BAPTISMOS

Mark Goodacre M.S.GOODACRE at bham.ac.uk
Thu Jan 14 06:57:01 EST 1999


On 12 Jan 99 at 15:22, Edward Hobbs wrote:

> Mark Goodacre, who has put us in touch with many valuable sites, has
> in this instance demonstrated the perils of using a search engine to
> produce a concordance for texts in which fixed spelling does not exist.

Or, one might say, he has demonstrated the perils of using a search engine 
lazily and hastily.  As always with computer resources, there is much onus on 
the researcher to know how to use them effectively and accurately and this is 
something I failed to do here.  While I am not on commission, I would like to 
point out that the problem here was with me and not the machine.  Literature 
On-Line remains a super resource, but one that needs to be used with care.

That resource, when used more carefully, does indeed confirm Edward's fine 
exposition, and provides more details on it.

For what it's worth, here is a little more nuancing now that I have had time to 
return to it:

West Saxon I (c. 990) uses the term "baptista" of John the Baptist (Matt. 3.1 
and Luke 9.19); and  at John 3.22 we have "baptizabat":  "...eius in iudeam 
terram. & ibi demorabatur cum eis & baptizabat".  But as Stephen pointed out, 
the word for baptism is fulluht, e.g. Matt. 3.7: "Soðlice þa he geseh manega 
þæra sunder-halgena & þæra riht-wisendra to his fulluhte cumende."

So too West Saxon II (c. 1175), which does not even have John as "baptista" in 
Matt. 3.1 but rather "fulluhtere" ("On þam dagen com iohannes se fulluhtere & 
bodede on þam westene iudëë"), the usual term for baptist in West Saxon I.

And so we get to Wycliffe (Early, c. 1384), where we have "Joon Baptist", and, 
as Edward pointed out, the first occurrence of the noun "baptism", spelt 
variously, for example here in Matt. 3 "bapteme":

                        [1]...1 In thilke days came Joon  Baptist, prechynge in
                        the desert of Jude, 2 sayinge, `Do...
                        [7]...seeynge many of Pharisees and of Saducese
                        commynge to his  bapteme, saide to hem,
                        Generaciouns of eddris, who shewide to...
                        [11]...whos shon Y am not worthi to bere; he shal 
                        baptise, `or cristen, yow in the Holy Goost and fijr....

Or at Matt. 21.25 we have baptem:

                           25 Of whennes was the 
                           baptem of Joon; of heuene, or of men? 

Or in the introductory matter to Mark we have baptyme and baptym

                       ...Mark, the euangelist, of God chosun, and Petris sone
                        in  baptyme, and in Goddis word disciple, presthod in
                        Israel ledynge,... ...in hym silf the word, `that is,
                        Crist, of the  Baptist, that in consonantis, `that is,
                        in forme fadris, he... ...the work of the fulfillid
                        gospel entringe, `and fro the baptym of the Lord
                        bigynnynge to preche God, ne trauelide... ...seruaunt of
                        God, and the goostli sone of Petre in baptym, and the
                        disciple in Goddis word; he mynystride preesthod...
                        ...and to Crist. Mark bigynneth at the sendyng of Joon
                        Baptist, and tellith not the natiuite of Crist bi
                        fleissche,... ...not the natiuite of Crist bi fleissche,
                        but fro Cristis baptym, whanne he was ful man, he
                        tellith of his...

So too Tyndale (1530-4), as Edward points out, uses the noun baptim, baptime, 
baptyme.

So the machinery tells us that Edward's sharp eyes are right, or it does 
when its operator lets it!

Mark
--------------------------------------
Dr Mark Goodacre                mailto:M.S.Goodacre at bham.ac.uk
  Dept of Theology                tel: +44 121 414 7512
  University of Birmingham     fax: +44 121 414 6866
  Birmingham  B15 2TT  United Kingdom

Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre



More information about the B-Greek mailing list