[B-Greek] Thread closed: No mode in BAPTIZW

Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Wed Mar 8 10:21:41 EST 2006

Since this discussion has been pushed far beyond Biblical Greek usage  
into the realm of doctrine, it will have to be halted immediately. I  
am asking all list-members to refrain from responding to or adding to  
this thread. Let's have no more of this, please.

On Mar 8, 2006, at 10:05 AM, Charles Rempel wrote:

> Here are a few notes on baptism which you may find of interrest.
> Baptism as a sign of identification is the most common usage not  
> only in
> scripture but also in Greek/Roman Culture. The Zoarastrian cult of  
> Rome
> practiced baptism by having a "convert stand underneath a large  
> grating
> where a bull was cut open, allowing the entrails to "baptize the  
> convert."
> The person was said to be "born again" into the cult after being  
> "washed in
> the blood."  God took the ancient Jewish rite of ritual cleansing  
> and took
> it a step deeper when He initiated John's baptism, a baptism of  
> repentance
> (lit. Greek "a repentance kind of baptism") which did not "repent" the
> person but did symbolize a new commitment to change and repentance.  
> This
> example of baptism is also the first argument against baptismal  
> regeneration
> in the NT.  Christ was baptized by John. Christ was not repenting of
> anything, but was identifying Himself with this holy lifestyle John  
> was
> proclaiming. In fact he was/is the perfect example of godly living.
> I observe a number of uses of the word which all spring from water  
> baptism
> by immersion as the central metaphor. Baptism like marriage is a  
> well-worn
> metaphor with quite a few uses.
> 1. To immerse (general Gk. meaning) often with cleansing in view
> 2. To immerse in water as an act of repentance ala John's baptism.
> 3. To immerse in the Holy Spirit e.g. Pentecost and Acts 19:1-6
> 4. To initiate into the Kingdom - baptism was seen as the  
> initiatory act and
> came to stand for initiation itself into the Kingdom and into the  
> body of
> Christ. ( 1 Cor 12:13)
> 5. To be converted, instead of saying "at your conversion" Paul  
> says "at
> your baptism" this is an extension of the "to initiate" meaning.
> 6. To deeply experience and appropriate. Just as water baptism is a  
> deep
> experience of our conversion and initiation so we are "baptized  
> into his
> death". This is a puzzling expression because unlike water or the Holy
> Spirit the death of Jesus cannot be poured out on someone, rather  
> it is
> participated in. (Romans 6) baptisms of fire and of suffering seem  
> to fall
> under this use of the baptism metaphor as well.
> 7. A cleansing break with the past resulting in a renewal into the  
> future
> under a new regime. Baptism meant this in Greek culture where  
> disciples of
> philosophers were baptized into the teachings and lifestyle of the
> philosopher. It was a step of radical discipleship.
> A clean break, a washing away of the "delusions" of common folk and an
> entrance into the mysteries and teachings of the truth. There may  
> be some
> reflections of this in Peter's baptismal terminology.
> But the Greek poet and physician, Nicander, in 200 B.C. described the
> process of making pickles.  He used one word to described dipping the
> pickles in water, and taking them out, and he used baptizing them  
> when you
> placed them in the salt solution that would forever change them. In  
> his
> recipe for making pickles he used both baptizw and baptw. He said the
> vegetable should first be dipped (baptw) into boiling water and then
> baptized (baptizw) in the vinegar solution.  Both were concerned  
> immersing
> the vegetable in a solution, but the first would be temporary. The  
> act of
> baptizing produced the permanent change.
> Baptism is such a large and well used metaphor that it covers great  
> chunks
> of the doctrine of salvation. What it never implies though is that  
> baptism
> operates "ex opere operato" that it is sufficient as an act by  
> itself to
> ensure salvation. Neither is washing with water essential to  
> salvation. What
> is essential for salvation is experience of all that this complex  
> metaphor
> contains - repentance and moral cleansing, conversion,  
> identification with
> Christ, a clean break with the past, a renewal into a new regime and
> immersion into the Holy Spirit. There are people who get wet in a font
> without experiencing any of these realities and there are people  
> who are dry
> as a bone and who know them all. Its not the water that does the  
> trick but
> God - the water is a wonderful metaphor to be used in a very sacred  
> way but
> it cannot do anything of itself  - only God through grace and faith  
> does all
> that baptism involves.
> The baptism administered by John was the ritual of cleansing  
> through the
> application of water, dependent upon the confession of sins, in  
> anticipation
> of the coming of the Messiah, administered by one born in the  
> priestly line.
> J. Dwight Pentecost
> “the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new  
> environment or
> into union with something else so as to alter its condition or its
> relationship to its previous environment or condition.”	Wuest
> History
> (Believers) therefore receive holy baptism as a token of obedience  
> which
> proceeds from faith, an evidence before God and His church that  
> they firmly
> believe in the remission of sins through Christ Jesus, as has been  
> preached
> and taught them from the Word of God.
> This is the very least of all the commandments. It is a much greater
> commandment to love your enemies, to do good to those who do evil  
> to you, to
> pray in spirit and in truth for those who persecute you, to  
> subjugate the
> flesh under God’s word, to tread under your feet all pride,  
> covetousness,
> impurity, hate, envy and intemperance, to serve your neighbor with  
> gold,
> silver, with house and possessions, with your hard labor, with  
> counsel and
> deed, with life and death, nay to be free from all evil desire, and  
> to bear
> the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ with a joyous heart. … But as  
> long as he
> has not the inward work, he may well say, what can water avail me!
> … They will renounce their own wisdom and willing obey the word of  
> the Lord,
> for they are led by His Spirit, and through faith, with willing  
> obedient
> hearts perform all things commanded them of the Lord.
> But as long as their minds are not renewed, and they have not the  
> mind of
> Christ, Phil. 2:5; are not washed in the inner man with clean water  
> from the
> living fountain of God, Heb. 10:22, they may well say, What can  
> water avail
> us? For the whole ocean would not cleanse them as long as they are  
> earthly
> and carnally minded.
> 	Menno Simons
> The new convert goes down into a watery grave, picturing the burial of
> Christ and picturing his own death to sin, the crucifixion of the  
> natural
> man. When he rises, he should know that as he was “planted in the  
> likeness,”
> of the death of Christ, he should also be “in the likeness of His
> resurrection.” At baptism, then, one professes that he believes in  
> that old,
> old story that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose  
> again! He
> professes that he has had a change in his heart, that he now  
> belongs to
> Christ, that he means henceforth to live for Christ.	John R. Rice,  
> D.D.
> The apostles were made clean by the Lord before His death, through  
> the word
> which He had spoken to them (John 15:3), and so before the  
> institution of
> Christian baptism, of which the Twelve and others had no need, and  
> to which
> they never submitted.	H.A. Ironside, L.D.
> Unless the candidate for baptism UNDERSTANDS the meaning of the  
> ordinance
> there can be no blessing of benefit to him. The mere application of  
> water to
> the body is not baptism. There must be an understanding of its  
> significance,
> its meaning, and its responsibilities and obligation. First then  
> baptism is
> a memorial. … Second, it is a confession of sin. … Thirdly, baptism  
> is a
> declaration of our salvation. … Fourth, in baptism we announce our
> separation. Finally, baptism is an act of fellowship and  
> identification … In
> baptism therefore, the believer entered into the fellowship of the
> sufferings of Christ.	M.R. de Haan, M.D.
> Child baptism is wrong because the child doesn't know what is being  
> done to
> him or her.
> 	Anne Hutchinson (born 1591)
> Baptism was for the most part adult baptism and the adult would  
> necessarily
> have an experience a child could not have. 	Barclay
> 1527 - Swiss Anabaptist reformer Felix Manz, 29, was drowned in  
> punishment
> for preaching adult (re-)baptism. Manz's death made him the first  
> Protestant
> in history to be martyred at the hands of other Protestants.
> In baptism I renounce myself because of the death of Christ	JB Stoney
> Charles D. Rempel
> 30+ year student
> Without Portfolio
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
>> [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of George F  
>> Somsel
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 6:13 AM
>> To: frjsilver at optonline.net
>> Cc: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] No mode in BAPTIZW
>> On Tue, 07 Mar 2006 20:07:11 -0500 frjsilver at optonline.net writes:
>>> Dear Friends- -
>>> I'm not sure just what point Tom Logan is making here, so I'll just
>>> tell you what this word looks like to me.
>>> Chantraine doesn't (yet) include it, but has a very productive entry
>>> on BAPTW, the verb of which BAPTIZW is a frequentative form.
>>> Sometimes, but not always, frequentative forms suggest an
>>> imperfective aspect:  the notion that the verb's concept is
>>> incomplete, or repeated, or ongoing -- somehow a work in progress.
>>> I think that this might be true of BAPTIZW.  Rather than simply
>>> 'plunge into' (active -- not middle) something liquid, BAPTIZW has
>>> the flavor of 'in and out' or 'over again', something perfectly
>>> consonant with the triple immersion still practiced by the orthodox,
>>> faintly imaged by the triple pouring of other Christians.  As
>>> described in the DIDACH, pouring and sprinkling are the least
>>> desirable methods of baptism, which then becomes analogous rather
>>> than actual, but still effective as a minimum when the maximum is
>>> truly impossible rather than just avoided.
>> __________
>> I think that the practice of referring to BAPTIZW as immersion is an
>> example of the "root fallacy."  While it may be (OK, is) true that  
>> the
>> word originally signified an immersion into a liquid, I think this  
>> was
>> fairly obviously no longer the case when the NT was written.  In 1  
>> Cor
>> 10.2 Paul wrote
>> It is rather much of a stretch to call the passage through the sea
>> "immersion" since according to the tradition the water stood up on  
>> either
>> side and they walked on dry ground.  Furthermore, the cloud is  
>> said to
>> have preceded them on their journey so they would thus not be  
>> "immersed"
>> or enveloped in the cloud.
>> In addition, in Mk 7.4 we read
>> While these items mentioned can be immersed, it is doubtful that  
>> anyone
>> would be inclined to immerse a couch.  There would soon be quite a
>> collection of rather soggy couches.  It does not help to note that  
>> the
>> reading is not totally sure since it is apparent that someone thought
>> that BAPTIZW could be properly used with regard to couches.
>> Rather, it would seem that baptism, by whatever method, was a rite of
>> cleansing and / or identification.  By the ritual items could be
>> ceremonially cleansed as in the cases of persons or dishware --  
>> and, yes,
>> apprently couches as well.  It furthermore seems to have involved
>> identification since Paul states that they were "baptised unto  
>> Moses",
>> i.e. identified with the Mosaic covenant.  Paul also notes (Rom  
>> 6.3) that
>> in baptism we are *identified* with Christ, specifically in his  
>> death and
>> resurrection.
>> george
>> gfsomsel
>> ___________
>> ---
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Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad2 at mac.com
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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