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908 baptisma {bap'©tis©mah} from 907; TDNT = (THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT) - 1:545,92; n n AV - baptism 22;

1) immersion, submersion

   1a) of calamities and afflictions with which one is quite overwhelmed

   1b) of John's baptism, that purification rite by which men on confessing their sins were bound to spiritual reformation, obtained the pardon of their past sins and became qualified for the benefits of the Messiah's kingdom soon to be set up. This was valid Christian baptism, as this was the only baptism the apostles received and it is not recorded anywhere that they were ever rebaptised after Pentecost.

   1c) of Christian baptism; a rite of immersion in water as commanded by Christ, by which one after confessing his sins and professing his faith in Christ, having been born again by the Holy Spirit unto a new life, identifies publicly with the fellowship of Christ and the church.


In Rom. 6:3 Paul states we are "baptised unto death" meaning that we are not only dead to our former ways, but they are buried. To return to them is as unthinkable for a Christian as for one to dig up a dead corpse! In Moslem countries a new believer has little trouble with Moslems until he is publicly baptised. It is then, that the Moslems' know he means business, and then the persecution starts.  See also discussion of baptism under No.  907. (See Below)

907 baptizo {bap©tid'©zo} from a derivative of 911; TDNT - 1:529,92; verb AV - baptize (76), wash 2, baptist 1, baptized + 2258 1; 80

1) to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)

2) to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe

3) to overwhelm


Not to be confused with 911, bapto. The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words.  Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be 'dipped' (bapto) into boiling water and then 'baptised' (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptising the vegetable, produces a permanent change.

When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g. Mark 16:16. 'He that believes and is baptised shall be saved'.

Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough.  There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle!

  Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989.

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