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Member Since 09 Feb 2011
Offline Last Active Dec 03 2015 09:22 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Debunking Acharya S: An Update

15 March 2015 - 05:32 AM

Nice work, I look forward to reading it in detail.

In Topic: "Baptizo"

03 February 2015 - 02:40 AM

I'm not referring to a different subject, and I think you know that.

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'.

I'm referring to your citation of certain lexicons, the use of which demonstrates one of two things:

1) You're purposely quoting only the portion that helps your case, or
2) The lexicons you cite have suppressed evidence found in earlier lexicons.

Please substantiate these claims.

I own or have access to a number of lexicons that not only distinguish between classical and NT usage of the word baptizo,

The lexicons I own also distinguish between classical and New Testament usage of the word. This has been part of my argument.

...but the vast majority of them list sprinkle and pour in their definition of the word.

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

If your aim was to "cite lexical evidence for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament," then why did you not cite the fact that earlier lexicons included sprinkle and pour in defining the word?

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.

Are you even aware of just how many debates occurred in the 19th century over the meaning of baptizo, in which every lexicon then known was cited?

Of course I am. I cite many such works in my article; Thorn, ‘Modern Immersion Not Scripture Baptism’ (1831), Kerr, ‘A Treatise on the Mode of Baptism: showing the unfounded nature of the assumption, that immersion is the only proper mode of administering the ordinance and that pouring or sprinkling, is the most scriptural and significant, and by far the preferable mode of its administration’ (1844), Beckwith, ‘Immersion Not Baptism’ (1858), Kerr, ‘The Heavenly Father's Teaching: a pedo‐Baptist's reply to immersionists shewing that Baptism is not immersion, and that immersion is not Baptism, for they are direct opposites’ (1874), Bush, ‘Bible Baptism Never Immersion’ (1888), McKay, ‘Immersion Proved to be Not a Scriptural Mode of Baptism but a Romish Invention’ (1884), Rogers, ‘Baptism and Christian Archeology’ (1903), and Dale, ‘Inquiry Into the Usage of Baptizo’ (1824‐1879).


None of what you provide in your article has gone unanswered in the last 200 years.

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


That's a bunch of double-talk.

How is it doubletalk?


Why explain what the word means in a footnote, when the meaning could be given by translating the word in the text itself?

Because it's a technical term. This way you preserve the technical term while explaining it. This is standard translation practice among many professional translators. They do the same with words such as christ and cherubim. If you want to know more about Bible translation from professional translators, get on the B-Trans email list and discuss it with them. I was a member of that list for many years, so I'm familiar with the arguments.


Furthermore, where is your proof that the meaning of baptizo has anything to do with baptism becoming a technical term in the Christian era?

I didn't say 'Baptism became a technical term in the Christian era, so baptizo means X'. I don't think you understood what I said.


1) You're arguing for a footnote rather than a translation!

What does this even mean?


2) There is no proof that the Christian ritual of washing/purification took on a different meaning than that of the ritual washings and purifications in the OT.

Do you mean the Christian ritual of washing had the same meaning as the ritual washings and purifications of the Old Testament? It's not clear what you're arguing here. Remember, báptisma is used for Christian baptism, whereas baptismós is used for Old Testament washings.


If Baptizo means immerse, where is the withdrawal out from under the water? There is no withdrawal out from under the water inherent in the word immerse itself. In order to come up for air, you have to morph from baptizo into bapto!

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


The idea that there can be multiple "primary" meanings for a given word is a ridiculous proposition, and an oxymoron, no matter who says it.

I'm sorry but you're just plain wrong. Professional lexicons illustrate this, and so does Dale.


More than that, dip, plunge, and immerse are absolutely not the "primary meanings" of baptizo. They are derivative meanings. This is demonstrable.

Then please demonstrate it.


And you're right, I haven't read all 4 volumes of Dale cover to cover, but

1) I am in the process of doing just that, and
2) I'm not the one who has maligned his work without having read it in its entirety.

I have not maligned Dale's work. I have simply pointed out that you don't even need to read it cover to cover in order to demonstrate that his conclusion is false. Remember, despite not having read his book cover to cover, even you acknowledge you can't agree with his definition of the word.


Because not only are the words not synonymous, but you can't tell me when to use plunge, when to use immerse, and when to use dip.

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


If you could, you would be all for translating baptizo in every instance it occurs in the Bible, rather than relying on a footnote to tell you what it means!

No. You're confusing two separate issues. The reason for rendering baptizo as baptize is to preserve it as a technical term, like christ and cherubim. Are you going to tell me that christ doesn't mean 'annointed'?


Modern lexicons, however, are guilty of suppressing evidence.

Please substantiate this claim.


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 like Buddaeus, Alstidius, Altingius, Beza, Casaubon, Stourdza, Buttmann, Augusti, and Bretschneider? Yes I have. Take Parkhurst for example.

* "Baptizw, from Baptwo, to dip. I. "To dip, immerse, or plunge in water[/b]. But in the N.T. It occurs not strictly in this sense, unless so far as this is included in Sense II and III. below."

* "Baptizomai, Mid. and Pass. To wash oneself, be washed, wash, i. e. the hands by immersion or dipping in water. The LXX use baptizomai, Mid. for washing oneself by immersion"

* also under baptizomai, "to baptizie, to immerse in, or to wash with, water in token of purification from sin, and from spiritual pollution"

* "Baptisma, aios, to, from ^sica/t/lfm, perf. pass. of baptizw. I. An immersion or washing with water, hence used in the N. T. for the baptism both of John the Baptist and of Christ"

Still happy with Parkhurst? Anyway, what's the point of these archaic sources?


His research can't be completely dismissed, however.

I'm only dismissing his research which is demonstrably unsubstantiated by evidence, and which is contradicted by modern professional scholarly sources.


Yes, you have read what modern lexicographers say. You have not, however, read what all available lexicons say.

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.


Not having read Dale fully disqualifies you from maligning and ridiculing his work as a whole.

I haven't maligned and ridiculed his work as a whole. I have made that very clear. I have pointed out that a lot of his work is irrelevant to the conclusion he is aiming at, I have pointed out that his final definition is so broad as to be meaningless (and is a definition even you can't agree with), and I have pointed out that his conclusion is contradicted by available lexical and archaeological evidence. I don't need to read his entire work to draw that conclusion.


Grabbing quotes from reviewers of Dale in order to malign his work is inappropriate.

I didn't do that. I pointed out that his work has been reviewed many times, including by his contemporaries, and I have cited their criticisms. I did not say 'This proves Dale is wrong', I simply demonstrated that far from his claims being unchallenged (as his supporters claim repeatedly), they have been challenged repeatedly and found wanting by multiple independent reviewers. If you can't address those criticisms, or don't want to, that's fine. What you can't claim is that his work has been unchallenged and that there are no valid criticisms of it.


Before I changed from being a Trinitarian to a Unitarian, I read your brother's entire debate. I also gave other unitarian authors a full hearing before making up my mind on the subject. Same goes for my beliefs regarding satan and the interpretation of the Apocalypse.

And I've read the arguments of Dale's which have been criticized, and I've read the criticisms, and I believe the criticisms make the stronger case.


Furthermore, what you deem irrelevant material could very well shed light on certain aspects of the debate over the meaning of baptizo.

Great, show me.


No, I have not tried to do that because I'm more interested in reading Dale - fully - for myself.

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


Secondly, you've resorted to quoting a puritan board member? Who is he? What are his credentials? All of what you've quoted from him is in that single post of his....not from his 2-part article. Why not provide me with his entire study (which is strangely inaccessible)?

I cited him because he's from a denomination which has historically supported the same view of Dale. That makes him an unbiased source. Didn't your read the entire thread? There's more than that single post, and there's more than that single thread. I didn't provide his entire study because I don't have it; you can't download it unless you're a member of the forum and you can't be a member of the forum unless you're a Puritan at a registered Puritan church. Why not ask him for it? Meanwhile, why haven't you provided me with Dale's personal diary and the lithographs of his collection of miniature European Pines? I find that very suspicious; what are you hiding?


And by "multiple independent professional sources," you mean modern lexicons?

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.


You're assuming the very point in contention.

No I am not, because I've already provided abundant lexical evidence showing that immersion is within the lexical range of this word, from Greek sources.


My turn. Evidence please.

Sure. Here you go.


"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 clam 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.)"

1. James G. Crossley, The New Testament and Jewish Law: A Guide for the Perplexed (A&C Black, 2010), 59.


"7:4 βαπτίσωνται {B}

Although it can be argued that the less familiar word (ῥαντίσωνται) was replaced by the more familiar one (βαπτίσωνται), it is far more likely that Alexandrian copyists, either wishing to keep βαπτίζειν for the Christian rite, or, more probably, taking ἀπʼ ἀγορᾶς as involving a partitive construction, introduced ῥαντίσωνται [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.


There was no immersion in any of the washings or purifications in the OT. Actually, I'll rephrase. Provide evidence that OT washings and purifications took place via immersion...

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


...(a statement that runs counter to your first response to my opening post).



You can't give me your exposition of how baptizo means immersion in the two instances I mentioned?

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


And what work have you personally read from Lothar Heiser himself?

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


As far as Ferguson goes, he, like baptists, seemingly can't decide on what the english word "immerse" actually means. Is it a submerging with an immediate withdrawal? a complete sinking without a withdrawal? or a partial immersion up to the breast? He gives classical examples of all three, using the word immerse in each instance.

That's because it's an immersion in each case.


At some point, I will focus a response strictly on the citations in your article.

Are you, at any point, going to present evidence for your case? Here's what I need you to do. Before you write your next response to me, go here and present your case with its evidence. Please tell me what the response is. If you're not confident making your case there, then you won't be making it here. If you fail to do that before making your next response here, I'll delete your response and lock this thread. I have repeatedly presented evidence for my case from a wide range of sources, whilst you have failed to present any evidence at all.

In Topic: Matt 4:7

03 January 2015 - 11:39 PM

Ok well I don't think we even need to address limpwristed attempts like that. The scholarly consensus is that Jesus did not believe he was God, and neither did his earliest disciples. That's where they have to start.

In Topic: Matt 4:7

03 January 2015 - 02:56 AM

No, I haven't sen that used. I don't even see how they would use it.

In Topic: "Baptizo"

20 December 2014 - 08:43 PM

I think your citations should have included the definitions that I found in the lexicons that show that dip, plunge, and immerse were not the only ones given.  In other words, full disclosure.

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. Citing what the lexicons say about a different subject isn't full disclosure, it's simply irrelevance.

Read through the citations of your sources.  All those words I listed are found within them, I didn't just pull them out of the air.

Show me please that the lexicons use these terms to indicate that there is uncertainty about the meaning of the words in question.

So you argue that baptizo means wash and immerse simultaneously, when any dictionary will prove that the word wash is not synonymous with the word immerse?

no that is not what I am arguing.

Why is there no need?  If baptizo means immerse, then why not translate it as such in every instance where the word occurs, rather than transliterating the greek into english?

There is no need to do this, because in the Christian era baptism became a technical term. There is therefore every reason to transliterate it and explain what it means in a footnote. How is this evidence that the Christian ritual which uses this word, was not immersion, and that the word does not mean plunge, immerse, or dip?

1)  the "primary" meaning is a singular meaning.  "Primary meanings" is an oxymoron.

No. Words often have a range of primary meanings, which are cited in lexicons. Dale does this himself; in his volume Classical Baptism, he lists four words under the topic of the primary meaning of baptw, to dip, to wet, to moisten, and to wash. Perhaps you have not read Dale cover to cover either?

2)  immerse does not mean dip
3)  dip does not mean plunge
4)  plunge does not mean immerse

Relevance? How is this evidence that the Christian ritual which uses this word, was not immersion, and that the word does not mean plunge, immerse, or dip?

5)  Modern lexicons have revived an error in defining baptizo

Evidence please.

There's no need?  How can you say his conclusion is utterly ridiculous?

Because he arrives at a conclusion for a meaning of the word which is so vague it could refer to almost anything; "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".

How can you say modern lexicography completely contradicts him?

For the same reason that you do; I've read his conclusion and I have read what modern lexicographers say, and they contradict him. They do not say "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".

How can you say Dale makes nonsense of the word?

Because he arrives at a conclusion for a meaning of the word which is so vague it could refer to almost anything. 

How can you say any of that when you admit to not having read Dale himself?

I have read Dale myself. But you asked if I have read 'all four volumes cover to cover', which I haven't. There's no need. A lot of what he wrote isn't relevant. For example, he spends a lot of time listing the classical usage of baptw. That's irrelevant to investigation of whether or not the early Christians baptized by immersion; baptw is only used three times in the New Testament, and never of Christian baptism! So reading pages of classical usage of baptw is a waste of time. Likewise, he spends pages writing against 19th century Baptist arguments. I have no interest in those squabbles, which are irrelevant to investigation of whether or not the early Christians baptized by immersion. He spends twenty pages on the meaning of the word tingo, including quoting how it has been used in English writings (!). That's also irrelevant to investigation of whether or not the early Christians baptized by immersion.

Furthermore, why would I read reviews of Dale when I can read Dale himself?

To test whether or not his conclusions are correct. Are you saying you have not tried to do this? Look at this Puritan's investigation into Dale's writings, and his conclusion that 'as I engaged in a somewhat lengthy study of his writings I must say that I found his scholarship to be rather problematic, and even troubling in some respects'. He also says this.

* 'This assessment would include a number of highly irregular lingual tenets that Dale posited and then proceeded to build his theory on, and his often odd and seemingly biased translation of the primary sources that were cited as proof of his position'

* 'But despite the aura of insuperability that Dale seems to have attained in some circles, if one researches the issue they will actually find that a fair number of Dale’s contemporaries quite intelligibly challenged many of his basic premises, and rather forcefully refuted the conclusions they led to'

* 'Yet at least one objective fact which stands out in all this is that Dale’s characterization of baptizo is entirely antithetical to what one finds in virtually all mainstream lexicons'

Your position here truly shocks me Jon; especially in light of what you wrote in A More Sure Word (pp. 19ff), concerning the trail of falsehood that was perpetuated by one author after another regarding Jurieu and Mede.

On the contrary, my work in this area has demonstrated that the similarity in this case to the cases of Jurieu and Mede is that endless hordes of people have cited Dale uncritically without actually reading his work, or investigating to see whether his arguments are relevant or accurate, and simply cited him as if he has decided the matter conclusively, when multiple independent professional sources have proved him wrong.

And what you've written there makes perfect sense to you?  You don't see the problem?  Washing does not mean immersing.  Immersing does not mean washing.  What you're trying to do here reminds me of your brother's debate with Bowman, wherein Bowman said (paraphrasing) God was the Father, Son, and Spirit collectively and individually, all at the same time!

No. You're getting confused about a translation issue, not a lexical issue. The word means immerse, but if immerse was used in English people wouldn't understand what is intended. The original Greek speaking audience would have understood that washing by immersion was referred to, but an English speaking audience doesn't use the word 'immerse' to speak of washing, even washing by immersion. This is not something I am trying to do, it's something which professional translators are doing. In fact even later Christian scribes found it so hard to understand why βαπτίσωντα would be used here (not understanding Jewish washings), they replaced it with ῥαντίσωνται (to sprinkle or pour), to give the reading "except they sprinkle [what is] from the market place, they do not eat [it]”. This proves indisputably that they understood baptizo was not the same as sprinkling or pouring.

So how do you reconcile that with the fact that the ritual washings and purifications which took place in the OT were done by sprinkling and pouring?

There is nothing to reconcile, these are two completely different issues. The Christian ritual is not described using words which mean sprinkling or pouring. However, it is described using words which were used of Old Testament washings and purification which took place by immersion.

No need for the sarcasm or mockery.

It's neither, it's a legitimate response to Dale's totally silly definition.

There are quite a few baptisms that need explaining if immersing is the meaning of baptizo.  The 3000 on the day of Pentecost is one.  The account with Paul and the jailer is another.

What needs to be explained? 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.

Plus you haven't told me how dining couches were immersed in Mark 7:4.

In a mikvah, just like entire bodies were immersed.