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#447936 Pope Joan (John English)

Posted by Unbound68 on 27 March 2020 - 08:37 PM in Theology

3. Although the story was attributed to some 10th and 11th century writers, it does not actually appear in the manuscripts of their work. This shows later writers were making things up.


No it doesn't.  That's a non sequitur.  

How do you know the story doesn't appear in the manuscripts of 10th and 11th century writers?  Are you sure the story wasn't in those mss. at all? in any form?  Can you prove your assertion?



The same is true of Marianus Scotus's Chronicle of the Popes, a text written in the 11th century. Some of its manuscripts contain a brief mention of a female pope named Johanna (the earliest source to attach to her the female form of the name), but all these manuscripts are later than Martin's work. Earlier manuscripts do not contain the legend.


Can you prove this from Scotus himself?  Also, are you aware of the importance of the earlier manuscripts of Scotus's chronicle, despite their alleged lack of any mention of Pope Joan?  Here's a hint:


When did Leo IV die?

When did Benedict III die?

How long was Benedict III pope?




The story is attributed by some to Anastasius Bibliothecarius in the 9th century, but the only manuscript of his work which contains it is unreliable, and in that manuscript the story only appears in a footnote added by a later writer after the 13th century.


Really?  What is the name of the only manuscript of his work which contains it?  Do you know?  Do you know who added the footnote?  Are you aware of the discrepancies in the various mss. of the Liber Pontificalis? Are you aware of the admission made by the Jesuit editors of the first printed edition of the Liber Pontificalis that they removed the account of Pope Joan not only from the printed edition of 1602, but from two of the original manuscripts in which the account of Pope Joan was to be found?  Are you aware of the complaints of the removal of Pope Joan made by the owner of those two original manuscripts which were lent to the Jesuits for the publication of the 1602 Liber Pontificalis?  Are you aware of the letter to Anastasius telling him to remove the account of Pope Joan from official documents?  Are you aware of the fact that Anastasius was papal librarian with easy access to Vatican mss.?




I said:  The majority of writers who relate the story are Papists themselves. Why would they blindly copy and uncritically quote sources (themselves!) that related a story injurious to the Papacy?


To which you replied:


.....partly because as historians they felt it was necessary to record what they believed was history, and partly because they didn't have robust fact checking procedures.


Your statement about "robust fact checking procedures" is laughable in light of the fact that neither you nor your sources seem to be aware of the facts surrounding the manipulation of the manuscripts used for the Liber Pontificalis (among other things).  When you say "they didn't have robust fact checking procedures," what do such procedures look like?




I said:  The Inquisitor Bernard Gui includes [the story of Pope Joan] in his History, after claiming to have discovered and corrected the errors of all the chronicles written by his predecessors.


You reply with:


This doesn't alter the facts I listed previously, which are overwhelming evidence for a legendary story.


More like overwhelming evidence for a legendary cover-up.  It is no coincidence that the mss of the liber Pontificalis all seem to get "confused" around the time of Benedict III.  What makes you think Guidonis was wrong when he said he corrected all the previous chronicles yet still included the story of Pope Joan in his history?  Further, what makes you think the Roman Catholic Church didn't engage in the attempted removal of any and all evidence of a female Pope? 




I can't search through the Chronicon of Polonus to prove what Polonus is saying, that would be submitting to the fallacy of self-quoting; 'It's true, and it's true because I say it's true'. What I need is an independent source to prove that a decree was made that 'Joan' not be listed in the official records of the popes. Is there any such source at all, anywhere? Again, where is the independent evidence for Polonus' claim? Where is this decree recorded?


Don’t be ridiculous.  I haven't made a fallacious argument.  I’m not asking you to search through Polonus so he can tell you what he’s saying is true.  I asked if you had searched through the Chronicon of Polonus because you asked: "Where's the evidence for this claim? Where is this decree recorded?"  It's pretty dumb to ask those questions when you've never considered looking at the work of the man who made the claims you're questioning!!!  I refer you again to the quote from James Dale: “To read a book before criticizing it [is] only a hamper to genius!”  


By the way, are you aware of the incredible differences between the 1245 edition of Polonus and that of 1277, wherein the former contains two consecutive and differing accounts of the life of Benedict III right after the life of Leo IV?




Most likely because people have simply never heard of him [Spanheim]. Is he supposed to be worth reading?


The fact that you have to ask that shows your lack of knowledge on this topic (much like the ignorance displayed by you in the Baptizo thread).  I would bet that your only “research” into Pope Joan was the quick search of Wikipedia you did when I made the OP.  Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of this topic is fully aware of Spanheim and his worth!




(A) Did [Spanheim] have any relevant qualifications? (B) Did he cross-check multiple independent reliable sources? © Does he list all his sources? (D) Does he differentiate between primary and secondary sources? (E) Does he provide any explanation for the complete lack of evidence for the existence of this legendary individual? (F) Is he a reliable source? (Alphabetical divisions mine - U68)


(A) Yes

(B) Yes

(C ) Yes

(D) Yes

(E) Yes

(F) Yes


By the way, I have nothing against someone asking questions, but it hasn't gone unnoticed that you seem to always deploy this twenty-questions-tactic in order to tarnish the testimony of witnesses with whom you are entirely unfamiliar!  You have done it with Spanheim.  You have done it with Polonus.  You have done it with Bower.  




Because it is incredibly unlikely that he even checked 500 chroniclers dating between the 9th and the 13th centuries, let alone found the same story in all of them.


"Incredibly unlikely?"  Says the guy who has never heard of Spanheim, much less studied his works!  You’re obviously not aware of just how many works on Pope Joan were written by Spanheim, nor in how many languages they were written, nor how often he was referenced by others in their own works on the issue.  




If he did, then why doesn't anyone else quote any of these many chroniclers?


They do.  You would know this had you put more time into studying the topic than the 5 minutes it took you to look up the wikipedia entry on Pope Joan.  I have nearly 100 works on the topic (including scanned images of original manuscripts), and my collection is still growing with each passing year.




Why instead do other writers simply point to the same three or four sources?


Perhaps because there has been a lot of "uncritical copying" going on by your modern sources who aren't willing to put in the leg time required to seriously investigate the issue? (Much like all the journals, magazines and newspapers that wrote reviews of Dale's work on Baptizo while admitting they had never read him!)  


By the way, there is a lot your modern sources aren't telling you about those same three or four sources.




And even if there were 500 chroniclers read by Spanheim, how many of them were independent, as opposed to simply quoting what previous writers said?


Even if?  It sounds to me like you're arguing from two opposing positions.  First you argued Spanheim couldn't possibly have checked 500 chroniclers.  Now your argument is "even if he did?"  Continually questioning the integrity or truthfulness of past historians, clerics, librarians and various clergy who painstakingly conducted their work and ended up including the real-life Pontificate of Pope Joan in their writings does not bode well for your position, especially when you have no evidence to disprove her existence...other than your misinformed speculations.  


And why do you automatically make the assumption that the account of Pope Joan appearing in 500 chroniclers must mean those chroniclers all copied from one another?    Bias on your part?   




[Spanheim is] In French. Which I cannot read.


But that didn’t stop you from questioning his qualifications or the conclusions reached in his work, did it?  You did the same with Dale.  Why not find someone who can read French and help you translate parts of Spanheim’s work rather than dismissing his conclusions just because you don't believe in the existence of Pope Joan?  




I'm exposing your bias. With regard to this issue you only treat Catholic sources as reliable when they agree with what you already believe, and you automatically treat Protestant sources as reliable except where they disagree with what you believe.


Those are dumb comments which could easily be used against anyone on any topic where there are opposing factions that have a few of their members taking up the position of the other side; e.g., the mode and subjects of Baptism, the identity of the Antichrist, etc.!  


In fact, I could level the same charge at you when you say:  “A 16th century Catholic historian and a 17th century Protestant historian provided good evidence that the story was legendary, using similar analysis of the sources.”  What makes you trust the research of *that* Catholic and *that* Protestant over and above the Catholics and Protestants who have done similar research and come to the opposite conclusion?


And speaking of Blondel, I'll bet you aren't even aware of the letters he wrote (including one to his brother) about the story of Pope Joan having been removed from all but two copies of the first printed edition of the Liber Pontificalis, despite the story appearing in the original codices?  


I'm sure you are equally unaware of the work written in refutation of Blondel by Samuel Maresius (another Protestant)?  Others such as Spanheim (also a Protestant) specifically refute many of the arguments of Blondel in their works as well.  By the way, Maresius lists scores of chroniclers in his work in support of the existence of Pope Joan.  So which Protestant am I supposed to treat as reliable?  The one that agrees with you?  So much for your bias argument.


Strangely, Wikipedia doesn't even mention works by Protestants like Maresius and Spanheim in favor of the existence of Pope Joan on their individual wikipedia pages, though it mentions the work against the existence of Pope Joan by Blondel on his page.  I wonder why?




I'm afraid it's more challenging than that.

1. The story doesn't appear until the Chronica Universalis Mettensis of de Mailly in the 13th century. The female pope is not named, and details are scant; the event is placed in 1099 CE.
2. The names given aren't simply 'John, Joan, Johanna'; de Mailly gives no name, Stephen of Bourbon gives no name, Polonus gives no name, some manuscripts of Scotus give 'Johnanna' (but there is no reference to the legend in earlier manuscripts), the Chronicon of Adam of Usk gives the name 'Agnes', and other later sources give 'Joan'.
3. The earliest source (de Mailly), dates 'Joan' to the 13th century, but Polonus places the event in the 9th century.
4. De Mailly claims 'Joan' was memorialized by the Church with a four day 'fast of the female pope'. Polonus claims that the Church decreed that she was not to be recorded in the official list of popes. It is unlikely that the Church honored her with a feast while simultaneously decreeing she was not to be recorded. Where is the independent evidence for either of these claims?
5. Several versions of the story appear, with differences in name, timing, events, and the response of the Church. Is there any independent evidence for any of them?
6. The story was not used by anti-papists until the Reformers, despite numerous anti-papal individuals using every other weapon at their disposal.
7. There is no room in history for 'Joan' to have been pope between Leo IV and Benedict III in the 9th century as claimed by Polonus. Similarly, the date of 1099 CE given by de Mailly places 'Joan' either at the end of the reign of Urban II (ended 20 July 1099), or at the start of the reign of Paschal II (started 13 August 1099). The dates I'm using are those of the 2001 edition of the Annuario Pontificio, the modern record which is updated and corrected regularly using the work of professional historians. It's clear neither Polonus nor de Mailly even attempted to reconcile their claims with the historical record.


Your statement that “I’m afraid its more challenging than that” is exactly correct.  You clearly don’t know the half of it!  You’ve only parroted falsehoods from wikipedia and a dictionary.  I’ve actually been hunting down primary sources to see things for myself.  I will respond to your above 7 points first (my numbered responses match your points), which are actually quite simplistic in comparison to the questions I have for you afterward:



1.  The story appeared before DeMailly, but was erased or destroyed.  Documented admissions of removal by Jesuits and clear manipulations within various Vatican mss. support this assertion.


2.  Can you prove all of that first-hand from those sources?  You forgot to mention Anna (shortened from Johanna) and Gilberta.  Why do you suppose various sources came up with different names?


3.  Again, DeMailly isn't the earliest source.  He was wrong on the century, but not on the fact of her existence (the two can be mutually exclusive).


4.  You say DeMailly and Polonus said "X" and "Y," but can you show me where in their works they say "X" and "Y?"  If you can't, then obviously you haven't seen or studied their chronicles at all, which means you have no grounds for questioning what evidence they may or may not have had when they said "X" and "Y."  Or is it your contention that both DeMailly and Polonus were "making things up" and neither the four-day fast nor the decree to remove Joan from the Papal lists ever occurred?


5.  Absolutely.  Manipulated manuscripts, letters that were written to Pope Joan, and papal coins of her time all prove her existence.


6.  That's because until the Reformers what they deemed the prophetic significance of a female Pope had never been considered.


7.  I believe her pontificate was around 856-858 and came after Benedict III.  Papal coinage and letters support this assertion.  By the way, why didn't you use the Annuario from 2012, rather than that of 2001?  Just wondering why you would choose to use one that was already 11 years old when you made that post.




Now I have some questions of my own.  I'm afraid it's more complicated than you even know:


a. Are you aware of the discrepancies in the numbering of the Popes in various editions of Platina, particularly after the Jesuit Panvinio started editing them after Platina's death? 


b. Are you aware of the discrepancies concerning Benedict III’s life in the mss. of the Liber Pontificalis, which has led some to believe his pontificate was artificially extended or that he never existed but was put in Pope Joan’s place to hide her pontificate?  


c. Are you aware of the 20 missing pages (201-220) from the Liber Pontificalis of Duchesne?  


d. Are you aware of the 11th century Vatican ms. 5140 ending the life of Leo IV abruptly in the middle of a word(!) and leaving 2/3 of the rest of the page empty?  


e. Are you aware of the same Vatican ms. 5140 having the life of an unnamed pope on the next page where the name of Benedictus was written in the left margin in red ink, but was later crossed out and replaced with the name Nicolaus at the top of the page instead, but not before the first two lines on the page had been completely removed?   


f. Are you aware that when the name of Nicolaus was written in place of Benedictus at the top of Vatican ms. 5140 that the letter “L” is in a darker color and in a different script?  


g. Are you aware of the strange manipulations that one finds in the Vatican mss. 3764, 3762, and 5516 concerning the lives of Leo IV, Benedict III, and Nicolas I?  (ms. 3762 is the one used for the lives of the Popes today, which is remarkable because it's not the oldest!)


h. Are you aware of the fact that the death of Leo IV wasn’t set at 855 until the 16th century (it was only found in the margin of the first printed edition of the Liber Pontificalis in 1602), the original mss. being completely silent on the Life of Leo IV after 853 as well as not giving the year of his death at all?  


i. Are you aware of the letter to Pope Joan from Lupus of Ferriers?  


j. Are you aware of the numismatic evidence discovered that proves there was a Pope John (Joan) in the 850s (distinct and different from the Pope John of the 870s)?  


k. Are you aware of the chronicle of Botho where he reports the crowning of Louis II by a Pope John in 856, who couldn't have been the Pope John from the 870s?  


l. Are you aware of the testimony of the Madgeburg Centuries showing that a Pope John had received AEthelwulf of Wessex between 855-856, which couldn't have been the Pope John from the 870s? 


m. Are you aware of Harleian ms. 3901 giving two distinct lives of Benedict III immediately after Leo IV, and how that relates to ms. 5140?


n. Are you aware of the several different ways in which Anastasius "signed" his name, which makes it very easy to date his writings to various people, including Popes?  


o. Are you aware of the 9th century Vatican ms. 5516, like the 11th century ms. 5140, abruptly ending the life of Leo IV (this time in the middle of the page), and a different scribe finishing Leo IV's life 50 years later to fill in the empty space on the page? 



All of this is just the tip of the iceberg.  You need to dive deeper than wikipedia.

#447933 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 14 May 2019 - 09:27 AM in Theology

Yes, your name and writings were brought up by fortigurn, so let’s start with an accurate account of events here.

Regarding the representation of you and your writing, your own words were provided. Let the readers interpret your words for themselves and let them make up their own minds.

As for your last sentence, were I also to invoke God’s name before I reply to you, and if I am successful at posting my reply, are you implying that God wills that one of us spread truths and the other spread falsehoods simultaneously concerning the meaning of Baptizo?  

And instead of posting here to tell us that you’re going to be posting here, just do it. No need for the suspenseful build-up to your entrance.


By the way, please tell me how you are defining "infraction."

#447928 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 13 April 2019 - 06:17 PM in Theology

“Modern lexicons, modern archaeological studies on early Christian baptism, modern scholarly commentators on early Christian practices, modern Bible scholars, a host of independent witnesses. And on the other hand, we have Dale.”





Not only do we have Dale, but we also have a slew of others, which you would surely know had your research been as thorough as you would have me (and your readers) believe!  We have men like Boice, Hutchings, Berkhof,1 Thorn,2 Day, Beecher,3 Wilson, as well as Ambrose, Cyril, Origen, Didymus, Hilary, Jerome and other Patrists.


James Montgomery Boice says:


The Greeks used the word baptizo from about 400 B.C. to the second century after Christ. In their writings baptizo always points to a change having taken place or, as we might properly say, to a change of identity by any means. Thus, to give a few examples, it can refer to a change having taken place by immersing an object in a liquid, as in dyeing cloth, by drinking too much wine and thus getting drunk, by overexertion, and by other causes.4



Samuel Hutchings says:


In fact, anything liquid or solid, material or immaterial, which is able powerfully to affect a person, is capable of baptizing him in the Greek sense of the word.5



Clinton Day says:


Baptidso does indeed cling tenaciously to a governing idea or fact; modalists say it is mode, in this work it is proved to be influence - in the classics, hurtful influence, such as the loss of ships, the downing of animals and men, the bestializing of men by alcoholics, the ill-effect of drugs, the death-dealing work of the word, the injury resulting from over- much study, labor, sensual pleasure, greed, cruelty, war, grief, affliction, sin and death. In the Bible it is influence both benign and divine - the influence of God’s Spirit upon the dispositions of men while conforming them into the image of Christ.6



Ironically, we also have the owner of the b-greek forum! Remember his response to me via e-mail? Observe:


“I'm an immersion guy, but I think there probably is a good argument that the fundamental meaning of the word in the New Testament is more closely related to ceremonial washing [read: the effect or thing done] than to immersion. [read: mode](emphasis mine)


"One particular utensil mentioned in some manuscripts of Mark's Gospel, and which has caused confusion among ancient copyists and modern scholars alike, is the mention of the immersion of 'beds' or, better, 'dining couches' (Mk. 7.4). The confusion is typically over the impossibility of the given interpreter imagining people to have done such things and it has even been known for scholars to claim Mark invented the practice. However, it is quite clear that certain practices were discussed in rabbinic literature as in the following passages:
[If] one immersed the bed/dining courch therein, even though its legs sink down into thick mud - it is clean, because the water touched them before [the mud did]. (m. Miqw. 7.7)
He who unties the bed/dining couch to immerse it... (m. Kelim 191.)"
James G. Crossley, The New Testament and Jewish Law: A Guide for the Perplexed (A&C Black, 2010), 59.




In case you haven’t figured this out yet, I do not accept your premise that baptizo means “immerse,” nor do I accept your premise that its Hebrew counterpart means “immerse.” Hence, when you cite scholars that use the word “immerse" for baptizo as evidence that Jews “immersed” their couches, you - and they - are completely begging the question. And the existence of mikvahs in no way proves that people or furniture were immersed in them. That’s a non sequitur.




"7:4 Baptisontai     Although it can be argued that the less familiar word (rantisontai) was replaced by the more familiar one (baptisontai), it is far more likely that Alexandrian copyists, either wishing to keep baptidsein for the Christian rite, or, more probably, taking ap agoras as involving a partitive construction, introduced rantisontai [sprinkle] as more appropriate to express the meaning, “except they sprinkle [what is] from the market place, they do not eat [it].”"      Bruce Manning Metzger, United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), 80.    
This information is readily available.





As is the following:


“We have seen that learned Greeks in Constantine's day translated bapto by rantidzo - Mark vii. 4. The two oldest manuscript Bibles in the world to- day, [Sinaiticus and Vaticanus] over fifteen hundred and fifty years old, do. Euthymius, a learned Greek father of the fourth century, translates baptidzo by rantidzo, to sprinkle. Seven other ancient copies do so. The reason they all render that one place - Mark vii. 4 - thus, is, it was an added and superstitious Jewish baptism, always performed simply by sprinkling, no other way at all, and hence they, in transcribing, did what oft copyists did, translate the word into what expressed it exactly. They did not even like to recognize that under the name of the word for their solemn ordinance, and hence they tell us exactly what the daily Jewish baptism was - sprinkling.”7




Dale says:



Whether this be accepted as the better reading or not, it shows that the copyist saw no difficulty in a baptism being effected by sprinkling.8



And Ditzler settles the matter:



“Every Jew baptized himself from once to two, three, four times a day in Christ's day (Mark vii, 3, 4; Luke xi, 38), with facts detailed in the laver argument. Did they all go to Jordan to find water enough for their baptism? We see in the laver argument that all Jews baptized daily, and baptized their furniture and their beds every day. When we are told of big cisterns twenty-two feet deep, sixteen or seventeen feet wide, that families had against the three, four, or five months of drouth every season, and that they could immerse in them, we again refer you to Leviticus xi, 30-36; Numbers xix, 22; xxxi, 23; Leviticus xv entire, etc. as an utter refutation of that. And in the face of those facts would a man, his wife, their six, eight, ten children, and often six, eight, ten servants, male and female, daily immerse in the cistern and daily immerse their beds in it, then use the water for drinking, for cooking, and the like. Immersion theories require this.”9



While we’re on the topic of rantizo, observe the following:


“Another passage has presented serious difficulty in the way of immersionists: ''And he was clothed with a vesture dipped (btbammenon) in blood."


The idea is that of a warrior whose garments have been, in the conflict, sprinkled or stained with the blood of his enemies. It is a remarkable fact, that Origen, the most learned of the Greek fathers, citing this passage almost verbatim, has the word errantismenon, sprinkled, instead of bebammerum.


It is a fact of even greater importance, (and it is stated by Dr. Gale,) that the Syriac and AEthiopic versions, "which for their antiquity," says Dr. Gale, " must be thought almost as valuable and authentic as the original itself, being made from primitive copies, in or very near the times of the apostles," translated the word bapto here by a word signifying to sprinkle. The Latin Vulgate also has it aspersa, sprinkled, with blood. There are but two ways of accounting for these facts, viz :


1st. By supposing that the word rantizo was the true reading, and that the text was afterwards corrupted by inserting the word bapto, and, therefore, Origen quoted it thus, and the authors of those versions gave a corresponding translation.


2. By admitting that Origen and those translators understood the Word bapto, in this passage, as meaning to sprinkle.


The first supposition is adopted by Dr. Gale and Mr. Campbell; but there is not one particle of evidence in support of it. It is not pretended that a single copy of the Greek Testament, ancient or modern, has the reading which these gentlemen have imagined. It may be noted as an evidence of the burning zeal of some of the leading advocates of immersion, that they have been willing to alter the word of God, in order to sustain their peculiar views! Mr. Carson, however, could not venture on a step so desperate. After noticing Dr. Gale's reasons for believing the text corrupted, he says: "These reasons, however, do not, in the least, bring the common reading into suspicion in my mind, and I will never adopt a reading to serve a purpose."


It is evident, then, that Origen and the translators of the Syriac, the AEthiopic and Vulgate versions, did believe that in this passage bapto means to sprinkle. And they, let it be noted, lived in an age when, if we are to believe the advocates of immersion, all Christians were decided immersionists. Besides, they lived when the Greek was a living language, which they were accustomed to read and hear constantly.”10

In my previously linked article you will find evidence for Old Testament washings and purifications using immersion; you can start with Naaman.




Sure. First, the appearance of “dipping” as an English translation of baptizo is the very thing under dispute, therefore your citation of that verse is a circular argument.  Second, dipping and immersion are antonyms.  Third, the Itala and the Vulgate translate tabal in 2 ki 5:14 as “wash,” as does Luther - whom immersionists love to cite in their favor.  Fourth, see Lev. 14 for the Biblical exposition of how Naaman’s washing was accomplished.  Fifth, all through the OT, ritual washings and purifications took place via sprinkling and pouring. In stark contrast to that, the word “immerse” is nowhere to be found in all of Scripture, nor do we find “plunge” having anything to do with scriptural baptism!









When I asked how baptizo ought to be translated, your reply was:



“As far as the washing described in the New Testament is concerned, ‘immerse’."



Now you’re telling me:



“the Christian ritual [of baptism]...is described using words which were used of Old Testament washings and purification which took place by immersion.”



So it appears to be your contention that baptizo has always meant immerse, ever since the word came into being!


Immerse in the classics.

Immerse in the OT.

Immerse in the LXX.

Immerse in the NT.

Such a contention is so easily disproven that I can no longer believe that you’ve done any serious study on this issue at all.

“That's not what I said. I am asking you what needs to be explained.”



Explain how 3000 were immersed in one day (see Ditzler’s excellent comments), and where the jailer was immersed.

I haven't, it's in German. I trust Ferguson's report of it.



Why did you ask: “Have your read the major studies of early Christian baptism by Lothar Heiser (1986),” if you yourself didn’t actually read it? By asking me if I’ve read Heiser’s study, you not only implied that you yourself had read it, but you made the claim to have read it outright!


Here’s what you said:

“Have your read the major studies of early Christian baptism by Lothar Heiser (1986), Sandford La Sor (1987), Jean‐Charles Picard (1989), Malka Ben Pachat (1989), and Everett Ferguson (2009)? I have. Perhaps you should too.” (bolding mine)




Anyone who has been involved in even a cursory amount of debating on the internet has seen this sort of tactic before. Trusting Ferguson’s report of Heiser’s study is not reading Heiser’s study - it’s reading Ferguson’s report of Heiser’s study. Big difference. How do you know Ferguson is reporting Heiser accurately? Or aren’t you interested in any sort of verification, so long as it helps your case? If I’ve learned one thing in the many years that I’ve been studying this issue, it’s that immersionists are rarely trustworthy when it comes to reporting what others have written. You continually send me here and there to read “studies” and “investigations” that you yourself have never seen, much less read!


Let’s review:


1)  You claim to have examined the lexicons I asked about, and more, yet were completely unaware of the fact that they gave sprinkle and pour as NT meanings of baptizo.


2)  You asked if I had read a puritan board member’s review of James Dale, when you, yourself, have never even seen it.


3)  You claim to have read the “major” study of Lothar Heiser, when you actually have not.


I could add more examples, but my point should be crystal clear to the reader: You like to fabricate a level of knowledge that you’ve never attained. Which begs the obvious: how is the reader to determine what they can believe from your writings? How is one to determine which “facts” posited by you are derived from an actual reading and studying of material you claim to have read and studied?


​“That's because it's an immersion in each case.”




Submersion with an immediate withdrawal is called dipping.
Immersion is a complete sinking without a withdrawal.
A “partial immersion” is an oxymoron.
Going into the water without being completely submerged is called wading. (See Stern, who seems to have anticipated me.11)


While we’re at it, please give me your definitions of the following words:









1 Systematic Theology, pp. 628-630

2 Modern Immersion, pg. 104 and 207

3 Import of Baptizo, pp. 10, 11

Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Comprehensive & Readable Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986. Print. Pg. 598.

The Mode of Christian Baptism, pg. 186

Baptizing, Biblical and Classical, pp. 210-211 

Ditzler, The Great Carrolton Debate, pg. 377 

Johannic Baptism, pg. 93

9 Baptism, pg. 28

10 Rice, Baptism, pp. 82-83

11 The Meaning and Power of Baptism, pp. 144-145. see his explanation of Polybius and Strabo.

#447927 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 11 April 2019 - 10:24 PM in Theology

“I cited [Phil from the Puritan Board] because he's from a denomination which has historically supported the same view of Dale.”





Phil joined the Puritan board in September of 2010. He started that topic on his review of Dale only 2 months later, in November of the same year. Though at that time he may have been a member of the PCA, he was already in transition to becoming a baptist. In one of his posts in that thread he even states:




“Some time back I amended my profile to reflect the fact that I have questions regarding both the proper subjects and mode of baptism.”



And in another thread, when asked why he lists the WCF as his Confessional subscription in his profile when his views on baptism run contrary to it, he said:




“That’s certainly a fair question, and merits an answer. In short, because, all things considered, I believe it is the single best summary of the biblical faith out there. In the various matters where it differs with the LBC, baptism excepted, I usually find that I actually agree more with the formulations given in the WCF.”



In still another thread, entitled: Does the Word "Baptizo" Require Immersion? Phil responds to the OP with the following:



Some years ago I conducted a comprehensive grammatical-historical study on this subject, which included a detailed section on the 3 NT references you mentioned in the OP.”



According to Phil himself, he has been studying the issue for some 10 years. I would venture to guess that his baptist leanings go at least that far back. Which means he was already a Baptist in thought, if not in practice, when he joined the Puritan Board!

Further, this is what he told me in an e-mail:



“I was attending a PCA church in SD during the time I worked on and posted the review. I’ve [sic] have always thought that a straightforward and unprejudiced reading of the NT shows baptizo to convey the idea of immersion.”



So, contrary to what you have claimed, Phil has never held the same view as Dale, even when he was in “a denomination which has historically supported the same view of Dale.”


“That makes him an unbiased source.”



Actually he is biased, especially if his views while in a denomination that has historically held the same views as Dale run contrary to the views of the denomination that has historically held the same views as Dale. An unbiased source is one that has no dog in the fight, like Gibbon’s uncanny and unwitting verification of prophetic fulfillment found within the pages of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. An infidel who specializes in classic Greek literature would qualify as an unbiased source. Phil has had a dog in the fight from the start. All along he was a Baptist trapped in a Presbyterian’s body. To call him unbiased is to redefine the word completely. You might as well look toward the Southern cross for the North star,1 as Dale would say!


Furthermore, there is no such thing as an unbiased Christian. If they were sprinkled or poured upon when baptized, that is what they deem scriptural because that is what they know. If they were immersed when baptized, that is what they deem scriptural because that is what they know. What baptized Christian believes he was not baptized by the correct scriptural mode? Do not confuse someone’s disloyalty to the denomination to which they belong with a lack of bias on their part.



“Didn't your read the entire thread? There's more than that single post, and there's more than that single thread.”





Oh yes. I read that entire thread and many, many others. Obviously you haven’t though. If you had, you wouldn’t have claimed Phil was an unbiased source. In fact, had you read all the threads that I have, you would never have dropped Phil’s name as a witness in the first place! Taking just a sample from the thread to which you refer, Phil says:



It is also important to realize that the corresponding Hebrew verb is tabal, for which every resource I have seen gives the primary meaning of "to dip."



This is false information, which shows one of two things to be true:

  1. Phil hasn’t seen too many resources,

  2. Phil purposely ignored information that proves him wrong.


Phil cites Jacob Ditzler in his review of Dale, yet Ditzler absolutely proves Phil wrong with regard to the meaning of tabal! Ditzler goes into great depth showing from 25 lexicons that dip is NOT the primary meaning of tabal (moisten is the first meaning in each of them), and that immerse, in fact, is a derivative meaning of tabal (as is the case with it as a meaning for baptizo).


“I didn't provide his entire study because I don't have it;”





If you don't have his study, and haven't read it, then why did you tell me to look at it in the first place? And by what criteria have you deemed it worth reading at all when you’ve never seen it? This isn’t the first time you’ve sent me to a source that you yourself haven’t even read. In fact, this is becoming such a common problem with you that I’ve decided to just assume you haven’t read any author or work which you cite.

​“Why not ask him for it?”




Well now, Jon, I attempted to do just that. And do you know what I discovered? The blog to which you hyperlinked me is owned by a completely different Phil Derksen! Rather than googling his name and linking me to the first Phil Derksen that popped up, perhaps you should have looked for him via the church he attends? That’s how I found him. I e-mailed the church listed in his signature at the Puritan Board, they passed my note along to him, and he contacted me. Simple. I have to wonder if your many inaccuracies in just dealing with Phil D. and his review of Dale might be multiplied seven-fold in other articles you’ve written? If you don’t have the time to be thorough, you shouldn’t be writing articles and responding to my OP.


In any event, I now have Phil’s 105-page study. It is well written and very thorough. I’ve discovered several problems with it though, like the fact that he devotes 1/5 of his treatise to citations from Conant in an effort to refute Dale, when a lot of Dale’s arguments were a direct response to Conant to begin with! Notable is the fact that Conant never wrote a response to Dale’s work on Baptizo, yet Phil is using the citations from Conant (33 of them on 18 pages!) in precisely that manner, which is putting the cart before the horse. This is just some of the misrepresentation found within Phil’s review of Dale.


Phil selectively quotes a number of Protestants and lexicons who say baptizo primarily signifies immerse, while omitting any mention of the fact that they either allowed for — or practiced — sprinkling and/or pouring.


Here is what another member of the puritan board had to say about Phil’s misrepresentation of the lexicons:



“I think you have arrived at your conclusions by illegitimate means, and that is enough to give me pause before I trust your ability to fairly represent the lexicons.


“If I look up the dictionary definition of a word I will find a number of different meanings supported by a variety of contexts. It would be naive to quote one of those meanings as if it were the only meaning of the word. The onus would be upon me to discover which particular meaning obtains in a specific context in which the word is used. To speak of "the word's primary meaning" when the specific context of a religious ceremony is being discussed would demonstrate a basic ignorance of the way lexicons and dictionaries are supposed to be used.”




And regarding Phil’s misuse of Witsius, this same Puritan Board member says:



“It is what you haven't said that has created the false impression. The author says (a) and qualifies (b); you represent him as saying (a) and omit his qualification. You have misrepresented what he has said.”



I’ve gone through many of Phil’s witnesses, searched out their original writings, and have discovered, like that Puritan Board member above, that the majority of them say sprinkling and pouring are perfectly acceptable modes of baptizing! Some of Phil’s very own lexical authorities, such as Scapula and Schleusner, also define baptizo with pour or sprinkle, as I pointed out earlier. Incomplete citation of so-called witnesses is common practice among immersionists. You are guilty of the same, as I have shown above with Parkhurst, and as I will demonstrate farther down. As William Mackay has well said:



“If, as we have seen, the Word of God gives no countenance to the dipping anti-Pedobaptist theory, we will naturally expect that the advocates of that theory in their support of it, will have recourse very much to the opinions of men. And such we find is the case. The "stock in trade" of most Baptist writers consists of quotations from Pedobaptist writers. And what we have chiefly to complain of is that these quotations are wrenched from their original connection, and invariably misrepresent the views of their authors. No honest man can believe the Baptist theory, and yet preach and practise infant baptism and baptism by affusion. But these writers are acknowledged to be honest men, and all the world knows that they preached and practised Pedobaptism by affusion or sprinkling. They did not therefore believe the Baptist theory, and they are misrepresented when quoted as doing so. The misquotations and perversions of fact and history, found in some Baptist books are a disgrace to our common Christianity. To expose them all would require volumes.”2




Another Puritan board member, when shown a similar list of “witnesses,” rightly asks:



“If all of these fellows thought that the mode was strictly by immersion, why did they not all adhere to it?”



Further demonstrating why the above Puritan Board members are a little suspicious of Phil’s study, is the fact that he cites Father’s like Origen as a witness for immersion. Specifically, he cites Origen regarding the Red Sea baptism during the Exodus as follows:



Origen (c.185–254; theologian from Alexandria, Egypt): What the Jews supposed to be a crossing of the Sea, Paul calls a baptism [baptismum]...He calls this “baptism in Moses consummated in the cloud and in the sea,” that you also who are baptized [baptizaris] in Christ, in water [in aqua] and the Holy Spirit, might know that the Egyptians [spiritual evils] are following you and wish to recall you to their service.


...These attempt to follow, but you descend into the water [descendis in aquam] and come out unimpaired, the filth of sins having been washed away. You ascend [ascendis] “a new man” prepared to “sing a new song.” But the Egyptians who follow you are drowned [demurgentur] in the abyss.




What Phil doesn’t cite from Origen is more telling than what he did cite.  Origen’s explanation of the baptism by the Jordan (2 Kings 2), the baptism into Joshua (Josh 3), as well as the baptism of the altar (1 kings 18) gives one quite a different impression as to Origen’s idea of what constituted a baptism.3  In neither of those passages does Origen expound anything resembling an immersion, yet the above citation from Phil is supposed to lead one to believe that Origen was an immersionist for no reason but because he uses the words descendis and ascendis! Phil does the same thing with citations from Basil and Gregory.



For more of Phil’s misrepresentations, here is a sampling of what he had to offer from a few Protestant witnesses:




Francis Turretin (1623–87; Swiss Reformed): The word “baptism” is of Greek origin, derived from the verb bapto, which means “to dip” and “to imbue”; baptizein, “to dip in” and “to immerse.”


Hermann Witsius (1636–1708; Dutch Reformed): It cannot be denied but the native signification of baptein and baptizein is to plunge or dip.


Martin Luther (1483–1546; Father of the Reformation): The second part of baptism is the sign...which is that immersion in water from which it derives its name, for the Greek baptizo means “I immerse,” and baptisma means “immersion.”


John Calvin (1509–64; French-Swiss Reformed): ...It is evident the term “baptize” means to immerse, and that this was the form used in the primitive church.


Theodore Beza (1519–1605; French/Swiss Reformed): Christ commanded us to be baptized, by which word it is certain immersion is signified.4



Here is the full context of what Turretin said:



"Baptism (says Turretin De Bapt.) is a word of Greek origin, derived from bapto, to tinge, to imbue, and from baptizo, to dye, to immerse. Plutarch (on Superstition) says, baptize yourself in the sea, that is, plunge yourself in the sea; and in his life of Theseus he quotes the Sibylline verse concerning the city of Athens, which more fitly represents the church—' Thou mayest be baptized, O bladder, but it is not permitted to thee to go under the water.' Hence it means more than lightly to float upon the surface, and less than to be overwhelmed or submerged.! But because anything is-usually merged and wet, in order that it may be washed, and those who are immersed are generally washed, it happens that the Hebrew word, which the Seventy render baptize, 2 Kings v. 15, is equivalent to the word rendered wash in the same passage.



"Likewise with the Greeks baptize is used, tropically, to signify washing. (Mark vii. 4.) 'The Jews, when they come from the market, except they wash (baptize) they eat not.' In the same sense must we understand the washing of cups, pitchers and couches, customary with the Jews; also ' the divers baptisms' commanded in the Jewish ritual, and referred to in Heb. ix. 10; and the superstitious washings received by tradition from the elders. On account of these washings, Justin calls the Pharisees Baptists. The sect of which Epiphanius speaks, as insisting on being washed every day, expecting thereby to be purified from all sin, was called Every-day- Baptists. From this double signification of plunging and washing, two other metaphoric meanings are derived. The first, is that which puts baptism for afflictions. * * * * The second, is the application of the term to the miraculous effusion of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, because they are poured out upon the soul, to imbue and purify it. (Matt. iii. 11, Acts i. 5, Tit. iii. 5.) This manner of speaking is taken from the Old Testament, where the communications of the Spirit are shadowed forth by the pouring out of water. (Isa. xliv. 3, Joel ii. 28.) * * *


"Baptism, viewed as a ceremony, consists in washing, which is done by water, (1 Pet. iii. 21,) either by sprinkling or immersion. * * * As sprinkling is by no means repugnant to the institution of Christ, so it can be shown by examples that the apostolic and primitive church practised it." [He here very justly distinguishes between the apostolic and the primitive church.] The examples which he adduces are as follows: "Where there was a great multitude of believers, as when in one day three thousand were baptized, it is hardly possible to doubt that sprinkling was practised, rather than immersion, which could not have been administered in so short a time.


"Sprinkling too must have been practised when the rite was administered in private houses, where it is highly unreasonable to suppose that water was provided convenient for immersion, particularly in those cases in which they were called to perform the ceremony on sudden and unexpected occasions. In the primitive church, baptism was administered to the sick, on their beds, and of course not by immersion."


"The reasons in favor of sprinkling, are,—1. The words baptism and baptize are used to designate not immersion only, but also sprinkling. (Mark vii. 4, Luke xi. 38.) 2. The thing signified by baptism is designated by sprinkling. (1 Pet. i. 2, Heb. x. 22.) 3. Sprinkling answers all the purposes of analogy, the essence of baptism consisting not in the quantity of water, but in the use of that element itself. 4. Under the Old Testament, there were various washings and sprinklings, both of water and blood, and upon these Christ had his eye in the institution of baptism; whence the blood of Christ, which is the thing signified, is called the blood of sprinkling. (Heb. xii. 24.) 5. Sprinkling is far more suitable to health, which is liable to be injured by immersion, in cold climates, especially in the case of tender infants. It also spares the sense of modesty. The ancients felt the difficulty arising from the exposure of the whole naked body, and appointed deaconesses to disrobe the women."5




There is absolutely no explanation as to why all of the above by Turretin was omitted by Phil. What conclusion are we to draw other than that such an omission is a purposeful misleading of the reader in order to further Phil’s own agenda? Did he do the same thing with Witsius? Let’s find out. Here is Witsius, from his Body of Divinity:



“2dly, It cannot be denied, but the native signification of the words, Baptein and Baptizein, is to plunge or dip;




“6thly, But then we are not to imagine, that immersion is so necessary to baptism, as that it cannot be duly performed by pouring water all over, or by aspersion; for, both the method of pouring, and that of aspersion, are not without arguments for them. 1st, Though we find the apostles dipped, it does not follow they always observed this method. It is more probable, the three thousand who were baptized in one day, Acts ii. 41, had the water poured or sprinkled on them, rather than that they were dipped. For it is not likely, that men who were so much employed in preaching as the apostles were, could have leisure for so tedious an immersion of so many thousands. Nor is it probable, that Cornelius, Lydia, and the jailer, who were baptized in private houses with their families, had baptistries at hand in which they could be plunged all over. Instances of pouring the water over persons are brought from antiquity by Vossius, Disput. 1. de Baptis. Th. 9. which Joshua Arndius, without mentioning Vossius, has inserted in the same order in his Lexicon Antiquitat. Ecclesiast. p. 66. 2dly, Though Baptizein, properly signifies to plunge or dip, yet it is also more generally used for any washing, as Luke xi. 38. Well therefore says Dominicus a Soto, Distinct. 3. Quest. un Art. 7: “In baptism there is something essential, as the washing, according to Eph. v. 26, where the aposle calls baptism, ‘the washing of water, something accidental, namely, the washing in this or the other manner.” .3dly, The thing signified by baptism is explained both in the Old and New Testament by the terms of pouring water over, and of aspersion: concerning pouring water over, see Isa. xliv. 3: concerning aspersion, Isa. lii. 15; Ezek. xxxvi. 25; Heb. xii. 24; 1 Peter i. 2. ‘I deny not, that in these quotations, there is an allusion to the Levitical sprinklings; yet from them it appears, that the application of the blood and Spirit of Christ which believers of the New Testament enjoy, is properly shadowed forth by the rite of aspersion. To this the apostle leads us in express terms, Heb. ix. 13, 14: “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works?””6




Notice how much we glean from Witsius when we don't stop at the oft-quoted single sentence relied upon by immersionists, but actually read a little further. If when you baptizo something you immerse it, then Witsius is not an ally to the immersionist cause.


“Meanwhile, why haven't you provided me with Dale's personal diary”





Here is yet another instance in which you write as if you actually know something about the subject, when the facts show the opposite to be the case. Dale didn’t have a personal diary, according to his biographer (Roberts, A Memorial, pg. iii.). Coincidentally, your Puritan witness cites Roberts a number of times in the study that you didn’t read.


How credible do you think your “research” really is at this point, when time and again you have egg on your face?





Judaic Baptism, pg. 341 

Mackay, Immersion and Immersionists, pp. 81-82 

Judaic Baptism, pp. 317-342; Ditzler, Baptism, pp. 273-277 
4 Phil Derksen, A Contrastive Survey of James Dale’s Theory of Baptizo and Baptism, pp. 4-5 
Towne, Baptismal Question, pp. 89-92. See Turretin, Elenctic Theology, vol. 3, pp. 422-425 
The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man, vol 2, pp. 425-26.


#447926 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 10 April 2019 - 08:38 PM in Theology

“Still happy with Parkhurst?”




Golly gee Jon, do you think for one minute that I didn't know what you were going to find in Parkhurst?  I'm curious as to why you didn't provide me anything from the other lexicons I asked you about?  Why did you single out Parkhurst?


And let’s look at what you provided more closely. Aside from the fact that you obviously couldn’t be bothered with editing the text you copy/pasted from Google books (definition of baptisma), Baptists and others have been misusing this lexicon (and others) since its publication.


1) Notice it says “But in the NT it occurs not strictly in this sense...”


2) “to wash with water in token of purification from sin, and from spiritual pollution” rules out immersion absolutely, if you’re familiar at all with the OT sprinklings and pourings that were done for ritual purification.


3) Parkhurst defines baptizomai as “to wash oneself, be washed, wash.” The example he gives immediately after of how this washing occurred is question begging.


4) The claim that the LXX uses baptizomai for “washing oneself by immersion” is the very point under contention; hence, a circular argument.



And now for the main reason I asked you about Parkhurst in the first place: why did you not cite point V. under Baptidzo? Surely you saw it when you jumped from point III. under ‘Baptidzo' to point I. under ‘Baptisma?’ It was right in between them, and impossible to miss. Here, let me do it for you:



“V. In a figurative sense, To baptize with the Holy Ghost. "It denotes the miraculous effusion (READ: pouring) of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles and other believers, as well on account of the abundance of his gifts (for anciently the water was copiously poured on those who were baptized, or they themselves were plunged therein) as of the virtue and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, who like living water refresheth, washeth away pollutions, cleanseth, &c.” Stockius. Mat, iii. 11. Mark i. 8. Luke iii. 16. John i. 33. Acts i. 5. xi. 16 1 Cor. xii 13.”1



Why wasn’t that information provided by you, Jon? Is this not a demonstration of how the “word for baptism was used in the New Testament?” Why did you ignore it?


“Anyway, what's the point of these archaic sources?”



To demonstrate two things:



1. the suppression of modern lexicons with regard to sprinkle and pour being NT meanings of baptizo, as is found in earlier lexicons.

2. the misinformation perpetuated by immersionists, such as yourself.



Likewise, you asked me earlier to substantiate my claim regarding your citation of certain lexicons, the use of which, I said, demonstrates one of two things:



- You're purposely quoting only the portion that helps your case, or

- The lexicons you cite have suppressed evidence found in earlier lexicons.



My claims have now been substantiated.

“I'm only dismissing [Dale’s] research which is demonstrably unsubstantiated by evidence”



Do you even know what you’re talking about? Dale demonstrates every bit of his research with evidence!





“Of course I haven't. What's the point? I don't need to read 18th-19th century sectarian works by people who didn't have access to a tenth of the currently available Greek corpus, and who were free to conduct their research without the constraints of scholarly standards of accuracy, and who could just make up whatever they wanted.”




This isn’t the first time you've completely contradicted something you said previously. You can’t claim to have both examined and not examined all the earlier lexicons. I pointed this out above. Plainly put, your research into this topic is completely suspect and untrustworthy.


Furthermore, earlier lexicons provide the same information as modern lexicons. In some cases, the earlier ones provide much more information than the modern ones! So where exactly do the modern lexicons make use of a greek corpus that’s ten times larger than that which was available to the earlier lexicons? Please list examples.



Oh, and observe the following:



“The sources from which we gain our knowledge are, in the first place, the afore-mentioned non-literary evidences (papyri, ostraca, inscriptions). But in addition to these there are a number of authors who were more or less able to avoid the spell of antiquarianism which we know as ‘Atticism’ (Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Plutarch, Epictetus, Artemidorus, Pseudo-Apollodorus, Vettius Valens, et al.). The representatives of Jewish Hellenism are especially important for the investigation of our literature because of the close similarity in the content of their works; included here are Philo, Josephus, the Epistle of Aristeas, and, above all, the Septuagint, which not only contains original Greek words of the late period but also uses the contemporary tongue even when it translates. Ancient Christian writings, too, outside the scope of our literature, like the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles and old legends, are valuable as witnesses of the colloquial common speech. Finally, the contribution of medieval and modern Greek is not to be neglected, because the Koine finds in them its lineal descendants (cp. G. N. Hatzidakis, Einleitung in die neugriechische Grammatik [1892]; A. Thumb, Handbuch der neugriechischen Volkssprache [1895; 2d ed., 1910]; A. N. Jannaris, An Historical Greek Grammar [1897]).”2



Notice the years of the works to which BDAG refers us: 1892, 1895, 1897.  What century are those works from, Jon? Did they have access to “a tenth of the currently available Greek corpus” when they direct our attention to published grammars from 1892, 1895, and 1897?


I said that what you deem irrelevant material in Dale could very well shed light on certain aspects of the debate over the meaning of baptizo. To which you said:

 “Great, show me.”



You admit to not having read all 4 volumes of Dale cover to cover, yet you demand to be shown where, amongst all 4 volumes, Dale may have written something that is profitable and may shed light on the discussion? Are you serious, Jon? Who in their right mind would suggest there is nothing profitable to the discussion of a topic written by a man whose 4 volume work is being almost completely ignored?




1 Parkhurst, A Greek and English Lexicon to the New Testament, pg. 107 

2 Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer. A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature 2000: Introduction. Print. 

#447925 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 09 April 2019 - 10:55 PM in Theology

“Because it's a technical term”




Says who? Did it acquire this “technical” sense the minute Jesus uttered the word? If baptizo is a technical term (a paedobaptist argument, by the way), then it must have taken on a meaning in the NT that’s different from how it’s used in the classics. If it means dip, plunge, and immerse in the classics (your modern “professional” lexicons make this claim), then it cannot mean the same in NT usage. Otherwise you’re making a distinction without a difference. By the way, BDAG denies your claim here:




“The transliteration ‘baptize’ signifies the ceremonial character that NT narratives accord such cleansing, but the need of qualifying statements or contextual coloring in the documents indicates that the term β. was not nearly so technical as the transliteration suggests.”1




Is immerse also a technical term? If not, why was it transferred to English, instead of being translated? And please explain why on earth you would have anyone believe that a transferred/transliterated word (baptizo) is properly defined by another transferred/transliterated word (immerse)!


Do you know the actual meaning of “immerse?” Immerse and baptizo cannot be synonymous. They are antonyms. Unexplained by immersionists is the fact that Bapto was rejected by the LXX translators and John the Baptist for baptism.  Bapto signifies dipping in and immediately drawing out, which is just what you and other immersionists claim for baptizo, yet bapto is never used for the Christian rite.

Immerse, on the other hand, signifies putting in and leaving sunk, which is just the opposite of what you claim for baptizo. How do you explain facts like this that are so detrimental to your case?






“What does this even mean?”




What's unclear? You're saying we can never translate baptizo in the text, but must rely on a footnote to tell us what the word means. You yourself said immerse, dip or plunge could all be used - any of them - in every instance where baptizo occurs in the NT. Your “technical term” argument is nothing but a ruse. What’s the difference if you translate each occurrence of baptizo and provide the translation in the text, or explain what the translation should be in a footnote?


Answer: There is no difference.


Explaining its meaning in a footnote is translating it. You only think it’s not the same because the text itself is left alone. You know translating every occurrence of baptizo would make the scriptures nonsense, were you too insert immerse, plunge, or dip throughout the NT. Conant, Carson and Campbell found that out the hard way. That alone should send up red flags as to the falsity of your position.

“Do you mean the Christian ritual of washing had the same meaning as the ritual washings and purifications of the Old Testament?”



Yes. Note your words: “Christian” and “purification.” Both washings are religious in nature. Moses Stuart, often misrepresented and quoted as if he was an immersionist by Baptists, teaches that the meaning of baptizo in religious usage is purification (this is also the position of your namesake at the b- greek forum). The sprinkling of the blood of Christ effected a washing. The sprinkling of heifer ashes effected a washing in precisely the same general sense, — a cleansing from impurity.2  Baptizo is never used in the classics in a religious sense, but it is always used in Scripture in a religious sense.





“Remember, baptisma is used for Christian baptism....”




And the "ma" suffix makes the word refer to the thing done, i.e., the result - not the means or mode by which it was done.  By the way, in all of its occurrences, baptisma never makes use of water.  Please explain that.  See Johannic Baptism, pp. 141ff. for further enlightening details.      




​“Then please demonstrate it.”



The earliest support your “professional scholarly” lexicons give for baptizo meaning immerse is Polybius, born about 200 years before Christ. Note that Polybius is classical usage, which disproves your “technical term” theory, as I stated earlier. All that is required to prove that immerse is a derived meaning of baptizo is to find an instance prior to Polybius, in which baptizo did not mean immerse, but meant something else.


So if baptizo meant something other than immerse, say around 400 years before Christ, then obviously the meaning it came to have at the time of Polybius will have been a derived one, not a primary one. Are you seriously telling me that in all of your supposed research into this issue, you have never come across evidence earlier than Polybius? Like, for instance, Aristotle? Ferguson, as well as a number of 19th century works (which you supposedly read), mentions this, so I’m surprised that you’re not aware of it. Here is the first literal use of the word, a la Aristotle’s Wonderful Report:



“They say that the Phoenicians who inhabit the so-called Gadera, sailing four days outside of the Pillars of Hercules with an east wind, come to certain places full of rushes and sea-weed, which, when it is ebb-tide, are not baptized; but at full tide are baptized."



Note here that the water comes upon the object, the object is not put into the water, nor is it put under the water.


There were also metaphorical uses of baptizo — immerse nowhere to be found — centuries before Polybius, which means there was an even earlier literal meaning (there can be no metaphorical use before a literal use). See Pindar 522 b.c. for the earliest use of the word, as well as Aristophanes (450 b.c.) and Plato (429 b.c.). Isn’t that supposed to be the goal of the lexicons? To give the earliest usage of the word to determine its meaning?


Please explain how you come to the conclusion that immerse is the primary meaning of baptizo, when immerse had never been used as a meaning of baptizo until 300 years after baptizo came into existence!


Also, it stands to reason that definitions such as “wash,” “whelm,” “overwhelm,” “intoxicate,” “cleanse,” etc. could not have been derived from “immerse” if they all appear on the scene before “immerse!”


Baptists of the 19th century have translated baptizo by at least 42 different words (See Thorn and Watson for examples). Thus, “immerse,” itself, is a derived meaning of baptizo. Current use does not mean original meaning. Also, consider the following:



Dr. Carson and friends, thus, confess themselves to be at war with "all lexicographers" as to Baptizo having a secondary meaning. But this confession extends its influence beyond the simple fact of error as to secondary meaning. Every secondary meaning is inseparably connected with the primary meaning by a natural and obvious bond. Now, the theory insists upon it, that the primary meaning is an act characterized by mode and nothing but mode, and that such act forms the basis of all metaphorical usage. But is there anything like modality of act in the secondary meaning of this word? There is none whatever. Lexicographers give "wash," and "cleanse," by more than twenty varying or repeated defining terms, as the secondary meaning of this verb; and in washing or cleansing, there is no modal act, whether of dip, plunge, sink, or anything else. So with regard to other secondary meanings—"intingo unguento, inficio colore, largiter profundo, imbuo, inficio, medicor, benitzen, anfeuchten, begiessen, betrinken, to afflict, to oppress, to drown, to saturate"—these are the farthest possible removed from modal act as their basis. We then conclude, that the lexicographers not only differed from the theorists as to a secondary meaning, but that the nature of the secondary meanings assigned by them to the word prove that they differed from the theorists entirely as to the nature of the primary meaning. Whether this conclusion be correct or not we shall be better able to determine by looking, directly, at the primary meanings assigned. And in doing so, we find that lexicographers furnish us with mergo, and its compounds, together with "immerse," and its equivalents (in which there is no modal act), more than thirty times; while the modal act in tingo, " dip," is represented only some half dozen times; "sink," three times; and "plunge," scarcely at all. This rare use of words of specific act to define this term (in a throng of words utterly devoid of modality in the act) is conclusive proof, that those who used them did not mean to use them in their modality, but for other considerations pertaining to them. None knew better than these lexicographers, that the same word could neither express two diverse acts, nor a modal act and a result of that or any other act as its primary meaning. They could not, therefore, have used several diverse acts to express the meaning of the same word. The point in which these and other diverse acts meet together, is in the change of condition characterized by complete envelopment, which change of condition,and not act, they express, mainly, by "mergo." There is no evidence, worthy of consideration, to be deduced from the lexicons to prove, that they who made them supposed for a moment that Baptizo expressed act, specific or general. The evidence is all one way, proving that it expressed result effected by unexpressed act.3



Here is further evidence that “immerse” is a derived, not a primary meaning of baptizo:



The Baptist giant, Dr. Conant, “of sixty-three occurrences in consecutive order renders baptize ‘whelm’ and ‘overwhelm’ fifty-three times, ‘immerse’ ten times. This sheds much light on the subject and will aid in discovering the primary meaning of the word. And that is the main aid afforded by classic Greek. Granting, as we do, that ‘whelm,’ ‘overwhelm’ are the prevailing meanings of the word in certain periods, whence sinking is the result, hence to sink (immerse); this clearly shows that immerse is derivative.”4



The following question should prove beyond a doubt that immerse is a derived meaning:




“If wash is derived from immerse, why does baptidzo never mean to wash in the classics?”5


“Remember, despite not having read his book cover to cover, even you acknowledge you can't agree with his definition of the word.”



This isn't the first time that you’ve stated that my opinion on how baptizo should be defined isn’t in agreement with Dale’s definition. Did you read anything more than just “the conclusion” of volume 1? Dale states plainly throughout all 4 volumes that “baptism is not an act done, but a result reached; a state or condition accomplished.”6 And that “This shows, demonstrably, that the baptism does not consist in a dipping, or in an envelopment, but in an effect produced.”7 Look just above at citation 3 again:


“The evidence is all one way, proving that it expressed result effected by unexpressed act.”



That sure sounds a lot like my definition! Do you even remember what I said near the start of the thread? Here, I’ll repeat it for you:



“I am of the opinion that baptizo has more to do with the thing done, than with the method of doing it.”



Where exactly have I ever acknowledged that I can’t agree with Dale’s definition of the word?


“So what? That doesn't change the fact that when you baptizo something you immerse it.”




That is the very point being debated, so it is not ‘fact.’ If baptizo means immerse, then that which is immersed must remain sunk. To bring that which was sunk out from under the water (emersion) is a meaning not inherent in the word immerse at all. From Webster, 1828:


IMMER'SION, n. The act of putting into a fluid below the surface; the act of plunging into a fluid till covered.


1. The state of sinking into a fluid.


...It is opposed to emersion.



Even the Baptist Conant admits this fact. You are being entirely inconsistent in defining the English “immerse,” as well as the Greek “baptizo.” Also, if when you baptizo something you immerse it, why is it that no Latin father prior to the 3rd century renders baptizo as immergo?

“On the contrary, I certainly can; you can use any of them.”



You certainly cannot use any of them. In cases such as Acts 8:38-39 dip would be redundant. Why? Because if baptizo means “to dip,” and dip in all such usages implies withdrawal, how could the Eunuch be said to “come up out of the water,” if dip had already withdrawn him? That passage would thus ridiculously read:



So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip [put him into the water and brought him up out of the water]. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but went on his way rejoicing.



You cite Louw and Saunder as witnesses to the “going into” and “coming up out of” argument. So do “into” and “out of” imply immersion? If no, you give up the argument. If yes, you destroy the immersion theory. Thus, if “into” and “out of” imply immersion or dipping, baptizo does not; for after they went into the water it reads “and he baptized him.” In other words it was after he had been “baptized” that they “came up out of the water."8  


So you not only have a double going “into,” but you have a double coming “up out of.”


Any grade-schooler will tell you that dip, plunge and immerse are not synonymous! Plunging is more violent than dipping. Dipping is not immersion. Immersion is “to sink or drown.” (i.e., the Egyptians were immersed [read: DROWNED] in the Red Sea, while the Israelites were actually baptized while they walked on dry land. How do you explain this?) In 1 Cor. 10:2, “dip” would be ridiculous.


Jacob Ditzler refutes the idea that immerse, plunge and dip are synonymous thusly:



Immersionists insist that dip is exactly synonymous with immerse. Dr. Graves, late as 1876, rewriting his speeches, Debate, 527, says, "All lexicons give dip and to immerse as synonymous terms." Italics his. In reply we say :


1. All English standards giving the real meaning and early usage of the two words make a clear and perfect distinction between them.


In Carrollton Debate, as written by Dr. Graves, he says tseva is baptize in Syriac — dip. (See the full quotation on Versions.)


Webster, 1878, " Dip. 1. The action of dipping or plunging for a moment into a fluid." Again, he defines it "to put for a moment into any liquid." Webster, 1871, gives the true meaning of dip, as used in James's version, and those times — "to insert in a fluid, and withdraw again" (Lev. iv, 6). He thus gives the meaning of immerse— "Immerse [Lat. immersus, etc.], immersed ; buried, hid, sank [obs.]. 'Things immerse in matter'" (Bacon). Here is the true, literal force of immerse — it had no other force till the loose style of Baptists introduced its present uses which, of course, dictionaries have to follow.


2. All lexicons clearly bring out a marked difference by (1) Defining words that have various meanings, as moisten, wet, dip, immerse, by various Latin words — intingo for dip, immergo for immerse. (2) Words that mean strictly and always to immerse, demerse, they always define by mergo, immergo, de- and submergo, never by intingo, dip, much less by tingo. See many examples already given. Where tabha, immerse, e. g. is defined, Gesenius, Castell, Schindler, Hottinger, Stokius, Leigh, all use immergo, immersit, not one gives tingo or intingo. No lexicon gives tingo or intingo for kaphash, immerse, or for Arabic atta, ghuta, amasa, immerse, though they repeat the mersit, de-, and immersit over and again, sometimes fifteen and twenty times, giving examples. So of buthidzo, katapontidzo, kataduo, immerse. Nor do Kouma and Gazes, native Greek lexicographers, in defining these words use dupto or bapto, dip.


3. Neither do Kouma and Gazes use dupto, bapto, in Greek to define baptidzo, though they use buthidzo, immerse, sink.


4. Nor will this bold and popular assumption by immersionists bear comparing with the words for immersion in the Bible. A. Campbell, Conant, Wilkes, Graves, Gale, Carson, etc. all render immerse into English by sink. In Psalm lxix, 2, in the Hebrew, it reads, " I immerse — sink — in deep mire." Was he dipped in it? Psalm ix, 15, reads in Hebrew and Greek, " The heathen are immersed — sunk down in the pit that they made." Were they simply dipped in it? Exodus xv, 5, in Hebrew and Greek, reads, "They immersed — sank — into the bottom as a stone." Did they simply dip into the bottom, “withdrawing" immediately? In verse 10 the same reads, "They immersed —sank as lead in the mighty waters." Were they merely dipped ? In Matthew xviii, 6, the Greek reads, " It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were immersed in the depth of the sea." Would dip do there ?


5. Let us put it dip where Dr. Graves and others render it immerse, sink. Example 39 in Conant, "And already becoming immerged (baptized) and wanting little of sinking" — of a ship. Render it now, "And already becoming dipped and wanting little of dipping," etc. Example 22, Debate, p. 237, of ships and the crew — "And were submerged (baptized) along with their vessels." Were the vessels that submerged merely dipped ? Example 4, Debate, p. 207, " Certain desert places . . . which, when it is ebb-tide, are not baptizesthai — immersed, baptized, but when it is flood- tide are overflowed." Were the "desert places" dipped? Scores of examples could be added. Let these serve as samples.


6. All ancient and all more modern versions act by the same rule. They never render bapto, e. g. by immerse, etc. or submerse, but by tingo, intingo, aspergo in Latin, and by corresponding words in all other versions. As mergo, immergo are words so common in Latin, why in all the Bible in so many versions did they not use them if tingo, intingo were the same as mergo, etc.?9



Furthermore, If any if them can be used in each instance, why do we need your precious footnotes explaining baptizo? You seem to be arguing for two opposing viewpoints at the same time!  And if you can use any one of them, why did one of the sources in your article say baptizo in Isa. 21:4 (LXX) “is used metaphorically of destruction?” This destroys your very own assertion that you can use dip, plunge, or immerse anywhere at any time throughout Scripture! Remember when you stated the following:




Let's look.

      'The sevenfold dipping of Naaman (2 K. 5:14)'
      'baptizō 77x pr. to dip, immerse;'
      'In Gk. lit. gener. to put or go under water in a variety of senses'
      '2 Ki. 5:14 it is used in the mid. of Naaman’s sevenfold immersion in the Jordan'
      'Despite assertions to the contrary, it seems that baptizō, both in Jewish and Christian contexts, normall meant “immerse”,
      'Lexicographers universally agree that the primary meaning of baptizo G966 is 'to dip' or 'to immerse''



Glaringly absent from your list is the statement from Brown that baptizo means destruction, which immediately precedes your very first bullet point about Naaman, which also came from Brown. Why did you omit it in your list above? It appears in your article, but not in our discussion. Why?


Does baptizo not appear in the LXX at Isa 21:4? Yes it does. “Iniquity baptizes me.” Was it not your aim to cite lexical evidence for baptizo in the LXX and NT?


By citing Brown’s statement that baptizo is used metaphorically for destruction, you have unwittingly given credence to the very definition of baptizo which you mock; namely,


“Whatever is capable of thoroughly changing the character, state or condition of any object is capable of baptizing that object; and by such change of character, state or condition does, in fact, baptize it.”





1 Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer. A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature 2000 : 164. Print. 

2 Judaic Baptism, pg. 125

Johannic Baptism, pp. 62-63 

Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 89 

Ibid., pg. 99

Judaic Baptism, pg. 80 

Ibid., pg. 396

Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 31-33 

Baptism, pp. 243-246 

#447924 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 09 April 2019 - 07:23 PM in Theology

“Because I am not interested in 'the earlier lexicons', I am interested in current professional scholarly lexicons which have been written using far more evidence than those lexicons had available, and to a far higher scholarly standard of accuracy.”



That's almost laughable, Jon, and seems to fly directly in the face of your claim that you actually examined the earlier lexicons I listed! I asked:



In your study of this subject, have you bothered looking to see how multiple earlier lexicons defined baptizo? In Scapula? In Schleusner? In Stokius? In Parkhurst? In the more than 25 other lexicons cited in the aforementioned debates from the 19th century? 



And you replied with:


“And like Buddaeus, Alstidius, Altingius, Beza, Casaubon, Stourdza, Buttmann, Augusti, and Bretschneider? Yes I have.” (emphasis mine)




Yet now you’re claiming that you aren’t interested in the earlier lexicons. Which is it? Furthermore, out of the 40 footnotes in your article, only two of them are citations from “professional scholarly lexicons!” A lack of interest in the earlier lexicons is not an excuse for omitting pertinent information found within them regarding the meaning of the word baptizo, especially when you were supposedly conducting a thorough study of the word’s meaning!


You said your aim was to "cite lexical evidence for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament.” You claim to have examined the earlier lexicons. An honest investigator who has actually examined the earlier lexicons would include all lexical evidence “for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament.” More than 30 lexicons I’ve found offer sprinkle or pour as NT meanings of baptizo, and yet you completely omit any mention of the fact that more than 30 lexicons offer sprinkle or pour as NT meanings of baptizo!


Please explain this, in light of your claim that you actually examined the earlier lexicons.



It certainly doesn’t seem to me like you examined the lexicons I listed at all, nor does it seem like you examined the lexicons of Buddaeus, Alstidius, Altingius, Beza, Casaubon, Stourdza, Buttmann, Augusti, and Bretschneider, which you added to my list. Could it be that your “interest” seems to only take you as far as your bias will allow? Or were you stretching the truth a tad when you told me you examined all those earlier lexicons, hoping I was as ignorant of their contents as you are?  Prove to me that you’ve actually examined those lexicons, Jon. Give me the bibliographic information for the entries on baptizo in each of those lexicons you claim to have physically examined. I don’t believe you examined any of them, particularly those of Alstidius and Altingius. Had you truly examined all of these lexicons, you would never have had to ask me if the lexicons I examined listed ‘sprinkle’ or ‘pour’ under classical or NT usage!  And since you claim to have examined de Stourdza, do you agree with his definition of baptizo? Can you tell me exactly what his position is and how he arrived at that conclusion? 



You claim that your aim was to cite lexical evidence for the meaning of the word baptizo in both the NT and LXX. What do we actually find? Has your goal been met?


If your aim was to cast immersion in a favorable light while purposely hiding the evidence for pouring and sprinkling, I’d say you met your goal.


If your aim was to cast immersion in a favorable light while pretending to have examined lexicons you’ve never seen, much less examined, I’d say you met your goal.

If your aim was to cite evidence for the use of the word “immerse” in lexicons, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and sectarian works, I’d say you met your goal.

If your aim was to just list as many lexicons as you could think of, without bothering to examine them at all, I’d say you met your goal.

If your aim was to cite lexical evidence for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament, you have not met your goal.


Furthermore, how would you even know how much evidence earlier lexicons had or had not, or how accurate they were, when you admit to having no interest whatsoever in what they have to say anyway? You’re running in circles like a dog trying to catch his own tail. Misrepresentation or incomplete citation of lexicons and other sources does not constitute evidence for your case.



“Of course I am. I cite many such works in my article;”



No you don't. You cite works (treatises, pamphlets, etc.) that were published concerning the national debate over the meaning of baptizo in the 19th century. I asked if you were aware of just how many debates (plural) occurred in the 19th century, in which multitudes of lexicons are cited showing sprinkle and pour as NT meanings of baptizo. I’m referring to formal timed debates such as:


Campbell vs. Rice,

Ditzler vs. Graves,

Ditzler vs. Wilkes,

Campbell vs. Walker,

Campbell vs. McCalla, etc.,


wherein the several issues having to do with baptizo are discussed in head-to- head format. You are able to study the arguments of both sides, with the benefit of watching how different claims are immediately answered and/or refuted by each opponent in “real time,” so to speak. You don’t have to wonder if one side is citing the other side incompletely, or misrepresenting what was said. The words of both sides are all contained in the same volume. Time spent reading these debates would profit you much. In fact, had you read just one of the debates I just mentioned, your question as to whether earlier lexicons gave sprinkle and pour as NT or classical meanings of baptizo would never have needed to be asked! I’m sure you have never even heard of the above formal debates until now, which makes your response to my question about it all the more ridiculous.


Speaking of reading, did you actually read the works that were footnoted in your article from Thorn, Kerr, and Bush? Based on the many inaccuracies I've discovered in your article and in your posts, I must assume that you haven’t done anything approaching a fair reading of any of them.


Are you even aware that you have wrongly cited Kerr as the author of The Heavenly Father's Teaching: a pedo-Baptist's reply to immersionists...? It was not written by Kerr, but by John C (John Collins), which you would have seen on the title page had you actually examined this work.


Are you also aware that you have wrongly cited Ferguson’s work Baptism in the Early Church regarding the “strange fantasy” of Jesus standing waist deep in water while John poured water on his head? That statement appears on pg. 202 in a completely different work of his called The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology For Today.


Was any proofreading or fact checking done by you prior to publishing your article? It’s amazing that your article can be online for as long as it has been without a single reader, prior to myself, alerting you to the inaccuracies found within it. Either your readers blindly accept your claims and the statements of your sources without independently verifying any of them, or you have no readers at all. Or, is it possible that you actually were alerted to the inaccuracies, and you just don’t care to correct them? Or perhaps you have corrected them and just gave me an incomplete and error-ridden earlier draft of your article, which further demonstrates your inattention to detail?

“Great, let's see the answers which your 19th century sources have for the evidence presented in the 20th century professional lexicons please.”



And exactly what constitutes “answers” in your mind, Jon? What are the questions? Both 19th and 20th century lexicons trace baptizo back to the same classical Greek authors (Strabo, Polybius, Plutarch, etc.). Both 19th and 20th century lexicons mention the LXX and apocryphal usage of baptizo. Nothing has been discovered and added to the “greek corpus” since the 19th century that has settled the debate over the meaning of baptizo. You’re not going to overturn centuries of evidence with a mikvah!


19th century lexicons actually provide much more information on the word baptizo than do modern lexicons like BDAG, Spicq, Louw/Nida, and others. Simply consult the lexicons of Ewing and Thayer, for example, and compare them to modern lexicons for proof of this. BDAG in comparison to Ewing is pathetic, simply because the bulk of what appears in BDAG is bibliographic information. Please tell me what major evidence can be found in BDAG that can’t be found in Ewing? Hint: this means you'd actually have to find and read Ewing’s entire entry on the word.


Had you been as thorough as Ewing (and even Parkhurst) in defining baptizo, many of my comments to you wouldn’t exist. Ewing, Thayer, Parkhurst, and dozens more I could name and cite weren’t afraid of acknowledging sprinkling and pouring as NT definitions of the word baptizo. You, on the other hand - as well as Baptists going all the way back to the 18th century - misuse and abuse those and many other lexicons by selectively citing only the “evidence” that helps your case. You said your “aim was to cite lexical evidence for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament.” You didn’t do this. What you did do was “cite lexical evidence” that mentions immerse as one definition of baptizo, and you ignored the rest of the evidence. That’s called contextomy.


You aren’t being honest to the reader. What you’re doing is leading the reader into accepting your definition of baptizo without allowing them the benefit of having all the evidence with which they could come to an educated decision for themselves. This is truly ironic in light of the fact that you have a link to a Wikipedia entry on “Intellectual dishonesty” in your sig line at the Berea forum. And I quote an excerpt from that entry:



Intellectual honesty is an applied method of problem solving, characterized by an unbiased, honest attitude, which can be demonstrated in a number of different ways:


-One's personal beliefs do not interfere with the pursuit of truth; 

-Relevant facts and information are not purposefully omitted even when such things may contradict one's hypothesis;

-Facts are presented in an unbiased manner, and not twisted to give misleading impressions or to support one view over another;



It sure doesn't seem like you’re interested in opposing intellectual dishonesty when it comes to defining baptizo!

“How is it doubletalk?”



Because instead of favoring the translating of baptizo as "immerse," "plunge," or "dip" in every instance where baptizo occurs, you're arguing for transferring the Greek to English, and then adding a footnote to explain what it means in each instance it's used. You’re adding an obstacle to understanding the Scriptures that doesn’t need to be there.


The Apostles and others of that era didn’t need footnotes to understand baptizo.  How did the apostles and Christians of the first three centuries know when baptizo meant dip, when it meant plunge, and when it meant immerse? Furthermore, if a dipping can be called a baptism, why is bapto never used for the rite?


Why not let the OT aid us in understanding NT washings and purifications, rather than relying on your footnotes? That’s a rhetorical question. I know why you won’t do that.

#447923 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 05 April 2019 - 07:20 PM in Theology

“You are referring to a different subject. My aim was to cite lexical evidence for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament. Consequently, I needed to cite what the lexicons say about the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament. I did so. That's full disclosure. You're claiming I suppressed evidence because I didn't cite what the lexicons said about classical usage. But classical usage is a different subject; it's not 'lexical evidence for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament’."




Wrong. Do not confuse your ignorance with an inability to recognize NT usage on my part. You’re assuming that I'm referring to classical usage only because you seem to be completely unaware of the fact that there are lexicons that actually give sprinkle or pour as NT definitions of the word baptizo.  You claim that you've cited "what the lexicons say about the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament," but you haven't done any such thing!

“Please substantiate these claims.”



My claims will be more than substantiated by the end of this response.


“For the classical use or the New Testament use? How old are these lexicons?”



For New Testament use. And as I said earlier, they are from the 18th/19th centuries. Based on the fact that you actually needed to ask me if the lexicons to which I refer used sprinkle and pour as classical or NT meanings of baptizo, do you mean to acknowledge that sprinkle and pour are, in fact, classical meanings of baptizo? If so, you give up the argument. If not, your question has no purpose.  


Here is some “evidence for my case” from a few lexicons to get you started:



1) Stokius:


Baptidzo: To wash, to baptize; passive, to be washed, to be cleansed. Generally, and by the force of the word, it obtains the sense of dipping or immersing. Specially (a) properly it is to immerse or dip in water; (a) tropically (1) by a metalepsis, it is to wash (lavare) or cleanse (abluere), because anything is accustomed to be dipped or immersed in water that it may be washed or cleansed, although also the washing or cleansing can be, and generally is, accomplished by sprinkling the water (Mark 7:4; Luke 11:38). Hence it is transferred to the sacrament of baptism...


3. Metaphorically it designates (a) the miraculous pouring out (effusionem) of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and other believers, as well as on account of the abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, since anciently the water was copiously poured upon those baptized, or they were immersed deep in water, etc.3




2) Rost and Palm:

Baptidzo: Oft and repeatedly to immerse, to submerse...To moisten, to wet, to sprinkle, made drunk, vino madidi. Generally to besprinkle, to pour upon, to overwhelm, to burden with taxes, with debts, to oppress. (2) Draw [or pump] water. (3) To baptize, to suffer oneself to be baptized; also to bathe, to wash.4




3) Schleusner:

Baptidzo: Properly, I immerse or dip, I plunge into water, from bapto, and answers to the Hebrew tabhal, 2 Kings 5:14, in the Alexandrian version, and to tabha, in Symmachus, Psalm 68:3, and in an unknown Psalm 9:6. But in this sense it never occurs in the New Testament, but very frequently in Greek writers....Now because not infrequently a thing is immersed or dipped in water that it may be washed; hence, second to cleanse, to wash, to purify with water. Thus it occurs in the New Testament. Mark 7:4, Luke 11:38.


...Fourth, metaphorically, as the Latin, to imbue, to give largely and copiously, and to administer, to pour forth abundantly (Matt 3:11), etc.5




4) Robinson:

[Classic use he gives first, as] to dip in, to sink, to immerse; in Greek writers, spoken of ships, galleys, etc. Polyb. i.51; Diod. Sic., Strabo, Plut... In the New Testament, first, to wash, to lave, to cleanse by washing; second, to wash oneself, i.e., one’s hands or person, to perform ablution; third, to baptize, etc.


[He then adds a note to the word]:


NOTE: While in Greek writers, as above exhibited, from Plato onward, baptidzo is everywhere to sink, to immerse, to overwhelm, either wholly or partially, yet in Hellenistic usage, and especially in reference to the rite of baptism, it would seem to have expressed, not always simply immersion, but the more general idea of ablution or affusion.6




The fact that you are unaware of 18th/19th century lexicons that give sprinkle or pour as NT definitions of baptizo, while claiming farther down to have actually examined these very lexicons, shows one or more of the following to be true:


*  you never really physically examined the lexicons you claim to have examined.

*  your research is inadequate and reveals a disinterest in the details.

*  you purposely withheld evidence from those lexicons you claim to have examined.



There is such an overabundance of evidence showing that sprinkle and pour were given as NT meanings of baptizo, and in so many different lexicons, that the reader can come to no other conclusion than that your research can't be trusted.





3 Ditzler, Baptism, pp. 144-145. In Stokius see Clavis Linguae Sanctae Novi Testamenti, pp. 182-184

4 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 160. In Rost and Palm see Handwoerterbuch der Griechischen Sprache, vol. 1, pg. 489. The same definitions can be found in the lexicons of Passow (vol. 1, pg. 489) and Pape (vol. 1, pg. 431). 

5 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 148-149. In Schleusner see Novum Lexicon Graeco Latinum in Novum Testamentum, vol. 1, pp.417-419

6 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 144. In Robinson see A Greek and English Lexicon, pg. 118. 


#447922 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 05 April 2019 - 06:48 PM in Theology

“Strong rightly pointed out that Dale's redefinition of the word means that anything can be described as a baptism;”





Again, that was John Broadus, not Augustus Strong. I can’t believe you went running to a Systematic Theology to “refute” Dale’s massive work on Baptizo! Dale certainly did not “redefine” the word. He produced its correct meaning based on its usage throughout the classics. As he says,


“The best evidence within reach [for the meaning of baptizo], or which can exist, has been adduced,—the usage of accredited writers. If this is not accepted, let it be rebutted by testimony of equal authority.”1



“Equal authority.” That means you would have to find evidence from usage contemporary with the classics themselves that demonstrates the word wasn’t used as Dale has shown from the classics (which examples of classical usage in large measure came from the Baptist Conant in the first place). Dale goes on to say,



“Baptists have defined the word in question with the severest limitations. And when the supreme authority of usage is shown to condemn such definition, a cry for help is made upon, lexicographers.”2



And Ditzler and Rice absolutely demolish the immerionist argument from them, as you will see later. Now on to your most recent post...




1 Judaic Baptism, pg. 24

2 Ibid., pg. 26

#447921 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 04 April 2019 - 10:31 PM in Theology

“Wow, so you're refusing to read criticisms of Dale?  That's not a good sign.”





Spare me, Jon. I didn’t say I would never read a review of Dale. In fact, he provides critical reviews of his work in the beginning pages of volumes 2 and 3, and responds to each one. I’ll bet you weren’t even aware of this. This is further evidence that you didn’t even open volumes 2-4. Had you done so, you would’ve known that I would end up reading those reviews of Dale in the course of reading through Dale’s entire tome. 


I prefer to read Dale in full for myself before I entertain what others say about what he wrote - others who, like you, haven’t read him en toto, yet think his every position has been completely refuted.


Do you expect me to believe that you would seriously entertain the words of a critic of the Bible before you read the Bible for yourself? Isn’t one who reads a work in its entirety before studying critiques of that work standing upon a more firm foundation? Isn’t there an advantage to having read a work in its entirety, before reading criticisms of it? Isn’t being fully familiar with a work a sure-fire way of arming one’s self against any and all misinformed, uneducated, and ignorant attacks made against it?  Apropos here is a comment from Dale himself:


“...to read a book before criticizing it, [is] only a hamper to genius.”1



Assuming that you didn’t even make it through volume 1 of Dale, we will let him speak for himself as he responds to your very criticism, which same criticism also appeared in the Examiner and Chronicle two centuries ago and was refuted in volume 2 of Dale’s work, Judaic Baptism:



5. "Fire is a great baptizer."


A very true statement, and one of which the Examiner will hear more, if Judaic Baptism should be read.  Baptism by any influence imports the subjection of the baptized object to the full controlling power of that influence. "There are some things which exert over certain objects a definite and unvarying influence.  Whenever, therefore, baptidzo is used to express the relation between such agencies and their objects, it gives development in the completest manner to that specific influence." (C. B., p. 316.) The specific influences of fire are: 1. A power to destroy. 2. A power to purify.


When fire is used to bake bread, or to boil the kettle, it is used for the development of neither of these influences. They are not, therefore, cases of baptism. Where fire is used to consume fuel, it is inappropriate to speak of it as a case of baptism by fire, because the object is not to destroy the fuel, but to give warmth to those around it. But if any one chooses to set his woods, or his house, or his bonds and mortgages, [or a piece of paper] on fire, he will secure what the classics would thoroughly understand by a baptism of fire.


It is a blundering use of language, however, to say that the object burned is "baptized into ashes." There is neither truth nor sense in saying, that a burned object is "baptized into ashes." "Ashes" constitute the object itself in another form. You cannot put a thing into itself. The proper expression is, as everywhere through the Classics, baptized by fire. This carries its own explanation with it. If it is a combustible body, then we know that it is destroyed. If it is a metallic ore, then we know that it is purified from its dross. If it is the "impure lips" of Isaiah, then we know that they are purified from defilement. "Fire is a great baptizer.”2



You cited the argument of Broadus (not Strong) that Dale’s definition of baptizo is wrong because burning a piece of paper would then be considered a baptism, as if you were completely unaware of the fact that Dale had already met that argument head-on within the first 30 pages of volume 2. This proves you never even opened it, but were entirely reliant upon one of Dale’s critics for your “knowledge” of the issue. You haven’t read anywhere near enough of Dale’s research to make an informed criticism of it. In fact, I’ll bet you will have read more of Dale (via my citations of him) by the time you finish reading this response than you did before this discussion started.



“Dale makes nonsense of the word.”



No, you just don’t understand his argument because you’ve only read reviews of Dale, rather than reading Dale fully for yourself. Classical usage proves Dale to be accurate in his definition of baptizo. Maligning Dale and his research shows how fearful you are of his conclusions.


Here, I’ll provide you with some context behind his definition of the word:



4. It is objected that "the conclusion" of Classic Baptism is too broad; that there are many things which exert a complete influence in changing condition which could not, properly, be said to baptize.


This objection is grounded both in a failure of comprehension and of discrimination. There has been a failure to comprehend both acts and influences as causative of changes of condition, and a failure to discriminate between the characteristic differences in the changed conditions, effected, respectively, by act and influence. The only change of condition effected by "act," with which Classic Baptism has anything to do, is that resulting from an object being intusposed within some readily penetrable medium.


If, now, the act of sharpening a knife by a whetstone changes the condition of the knife by putting it under the water; or if a power-loom, by its action, puts a bale of cotton into the mill-dam, then they will come within the range of the "conclusion," and may be employed to test its correctness; but not till then. In like manner "the influences" of Classic Baptism have their limitation. They are not only complete in their controlling power, but they assimilate the condition of the baptized object to their own peculiarities. Thus, an intoxicating influence produces an intoxicated condition; a soporific influence produces a soporific condition; a stupefying influence produces a stupefied condition; an oppressive influence produces an oppressed condition.


If, now, the amputating knife influences the condition of the patient, assimilating it to the characteristics of the cutting steel, then it may be employed to test the doctrine whether all influences, like those of which Classic Baptism treats, may be justly said to baptize.


Every conclusion should be broad enough to include all the particulars from which it is deduced; it should not be expected to have greater breadth. The brevity with which the conclusion of Classic Baptism is stated might render it obscure, or apparently erroneous, to one who had not thoughtfully read the volume on which that conclusion rests; but, none others, I think, would find any embarrassment in its statement.


It might be amplified thus: "Whatever act is capable of thoroughly changing the character, state, or condition, of any object, by placing it in a state of physical intusposition, is capable of baptizing that object; and whatever influence is capable of thoroughly changing the character, state, or condition, of any object, by pervading it and making it subject to its own characteristic, is capable of baptizing that object; and by such changes of character, state, or condition, these acts and influences do, in fact, baptize their objects."


There is nothing in this more amplified form, other than, what was in contemplation when the briefer form was written, and which is stated everywhere in the preceding pages of the volume. As there are "acts" which change the condition of their objects without changing it in that way here contemplated, to wit, by placing them in intusposition, and are, therefore, excluded from consideration; so, there are "influences" which change condition, but not after the manner of those with which we have here to do, and are therefore excluded, in like manner.3



Perhaps if you would take the time to give Dale a fair hearing, and not let his critics lead your “investigation,” you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his findings? Here are a few questions for you:


Do you believe circumcision was a baptism?

How about the Passover?
How about the Passion of Christ?





1 Judaic Baptism, pg. 21

2 Ibid., pp. 29-30

3 Ibid., pp. 56-57

#447920 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 04 April 2019 - 08:44 PM in Theology

“[James Dale] spends twenty pages on the meaning of the word tingo, including quoting how it has been used in English writings.”



And why don’t you tell the reader why he does this? Do you even know? Can you even produce page numbers?

“Strong pointed out that burning a piece of paper can be described as it having been baptize, by Dale's definition.”



Since when does the opinion of a 19th century Baptist (Strong) carry any weight with you, in light of the fact that you’ve already stated to me that you didn’t read a considerable portion of Dale’s work because it contained “irrelevant” responses to 19th century Baptist “squabbles?” You can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to cite 19th century Baptists in an effort to mock Dale’s definition of baptizo, then what Dale wrote in response to 19th century Baptists regarding the definition of baptizo is definitely germane to the discussion and should definitely be read before any attempt is made to criticize that definition!


The fact that you didn’t bother reading any of Dale’s research aimed at the Baptists of his day shows that you were biased in favor of immersion before you even wrote your article. This is also why you evidently think the footnoted sources in your article constitute “evidence” for your case. The fact is, you didn’t independently verify the claims of your sources. And again, let’s look at some of their claims:




“Despite assertions to the contrary, it seems that baptizō, both in Jewish and Christian contexts, normally meant ‘immerse,’"


“The philological evidence is technical and inconclusive. But the archaeological and Mishnaic evidence seems to support the argument for immersion."


“Either bending his knees, kneeling, or sitting, an adult could have been totally immersed as required in fonts from 1.30m to 60cm deep.”



“We can be fairly sure that early baptism was not normally by sprinkling. Other possible alternatives were pouring (affusion) and immersion. Probably immersion was the norm.”



“...total immersion, often in streams or rivers, seems to have been most commonly used.”



“It seems,” “seems to support,” “could have been,” “fairly sure,” “probably,” and “seems to have been” are all statements of uncertainty. The use of such words tells the average reader that the authors of such statements weren’t exactly sure, beyond all doubt, as to their conclusions (or they were towing a party line without independently verifying anything). This is what I tried telling you before. Why you would even post such uncertain testimony is a mystery to me.


More than that, the second sentence above, quoted from your article, claims the “philological evidence is technical and inconclusive.” Inconclusive? Others have had no trouble reaching sound conclusions from the philological evidence. Jacob Ditzler takes up numerous pages in two separate works,2 proving that “immerse” is a derivative meaning of baptizo. He also proves via ancient versions that sprinkle is the primary meaning of baptizo. Have you read any of Ditzler’s research?


Strangely, your Puritan board witness (Phil) cites Ditzler a few times regarding Dale’s poor chronology of ancient Greek authors, yet never engages Ditzler’s research at all...probably because it demolishes the immersionist position (more from Ditzler later).


What you falsely ascribe to Augustus Strong (burning a piece of paper being a baptism) was actually lifted from the work of John Broadus (this is the first of many such instances where an unfamiliarity with your own witnesses will hoist you on your own petard). Had you paid closer attention to what Strong wrote, you would’ve seen that the comment about burning a piece of paper was included in a larger excerpt within quotation marks. This means they’re not Strong’s words. Strong’s use of quotation marks prompted me to find out who he was actually quoting, since he doesn’t tell his reader.  Here is what Broadus said (bolded parts appear in Strong’s):



“[Dale] then attempts to show that the word is used in three different senses: first, intusposition without influence, as when a stone is intusposed in water; second, intusposition with influence, as when a man is intusposed in water, and not being taken out - is drowned; third, influence without intusposition, so that whatever controllingly influences a thing may be said to baptize it. This last can only be called a figment of Dr. Dale's fancy. By the same sort of process I could reduce to a nebulous condition the meaning of any word whatever. Anything which controllingly influences as to change its condition, may be described as baptizing that object. Thus if I should set fire to this piece of paper and change it to ashes, I should be baptizing it. If I hang a man, or stab him, or poison him, or corrupt his morals, I baptize him. This fanciful notion he attempts to support by a mass of painstaking, but utterly wild interpretation, such as can only excite one's astonishment.


“And the grand result of the whole discussion is, if possible, still more wonderful. Beginning with the position that baptize means immerse, he ends by maintaining that immersion is not baptism. This surpasses the jugglers. Here is the word baptize meaning immerse, or, if you prefer it, intuspose; now a few passes of logical and philological sleight of hand, and behold ! immersion, or intusposition, is not baptism at all. If you feel inclined to say the force of absurdity could no further go, be not too fast, for Dr. Dale, apparently fascinated by his fancies, has in his most recent production practiced an utter reductio ad absurdum upon his own theory.


“Our blessed Lord speaks of his dreadful sufferings as a baptism, and also speaks of them as drinking a cup; and Dr. Dale deliberately infers that drinking a cup is baptism. I cannot hold this up to the sheer ridicule it deserves, because the subject is too sacred.”3





And here is Strong’s truncated un-cited citation of Broadus, which you wrongly attribute to Strong himself:



“Of Dr. Dale's three meanings of baptizo — (1) intusposition without influence (stone in water), (2) intusposition with influence (man drowned in water), (3) influence without intusposition,— the last is a figment of Dr. Dale's imagination. It would allow me to say that when I burned a piece of paper, I baptized it. The grand result is this: Beginning with the position that baptize means immerse, Dr. Dale ends by maintaining that immersion is not baptism. Because Christ speaks of drinking a cup, Dr. Dale infers that this is baptism.”4




Dale explains what Broadus terms a “figment of [Dale's] fancy” perfectly and unanswerably, with regard to point #3 (influence without intusposition):



“3. A FLUID ELEMENT may be used, as an agency, in baptism, and accomplish such baptism, without involving the baptized object in a physical mersion.


“This is a vital position, and, if made good, carries everything with it. In support of it, now, I observe: 1. Wine, a fluid element, has already been seen, as an agency, to effect a baptism without any physical mersion. ‘But this was figurative, and mersion is supposed to be in it.’ This is an error. First. There is no sign of any such figure. Second. The wine is used as agency, and not as element. Third. The physically mersing quality of the fluid has nothing to do with the baptism. It is, exclusively, its intoxicating quality and the introduction of its physical quality is a huge blunder. When Alexander was brought, through the intoxicating principle, into a drunken condition, he was baptized. Call this figure, if you will; it was baptism by a fluid element, in which its nature as a fluid had no concern. A distinctive principle, which is itself devoid of covering qualities, performed the baptism. Wine baptizes by its intoxicating principle solely; robbed of this it ceases to baptize. Baptize is applied to the case, not because of any physical investiture of the object, real or supposed, but because of a controlling influence.”5




In addition,




“Sacrificial blood, and emblematical ashes and water, sprinkled have as much power to baptize, as the intoxicating or drugged cup drunk, has power to baptize. If wine drunk, baptizes (without mersion) into intoxication, the blood of the lamb sprinkled, baptizes (without mersion) into purification.”6






“Historically the baptism of Thebe was by wine, which she furnished profusely to her husband. The simple drinking of wine will not effect a baptism, nor can the drinking of any quantity effect a dipping or an envelopment; but profuse drinking will so develop the power of wine as to bring the mental faculties and the physical powers under its control. This thorough change of condition (the passing out of a condition of sobriety into a condition of ebriety) is a baptized condition. It is so, generically, because it is a condition effected by some controlling and assimilating influence; and it is so, specifically, to wit, the baptism of Thebe, because it is a specific influence effecting a specific condition. The wine-drinking causative of this baptism, and the drunken condition caused by this wine- drinking, are alike inseparable from this Thebe baptism. The one cannot be without the other. If the peculiarity which marks the influence of the agency is known, then the peculiarity which characterizes the condition is equally known.


“The baptism of Ishmael was by wine like that of Thebe, and yet was not specifically the same. It was a baptism beyond that baptism. It was a development of the power of drunkenness effecting a still farther and peculiar controlling influence over mind and body, introducing them into a condition of "insensibility and sleep." Now, no one needs to be told, that there is an amazing difference between the condition of a man bewildered in mind and staggering in walk, and a man lying under the table insensible and asleep. Wine enters into both conditions as the ruling power; in the one case it is the immediate influence, in the other case it is the proximate influence; both conditions are properly called baptisms, because they both have the characteristic of condition resultant from some controlling influence; and they are specifically diverse baptisms, because the specific controlling influence of wine over a sober man is diverse from the specific controlling influence of drunkenness over an intoxicated man. This specific difference is stated, with a fulness and a clearness beyond which language cannot go, when we are told, that ‘Ishmael baptized Gedaliah by drunkenness into insensibility and sleep.’ The statement that Ishmael ‘baptized’ Gedaliah conveys no specific information; while the statement that ‘he baptized him into insensibility’ has a sharpness which will cut its way irresistibly through all barriers of modal act, or water envelopment, that ever were or that ever can be constructed.


“The baptism of Satyrus exhibits the element of wine, but not as the controlling power effecting the baptism. There was, also, in it ‘insensibility and sleep,’ and yet not of the same specific character with that which is effected by overpowering drunkenness. There was not enough of wine drunk to cause ebriety, consequently that was not the baptism; if there was no ebriety, then there was no baptism from this cause.


“But there was a baptism of Satyrus. What was it? It was a thoroughly changed condition resultant from the controlling influence of an opiate drug swallowed by being mingled in a cup of wine. In these facts we find justification for applying the generic term baptism to this transaction, because there is a condition resultant from a controlling influence which has left its characteristic enstamped upon the subject of its power; while they, also, vindicate the discrimination of this baptism as the baptism of Satyrus, from the baptism of Thebe, and the baptism of Ishmael, because, specifically, it ranks with neither of these baptisms.


“These facts show in the most indubitable manner, that where the same fluid element is present, and the same formal act is executed, the resultant baptism (not something else, some appendage or accident, but the very baptism) may be essentially diverse. This diversity will, ordinarily, be designated with clearness by the simple statement of the power effecting the baptism, because the baptism receives its characteristic from the characteristic of this controlling influence; but if this baptizing power is capable of producing diverse conditions, immediately or remotely, then a specific designation may be required in addition to the influence itself. Thus, the remoter wine baptism of Ishmael is saved from being confounded with the immediate wine baptism of Thebe by the superadded statement, that it was remotely by wine and immediately ‘by drunkenness into insensibility and sleep.’  Can anything be more unwise or more alien from outjutting facts, than the attempt to repudiate the distinctive character of these baptisms by the round assertion, that ‘baptism in one case is baptism in another, there could be no difference in the mode?’

"these Baptisms Are Figurative."


“An attempt is made to get rid of these baptisms and bury them (if not ‘without benefit of clergy,’ yet beyond the reach of the clergy), in some bottomless abyss, by affirming that these baptisms are ‘figurative.' If by this term is meant that these are not actual and most real baptisms, the statement could not be more deeply stamped with error. Is not the condition of a drunken man, of a sleeping man, of a drugged man, a most substantial reality? If it is meant to say, that these baptisms are not physical baptisms, then, again, I reply, the error, still, is as profound as in the other case. Is not drunkenness a physical condition? Does it not affect the intellect only as it affects the physical organs through which it operates? Is not this, also, true of sleep? And is it not, equally, true of drugged stupor? Is not wine a real, substantial fluid? Is not opium a real existence whose solidity may be seen, and felt, and weighed in the balances? Do fluids and solids produce purely metaphysical, ideal, unreal, nonentical conditions?


“Is it meant to say, that these baptisms are not ‘dipping’ baptisms? Then, the response may be given with a smile: Certainly if they are, appearances must be deceitful, for they have any other appearance! Is it meant that there is no physical envelopment? I would not like to undertake to prove that there is, but I would like, very much, to see such attempt made on the part of those who affirm that ‘baptism in one case is baptism in another; there can be no difference in the mode.’ And this more than Herculean task they must enter upon and perfect, or else confess (to the undoing of their theory), that the Greeks called conditions, without physical envelopment, baptisms.”7



And how about the baptism of Paul? Where do we find anything about an immersion? Further, where do we find any mention of the use of water? He was baptized as he stood up.8 



Further,  See Isa 1:16 for another example of a washing without the use of water.9


“It is not true, by the showing of the theorists, that the covering of the entire person by water is necessary to a physical baptism. It is declared that Noah was literally and physically baptized in the ark; while it is admitted that he was not covered by the water. It is affirmed that the Israelites were literally and physically baptized at the Red Sea; yet it is admitted that they were not covered by the water. It is affirmed that Elijah's altar was physically baptized; yet it is admitted that it was not covered by the water.”10



I have my doubts as to how much of Dale’s work Broadus read. He critiques Dale as if he was completely oblivious to Dale’s exhaustive explanations. Based on what the critics of Dale (in Dale’s time) wrote, I’d bet none of your sources studied his research either! Immersionists seem to treat their incomplete study or complete ignorance of Dale’s research as a badge of honor. I have yet to correspond with an immersionist who has actually read Dale’s research en toto before criticizing his findings! Even Puritan Phil admits to only reading about 80% of Dale (and I'm sure that’s probably an exaggeration), yet he thought he knew enough about Dale’s conclusions to write a 105 page review. In volumes 2 and 3, Dale responds to many Baptist criticisms and reviews. One need only read these reviews to see that many of those who criticized Dale’s work admitted that they hadn’t read enough of it (if any of it at all). Observe:



From the Christian Press—

"The author of the book shows himself to be an ignoramus, to stand up in the face of scholars and say that the classic meaning of the word is to sprinkle and pour.”11 (Dale says, "This statement bears the most conclusive internal evidence that the writer had never seen even so much as the outside covering of Classic Baptism.")


From the American Christian Review—

"If he will pardon us, we feel like expressing the opinion, that the argument throughout, whether intended or not, is an effort to obscure the plain and simple meaning of a positive ordinance of Christ, and to darken counsel by a show of learning and by a multitude of words without knowledge. We have not examined it sufficiently for an elaborate review.”12



From the Religious Herald—

"We have neither time, space, nor inclination to review Judaic Baptism."13



From the Watchman and Reflector—

“It is not our purpose at this time to criticize the author's work. We can say, however, from the little reading which we have been able to give to the book, that the author shows a large acquaintance with his subject. His investigations have been wide, and he discusses the various points with a candor and good nature which are worthy of praise. Differing as we do from his conclusions, we can yet respect the ability and commend the spirit which characterize Dr. Dale's argument.”14



And yet, they — like you — think they knew enough about Dale’s position and his arguments to warrant a credible critique. Why Broadus and you mocked Dale’s definition of baptizo is as plain as day:



If acknowledged as a reasonable definition, it would overthrow the immersionist position completely!  More to come.




2 Baptism, pp. 180-198; Great Carrolton Debate, pp. 37ff.

3 Immersion Essential to Christian Baptism, pp. 414-15 in an appendix of Jeter’s Baptist Principles Reset.

4 Systematic Theology, pg. 523

5 Classic Baptism, pg. 326-327. See also pp. 340-341 and pp. 351-352

6 Judaic Baptism, pg. 388

7 Johannic Baptism, pp. 80-83 

8 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 29

9 Judaic Baptism, pg. 123

10 Ibid., pp. 366-367
11 Judaic Baptism, pg. 21

12 Johannic Baptism, pg. 18

13 Ibid., pg. 20

14 Ibid., pg. 33 

#447919 "Baptizo"

Posted by Unbound68 on 04 April 2019 - 07:48 PM in Theology

This response has to begin with what you said in your last paragraph above, for obvious reasons...


The so-called evidence you’ve “repeatedly presented for your case” is questionable and has actually been refuted over a century ago.  Immersionists such as yourself have come up with new and creative ways of recycling those erroneous arguments, hoping for a different outcome today.       


Your claim that I have “failed to preset any evidence at all” is only an attempt to distract the reader.  Go back and read through the thread.  Everything I wrote up until now has been an examination of your article, your sources and your findings.  I admit that some things I wrote in my last post require evidence, but I was threatened with censorship if I were to actually provide it without first going to the B-Greek forum!  Rest assured, if it’s evidence you want, it’s evidence you will get.


Jon, it is apparent to me - and it will be to others by the end of this article - that you’re in way over your head (to use a suitable metaphor).  


Who says I haven’t got the confidence to make my case at your forum?  I never said I wasn’t confident making my case there.  I think you’re underestimating the strength of my position.  I also think you’re overestimating the strength of yours. 


Your threat to censure me has me wondering why you responded to my opening post in the first place?  You must have assumed that I was just some neophyte unfamiliar with the controversy over the meaning of baptizo.  You also must have assumed that the article you provided me would be blindly accepted for no other reason than because it came from you, and that no dissent would be forthcoming.  Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you on all counts.  I’m very familiar with the issue, and, sad to say, your word is not gospel.  You’ve made numerous blunders with the facts, you can’t seem to cite your sources properly, and it will be a proven fact by the time I’m done with this response that you aren’t as familiar with the issue as you pretend.  


The fact that you spent 9 pages (the length of your last post) asking questions of me and requesting certain proofs and demonstrations, only to end it with the above threat of censorship if I would actually respond to what you wrote in those 9 pages, tells me that:


  1. You really don’t want answers and demonstrations from me, you just wanted the last word without any further challenge.
  2. You feel your position is being threatened, and to allow me to respond would prove beyond all doubt the falsity of your position.  




I agree with you that you've utilized a “wide range of sources” in your article and in your posts.  Evidence, however, it is not.


Surely you know a tidal wave of real evidence is on the way, if you’ve actually immersed yourself in this issue, as opposed to merely dipping yourself into it.  Evidence will be poured forth in this response, if you dare to read it! 




“Are you, at any point, going to present evidence for your case?”










“Here's what I need you to do.”




You mean instead of presenting the evidence you just asked for?  You’re playing games.  The readers aren’t stupid.    






“Before you write your next response to me, go here [link to B-Greek forum] and present your case with its evidence. Please tell me what the response is.”




Why do I need to post my evidence somewhere else before I post it at your forum?  Your request that I “please tell [you] what the response is” in light of the fact that you’re a member there - which means you would see any and all responses - shows you to be as arrogant as you are disingenuous.  


I joined that forum and made 2 posts - one introducing myself, the other asking the same question that I asked in the OP at your forum.  Neither post was approved by the admin for the following reasons:


  1. My username “Unbound68” did not meet their rules for screen names.
  2. I don’t “know” Greek, which is mandatory in order to post.  I know some greek, but not enough to be allowed to join.  Evidently the mere inquiry into the meaning of the greek word baptizo at a Greek forum disqualifies me from joining the very forum to which you sent me to find out the meaning of the greek word baptizo!  How perfectly asinine and stupid!



Not being able to join, I decided to correspond with the owner of the forum (coincidentally, your namesake) via e-mail.  Here’s what I asked him:





Since I can’t post on your forum, can you answer a question?  Based on your studies, are there any lexicons from the 18th-21st centuries that give sprinkle or pour as NT meanings of baptizo?



Of course I know the earlier lexicons do indeed list sprinkle and pour as NT meanings of Baptizo (as will be proven to you a little later), but I wanted to see how much the owner of the board knew about the issue.  After all, you sent me to a Greek forum to be “schooled” on the meaning of a Greek word, right?  


Here is his answer:


“I don't know the answer to that, I haven't done anything like an extensive study of the word.  In the New Testament, it is used at least twice to refer to washing hands:




“I'm an immersion guy, but I think there probably is a good argument that the fundamental meaning of the word in the New Testament is more closely related to ceremonial washing than to immersion.  I'm not really confident in my answer, though, and would want to spend a bunch of time studying it before pretending I have an authoritative answer.” (emphasis mine)



Notice that I only asked him if there were any lexicons from the 18th to 21st centuries that give sprinkle or pour as NT meanings of baptizo.  What “extensive study” is needed to flip open a few lexicons to the entry on baptizo and answer my question?  Further, did you notice that his take on Mark 7:4 is completely contrary to your tortured explanation of how washing hands = immersing them?


In a second e-mail, he even sent me to an article at the CARM website, written by Matt Slick, which also militates against your position.  To wit:


Another page you might consider:

As an immersion guy, I still don't think an argument based purely on the meaning of the word βαπτίζω proves that immersion is the only valid way to baptize.  


So why exactly was I sent to that Greek forum to “present my case,” when not only is the owner of the board uncertain as to the meaning of baptizo (“never having done anything like an extensive study”), but he doesn’t even agree with your position to begin with?  


In fact, a search of that forum revealed that the meaning of the word baptizo has never been debated there.  Being able to read, write, and speak Greek does not a true definition of baptizo make!  I'm sure you only sent me to a Greek forum in order to dissuade me from continuing my probe into your article and the sources you utilized.  It may have been 4 or 5 years since our last exchange, but rest assured, I haven't been dissuaded in the least.  On the contrary, I have been working on an in-depth response to everything you said in your last post - and then some.  



Since I have now met your demands, ridiculous and transparently dishonest as they were, I want to proceed to dissect your last round of misinformation.  Before we plunge into that, however, let’s tackle some former statements of yours that I didn’t get around to in my last post.  To be continued...