Infant Baptism - Recommended Resources

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This post has 15 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 2595
Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 6 2015 4:13 AM

I'm studying infant baptism and was wondering was resources anyone would recommend.  I'm primarily focusing on the connection between circumcision and baptism.


Posts 2279
Andy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 6 2015 4:38 AM

Hi Ronald,

I preface this with the caution that I am Credobaptist. As such, you might legitimately question the effectiveness of the following resources Big Smile.

However, the following do address Infant Baptism, primarily from a Reformed perspective,

Infant Baptism and the Silence of the New Testament (Bryan Holstrom)

To A Thousand Generations... (Douglas Wilson)

Although I have not yet read this, I thought it may be of interest,

Why Baptizing Your Child Matters... (R.H. Orner)

The following resources are broader in scope, but may be of value,

Infant Baptism in Historical Perspective (D.F. Wright) - This resource is also included in the Baptism Collection (which may or may not represent better value, dependent upon your interests).

Understanding Four Views on Baptism may also warrant consideration as this does address the issue from a couple of perspectives.


Big Smile

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 6 2015 4:51 AM

You may find this resource from Ben Witherington helpful:

On sale through April 14, I believe.  Part of the March Madness discounts.

Posts 62
Rev. Wayne Paul Barrett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 6 2015 9:43 AM

Calvin's Institutes 

Posts 36103
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 6 2015 6:14 PM

Ray, Stephen K. Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997.

Jensen, Robin M. Baptismal Imagery in Early Christianity: Ritual, Visual, and Theological Dimensions. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012.

Nakskow, Petrus Sachariæ. The Articles of Faith, of the Holy Evangelical Church, according to the Word of God, and the Ausburg Confession. Translated by Jochum Melchior Magens. New York; Philadelphia: J. Parker; W. Weyman; Godfried Muller; Schleydorn, 1754.

Fairbairn, Patrick. Typology of Scripture

Faber, George Stanley. The Primitive Doctrine of Regeneration: Sought for in Holy Scripture, and Investigated through the Medium of the Written Documents of Ecclesiastical Antiquity. London: R. B. Seeley and W. Burnside, 1840.

So a search "baptism NEAR circumcision" and you'll get several good resources I suspect. If these don't get you started let me know ... typology is your biggest key to finding resources.

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

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 6 2015 6:25 PM

It's not in Logos, but Joachim Jeremias has two (small) works on this:  Infant Baptism In the First Four Centuries and The Origins of Infant Baptism.  Kurt Aland has a rebuttal Did the Early Church Baptize Infants?


יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 2595
Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 6 2015 6:46 PM

Wow.  A lot of great recommendations.  Thanks.

Posts 2595
Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 10 2015 6:10 PM

Just a follow-up.  I picked up several of the resources recommended and several I already had, so I appreciate all the thoughts.

Andy - I too come from a credobaptist background and I enjoy reading both sides of an issue.

MJ - thanks for the search idea, it brings up a lot of good results.

George, I picked up both books you mentioned, plus a response to Aland by Jeremias.  Interestingly, the author information on one of the books by Jeremias has his death at 1979, while the other in 1982. 

Anyway, thanks all for the recommendations.

Posts 684
Stephen Steele | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 11 2015 10:02 AM

MJ. Smith:

Fairbairn, Patrick. Typology of Scripture

Nearly there in Community Pricing - link here if anyone wants to help push it over the edge.

Posts 215
David J. Wilson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 11 2015 10:57 AM

The general theme for these is that:  Baptisme is the seal of the Covenant

A Brief Illustration and Confirmation Of the Divine Right of Infant Baptism, Dickinson, J. (1746)
BOSTON: Printed and Sold by S. Kneeland and T. Green in Queen-Street. LLS:EVANS04628

THE DIVINE RIGHT OF Infant-Baptisme Asserted and Proved from SCRIPTURE And ANTIQVITY.
By INCREASE MATHER, Teacher of a Church of Christ in Boston in New-England.  (1680) :  LLS:EVANS00230

A Brief ANSVVER To a Small Book written by John Norcot AGAINST Infant-Baptisme
This Answer is written by John Eliot for the sake of some of the Flock of Jesus Christ who are ready to be staggered in point of Infant Baptisme by reading his Book.   Boston: Printed by John Foster. (1679). :   LLS:EVANS00206

BOSTON: Printed by N. COVERLY and R. HODGE. M.DCC.LXXXI.      LLS:EVANS13612

And numerous others similar: Part of the Library of Early American History: 

Posts 19693
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 11 2015 5:28 PM

Not available in Logos (though I wish they'd offer it), but The Water That Divides by Donald Bridge & David Phypers (IVP, 1977; Christian Focus, 2008) is excellent. It's co-written by a credobaptist and a paedobaptist who both are respectful of each other's positions. It was one of the key books that brought me to a place of internal peace on this contentious issue. Not available in any digital edition yet as far as I can tell, but the 1977 edition is available for a penny on the used book market.

Posts 171
Jerome Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 15 2015 4:16 PM

As usual, I'm always late to these most interesting discussions!

I placed a note in my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, at Colossians 2:11, 12 which discusses the connection of circumcision and baptism.

I placed a note at Acts 16:15 on infant baptism as it was practiced by the apostles in the New Testament record.

I placed notes in the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on both sides of the issue. See my note at Romans 6:4 for the Baptist viewpoint, using their strongest arguments I could find.

It is highly unlikely that you can find a standard reference source which provides more Biblical information on the subject of water baptism than what I have placed in the notes in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, a resource available in Logos, brim full of cross references too.

I was formerly a champion debater, both in high school and in college, so I, too, enjoy studying carefully all sides of an argument. In debate, we had to be able to present either side convincingly in order to win a debate.

I pursued this interest in the baptism controversy for what I consider an unusual reason. I was witnessing to a Jehovah's Witness leader from a local Kingdom Hall. I found that Jehovah's Witnesses are not at all prepared to debate any aspect of the baptism issue. Since I learned they believe in immersion, I learned the evidence which supports the non-immersion point of view (remember, I was a member at Highland Park Baptist, pastored by Dr. Lehman Strauss at the time!). I believed then, and still believe now, that when a person (a JW) believes his or her church is the only true church, one way to shake that belief is to present a solidly grounded Biblical and exegetical rebuttal to such a mistaken foundational belief.

By the way, there is an extensive Baptism Collection in CP with 42 volumes on the subject of baptism from several sides of the issue. Now you know why I am so interested to see more people here bid on that offering so it will go into production!

Posts 166
Anthony | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 16 2015 11:06 AM

You could bid on this 42 volume set on Baptism...(please!)  Big SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig SmileBig Smile

Posts 4167
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 16 2015 12:20 PM

Spurgeon said: “I became a Baptist through reading the New Testament,—especially in the Greek,—and was strengthened in my resolve by a perusal of the Church of England Catechism, which declared as necessary to baptism, repentance and the forsaking of sin".


“I consider the “baptism” of an unconscious infant is just as foolish as the “baptism” of a ship or a bell; for there is as much Scripture for the one as for the other”

C. H. Spurgeon, C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Compiled from His Diary, Letters, and Records, by His Wife and His Private Secretary, 1834–1854, vol. 1 (Cincinatti; Chicago; St. Louis: Curts & Jennings, 1898),

Pg 150, and 148 respectively.

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Posts 171
Jerome Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 17 2015 7:33 AM

Dear Abondservant,

Dr. Lehman Strauss invited the youth group at Highland Park Baptist to visit his home. He had a tremendous personal library. One thick volume he pulled off his top shelf had a title something like What the Bible Teaches About Infant Baptism. The book had the requisite title page inside, but the rest of its pages were blank!

I understand the sentiments of Spurgeon.

Nevertheless, after very careful and exhaustive study of Scripture, I stand by my note at Acts 16:15 in my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, as a solid presentation of Scripture, Greek grammar and linguistics, which suggests those who hold to a contrary opinion can make a very good case for their view.

Until you have thoroughly studied all sides of an issue, you can hardly claim to understand your own.

That is why I love and treasure highly the diverse resources available to all of us in our Logos libraries!

My first purchase of Libronix Bible software from Nelson included my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. I don't know if my book is automatically included in the base packages from Logos now. If you don't have it, it is far cheaper to get it from Logos at a price in the thirty dollar range, compared to what a pastor friend recently sent me a notice of the going price on Amazon of $100 to $500 a copy for the print version, which is now out of print.

Posts 4167
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 17 2015 7:15 PM

The intent of my post wasn't to stir up a debate - just adding the voice of Spurgeon as well as where to find it.

I personally stand on the conviction common to baptists, and find another Spurgeon quote to be quite useful on the subject. He said (and I can look it up if you like, but I rather think you can find it on your own, or are familiar with it already) "when you can show me the bible commanding infants to be baptized, on that day I will begin baptizing them". Unless and until then basing major doctrines on ifs, maybes, and other conjectures is not something I'm about to do. I am impressed with your work I own your title in Logos, and have used it. But on this point we disagree.

Perhaps one day you will own one of my titles in your Logos library. :)


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