baptism

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This post has 130 Replies | 2 Followers

Posts 175
Silent Sam | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 12:00 PM

Willard Scott:

Richard DeRuiter:
Does anyone have any more to add to that discussion?
I do !
Richard DeRuiter:
I agree. MJ's post was excellent and well researched.
Well researched indeed. Copied and pasted from a Catholic website.http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=127903  
Richard DeRuiter:
Other than that, both posts answered the OP's question probably as much as it can be, using original sources, pointing to sources in Logos whenever possible. Well done!
Yeah, Right ! Stick out tongue
MJ. Smith:
Yes, I should have provided links to Logos but I was tired and lazy.

                                                                         Hmm HHHMMMmmm~~ Hmm

 

Posts 77
Paul Oertly | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 12:20 PM

Richard DeRuiter:
(though his comment on baptism being a merely human tradition... was unnecessary and unnecessarily contentious - IMHO)
I think you should take time to read what he said. He didn't say that about conventional baptism, But infant baptism.
DAL:
The practice of “baptizing” infants is a human tradition, utterly void of biblical sanction. It instills a false sense of confidence in youngsters as they grow up, and is a hindrance to genuine obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 12:31 PM

Willard Scott:
Copied and pasted

One of the reasons I strongly support robust notes in Logos - when my research has brought me to a good resource, I don't have to waste my time repeating what the source has already done for me.Smile BTW - I did think DAL's mention of Meyer was also worth noting for future reference.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1011
Mike Pettit | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 12:38 PM

Paul Oertly:

I think you should take time to read what he said. He didn't say that about conventional baptism, But infant baptism.

As soon as you state that infant baptism is not conventional (or indeed that it is) you are stating a theological position that is bound to go beyond what should be discussed on these boards, believe it or not people have strong feelings on both sides of the argument with fully argued biblical authorities.

Posts 130
Willard Scott | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 12:58 PM

MJ. Smith:
when my research has brought me to a good resource, I don't have to waste my time repeating what the source has already done for me
And what's even better, the sleepy ones, like Richard will believe that you really did do the research.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 1:05 PM

Willard Scott:
that you really did do the research.

I did do the research to find a good source and verify that it was accurate. I've been very careful about the latter ever since discovering that a common textbook not only had false information but references that didn't check out. And, no, the book was not on Christianity.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 77
Paul Oertly | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 1:13 PM

MJ. Smith:
I did do the research to find a good source and verify that it was accurate.
You still believe it accurate and prudent to include a curse in your post?
MJ. Smith:
"Canon 2: Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mother's wombs should not be Baptized ...let him be anathema." (Council of Carthage, AD 418)
What does that have to do with the first infant baptism?

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 1:32 PM

Willard Scott:

MJ. Smith:
when my research has brought me to a good resource, I don't have to waste my time repeating what the source has already done for me
And what's even better, the sleepy ones, like Richard will believe that you really did do the research.

I've been trying to think of a way to respond to this that wouldn't encourage more ad hominem. But I can't think of any.

[BTW, sorry I forgot to insert the word "infant" in the reference to infant baptism being a human tradition. Mea culpa.]

 

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 1:32 PM

Paul Oertly:
you still believe it accurate and prudent to include a curse in your post?[

I am comfortable including any early documentation of Christianity when the issue is history ... Be glad I didn't find any Gnostic Silk Route texts and be sad I didn't find Jewish or Roman ones.

For a Mennonite study on the history of Baptism that at least mentions the gnostics and Jews see http://www.directionjournal.org/article/?1327

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 2:00 PM

Paul Oertly:
You still believe it accurate

I think that in the context of the original question the information is accurate, the question was about the origins/support of Infant Baptism not the validity. That MJ found the information on a Catholic site (assuming that she did) simply shows she had the intelligence to focus her research on a source likely to contain something relevant.

MJ. Smith:
"Canon 2: Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mother's wombs should not be Baptized ...let him be anathema." (Council of Carthage, AD 418)

Again this quote is relevant because it demonstrates that Infant Baptism was taking place in 418, and presumably before, and that there were those who disagreed with the practice then as now.

IMHO MJ simply offered some relevant information in good faith, I can't understand why she has become the target for a personal attack because some people do not like the subject matter.

Personally, I'm from a tradition that baptises on the basis of a personal confession of faith in Jesus, typically adults or older children/teenagers. as this seems to be the mandate of scripture. I also accept that this requires a specific interpretation of Acts 16:33 and 1 Corinthians 1:16.

In a bid to end "on topic" a great way of exploring this subject and gathering information is by looking at the interaction between the European Reformers (Luther, Zwingli, etc.) and the Anabaptists. This is covered really well in the following Logos resource:

Estep, William R. The Anabaptist Story: An Introduction to Sixteenth-Century Anabaptism. 3rd ed., rev. and enl. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996.

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 1880
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 2:01 PM

MJ. Smith:

Paul Oertly:
ou still believe it accurate and prudent to include a curse in your post?[

I am comfortable including any early documentation of Christianity when the issue is history ... Be glad I didn't find any Gnostic Silk Route texts and be sad I didn't find Jewish or Roman ones.

For a Mennonite study on the history of Baptism that at least mentions the gnostics and Jews see http://www.directionjournal.org/article/?1327

Looks interesting.

Posts 737
Evan Boardman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 2:54 PM

Whats your thoughts on a denomination calling itself Baptist, would that in itself mean that they are practicing what the other christian arn't?

Posts 645
Dean J | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 2:58 PM

MJ. Smith:

In the year 215 AD, the Church Father St. Hippolytus of Rome writes:

"And they shall Baptize the little children first. And if they can answer for themselves, let them answer. But if they cannot, let their parents answer or someone from their family." (Hippolytus of Rome, Apostolic Tradition, 21 c. AD 215).

The Apostolic Tradition has not been preserved in its original form, but in various translations containing textual development and differing sources. 

 

Aland writes: “For whereas the Church Order [the old name for the Apostolic Tradition] has come down to us in various translations, Sahidic, Bohairic, Ethiopic, Arabic, Latin, the original Greek text has almost entirely disappeared. The Sahidic tradition goes back to a manuscript of the year AD 1006, while the Bohairic, Ethiopic and Arabic manuscripts are even later.” Kurt Aland, Did the Early Church Baptize Infants?, trans. G. R. Beasley-Murray (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1963), p. 41.

Aland admits this passage could be a much later interpolation, as it breaks the sense of the context.

 

 

Now, St. Hippolytus was the disciple of St. Irenaeus of Lyon; and, in AD 180, St. Irenaeus writes:

"For He came to save all through Himself --all, I say, who through Him are born again to God [i.e., Baptized] -- infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men." (Irenaeus, Against the Heresies 2:22:4 -- c. AD 180)


This passage is only extant in the notoriously unreliable Latin translation, preserved in tenth or eleventh century manuscripts, of Irenaeus' Greek: whether it preserves the form and intention of the real Irenaeus is anyone's guess, and at least some RC scholars have thought it an interpolation (e.g. Baronius), as have Anglicans (Bishop Kaye). 


St. Irenaeus was the disciple of St. Polycarp, who was the disciple of the Apostle John himself (as well as an associate of the Apostle Philip).

Irenaeus was not a disciple as such - he had heard Polycarp's preaching as a young man.

 

And, in AD 155, St. Polycarp said this at his execution:

"Polycarp declared, 'Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me injury. How can I blaspheme my King and Savior?" (Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp 9 c. AD 156)

Now, it is well documented that "The Martyrdom of Polycarp" was written the year after the saint's execution; and so the quote above is extremely reliable. It is also well documented that Polycarp was 86 years old at the time of his death. Therefore, if the saint claims to have served Jesus for 86 years, it therefore follows that he was Baptized as an infant. And, in another place, we are told that Polycarp was Baptized by none other than the Apostle John!

Polycarp was also said to have been ordained bishop by John. Since John died c. 100, and since, according to Jerome, he had to be carried on his bed in his later years, it is doubtful that Polycarp could have been ordained much later than around 90. This would make him only 20 years old - hardly long enough to justify Polycarp's reputation as a repository of anecdotes of his time with John.

The recently discovered Coptic Harris fragments are consistent with this - they state that Polycarp was 104 when he died. This would mean he was baptized at the age of 18. Indeed, many of the most famous bishops and doctors of the church in the fourth century were baptized later, even those who were born to Christian parents - including Ambrose, Basil, Gregory, Chrysostom and others.

 

 

St. Justin Martyr (150 AD):

"And both men and women who have been Christ's disciples since infancy, remain pure, and at the age of sixty or seventy years ..." (Justin Martyr, First Apology,15:6 -- AD 110-165)

Justin actually spoke of those 'who from childhood have been instructed in Christ' (oi ek paidwn emaqhtevqhsan tw Christw). 

 

With regards to baptism, Justin sees free will of the one being baptized as absolutely integral to it:

 

Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe.

First Apology 61

 

 

Briefly - Origen - there is no reference to baptism of children in his extant Greek works. The Latin translations of his commentaries were freely interpolated by Rufinus, who admits this. Thus they are of no value in determining what Origen actually thought, since we cannot separate Rufinus from Origen.

Cyprian - appears to be the earliest to accept infant baptism, though we know from the catacombs and from writings in other places that this was not the practice anywhere else. It should be noted that the practice in Carthage led to the giving of communion to babies (if they couldn't yet eat, they were given just wine).

 

Gregory

"Be it so, some will say, in the case of those who ask for Baptism; what have you to say about those who are still children and conscious neither of the loss nor of grace? Are we to Baptize them too? Certainly, if any danger presses. For it is better that they should be unconsciously sanctified than that they should depart unsealed and uninitiated." (Gregory Nazianzus, Oration on Holy Baptism, 40:28 -- AD 381)

Yes, exactly - baptism of infants began as deathbed baptisms, and inscriptions bear this out also. This is how the practice emerged, and Gregory is witness that in the late fourth century, the practice was beginning, not generally, but in the cases where 'danger presses' - where the child was thought to be in danger of death. This shows that even then, it was not the practice simply to baptize any infant.

 

We see this in a third-century inscription in the Roman catacomb of Priscilla:

 

Dedicated to the departed.
 Florentius made this inscription
 for his worthy son Apronianus who lived

one year and nine months and five days.
 As he was truly loved by his grandmother
 and she knew that his death was imminent,
 she asked the church that he might 
 depart from the world as a believer

 

Aland, p. 77 n. 4.

Gregory himself was baptized as an adult, despite being the son of a bishop.

Chrysostom is probably one of the earliest witnesses of more widespread practice of infant baptism, a practice which appears to have taken a full four hundred years to become established.

 

Edit: My quotes seem to line up but for someone reason some of my responses are being included in the quotes - have to go now and will be too late to try to edit this more later.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 3:17 PM

Dean,

I won't go into the argument, but just to be fair to this case (and as this is a bit of the small amount of German scholarship that got translated) it must be said that Aland tried to respond to Joachim Jeremias' book http://www.amazon.com/Infant-Baptism-First-Four-Centuries/dp/1592447570/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325545888&sr=1-1 and that Jeremias answered with http://www.amazon.com/Origins-Infant-Baptism-Further-Study/dp/1592445403/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325545888&sr=1-3 - regrettably we lack all three resources in Logos to build our own opinion on this. 

Mick

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

Posts 737
Evan Boardman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 3:44 PM

You now whats better than a study of baptism? A study on how to get along with others of the different option.- James Durham's Concerning Scandal is an excellent book you can get on Kindle!Smile

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 4:28 PM

Okay, enough already. Time to bring out my trusty detective. The OP asked for first recorded ... as that question has multiple potential answers, multiple potential answers were provided by multiple people Theological interpretation, text criticism and the weighing of the various factors are reserved for the OP. However, I have added the 4 web pages mentioned (with one correction) to the Logos topic page on infant baptism so that next time we can simply point others to the Logos search.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 461
Robert Harner | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 4:37 PM

Graham Owen:

In a bid to end "on topic" a great way of exploring this subject and gathering information is by looking at the interaction between the European Reformers (Luther, Zwingli, etc.) and the Anabaptists. This is covered really well in the following Logos resource:

Estep, William R. The Anabaptist Story: An Introduction to Sixteenth-Century Anabaptism. 3rd ed., rev. and enl. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996.

reading these forum is expensive. This is part of a 2 book set on sale now, just picked it up before logos credit ends
http://www.logos.com/product/3650/the-anabaptists

Searching the logos site for:   title:Baptism  shows an amazing number of books

also the Roger Williams Baptist collection has numerous baptism resources
 http://www.logos.com/product/8602/classic-baptist-books-roger-williams-heritage-archive  
(wonder what point of view it takes?   Big Smile)  I picked this up a few days ago

Posts 8967
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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 4:48 PM

Evan Boardman:
Whats your thoughts on a denomination calling itself Baptist, would that in itself mean that they are practicing what the other christian arn't?

Glad you asked. Most Baptist churches I know can't agree with each other what a Baptist church is supposed to believe or practice. But I find these disagreements withing every belief group I examine closely. I bet every poster in this thread belongs to such a controversial denomination

I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread. But rather than try to inflict scar tissue on each other, let us each check one more time to see if Logos does not have another resource we would like to slip under that Logos Credit deadline. There are just over 4 hours left to order.

 

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 587
Randall Cue | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 6:19 PM

MJ. Smith:

Okay, enough already. Time to bring out my trusty detective. The OP asked for first recorded ... as that question has multiple potential answers, multiple potential answers were provided by multiple people Theological interpretation, text criticism and the weighing of the various factors are reserved for the OP. However, I have added the 4 web pages mentioned (with one correction) to the Logos topic page on infant baptism so that next time we can simply point others to the Logos search.

MJ you have come closest to the spirit of my original post, and I thank you for that. I am always amazed at how quickly we can change the direction of a "civilized" discussion. I did not want this to drift into a theological debate and stated such in the original post. I regret asking this question as it is obvious that so many that frequent the forum are un able or unwilling to stick to the subject of a post within the guidelines of the forum.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Randy

Soli Deo Gloria

Randy

Posts 18886
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 2 2012 6:42 PM

Lesson learned from this thread: If you've got a question for which you need to say "I'm not looking for a theological debate" it's probably not a safe question to ask on these forums. That's too bad, but it's a reality. I think the question has been answered to the satisfaction of Randy, the original poster (OP), so there's probably not much benefit to continuing to try to get the thread "back on track" - let's just leave it with our lesson learned and move on.

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