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in the NT 12 times of John's baptism and 3 (or 4) times of
Christian baptism ; for its metaphorical use see above.
VOL. I. 9

who also had the metaphor of cleansing ; see 2 Co
7 1 , 1 Jn I 7 , Rev I s (some MSS) 7 U ; cf. 2 P 2- 12 .

(b) Baptism of proselytes. The Jews admitted
' proselytes of righteousness,' i.e. full proselytes,
with baptism, circumcision, and sacrifice. This
custom was very common in Rabbinical times,
though Josephus and Philo do not mention it, and
some have therefore concluded that it did not exist
in the 1st cent. ; but Edersheim has clearly proved
from ancient evidence that it was then in use (LT
ii. 746, App. xii.). It may be added that the Jews
in later times would not have borrowed baptism
from the Christians, though it is intelligible that first
John and then our Lord and His disciples should
have adopted a custom already existing and have
given it a new meaning. Such a baptized person
was said by the Rabbis to be as a little child just
born (cf. Tit 3 8 ; see Edersheim, loc. cit.).

(c) The baptism of John is described in all the
Gospels. It was a preparatory baptism (Mt 3 11 ),
the baptism of repentance (Mk I 4 , Lk 3 s , Ac 13 W
19 4 ), intended, by an outward symbol, to induce
repentance which is the essential requisite for the
reception of spiritual truth. So marked a feature
of his teaching was baptism, that John is called
pre-eminently 'the Baptist' (6 jScwrrwrTjs, Mt 3 1
II 1 "-, Mk S 2 *, Lk 7 20 - 9 19 ; Josephus, Ant. xvm.
v. 2 ; in Mk 6 14 - ^ 6 pa.irrl$<av). But he himself
shows the difference between his baptism and that
of Jesus, in that the latter was to be with the Holy
Ghost (Mt 3 11 , Mk I 8 , Lk 3 16 , Jn I 38 ) and with fire
(Mt., Lk.). For the meaning of baptism 'with
the Holy Ghost,' see below 6 and 8 (e). Baptism
' with fire ' is explained in Mt 3 12 ; it is a baptism
of judgment separating the wheat from the chaff,
and burning the chaff with fire unquenchable
(Allen, Com. in loc. ; so || Lk 3 17 ). This interpre-
tation, however, is denied by Plummer (ICC on
Lk 3 18 ), who prefers a reference to the purifying
power of the grace given, or to the fiery trials that
await Christians. Others see a reference to the
' tongues like as of fire ' at Pentecost (Ac 2 s ).
However this may be, the fundamental difference
between the two baptisms is that John's was a
ceremonial rite symbolizing the need of repent-
ance and of washing away sin, while that of our
Lord was, in addition, the infusing of a new life ;
see below, 8. The baptism of John is mentioned
in the NT outside the Gospels in Ac I 6 - '** 10 37 II 18
13 24 18 28 19 8 *- ; the last two passages show that it
survived after Pentecost among those who had not
yet received the gospel.

To this preparatory stage is also to be assigned
the baptism of Jesus by John ; it was not the
institution of Christian baptism, though it paved
the way for it, and in some sense our Lord may be
said to have thereby sanctified ' water to the
mystical washing away of sin.' Such also was the
baptizing by Jesus' disciples during His earthly
ministry (Jn 3 s2 4 2 ) ; we note that our Lord carried
on the Baptist's teaching about the approach of the
kingdom and about repentance (Mk l ls ; cf. Mt 3 2 ),
though in His teaching the Good Tidings pre-
dominated, while in that of John repentance was
the chief note (Swete, Com. in loc. ).

3. Preparation for baptism. Instruction in
Christian doctrine before baptism is to some extent
necessary, because otherwise there cannot be faith
and repentance. Our Lord commanded the dis-
ciples to teach (Mt 28 20 , SiddffKovrts) as well as to
baptize. St. Peter instructed the people and Cor-
nelius before he commanded them to t>e baptized
(Ac 2 14 - 88 lO 84 ' 48 - 48 ). Philip instructed the Samari-
tans and the Eunuch before baptism (8 Bf - u< 8S ).
The instruction of Theophilus (Lk I 4 ) was probably,
at least in part, before baptism. Lydia's baptism
followed a preaching (Ac 16 18 ), as did that of the
Corinthians (18 8 ). But in most of these cases the



teaching was very short, in some of them not last-
ing more than one day. And no instruction that
can be properly so called is mentioned in the case
of Saul (Ac 9 1(i 22 16 ), or the Philippian jailer (18 s ;
note ' immediately '), or the twelve Ephesians (19 5 ).
Apollos had been instructed (ty KaT-rixrintvos) in the
way of the Lord, but only imperfectly, and Pris-
cilla and Aquila taught him more carefully (O.KOI-
pto-repov, Ac 18 26 ). The allusions to the instruction
of Christians in 1 Co 14 la , Gal 6 6 (KCLT^U), Ro 12 7 ,
Col I' 28 etc. (diddffKw), have no special reference to
baptism. In Ro 2 18 KOT^W is used of Jewish

At a later period, persons under instruction for
baptism were called catechumens (Ka.rrixoufi.evot,
' those in a state of being taught ' ; cf. Gal 6 6 ), and
their preparation was called catechesis ((cai-ifo^'s ;
cf. our word ' catechism ' from KarrjxtcrfJ.6^, through
Latin). The catechumens were taught the Creed,
or Christian doctrine, during their catechumenate,
and their instruction was called the ' traditio
symboli ' ; they professed their faith at baptism,
and this profession was called the ' redditio symboli '
(see below, 5). The baptism in later times norm-
ally took place in the early morning of Easter Day,
and the selection of candidates for baptism took
place on the 40th day before (Cyr. Jer., Cat. , Introd.
4 ; it was called the ' inscribing of names,' ovofM-
Toypatfria.) thenceforward the selected candidates
were called ' competentes,' ffwairovvTe*. In the
4th cent, the catechumenate lasted two years
(Elvira, can. 42) or three years (Ap. Const, viii.
32, and several Church Orders) ; but this was never
a hard and fast rule. Catechumens were not
allowed to be present at the main part of the
Eucharist or at the Agape (Didache, 9, and often in
the Church Orders). See, further, A. J. Maclean,
op. cit. pp. 16-19, 97 ; DC A, art. ' Catechumens.'

4. Formula of baptism. It is not quite clear
what words were used for baptism in NT times.
In Mt 28 19 our Lord bids His followers make
disciples of all the nations, baptizing (pairTifovrfs,
present part.) them into the name (et'y TO 6t>ofM,
AV ' in the name,' see 8) of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These words are in
all MSS and VSS, but F. C. Conybeare (ZNTW,
1901, p. 275 ff. ; HJ i. [Oct. 1902] 102 ff.) and K.
Lake (Inaug. Lect. at Leyden, 17th Jan. 1904) dis-
pute their authenticity, because Eusebius often
quotes the text without them or with ' make dis-
ciples of all the nations in my name.' The careful
refutation of this view by Chase (JThSt vi. 483 ff.)
and Riggenbach (' Der trinitar. Taufbefehl Matth.
28' Y in Beitrdge zur Forderung christl. Theol.,
Giitersloh, 1903) has made this position untenable,
and we can with confidence assert that the full
text is part of the First Gospel. It has, however,
been denied that the words were spoken by our
Lord. But the view that He made some such
utterance, of which the words in Mt 28" are
doubtless a much abbreviated record, is the only
way in which we can comprehend how such a
Trinitarian passage as 2 Co 13 14 could have been
written, or understand the numerous passages in
the NT which affirm the Godhead of the Son and
of the Holy Ghost (Chase, JThSt vi. 509 f. ; see also
art. ' God ' in SDB).

In Acts we read of people being baptized (almost
always in the passive) ' in (ev) the name of the Lord
Jesus' (2 s8 [v.l. ^ri]) or ' into ('s) the name of the
Lord Jesus ' (8 16 19 5 ), or ' in (tv) the name of Jesus
Christ' (10*). In the Pauline Epistles we read of
baptism into Christ Jesus, into His death (Ro 6 3 ),
into Christ (Gal S 27 ) ; with these passages cf. 1 Co
I 18 - 18 ('into the name of Paul,' ' into my name'),
10 2 ('into Moses'), 12' 3 ('into one body '), Ac 19 3
('into what?' 'into John's baptism'); all these
passages also have the passive 'to be baptized,'

except 1 Co 10* which (according to the best read-
ing) has the middle lpairTi<ravTo (cf. 1 Co 6 11 , Ac
22 16 ; above, 1) ; 1 Co 6 11 has ' in (iv) the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.'
Of these passages only Ac 8 18 10 48 19 5 are narra-
tives of baptisms.

The Pauline references clearly do not refer to
the formula used, though 1 Co I* ie makes it prob-
able that in some form the ' Name ' was mentioned
in the words of baptism. Do the other passages
refer to a formula ? On this point there is much
diversity of opinion, (a) It is maintained that the
formula at first ran ' in the name of the Lord
Jesus ' or the like ; and that the First Evangelist
introduced into his Gospel the Trinitarian formula
which was in use towards the end of the 1st century
(Robinson, EBi, art. ' Baptism '). It is not easy to
see how, if the other formula was the original
apostolic usage, this one could have been invented
in the third or even in the last quarter of the 1st
cent., unless indeed our Lord had really spoken
such words as are found in Mt 28 19 ; and in that
case it is hard to see why the apostles should have
used a quite different formula. (b) It is thought
that the passages in Mt. and Acts alike refer to the
formula used, but that baptism into Christ's name
is necessarily the same as baptism into that of the
Holy Trinity. The latter statement is quite true,
but it does not meet the whole difficulty. (c) It
is said that none of the passages in Acts refers to
a formula at all, but only to the theological import
of baptism (see below, 8). This is quite probable ;
at least the differences of wording show that if
a formula is referred to at a! 1 in Acts, it was not
stereotyped in the first age. (d) Assuming that our
Lord spoke, at any rate in substance, the words re-
corded in Mt 28 19 , many think that He did not here
prescribe a formula, but unfolded the spiritual
meaning of the rite (so Chase, JThSt vi. 506 ff.,
viii. 177 ; Swete, Holy Spirit in NT, p. 124 ; W. C.
Allen, ICC, in loc.). This view is extremely prob-
able, whatever interpretation we put upon the
passage, for which see below, 8. It was our Lord's
habit not to make regulations but to establish
principles ; so Socrates (HE v. 22), speaking of the
keeping of Easter, contrasts the practice of Jesus
with that of the Mosaic Law in the matter of the
making of rules.

It is quite possible that no formula of baptism is
given in the NT at all, and even that at first there
were no fixed words. It is probable that all the
NT passages refer primarily to the theological
import of the rite, though they may have a remote
allusion to the mode of baptizing. But though we
cannot assert that there was in the Apostolic Age
a fixed form of words, it was a souud instinct
which induced the Church, at least from the 1st
cent, onwards, to adopt the Trinitarian formula,
and it would be rash indeed to depart from it. If
our Lord's words did not prescribe a form of words,
at least they suggested it. We find it in the
Didache ( 7 : ' baptize into the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost'), though in
describing Christians in 9 the writer speaks of
them as ' baptized into the name of the Lord.'
So Justin paraphrases : ' They then receive the
washing with water in the name (ew 6v6fj.a.Tos) of
God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of
our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit,'
and says that ' he who is illuminated (see above, 1)
is washed in the name of Jesus Christ . . . and
in the name of the Holy Ghost' (Apol. i. 61).
Tertullian says that the formula has been pre-
scribed [by Christ], and quotes Mt 28 19 exactly (de
Bapt. 13 ; note especially that he translates eh TO
6vo/j.a by ' in nomen ' though Migne, apparently by
error, gives 'nomine'). In de Praescr. 20 he
paraphrases the text : ' He bade them ... go and




teach the nations who were to be baptized (intin-
guendas) into the Father (in Patrem), and into the
Son, and into the Holy Ghost ' ; and in adv. Prax.
26 thus : ' He commands them to baptize into the
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, non in
unum ' i.e. not into one Person. The Trinitarian
formula is the only one found in the Church in
ancient times. It is prescribed or referred to in
Origen, Horn, in Lev. vii. 4, in the Church Orders
(Can. of Hipp. xix. [ed. Achelis, 133] ; Ap. Const.
iii. 16, vii. 22 ; Ethiopic Didascalia, 16, ed. Platt ;
Test, of our Lord, ii. 7), in the Acts of Xanthippe
twice (M. R. James, Apocr. Anecd. i. [ = Tii. 3,
Cambridge, 1893] p. 79), and in the Apostolic
Canons [c. A.D. 400], can. 49 f. The fact that this
last work forbids any other form probably shows
that in some heretical circles other words were used.

Most of the Eastern Churches, Orthodox or
Separated, use the passive voice ' N. is baptized,'
or the like. The Westerns, on the contrary,
always use the active : 'N., I baptize thee.' The
latter is perhaps the older form ; it is found in the
Canons of Hippolytus and (in the plural, ' We
baptize thee ') in the Acts of Xanthippe (as above) ;
and it is favoured by Mt 28 19 itself (' baptizing
them ') and Didache, 1 ('baptize,' imperative). It
is also found among the Copts and Abyssinians
(DC A i. 162 b ; H. Denzinger, Ritus Orientalium,
Wurzburg, 1863, i. 208, 230, 235).

We may ask what is meant by the invocation of
the Divine name over the persons who were being
baptized, of which we read in Justin, Apol. i. 61
('the name of God is pronounced over him') and
Ap. Const, iii. 16 (' having named, e'-irovoiuiffas,
the invocation, ^irt/cX^o-iv, of Father and Son and
Holy Ghost, thou shalt baptize them in the water,
lv r<f tidaTi'). In connexion with this, Ac 22 16
(' calling on his name') is quoted; but there it is
the baptized, not the baptizer, who ' invokes ' ;
baptism is given in response to the prayer of the
candidate. More to the point are Ac 15 17 ('the
Gentiles upon whom my name is called,' from Am
9 1 *), and Ja 2 7 ('the honourable name which was
called upon you,' RVm, rb tiriKKydev t(j> /U) ; cf.
Nu 6 s7 , where God's name is put upon the Israelites
by the threefold blessing, and Ac 19 13 , where the
Jewish exorcists named the name of the Lord
Jesus over the demoniacs, saying, ' I adjure you
by Jesus . . .' It is quite possible that in the
1ST passages there may be some reference to the
words used in baptizing, which, as we have seen,
probably (at least in the ordinary way) included a
mention of the Name. But there is no evidence
that any invocation was part of the rite in apos-
tolic times, and Chase denies that it was so (JThSt
viii. 164). Is it necessary to suppose that Justin
and the writer of the Apostolic Constitutions refer
to anything else than the Trinitarian formula of
baptism ?

5. Baptismal customs. Some traces of customs
which were part of the rite in the early Church
are found in the NT. (a) A profession of faith
and renunciation of evil is common in ancient
times (e.g. Justin, Apol. i. 61, where the candidate
undertakes to be able to live according to the
faith ; Tert. de Bapt. 6, de Idol. 6, de Cor. 3, de
Sped. 4 Tertullian mentions the renunciations,
for which see ERE i., art. ' Abrenuntio '). To such
a profession the gloss of Ac S 37 , which is older
than Irenaeus who mentions it (c. Haer. III. xii. 8),
is the oldest certain reference. But it is possible
that there is an allusion to it in 1 Co 15 3 ' or at
least to an instruction before baptism though no
form of Creed can be intended (note v.* : ' I
delivered unto you first of all that which also I
received ' the ' delivery ' of the faith to the
catechumens, see above, 3) : also in Ro 6 17 10 9 ,
1 Ti 6 12 , 2 Ti I 13 '-, He lO 22 *-, 1 P 3 21 (for this verse

see ERE i. 38), Jude 3 . While, however, it is ex-
tremely probable that some sort of a profession
of faith was always made at baptism, the NT
passages fall short of proof of the fact.

(b) Trine immersion is a very early custom, being
mentioned in the Didache ( 7) and by Tertullian
(de Cor. 3, adv. Prax. 26). The practice of im-
mersion would probably be suggested by the word
/Sairrifw (see above, i). But J. A. Robinson (JThSt
vii. 187 ft'.) denies this, and says that as the word
is used of ceremonial washings in Mk 7 4 , Lk II 3 **,
it need not imply immersion, though pdirru (see
above, 2) does ; but need only denote ceremonial
cleansing with water. Chase (JThSt viii. 179 f.)
replies that the vessels in Mk 7 4 must have been
dipped in order to be cleansed, and also that Lk
II 38 means bathing ; to this may be added that
ceremonial ' baptizing ' of ' themselves ' in Mk 7 4 is
shown by v. 8 to mean the dipping of their hands
into water. However this may be with regard to
those passages, it seems more than probable that
the word /San-rifw to the first disciples, when used
of baptism, conveyed the idea of immersion, both
because it would be difficult otherwise to explain
the metaphor of baptismal burial and resurrection
(Ro 6 4 , Col 2 12 ), and because the Jewish practice in
proselyte-baptism (see above, 2) was to undress
the candidate completely, and to immerse him so
that every part of his body was touched by the
water (Edersheim, LT ii. 745 f. ; the candidate
also made a profession of faith before the ' fathers
of the baptism ' or sponsors). But it is also prob-
able that total immersion could not always be
practised, as in the case of the Philippian jailer ;
and that when this was the case the candidate
stood in the water, which was then poured over

There is no trace in the NT of trine immersion,
which doubtless was founded on the Trinitarian

formula, though this is no evidence against its ex-
istence in the apostolic period. Flowing (' living ')
water, if it can be had, is prescribed in the Didache

( 7) and in several Church Orders (Maclean, p.
104). In case of necessity the Didache (loc. cit.)
expressly allows aftusion. Immersion is implied
in Ep. of Barnabas, 11, where we read of going
down into the water laden with sin, and rising up
from it bearing fruit in the heart.

(c) Clothing the neophytes. In the early Church
the putting off of the clothes of the candidates
before baptism, andtheclothing of them afterwards,
usually in white robes, were emphasized as cere-
monial actions ; but of this we have no certain
evidence before the 4th century. Constantine was
buried in his baptismal robes (r& epQuTia., DCA i.
162). The Church Orders make a great point of the
clothing, and the Test, of our Lord mentions white
robes (ii. 12, see Maclean, p. 105), as does Ambrose,
de Myst. 34 (vii.). Even from the first, whether
immersion was total or partial, there must have
been an unclothing and a re-clothing ; and this, as
it would seem, gives point to the metaphor about
'putting oft'' ( the old man, and
'putting on' (4vSv<rdfji.evoi.) the new, in Col 3 91 -, and
about ' putting on ' Christ in baptism in Gal S 27 ;
cf. Ro 13 14 , Eph 4 M . The metaphor goes back in
some degree to OT times ; in Zee 3 3f - Joshua the
high priest is stripped of his filthy garments as a
symbol, and Justin (Dial. 116) perhaps applies
this to Christian baptism : ' even so we . . . have
been stripped of the filthy garments, that is, of our
sins.' Josephus tells us (BJ II. viii. 5) that the
Essenes clothed themselves in white veils and
bathed as a purification, and then partook of a
common meal with benediction before and after it ;
then, laying aside their garments, they went to
work till the evening. But there was apparently
no symbolism about this clothing.




(d) The kiss of peace after baptism is common in
Christian antiquity. Justin (Apol. i. 65) describes
it as taking place after the newly-baptized are
received among the faithful and after the people's
prayers, i.e. at the Eucharist which followed the
rite of baptism. Cyprian (Ep. Iviii. 4, ad Fidum)
alludes to it at the baptism of infants. In the
Church Orders it is used at Confirmation, as well
as at the Eucharist, and (apparently) at all times
of prayer (Maclean, pp. 18 f., 108). Tertullian
(de Orat. 18) says that some did not observe it
in times of fasting. There could be no better
symbol of Christian love than this, and it is
highly probable that it was used in worship in NT
times ; such would seem to be the suggestion of
the 'holy kiss' in Ro 16 16 , 1 Co 16 20 , 2 Co 13 12 ,
1 Th 5*, and of the ' kiss of love ' in 1 P 5 14 . But
there is no evidence in the NT as to its use in

(e) For a possible use of anointing in the NT,
see i ; for the laying on of hands, see 6. The sign
of the cross was used in early times, and was often
called the ' seal' (Maclean, p. 108 ; Cyr. Jer., Cat.
xiii. 36). Some think that this is referred to in
the passages cited above in 1 about ' sealing ' ; but
this is more than doubtful.

(/) Of three other early baptismal customs
there is no trace in the NT. (a) Sponsors are men-
tioned by Tertullian in de Bapt. 18 ('sponsores') ;
cf. de Cor. 3 ('inde suscepti'). They were called
' susceptores ' (dvadoxoi) because they ' received ' the
newly- baptized when they came up from the font;
cf.\T)<t>Oeis, Socrates, HE vii. 4. They are found
in the Church Orders (Maclean, p. 98 f.); and,
especially in the case of infants, when they make
the responses for them, they might be the parents
or others of their ' houses ' ( Test, of our Lord, ii. 8).
In Justin (Apol. i. 61) 'he who leads the person
that is to be washed to the laver ' seems to be the
baptizer. (/3) Fasting before baptism is ordered in
the Didache ( 7), and is mentioned by Justin (Apol.
i. 61) and Tertullian (de Bapt. 20 ; cf. de Jejun. 8),
and frequently in the Church Orders (Maclean, pp.
133 f., 137 f.). This is analogous to the fasting in
Ac 13 2 before the sending forth of Barnabas and
Saul. (y) The tasting of milk and honey by the
newly-baptized after baptism (and communion)
seems originally to have been an Egyptian and
' African ' custom only. It is mentioned by
Tertullian (de Cor. 3, adv. Marc. i. 14), by Clement
of Alexandria (Paed. i. 6), and in the Egyptian and
Ethiopic Church Orders, the Canons of Hippolytus,
and the Verona Didascalia (all these four are
probably Egyptian), but not in the Test, of our
Lord or in the Apostolic Constitutions (see Maclean,
p. 46). It was, however, probably introduced into
Rome by the 4th cent., for Jerome mentions it (Dial,
c. Luciferianos, 8), and he was baptized in Rome c.
A.D. 365. Thereafter it is several times mentioned
in the West. It is suggested by Ex 3 8 , which
describes the promised land as flowing with milk
and honey ; though the Canons of Hippolytus (xix.
[ed. Achelis, 144, 148]) say that it is because the
neophytcj are as little children whose natural food
is milk and honey, or because of the sweetness of
the blessings of the future life.

6. The complement of immersion: the lay ing on
of hands. In Acts we have two detailed accounts
of baptism in the Apostolic Age (8 12 " 17 19 1 ' 6 ), and
in both cases we read first of an immersion and
then of a laying on of hands, the latter being
expressly connected with the gift of the Holy Ghost.
In Ac 8 Philip, one of the Seven, had preached to
the Samaritans, and they were baptized. But as
yet the Holy Ghost had fallen upon none of them,
only they had been baptized into the name of the
Lord Jesus. Then the apostles Peter and John,
who were sent down from Jerusalem by their

fellow apostles, prayed for the newly-baptized that
they might receive the Holy Ghost, and laid their
hands upon them ; and they received the Holy
Ghost. In ch. 19, St. Paul finds about twelve men
at Ephesus who had received John's baptism ;
these are 'baptized into the name of the Lord
Jesus/ and St. Paul himself lays his hands upon
them and the Holy Ghost comes upon them. We
may note in passing that ' there is nothing in the
narrative to lead us to suppose that he followed at
Ephesus a course which he did not follow else-
where' (Chase, Confirmation, p. 32). With these
passages we may take He 6 lff> (see above, i), where
the ' teaching ... of the laying on of hands ' is
added to that of ' baptisms ' as part of the ' founda-
tion.' Even if it does not refer exclusively to the
baptismal imposition of hands after immersion, it
at least includes it.

The meaning of this laying on of hands will be
considered in 8 below. Here we must notice
the other passages of the NT which speak of the
gift of the Holy Ghost. But two preliminary
remarks must be made, (a) It would save much

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