. 19, quaes. 11, sec. 4: "The word
baptism is of Greek origin, and is derived from the verb Bapto; which signifies to
dip, and to dye; Baptizein, to baptize; to dip into, to immerse...Hence it
appears, that Baptizein is more than epipolazein, which is to swim lightly on the
surface; and less than dunein, which is to go down to the bottom; that is, to
strike the bottom so as to be destroyed."
80. Limborch (Dutch Arminian). Complete System of Divinity, Book V, chap. 27,
Sect. l. Comment on Romans 6:4: "Baptism, then, consisting in washing, or rather
immersing the whole body into water, as was customary in the primitive times...The
apostle alludes to the manner of baptizing, not as practiced at this day, which is
performed by sprinkling of water; but as administered of old, in the primitive
church, by immersing the whole body in water, a short continuance in the water,
and a speedy emersion out of the water."

81. J. J. Wetstein (Bible Critic). Comment on Matthew 3:6: "To baptize, is to

plunge, to dip: The body, or part of the body, being under water, is said to be

82. Geikie, Life and Words of Christ, Vol. I, p. 405, says of John: "He led them
in groups to the Jordan, and immersed each singly in the waters, after earnest and
full confession of their sins."

83. Curcellaeus, Relig. Christ. Institut., Book V, chap. 2: "Baptism was performed
by plunging the whole body into water, not by sprinkling a few drops, as is now
the practice. For ‘John was baptizing in Aenon, near to Salim, because there was
much water; and they came and were baptized,’ (John 3:23). Nor did the disciples
that were sent out by Christ administer baptism afterwards in any other way: and
this is more agreeable to the signification of the ordinance (Rom. 6:4)."

84: Hugo Grotius (Arminian). Synops. Ad. Matthew 3:6: "That baptism used to be
performed by immersion, and not by pouring, appears both from the proper
signification of the word, and the places chosen for the administration of the
rite, (John 3:23; Acts 8:38); and also from the many allusions of the apostles,
which cannot be referred to sprinkling, (Rom. 6:3, 4; Col. 2:12)."

85. Zanchius, Works, Vol. VI, p. 217: "Baptism is a Greek word, and signifies two
things; first, and properly, immersion in water: for the proper signification of
Baptizo, is to immerse, to plunge under, to overwhelm in water."

86. Joseph Mede, Discourse on Titus 3:5, in Works, p. 63 (Edit. 1677): "There was
no such thing as sprinkling, or rantismos, used in baptism in the apostles’ days,
nor many ages after them."

87. Vitringa, Aphorismi Sanct. Theolog., Aphorism 884: "The act of baptizing, is
the immersion of believers in water. This expresses the force of the word. Thus
also it was performed by Christ and the apostles."

88. Storr and Flatt, Biblical Theology, Book IV, sect. 109, para. 4: "The
disciples of our Lord could understand His command in no other way than as
enjoining immersion, for the baptism of John, to which Jesus Himself submitted,
and also the earlier baptism of the disciples of Jesus, were performed by dipping
the subject into cold water."

89. G. B. Winer (German Protestant). Manuscript Lectures on Christian Antiquities:

"In the apostolic age, baptism was by immersion, as its symbolical explanation

90. Rheinwald, Archeology, p. 303, note. 1 (1830): "Immersion was the original
apostolical practice."

91. August Hahn (German Protestant). Theology, p. 556: "According to apostolical

instruction and example, baptism was performed by immersing the whole man."

92. Starch, History of Baptism, p. 8: "In regard to the mode, there can be no
doubt, that it was not by sprinkling, but by immersion."

93. Von Coelln, History of Theological Opinions, Vol. I, p. 203: "Immersion in

water was general until the thirteenth century; but among the Latins it was
displaced by sprinkling; but retained by the Greeks."

94. Claudius Salmasius (French Protestant). De Caesarie Virorum, p. 669: "Baptism

is immersion; and was administered, in ancient times, according to the force and
meaning of the word. Now it is only rantism or sprinkling; not immersion, or
dipping." Apud Witsium, Oecon. Foed., Book IV, chap. 16, sec. 13: "The ancients
did not baptize otherwise than by immersion, either once or thrice."

95. Jean Daille (French Protestant). Right Use of the Fathers, Book II, p. 148:
"It was a custom heretofore in the ancient church, to plunge those they baptized
over head and ears in the water...This is still the practice, both of the Greek
and the Russian church, even at this very day:"

96. Danish Catechism, On Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15-16: "What is implied in
these words? A command to the dipper and the dipped, with a promise of salvation
to those that believe. How is this Christian dipping to be administered? The
person must be deep-dipped in water, or overwhelmed with it." (Quoted in Abraham
Booth, Pedobaptism Examined, Vol. I, p. 42.)

97. Magdeburg Centuriators (Lutheran). Century I, Book 2, chap. 4: "The word

Baptizo, to baptize, which signifies immersion into water, proves that the
administrator of baptism immersed, or washed, the persons baptized in water."

98. John Owen, in Ridgley’s Body of Divinity, quest. 166, p. 608, note: "Though
the original and natural signification of the word imports, to dip, to plunge, to
dye; yet it also signifies to wash or cleanse."

99: Articles of Smaldcald (Lutheran): "Baptism is no other than the word of God,
with plunging into water according to his appointment and command."

100. Robert Barclay (Quaker. The Quakers do not practice a literal water baptism
of any sort, and should therefore be considered impartial witnesses). Apology,
Proposition 12, sect. 10: "Baptizo signifies immergo; that is, to plunge and dip
in; and that was the proper use of water baptism among the Jews, and also by John
and the primitive Christians, who used lt."

101. John Gratton (Quaker). Life of John Gratton, p. 231: "John did baptize into
water; and it was a baptism, a real dipping, or plunging into water, and so, a
real baptism was John’s."

102. Thomas Ellwood (Quaker). Sacred History of the New Testament, Part II, p.
307; speaking of Pentecost says: "They were now baptized with the Holy Ghost
indeed; and that in the strict and proper sense of the word baptize; which
signifies to dip, plunge, or put under."

103. William Penn (Quaker). Defense of Gospel Truths, against the Bishop of Cork,
p. 82-83: "I cannot see why the bishop should assume the power of unchristianing
us, for not practicing of that which he himself practices so unscripturally, and
that according to the sentiments of a considerable part of Christendom; having not
one text of scripture to prove that sprinkling in the face was water baptism,—in
the first times.—Then it was in the river Jordan; now in a basin."

104. Thomas Lawson (Quaker). Baptismalogia, p. 117,. 118: "Such as rhantize, or

sprinkle infants, have no command from Christ, nor example among the apostles, nor
the first primitive Christians, for so doing...The ceremony of John’s
ministration, according to divine institution, was by dipping, plunging, or
overwhelming their bodies in water."
Finally the early writings. Barnabas. The epistle bearing the name of Barnabas is
now generally acknowledged to be wrongly ascribed to the Biblical Barnabas, but it
is of early date, perhaps as early as the first half of the second century. The
Epistle of Barnabas says: "We indeed descend into the water full of sins and
defilements, but come up, bearing fruit in our heart." This can be nothing other
than immersion and emersion.

The Shepherd of Hermas. This is also of about the middle of the second century.
"‘Why sir,’ I said, ‘did these stones ascend out of the pit, and be applied to the
building of the tower, after having borne these spirits?’" "‘They were obliged,’
he answered, ‘to ascend through water in order that they might be made alive; for,
unless they laid aside the deadness of their life, they could not in any other way
enter into the Kingdom of God...The seal, then, is the water: they descend into
the water dead, and they arise alive.’"—Similitude Nine, Chap. 16.

Justin Martyr, 140 A. D. speaks in his Apology, Sec. 79, 85, 86, of baptism as a
"washing in the water." In his Dialogue with a Jew, 14, he refers to baptism as a
"bathing," and connects it with Isaiah’s reference to the cisterns mentioned in
Jeremiah 2:13. Certainly both fountains and cisterns in the Holy Land would be
more fitting for immersion than for sprinkling.

Tertullian, about 204 A. D. On Baptism, chap. 7: "As of baptism itself there is a

bodily act, that we are immersed in water, a spiritual effect, that we are freed
from sins." On The Resurrection Of The Body, chap. 47: "Know ye not, that so many
of us as were immersed into Christ Jesus, were immersed into his death? ...For by
an image we die in baptism; but we truly rise in the flesh as did also Christ."
Against Praxeas, chap. 26: "And last of all, commanding that they should immerse
into the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

Hippolytus, Bishop of Portus, near Rome. About 225 A. D. Discourse On The Holy
Theophany, 10: "For he who goes down into the bath of regeneration, is arrayed
against the evil one, and on the side of Christ: He comes up from the baptism
bright as the sun, flashing forth the rays of righteousness."

Gregory of Nazianus, about 360 A. D. Discourse 40, On The Holy Baptism: "Let us
therefore, be buried with Christ by the baptism, that we may also rise with him;
let us come up with him, that we may also be glorified with him."
Finally the name in baptism should be Jesus for many reasons. Here are but a few
of them. As no where else but by Matthew 28:19 in the scriptures, is the command
given to be baptized in the "name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit." Compare this one verse with these: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent,
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38) "Who, when
they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For
as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the
Lord Jesus.)" (Acts 8:15-16) "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of
the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. " (Acts 10:48) "When they
heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 19:5) There
are many more passages in the New Testament about doing things "in the name of the
Lord" or "in the name of Jesus" (casting out demons and teaching "in the name of
Jesus") and no where else is there Biblical instruction to do anything "in the
name of the Father" or "the name of the Holy Spirit". For instance: "And
whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving
thanks to God and the Father by him." (Colossians 3:17)
If you do a word search, using a concordance or a computer Bible program, using
the phrase "in the name of " you'll never find a reference to actions taken "in
the name of the Father" or "the name of the Holy Spirit". The passage of Matthew
28:19 is for the least a questionable one. The syntax (The way words are put
together to form phrases, clauses, or sentences) does not fit in. In proper syntax
this verse should read as follows: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in my name." (Matthew 28:19) Furthermore should we use this single
passage to justify baptizing a believer (or ourselves being baptized) using that
phrase? Each of us will have to make that decision on their own. Peter who always
baptized in the name of Jesus said this, "Save yourself from this untoward
The baptism of a believer should be done "in the name of Jesus", corresponding to
Colossians 3:17 and all the other passages which use this term, including this
one: "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, 'Ye rulers of the
people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to
the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to
all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye
crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here
before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which
is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for
there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.'
" (Acts 4:8-12) It is never a good idea to base an idea or a doctrine on a single
passage of scripture. The Bible has multiple passages, rehearsed words, or
redundantcy all the things that are vital to our salvation and our knowledge of
God are repeated throughout the Old and the New Testament canon so often that if
one studies and compares scriptures, we may find that a single passage is
misunderstood, or mistranslated, or that it is not important to our salvation. So
it is with this passage. The important thing is to believe on Jesus, repent of our
sins, confess his name before men and to be baptized in it for the remission of
our sins and to come up from that symbolic grave with a determination to change
our sinful ways, to learn the ways of God and to live by his commandments to the
best of our ability, with prayers to him to help us live that way and for greater
understanding of what he would have us do. God will accept this type of faith.
After all are we in the race to please God or man? Your actions will show forth
what you really believe. May God give us all the wisdom to hear and obey his words
in all things.