“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
3 Johannic Baptism, pp. 62-63
4 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 89
5 Ibid., pg. 99
6 Judaic Baptism, pg. 80
7 Ibid., pg. 396
8 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 31-33
9 Baptism, pp. 243-246
Edited by Unbound68, 10 April 2019 - 06:17 PM.