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Question and Answer

Mode of Baptism


I have a question on baptism. I have read all the usual stuff by Presbyterians, but I still am bothered by all the historical stuff about Christians and even Jews baptizing by immersion.


What should be determinative as regards the issue of the mode of baptism is not uninspired history but the inspired word of God. Hebrews 9:10 speaks of "divers washings" (Greek: baptismoi, baptisms) which were in use under the O.T. ceremonial law. Three of these are identified, right in this context, as sprinklings (vv. 13, 19, 21; cf. also 11:28, 12:24; 1 Pet. 1:2; Isa. 52:15).

In Acts 1:5 baptism with water is compared with baptism with the Holy Spirit. How was the baptism with the Holy Spirit performed? By "pouring out" (Ac. 2:17-18). That this surely agrees better with sprinkling than with immersion should be evident to all but the closed-minded.

An excellent defense of infant baptism is the book Children of the Promise by Robert R. Booth (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 1995).

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

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