House Church Talk - Baptisms and Administrations

David Miller David at
Thu Feb 5 11:33:00 EST 2004

Hi Bruce.

I agree with your theme about strict dispensational teaching leading to
erroneous conclusions.  Nevertheless, I have a comment to make about
baptism having a foundation in Judaism, and a question about your
statement that you think Jesus was the last person that John baptized.

It seems to me that the idea of baptisms being rooted in Judaic ritual
is most prominently observed in Mark 7:4 which speaks of the Pharisees
baptizing cups, pots, brasen vessels, and beds / tables.

Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes,
which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat
bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found
fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash
(baptizontai) their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the
elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat
not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold,
as the washing (baptismous) of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of
tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy
disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with
unwashen hands? (Mark 7:1-5 KJV)

Luke also has a passage in which the Pharisees marvelled that Jesus had
not first baptized before dinner.

And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and
he went in, and sat down to meat. And when the Pharisee saw it, he
marvelled that he had not first washed (baptizo) before dinner. (Luke
11:37-38 KJV)

There is something else to note here for those holding to the Quaker
theology against Christian water baptism, and that is that water
certainly is understood as the medium in these passages even though it
is not specifically stated.  For example, I might tell my children to
wash their hands.  I don't have to say, "wash your hands IN WATER"
because it is commonly understood that washing hands means washing in
water.  In the same way, the understood medium for baptism is water.  I
think when the word baptism is used without reference to a medium, or
without clear context of another medium, then water ought to be
understood as the medium in which the baptism is done.

Bruce wrote:
> Ross, I believe that the last person John baptized 
> was the Lord Jesus, Himself! We never read of John 
> baptizing any others after he had introduced the 
> Lord Jesus publicly and testified that it was he 
> who would baptize people with the Holy Spirit and 
> with fire.

Is this only an argument from the silence of Scripture or do you have
some reason to believe that John stopped baptizing after he baptized

In any case, I think you are overlooking passages which indicate that
Jesus and John both were baptizing at the same time.  Consider the
following passages:

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea;
BAPTIZING in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there:
and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison.
Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the
Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi,
he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness,
behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. (John 3:22-26 KJV)

When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that JESUS MADE
AND BAPTIZED MORE DISCIPLES than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized
not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into
Galilee. (John 4:1-3 KJV)

I would be interested in hearing your comments.

Peace be with you.
David Miller, Beverly Hills, Florida.

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