Stephen C. Carlson scarlson at
Thu Jan 14 22:48:19 EST 1999

At 09:23 AM 1/14/99 -0600, dd-1 at wrote:
>Mark and Edward,  Denny Diehl here
>Thanks for all the leg work on BAPTISMOS.  As pointed out:
>>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" 
>Any of the BAPT words would be transliterations from Greek
>BAPTISMOS (and other forms).  But what about "fulluht"?  Was
>that a translation of BAPTISMOS?  And if a translation, what did
>it mean?  Thanks again for the help.

I've done a little digging.  Roger Lass, OLD ENGLISH: A Historical
Linguistic Companion (Cambridge: University Press, 1994), p.95
states that "fulluht" is a reduction of "ful-wiht", literally
"cup sanctification."  This suggests to me that the Anglo-Saxons
thought of baptism more in terms of affusion than immersion.

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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