The Baptism of John: Was it “Christian” Baptism?

Our statement in the February issue of The Testimony, p. 38, that twelve disciples of John the Baptist were re-baptised by the Apostle Paul (see Acts 19:5) has been challenged by a number of readers in widely separated districts. These critics maintain very emphatically that Acts 19:5 simply means that John baptised his converts “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” and they reject the view that these 12 men at Ephesus were, or had any need to be, re-baptised.

A pamphlet which has come to hand claims that “there is only one baptism in principle, whether by John, by John’s disciples, or by the disciples of Jesus,” and it is on this premise that our critics deny that there is any essential difference between the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus and the Apostles, and affirm that John the Baptist actually baptised “in the name of Jesus.”

Is this affirmation justified by the facts? We believe not. Indeed, we go further, and maintain that during the earlier part of his ministry, John could not possibly have baptised in the name of Jesus, because he himself did not at that time know that Jesus, his kinsman, was to be the Messiah of the nation of Israel.

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Author: P. H. Adams

Keywords: baptism, baptized, baptised, john the baptist, baptize, baptise, John baptizing, immersion, reimmersion, re-immersion, re-baptized, re-baptised, second baptism, baptized against, baptised again, John's baptism, baptized into Christ, baptised into Christ, water immersion, believer's baptism, child baptism, baptize children, baptise children, mikveh, washing, submersion, water submersion, Baptize infants, re-baptism, Adult baptism, credobaptism, Affusion, pedo baptism

Bible reference(s): Matthew 3:6, Matthew 3:7, Mark 1:5, Mark 16:16, Luke 3:3, Luke 3:7, Luke 3:12, Luke 3:21, Luke 7:30, John 1:25, John 1:31, John 3:22, John 4:2, Acts 2:41, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:13, Acts 8:16, Acts 8:36, Acts 8:38, Acts 9:18, Acts 10:48, Acts 16:15, Acts 16:33, Acts 18:8, Acts 19:3, Acts 19:5, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3, Romans 6:4, 1 Corinthians 1:13, 1 Corinthians 1:14, 1 Corinthians 1:15, 1 Corinthians 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:17, 1 Corinthians 10:2, 1 Corinthians 15:29, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:5, Colossians 2:12, 1 Peter 3:21

Source: “The Baptism of John,” The Testimony, Vol. 14, No. 166, October 1944, pp. 200-2.

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