Stephen C. Carlson scarlson at
Tue Jan 12 21:55:54 EST 1999

At 03:22 PM 1/12/99 -0500, Edward Hobbs wrote:
>I believe, therefore, that my first post on this topic was correct:
>"baptism" is used (whatever the spelling during pre-dictionary years)
>in all English translations from the beginning (Wycliffe 1382) on,
>until modern Baptist versions which use "immersion."

The following web site, "The Polyglot Bible" has the text of Luke
in Old English (c. 1000), Middle English (Wycliffe, c.1380), Early
Modern English (KJV, 1611), and Present Day English (NIV, 1973):

Looking at Lk3:3 7:29 12:50 20:4, it appears that the Middle
English word for "baptism" is "baptem" and the Old English
word for "baptism" is "fulluht."  As far I was able to ascertain
in a few minutes, the OE word is extinct in modern English.

I found at
the following information:

>The influence of French words on the vocabulary of religion was great as 
>well. However, while some old words gave place to French ones (e.g. OE 
>fulluht to baptism [not noted in the Peterborough Chronicle]), or were 
>re-borrowed in French forms (OE engel - ME angel [again not attested in the 
>Peterborough Chronicle]), the native names of the great church holidays 
>remained in use. Thus, Christmas, Easter, Twelfthnight were the usual words, 
>while Advent, Pasches, Theophany remained only marginal.

Stephen Carlson 

Stephen C. Carlson                        mailto:scarlson at
Synoptic Problem Home Page
"Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words."  Shujing 2.35

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