[B-Greek] Translating Mark 1:4

Charles Rempel CharlesR at mygalaxyexpress.com
Thu Nov 3 11:42:58 EST 2005

Below are notes taken from Johannic Baptism(1 of 4) by Dr. James W. Dale
which contribute to the meaning of BAPTIZEIN for those who are interested. I
do recognize that remarks are included which are outside the scope of

Charles D. Rempel
30+ year student
Without Porfolio

The Greek word is devoid of all power to inform us as to the form or the
character of “the act” by which any baptism is effected.	p.51

The differences in act are merged in a common result, and this result
becomes the characteristic expression of the verb.	P.53

The definitions of this word as given by the lexicons are too individual and
isolated. They are often very alien from each other in some outstanding
features, and do not present an obvious radical unity.	p.66

I.	To merse: (To effect the intusposition of an object within a closely
investing element, by any competent act or acts, for an indefinite time.)
II.	To Baptize: (To effect a mersive (complete and assimilative) influence,
thoroughly changing the condition (whether physical, mental, or moral),
without limitation in the act, in the time of continuance, or in the
character of the influence.)
III.	(1) To intoxicate; (2) To purify, ceremonially or symbolly.	p.68

Johannic Baptism belongs exclusively to the Holy Scriptures.	p.71

Early Christian writers agreed, very generally, inn saying, that John’s
baptism was, in its nature, superior to Jewish baptism, but, no less
inferior to Christian Baptism.	p.72

The phraseology, “Baptism of John,” implies a distinctive difference between
this baptism and other baptisms, and especially between this baptism and
Jewish baptism, with which it was brought into contact and contrast.

Bengel, “At the baptism of repentance men confessed their sins, at the
baptism of Christ they confessed Christ.	p.76

Inasmuch as the term “baptism is applied equally 
 (it) must have a common
element establishing a generic unity.”	p.79

Plato and Plutarch declare that drunkenness is baptism, and what is baptism
in one case must be baptism in another.	p.87

1.	Jewish Greek writings, speaking of baptism, were in existence for two
centuries before John’s ministry.
2.	These baptisms were in daily observance all through his ministry and
3.	The perfect knowledge of these Greek words shown by Jewish Greek writers
follows closely his contemporaries – without feeling that abundant
facilities for attaining to a correct knowledge of the true power and varied
usage of baptizw were perfectly accessible to John.	p.128

John the Baptist – etymological – “one who is remarkable as a purifier.”

Christ is en pneumati agiw invested with the power of the Holy (Spirit),
therefore able to baptize, to influence controllingly , to change completely
the condition of the souls of men.

The essential idea in every baptism is complete change of condition, In
every baptism there is some agency operative to effect the demanded
condition and (where the agency alone is stated) to give character to the
condition.	p.206

The Holy Spirit and fire, (are) agencies effecting and giving character to
baptisms.	p.206

The presence of a fluid element in baptism is no evidence that it is there
as a receiving element into which some object is to be dipped.	p.228

The nature of this ordinance, therefore, was neither that of the Jew
effectively purifying ceremonially, nor the Patrist effectively purifying
spiritually, but such as pertains to simple water which by its nature
cleanses from physical defilement, and so by its nature becomes, in its
simplicity, a fit symbol for absolute purification.	p.230

The symbol rite of John was but a shadow; but it was a shadow forecasted by
the coming “Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world,” and so “made
Him manifest.”	p.230

John’s mission did not consist in the administration of a ritual ordinance.
It did include the administration of a rite in which water, as a symbol,
appeared illustrative of and lend force to that repentance baptism in the
preaching of which (water not entering into it) his mission did so
pre-eminently consist that it is ever used by the Holy Spirit to
characterize it.	p.251

John was not sent to administer a ritual water baptism, but was sent to
preach repentance baptism, just as Paul “was not sent to baptize, but to
preach the gospel.”	p.251

John preached the imperative necessity of a change in the condition of the
soul manifested by godly repentance and issuing in the full remission of sin
through “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world,” which
changed condition of the soul was the work of the Holy (Spirit).	p.407

Johannic baptism is a spiritual condition of the soul, a Baptisma “into
repentance,” “into the remission of sins;” which condition of repentance and
of remission (like every other baptism) has no self-termination, and it is
the work of the Holy (Spirit).	p.417

This same Baptisma is declared by word and exhibited in symbol, by the
application of pure water to the person, in a ritual ordinance. This is
Johannic Baptism in its shadow	p.417

The manner of using the water in John’s ritual baptism is not stated by any
word. The word Baptizw, as used in scripture, has no more control over or
connection with the manner of using this water, than a broken arm has
control over or connection with the movement of the solar system.	p.417

Dipping or mersing “into water” is phraseology utterly unknown to John’s
baptism. “Baptism into repentance” and “baptism into water” are, as to their
nature, as far removed form each other as is pole from pole from pole. The
first of these is the baptism of John; the second (changed to a dipping, and
therefore nullified as a baptism) is the baptism of the theory.	p.417

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Cirk Bejnar
> Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 9:41 AM
> To: Dan Gleason; b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Translating Mark 1:4
> --- Dan Gleason <dan-bgreek at hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Translating Mark 1:4
> >
> > John became the-one immersing in the Wilderness ...
> >
> > and preaching an-Immersion of-Repentance ...
> >
> > into a-forgiveness of-Sins.
> I'll address some larger issues first and then get
> into specifics.  In my view the most important things
> that hasn't been noted has to do with the meaning of
> 'in' which in these passages can represent EN, EIS, or
> the dative without preposition.  Except for EIS these
> forms do not emphasize _location_ but rather
> relationship of means.  This is especially important
> in 1:8.  When John EBAPTiSA hUDATI his point is that
> water is the means or tool of his action not that the
> baptized is put inside the water (even though they
> were, of course).
> As for 1:4 I would understand EGENETO as an
> introductory word meaning "it happened" or "it
> occured".  The meaning can't be "John became the one
> baptizing" because paticiples aren't usually used that
> way and the article never is.  hO serves to closely
> link BAPTIZWN with IWANNHS rather than mark it as a
> predicate.
> As has been pointed out hO BPTIZWN serves to label and
> identify John virtually as a title, like John the
> Baptist in English.  If you want to avoid using what
> has become a set English phrase you would have to
> translate it something like John, the one who was
> baptizing.
> EIS indicated the purpose, goal, or result of the
> baptism, as has been pointed out.
> Now a question on my own behalf.  KAI coordinates the
> two participles.  Does that mean that they stand in a
> closely similar relationship to IWANNHS or can they be
> taken differently one very atributive and the other
> very circumstantial?
> I think the second option makes more sense but am
> curious as to what others more expert than I think.
> Given these thoughts, I would translate
> "And it happened that John, the one who was baptizing,
> was in the wilderness and he preached a baptism of
> repentence for the forgiveness of sins."
> Cirk R. Bejnar
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