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#1 Unbound68

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 08:13 PM

How should we define the word?


Edited by Unbound68, 30 November 2014 - 08:14 PM.


#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 11:41 PM

How should we define the word?

 

As far as the washing described in the New Testament is concerned, 'immerse'.


Edited by Fortigurn, 02 December 2014 - 11:41 PM.


#3 Unbound68

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 02:37 PM

Would sprinkling or pouring be acceptable as well? Or do you believe immersion is the only proper definition of the word throughout the NT?


Edited by Unbound68, 06 December 2014 - 02:47 PM.


#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 11:35 PM

This may help.

Attached Files



#5 Unbound68

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 09:49 PM

Thanks for that Jon.  

 

I've checked the lexicons, as well as the sources provided in the document you provided.  

 

In the former, I see that "wash," "cleanse," "to make clean with water," "purify," etc. are given as meanings of baptizo in addition to the standard "dip," "plunge," etc.  

 

In the latter, the reader isn't presented with those alternative meanings, though I did note a couple of instances where your sources used words that made their pro-immersion statements far from dogmatic. And the one note that mentioned Acts 8:38 as "proof" for immersion is one that I've seen quite often, and has me asking a couple of questions:

 

1)  If just the mention of going down to water and coming up from water prove one was immersed, wouldn't that mean the one with him was immersed as well?  If not, why not?

2)  Isn't it, in fact, the prepositions that are relied upon to prove immersion in verses such as this, rather than the meaning of the text itself? 

 

I am of the opinion that baptizo has more to do with the thing done, than with the method of doing it. 

 

Just out of curiosity, how would you rate Dale's massive work on the word baptizo?



#6 Unbound68

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 07:40 PM

Something else that I've been thinking about is the following from one of the sources in your article:

 

‘In Mark 7:4 the verb wash in “except they wash” is baptízomai, to immerse. This indicates that the washing of the hands was done by immersing them in collected water. '

 

 

Isn't this rather circular?  Wash means immerse because they immersed when they washed.  Really?

 

If the greek word means immerse, why wasn't it translated "immerse?"  On the other hand, if it means wash or purify, my point about baptizo having more to do with the thing done than with the method of doing it is confirmed, in my opinion.

 

Further, his failure to note the supposed "immersing" of dining couches or tables mentioned in that verse hasn't gone unnoticed.

 

Mark 7:2–4 (NET)

 

7:2 And they saw that some of Jesus’ disciples ate their bread with unclean hands, that is, unwashed. 7:3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing, holding fast to the tradition of the elders. 7:4 And when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. They hold fast to many other traditions: the washing of cups, pots, kettles, and dining couches.)


Edited by Unbound68, 12 December 2014 - 08:02 PM.


#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 07:45 PM

Thanks for that Jon.  
 
I've checked the lexicons, as well as the sources provided in the document you provided.  
 
In the former, I see that "wash," "cleanse," "to make clean with water," "purify," etc. are given as meanings of baptizo in addition to the standard "dip," "plunge," etc.  
 
In the latter, the reader isn't presented with those alternative meanings, though I did note a couple of instances where your sources used words that made their pro-immersion statements far from dogmatic.


I don't know what you're trying to say here. Please tell me what you mean by 'the former' and 'the latter' and what you think they're saying, and which words "made their pro-immersion statements far from dogmatic"

And the one note that mentioned Acts 8:38 as "proof" for immersion is one that I've seen quite often, and has me asking a couple of questions:
 
1)  If just the mention of going down to water and coming up from water prove one was immersed, wouldn't that mean the one with him was immersed as well?


Only if they were actually immersed in the process.

2)  Isn't it, in fact, the prepositions that are relied upon to prove immersion in verses such as this, rather than the meaning of the text itself?


No.
 

I am of the opinion that baptizo has more to do with the thing done, than with the method of doing it.


Then you need evidence for your case. 
 

Just out of curiosity, how would you rate Dale's massive work on the word baptizo?

 
Hilarious. It's a typical 19th century attempt at manufacturing evidence for a theological preconception.
 

Isn't this rather circular?  Wash means immerse because they immersed when they washed.  Really?


No, you have this backwards. The passage is not cited to demonstrate what baptizo means, the meaning of the word baptizo is cited to explain what kind of washing this was.
 

If the greek word means immerse, why wasn't it translated "immerse?"


Because that's not natural English. If I go and take a bath I don't say I'm going to 'immerse myself', even if I do immerse myself when I go and take a bath. I say I'm going to have a wash. If I wash the dishes, I don't say I'm going to 'immerse the dishes', even though I will immerse them when I wash them. I say I'm going to wash the dishes.

Further, his failure to note the supposed "immersing" of dining couches or tables mentioned in that verse hasn't gone unnoticed.


Can you provide evidence that that lexicon fails to note that passage? The document I uploaded addressed it specifically, so I'm surprised you didn't mention that.

#8 Unbound68

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 06:52 PM

I don't know what you're trying to say here. Please tell me what you mean by 'the former' and 'the latter' and what you think they're saying, and which words "made their pro-immersion statements far from dogmatic"

 

 

 

I said I checked the lexicons and your attachment.  "Former" is the lexicons.  "Latter" is your attachment.  The fact that the lexicons I consulted use words such as wash, purify, cleanse with water, etc. tells me that the word does not denote mode solely, as Baptists and others would have us believe.  Are you of the opinion that the greek word denotes both mode and condition?  

 

As far as providing instances where your sources use words far from being dogmatic on their definition of the greek word: "seems," "perhaps," "normally," "usually," "assumed," "preferrably,""generally," etc., etc. are just a sampling.   

 

 

 

 

Can you provide evidence that that lexicon fails to note that passage?

 

 

 

 

That wasn't from a lexicon.  And no, it doesn't address "dining couches" specifically.

 

 

 

 

Only if they were actually immersed in the process.

 

 

 

You assume that because the verse says that the Eunuch,

 

went down into the water, and

came up out of the water, 

 

that this means only the Eunuch was immersed; which is to say, you ARE relying upon the prepositions to "prove" immersion where immersion is not plainly stated.  Such being the case, if the prepositions prove the Eunuch was immersed, then so was Philip, because they both went into and came up out of the water.  Further proof of immersionists' reliance upon prepositions can be seen in Matt 3:16, compared with verse 9 of the same chapter.  

 

 

 

Then you need evidence for your case. 

 

 

 

The evidence for my case is the fact that if you translate baptizo as "immerse," "plunge," or "dip" in every instance in which the greek word is used, you have absurd readings.  Besides that, plunge and dip had been given up long ago as proper definitions of baptize for just that reason.  Dale cites Baptist authors to prove it.  He also cites Baptist authors like Gale, Fuller, Morell and Cox, among others, who conceded that the greek word denotes condition rather than mode, which is what I contend. By the way, I have verified Dale's claims in the works of those whom he cites, because I happen to have all of them.

 

 

 

Hilarious. It's a typical 19th century attempt at manufacturing evidence for a theological preconception.

 

 

 

Can you provide examples?  I find it disheartening that someone of your caliber finds a monumental (many [including you] would say, the "standard") work such as Dale's "hilarious."  Have you read all four volumes cover to cover?  

 

 

 

No, you have this backwards. The passage is not cited to demonstrate what baptizo means, the meaning of the word baptizo is cited to explain what kind of washing this was. 

 

 

 

I think you're proving my point.  Here it is again:

 

‘In Mark 7:4 the verb wash in “except they wash” is baptízomai, to immerseThis indicates that the washing of the hands was done by immersing them in collected water. '

 

1)  Wash means immerse. Therefore,

2)  They immersed when they washed.

 

Not only is immersion assumed, despite the fact that couches wouldn't be immersed, but that they washed their hands in "collected water" is also assumed!  Who's to say water wasn't poured over their hands?  

 

 

 

Because that's not natural English. If I go and take a bath I don't say I'm going to 'immerse myself', even if I do immerse myself when I go and take a bath. I say I'm going to have a wash.

 

 

 

So then you believe the greek word denotes condition, rather than mode?  This runs contrary to what you said previously.


Edited by Unbound68, 15 December 2014 - 08:50 PM.


#9 Fortigurn

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 12:33 AM

I said I checked the lexicons and your attachment.  "Former" is the lexicons.  "Latter" is your attachment.


You are not reading what I wrote. I cite the lexicons to support the statement 'The Greek word for baptism refers to dipping, plunging, or immersion in both the Septuagint and the New Testament'. I then quote lexicons which say the Greek word for baptism refers to dipping, plunging, or immersion, in both the Septuagint and the New Testament. What exactly is the problem?
 

As far as providing instances where your sources use words far from being dogmatic on their definition of the greek word: "seems," "perhaps," "normally," "usually," "assumed," "preferrably,""generally," etc., etc. are just a sampling.


Let's look.

* 'The sevenfold dipping of Naaman (2 K. 5:14)'
* 'baptizō 77x pr. to dip, immerse;'
* 'In Gk. lit. gener. to put or go under water in a variety of senses'
* '2 Ki. 5:14 it is used in the mid. of Naaman’s sevenfold immersion in the Jordan'
* 'Despite assertions to the contrary, it seems that baptizō, both in Jewish and Christian contexts, normally meant “immerse”,
* 'Lexicographers universally agree that the primary meaning of baptizo G966 is 'to dip' or 'to immerse''

Where's all the 'maybe', 'perhaps', 'might be', 'could be' which you say "made their pro-immersion statements far from dogmatic"?
 

The fact that the lexicons I consulted use words such as wash, purify, cleanse with water, etc. tells me that the word does not denote mode solely, as Baptists and others would have us believe.


I don't think you read what I wrote previously; "As far as the washing described in the New Testament is concerned, 'immerse'".
 

Are you of the opinion that the greek word denotes both mode and condition?

 
Yes, it definitely does. You've already been shown the lexical evidence for this. It is differentiated repeatedly from words which mean to pour, to wash, to sprinkle.
 

You assume that because the verse says that the Eunuch,
 
went down into the water, and
came up out of the water, 
 
that this means only the Eunuch was immersed;


No. I have said the opposite.  
 

The evidence for my case is the fact that if you translate baptizo as "immerse," "plunge," or "dip" in every instance in which the greek word is used, you have absurd readings.


But there is no need to do this. 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?
 

Besides that, plunge and dip had been given up long ago as proper definitions of baptize for just that reason.


You're talking about 19th century scholarship. As you can see, current modern lexicons have not given up these definitions; they list them as the primary meanings.

I find it disheartening that someone of your caliber finds a monumental (many [including you] would say, the "standard") work such as Dale's "hilarious."


I did not say his work was the standard. It is not a standard work at all; the professional lexicons don't even cite it in their lexicographical assessment. I said "Dale’s linguistic study became the standard lexical resource for the antiimmersion position". That is, it became the standard work appealed to by those attempting to defend their theological view.
 

Have you read all four volumes cover to cover?


No, because there's no need because his conclusion is utterly ridiculous, and modern lexicography completely contradicts him. Have you read contemporary reviews of his work? Strong rightly pointed out that Dale's redefinition of the word means that anything can be described as a baptism; Strong pointed out that burning a piece of paper can be described as it having been baptized, by Dale's definition. Dale makes nonsense of the word.
 

Not only is immersion assumed, despite the fact that couches wouldn't be immersed, but that they washed their hands in "collected water" is also assumed!  Who's to say water wasn't poured over their hands?


No, you still have this backwards. This does not say 'They wash, and the word for was is baptizo, proving that baptizo means immersion'. It says they wash, and since the word used for washing in this case is a word which means immersion, we know they washed by immersing their hands. You can't do that with water poured over the hands, and when the LXX refers to water poured over the hands it uses a different Greek word.
 

So then you believe the greek word denotes condition, rather than mode?


No. I have explained this before. To summarize, here are the facts.

* Standard professional lexicons and dictionaries say the word's primary meaning is to dip, plunge, immerse, and that when used of the Christian ritual it refers to immersion
* There is almost universal agreement among scholars that Christian baptism was an immersion, not a sprinking, partial washing, pouring, paddling, or vague waving of the hands in the general direction of water

Edited by Fortigurn, 16 December 2014 - 12:34 AM.


#10 Unbound68

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 06:58 PM

You are not reading what I wrote. I cite the lexicons to support the statement 'The Greek word for baptism refers to dipping, plunging, or immersion in both the Septuagint and the New Testament'. I then quote lexicons which say the Greek word for baptism refers to dipping, plunging, or immersion, in both the Septuagint and the New Testament. What exactly is the problem?

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Where's all the 'maybe', 'perhaps', 'might be', 'could be' which you say "made their pro-immersion statements far from dogmatic"?

 

 

 

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.  

 

 

 

I don't think you read what I wrote previously; "As far as the washing described in the New Testament is concerned, 'immerse'".

Yes, it definitely does. You've already been shown the lexical evidence for this. It is differentiated repeatedly from words which mean to pour, to wash, to sprinkle.

 

 

 

 

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?

 

 

 

 

But there is no need to do this. 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?

 

 

 

 

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? 

 

 

 

 

You're talking about 19th century scholarship. As you can see, current modern lexicons have not given up these definitions; they list them as the primary meanings.

 

 

 

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

2)  immerse does not mean dip

3)  dip does not mean plunge

4)  plunge does not mean immerse

5)  Modern lexicons have revived an error in defining baptizo 

 

 

 

 

I did not say his work was the standard. It is not a standard work at all; the professional lexicons don't even cite it in their lexicographical assessment. I said "Dale’s linguistic study became the standard lexical resource for the antiimmersion position". That is, it became the standard work appealed to by those attempting to defend their theological view.

 

 

 

Ok.  I misread you.

 

 

 

 

No, because there's no need because his conclusion is utterly ridiculous, and modern lexicography completely contradicts him. Have you read contemporary reviews of his work? Strong rightly pointed out that Dale's redefinition of the word means that anything can be described as a baptism; Strong pointed out that burning a piece of paper can be described as it having been baptized, by Dale's definition. Dale makes nonsense of the word.

 

 

 

There's no need?  How can you say his conclusion is utterly ridiculous?  How can you say modern lexicography completely contradicts him?  How can you say Dale makes nonsense of the word?  How can you say any of that when you admit to not having read Dale himself?  Furthermore, why would I read reviews of Dale when I can read Dale himself?

 

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.  

 

 

 

 

It says they wash, and since the word used for washing in this case is a word which means immersion, we know they washed by immersing their hands. 

 

 

 

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! 

 

 

 

 

* .....and that when used of the Christian ritual it refers to immersion

 

 

 

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 almost universal agreement among scholars that Christian baptism was an immersion, not a sprinking, partial washing, pouring, paddling, or vague waving of the hands in the general direction of water 

 

 

 
 
No need for the sarcasm or mockery.  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.  Plus you haven't told me how dining couches were immersed in Mark 7:4.

Edited by Unbound68, 17 December 2014 - 07:18 PM.


#11 Fortigurn

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Posted 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.

#12 Unbound68

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 07:48 PM

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.



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


I own or have access to a number of lexicons that not only distinguish between classical and NT usage of the word baptizo, but the vast majority of them list sprinkle and pour in their definition of the word. 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? 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? Campbell vs. Rice, Campbell vs. Mcalla, Ditzler vs. Wilkes, Campbell vs, Walker, and Ditzler vs. Graves to name just a few. I've read nearly all of them. None of what you provide in your article has gone unanswered in the last 200 years.





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.






That's a bunch of double-talk. Why explain what the word means in a footnote, when the meaning could be given by translating the word in the text itself? The more I dig into this subject (which I have been doing for a number of years now), the bigger the aura of deception surrounding it seems to get. Furthermore, where is your proof that the meaning of baptizo has anything to do with baptism becoming a technical term in the Christian era? Are you hinging this assumption on the belief that immersion baptism = being buried with Christ?

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?






Isn't it obvious?

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

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!


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?






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

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.



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?





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. 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!


Evidence please.





That was a misstatement on my part. Baptist authors conceded dip and plunge as wrong definitions of baptizo, not lexicons. Modern lexicons, however, are guilty of suppressing evidence. 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?



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".






I don't agree with everything he says, nor do I expect anyone else to. His research can't be completely dismissed, however.



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".





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





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.





Not having read Dale fully disqualifies you from maligning and ridiculing his work as a whole. Grabbing quotes from reviewers of Dale in order to malign his work is inappropriate. 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. Furthermore, what you deem irrelevant material could very well shed light on certain aspects of the debate over the meaning of baptizo.



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.






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

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)?




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




the word means immerse, but if immerse was used in English people wouldn't understand what is intended.





Baloney on both counts.



The original Greek speaking audience would have understood that washing by immersion was referred to,





You're assuming the very point in contention.



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.





My turn. Evidence please.




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.





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




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.





You can't give me your exposition of how baptizo means immersion in the two instances I mentioned? And what work have you personally read from Lothar Heiser himself? 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. This brings to mind more of Bowman's silly arguments during your brother's debate! To be fair to Ferguson though, I'm only up to chapter three.

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



I said:

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




You respond:


In a mikvah, just like entire bodies were immersed.





Preposterous. Nobody immersed their couches and tables.

Edited by Unbound68, 01 February 2015 - 10:34 AM.


#13 Fortigurn

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Posted 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).

How?

 

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.

Edited by Fortigurn, 03 February 2015 - 02:43 AM.


#14 Unbound68

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:52 PM

It's been a few years, but is your article still available?  


Edited by Unbound68, 03 April 2019 - 07:21 PM.


#15 Unbound68

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 07:48 PM

This response has to begin with what you said in your last paragraph above, for obvious reasons...

 

The so-called evidence you’ve “repeatedly presented for your case” is questionable and has actually been refuted over a century ago.  Immersionists such as yourself have come up with new and creative ways of recycling those erroneous arguments, hoping for a different outcome today.       

 

Your claim that I have “failed to preset any evidence at all” is only an attempt to distract the reader.  Go back and read through the thread.  Everything I wrote up until now has been an examination of your article, your sources and your findings.  I admit that some things I wrote in my last post require evidence, but I was threatened with censorship if I were to actually provide it without first going to the B-Greek forum!  Rest assured, if it’s evidence you want, it’s evidence you will get.

 

Jon, it is apparent to me - and it will be to others by the end of this article - that you’re in way over your head (to use a suitable metaphor).  

 

Who says I haven’t got the confidence to make my case at your forum?  I never said I wasn’t confident making my case there.  I think you’re underestimating the strength of my position.  I also think you’re overestimating the strength of yours. 

 

Your threat to censure me has me wondering why you responded to my opening post in the first place?  You must have assumed that I was just some neophyte unfamiliar with the controversy over the meaning of baptizo.  You also must have assumed that the article you provided me would be blindly accepted for no other reason than because it came from you, and that no dissent would be forthcoming.  Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you on all counts.  I’m very familiar with the issue, and, sad to say, your word is not gospel.  You’ve made numerous blunders with the facts, you can’t seem to cite your sources properly, and it will be a proven fact by the time I’m done with this response that you aren’t as familiar with the issue as you pretend.  

 

The fact that you spent 9 pages (the length of your last post) asking questions of me and requesting certain proofs and demonstrations, only to end it with the above threat of censorship if I would actually respond to what you wrote in those 9 pages, tells me that:

 

  1. You really don’t want answers and demonstrations from me, you just wanted the last word without any further challenge.
  2. You feel your position is being threatened, and to allow me to respond would prove beyond all doubt the falsity of your position.  

 

 

 

I agree with you that you've utilized a “wide range of sources” in your article and in your posts.  Evidence, however, it is not.

 

Surely you know a tidal wave of real evidence is on the way, if you’ve actually immersed yourself in this issue, as opposed to merely dipping yourself into it.  Evidence will be poured forth in this response, if you dare to read it! 

 

 

 

“Are you, at any point, going to present evidence for your case?”

 

 

 

Absolutely. 

 

 

 

 

 

“Here's what I need you to do.”

 

 

 

You mean instead of presenting the evidence you just asked for?  You’re playing games.  The readers aren’t stupid.    

 

 

 

 

 

“Before you write your next response to me, go here [link to B-Greek forum] and present your case with its evidence. Please tell me what the response is.”

 

 

 

Why do I need to post my evidence somewhere else before I post it at your forum?  Your request that I “please tell [you] what the response is” in light of the fact that you’re a member there - which means you would see any and all responses - shows you to be as arrogant as you are disingenuous.  

 

I joined that forum and made 2 posts - one introducing myself, the other asking the same question that I asked in the OP at your forum.  Neither post was approved by the admin for the following reasons:

 

  1. My username “Unbound68” did not meet their rules for screen names.
  2. I don’t “know” Greek, which is mandatory in order to post.  I know some greek, but not enough to be allowed to join.  Evidently the mere inquiry into the meaning of the greek word baptizo at a Greek forum disqualifies me from joining the very forum to which you sent me to find out the meaning of the greek word baptizo!  How perfectly asinine and stupid!

 

 

Not being able to join, I decided to correspond with the owner of the forum (coincidentally, your namesake) via e-mail.  Here’s what I asked him:

 

 

Jonathan,

 

Since I can’t post on your forum, can you answer a question?  Based on your studies, are there any lexicons from the 18th-21st centuries that give sprinkle or pour as NT meanings of baptizo?

 

 

Of course I know the earlier lexicons do indeed list sprinkle and pour as NT meanings of Baptizo (as will be proven to you a little later), but I wanted to see how much the owner of the board knew about the issue.  After all, you sent me to a Greek forum to be “schooled” on the meaning of a Greek word, right?  

 

Here is his answer:

 

“I don't know the answer to that, I haven't done anything like an extensive study of the word.  In the New Testament, it is used at least twice to refer to washing hands:

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mark+7%3A4%2C+luke+11%3A38&version=SBLGNT,esv,hcsb

 

“I'm an immersion guy, but I think there probably is a good argument that the fundamental meaning of the word in the New Testament is more closely related to ceremonial washing than to immersion.  I'm not really confident in my answer, though, and would want to spend a bunch of time studying it before pretending I have an authoritative answer.” (emphasis mine)

 

 

Notice that I only asked him if there were any lexicons from the 18th to 21st centuries that give sprinkle or pour as NT meanings of baptizo.  What “extensive study” is needed to flip open a few lexicons to the entry on baptizo and answer my question?  Further, did you notice that his take on Mark 7:4 is completely contrary to your tortured explanation of how washing hands = immersing them?

 

In a second e-mail, he even sent me to an article at the CARM website, written by Matt Slick, which also militates against your position.  To wit:

 

Another page you might consider:

 
 
As an immersion guy, I still don't think an argument based purely on the meaning of the word βαπτίζω proves that immersion is the only valid way to baptize.  
 
Jonathan

 

So why exactly was I sent to that Greek forum to “present my case,” when not only is the owner of the board uncertain as to the meaning of baptizo (“never having done anything like an extensive study”), but he doesn’t even agree with your position to begin with?  

 

In fact, a search of that forum revealed that the meaning of the word baptizo has never been debated there.  Being able to read, write, and speak Greek does not a true definition of baptizo make!  I'm sure you only sent me to a Greek forum in order to dissuade me from continuing my probe into your article and the sources you utilized.  It may have been 4 or 5 years since our last exchange, but rest assured, I haven't been dissuaded in the least.  On the contrary, I have been working on an in-depth response to everything you said in your last post - and then some.  

 

 

Since I have now met your demands, ridiculous and transparently dishonest as they were, I want to proceed to dissect your last round of misinformation.  Before we plunge into that, however, let’s tackle some former statements of yours that I didn’t get around to in my last post.  To be continued...


Edited by Unbound68, 15 April 2019 - 06:16 PM.


#16 Unbound68

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 08:44 PM



“[James Dale] spends twenty pages on the meaning of the word tingo, including quoting how it has been used in English writings.”

 

 

And why don’t you tell the reader why he does this? Do you even know? Can you even produce page numbers?



“Strong pointed out that burning a piece of paper can be described as it having been baptize, by Dale's definition.”

 

 

Since when does the opinion of a 19th century Baptist (Strong) carry any weight with you, in light of the fact that you’ve already stated to me that you didn’t read a considerable portion of Dale’s work because it contained “irrelevant” responses to 19th century Baptist “squabbles?” You can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to cite 19th century Baptists in an effort to mock Dale’s definition of baptizo, then what Dale wrote in response to 19th century Baptists regarding the definition of baptizo is definitely germane to the discussion and should definitely be read before any attempt is made to criticize that definition!

 

The fact that you didn’t bother reading any of Dale’s research aimed at the Baptists of his day shows that you were biased in favor of immersion before you even wrote your article. This is also why you evidently think the footnoted sources in your article constitute “evidence” for your case. The fact is, you didn’t independently verify the claims of your sources. And again, let’s look at some of their claims:

 

 

 

“Despite assertions to the contrary, it seems that baptizō, both in Jewish and Christian contexts, normally meant ‘immerse,’"

 

“The philological evidence is technical and inconclusive. But the archaeological and Mishnaic evidence seems to support the argument for immersion."

 

“Either bending his knees, kneeling, or sitting, an adult could have been totally immersed as required in fonts from 1.30m to 60cm deep.”


 

 

“We can be fairly sure that early baptism was not normally by sprinkling. Other possible alternatives were pouring (affusion) and immersion. Probably immersion was the norm.”

 

 

“...total immersion, often in streams or rivers, seems to have been most commonly used.”

 

 

“It seems,” “seems to support,” “could have been,” “fairly sure,” “probably,” and “seems to have been” are all statements of uncertainty. The use of such words tells the average reader that the authors of such statements weren’t exactly sure, beyond all doubt, as to their conclusions (or they were towing a party line without independently verifying anything). This is what I tried telling you before. Why you would even post such uncertain testimony is a mystery to me.

 

More than that, the second sentence above, quoted from your article, claims the “philological evidence is technical and inconclusive.” Inconclusive? Others have had no trouble reaching sound conclusions from the philological evidence. Jacob Ditzler takes up numerous pages in two separate works,2 proving that “immerse” is a derivative meaning of baptizo. He also proves via ancient versions that sprinkle is the primary meaning of baptizo. Have you read any of Ditzler’s research?

 

Strangely, your Puritan board witness (Phil) cites Ditzler a few times regarding Dale’s poor chronology of ancient Greek authors, yet never engages Ditzler’s research at all...probably because it demolishes the immersionist position (more from Ditzler later).

 

What you falsely ascribe to Augustus Strong (burning a piece of paper being a baptism) was actually lifted from the work of John Broadus (this is the first of many such instances where an unfamiliarity with your own witnesses will hoist you on your own petard). Had you paid closer attention to what Strong wrote, you would’ve seen that the comment about burning a piece of paper was included in a larger excerpt within quotation marks. This means they’re not Strong’s words. Strong’s use of quotation marks prompted me to find out who he was actually quoting, since he doesn’t tell his reader.  Here is what Broadus said (bolded parts appear in Strong’s):

 

 

“[Dale] then attempts to show that the word is used in three different senses: first, intusposition without influence, as when a stone is intusposed in water; second, intusposition with influence, as when a man is intusposed in water, and not being taken out - is drowned; third, influence without intusposition, so that whatever controllingly influences a thing may be said to baptize it. This last can only be called a figment of Dr. Dale's fancy. By the same sort of process I could reduce to a nebulous condition the meaning of any word whatever. Anything which controllingly influences as to change its condition, may be described as baptizing that object. Thus if I should set fire to this piece of paper and change it to ashes, I should be baptizing it. If I hang a man, or stab him, or poison him, or corrupt his morals, I baptize him. This fanciful notion he attempts to support by a mass of painstaking, but utterly wild interpretation, such as can only excite one's astonishment.

 

“And the grand result of the whole discussion is, if possible, still more wonderful. Beginning with the position that baptize means immerse, he ends by maintaining that immersion is not baptism. This surpasses the jugglers. Here is the word baptize meaning immerse, or, if you prefer it, intuspose; now a few passes of logical and philological sleight of hand, and behold ! immersion, or intusposition, is not baptism at all. If you feel inclined to say the force of absurdity could no further go, be not too fast, for Dr. Dale, apparently fascinated by his fancies, has in his most recent production practiced an utter reductio ad absurdum upon his own theory.

 

“Our blessed Lord speaks of his dreadful sufferings as a baptism, and also speaks of them as drinking a cup; and Dr. Dale deliberately infers that drinking a cup is baptism. I cannot hold this up to the sheer ridicule it deserves, because the subject is too sacred.”3

 

 

 

 

And here is Strong’s truncated un-cited citation of Broadus, which you wrongly attribute to Strong himself:

 

 

“Of Dr. Dale's three meanings of baptizo — (1) intusposition without influence (stone in water), (2) intusposition with influence (man drowned in water), (3) influence without intusposition,— the last is a figment of Dr. Dale's imagination. It would allow me to say that when I burned a piece of paper, I baptized it. The grand result is this: Beginning with the position that baptize means immerse, Dr. Dale ends by maintaining that immersion is not baptism. Because Christ speaks of drinking a cup, Dr. Dale infers that this is baptism.”4

 

 

 

Dale explains what Broadus terms a “figment of [Dale's] fancy” perfectly and unanswerably, with regard to point #3 (influence without intusposition):

 

 

“3. A FLUID ELEMENT may be used, as an agency, in baptism, and accomplish such baptism, without involving the baptized object in a physical mersion.

 

“This is a vital position, and, if made good, carries everything with it. In support of it, now, I observe: 1. Wine, a fluid element, has already been seen, as an agency, to effect a baptism without any physical mersion. ‘But this was figurative, and mersion is supposed to be in it.’ This is an error. First. There is no sign of any such figure. Second. The wine is used as agency, and not as element. Third. The physically mersing quality of the fluid has nothing to do with the baptism. It is, exclusively, its intoxicating quality and the introduction of its physical quality is a huge blunder. When Alexander was brought, through the intoxicating principle, into a drunken condition, he was baptized. Call this figure, if you will; it was baptism by a fluid element, in which its nature as a fluid had no concern. A distinctive principle, which is itself devoid of covering qualities, performed the baptism. Wine baptizes by its intoxicating principle solely; robbed of this it ceases to baptize. Baptize is applied to the case, not because of any physical investiture of the object, real or supposed, but because of a controlling influence.”5

 

 

 

In addition,

 

 

 

“Sacrificial blood, and emblematical ashes and water, sprinkled have as much power to baptize, as the intoxicating or drugged cup drunk, has power to baptize. If wine drunk, baptizes (without mersion) into intoxication, the blood of the lamb sprinkled, baptizes (without mersion) into purification.”6

 

 

And,

 

 

“Historically the baptism of Thebe was by wine, which she furnished profusely to her husband. The simple drinking of wine will not effect a baptism, nor can the drinking of any quantity effect a dipping or an envelopment; but profuse drinking will so develop the power of wine as to bring the mental faculties and the physical powers under its control. This thorough change of condition (the passing out of a condition of sobriety into a condition of ebriety) is a baptized condition. It is so, generically, because it is a condition effected by some controlling and assimilating influence; and it is so, specifically, to wit, the baptism of Thebe, because it is a specific influence effecting a specific condition. The wine-drinking causative of this baptism, and the drunken condition caused by this wine- drinking, are alike inseparable from this Thebe baptism. The one cannot be without the other. If the peculiarity which marks the influence of the agency is known, then the peculiarity which characterizes the condition is equally known.

 

“The baptism of Ishmael was by wine like that of Thebe, and yet was not specifically the same. It was a baptism beyond that baptism. It was a development of the power of drunkenness effecting a still farther and peculiar controlling influence over mind and body, introducing them into a condition of "insensibility and sleep." Now, no one needs to be told, that there is an amazing difference between the condition of a man bewildered in mind and staggering in walk, and a man lying under the table insensible and asleep. Wine enters into both conditions as the ruling power; in the one case it is the immediate influence, in the other case it is the proximate influence; both conditions are properly called baptisms, because they both have the characteristic of condition resultant from some controlling influence; and they are specifically diverse baptisms, because the specific controlling influence of wine over a sober man is diverse from the specific controlling influence of drunkenness over an intoxicated man. This specific difference is stated, with a fulness and a clearness beyond which language cannot go, when we are told, that ‘Ishmael baptized Gedaliah by drunkenness into insensibility and sleep.’ The statement that Ishmael ‘baptized’ Gedaliah conveys no specific information; while the statement that ‘he baptized him into insensibility’ has a sharpness which will cut its way irresistibly through all barriers of modal act, or water envelopment, that ever were or that ever can be constructed.

 

“The baptism of Satyrus exhibits the element of wine, but not as the controlling power effecting the baptism. There was, also, in it ‘insensibility and sleep,’ and yet not of the same specific character with that which is effected by overpowering drunkenness. There was not enough of wine drunk to cause ebriety, consequently that was not the baptism; if there was no ebriety, then there was no baptism from this cause.

 

“But there was a baptism of Satyrus. What was it? It was a thoroughly changed condition resultant from the controlling influence of an opiate drug swallowed by being mingled in a cup of wine. In these facts we find justification for applying the generic term baptism to this transaction, because there is a condition resultant from a controlling influence which has left its characteristic enstamped upon the subject of its power; while they, also, vindicate the discrimination of this baptism as the baptism of Satyrus, from the baptism of Thebe, and the baptism of Ishmael, because, specifically, it ranks with neither of these baptisms.

 

“These facts show in the most indubitable manner, that where the same fluid element is present, and the same formal act is executed, the resultant baptism (not something else, some appendage or accident, but the very baptism) may be essentially diverse. This diversity will, ordinarily, be designated with clearness by the simple statement of the power effecting the baptism, because the baptism receives its characteristic from the characteristic of this controlling influence; but if this baptizing power is capable of producing diverse conditions, immediately or remotely, then a specific designation may be required in addition to the influence itself. Thus, the remoter wine baptism of Ishmael is saved from being confounded with the immediate wine baptism of Thebe by the superadded statement, that it was remotely by wine and immediately ‘by drunkenness into insensibility and sleep.’  Can anything be more unwise or more alien from outjutting facts, than the attempt to repudiate the distinctive character of these baptisms by the round assertion, that ‘baptism in one case is baptism in another, there could be no difference in the mode?’


"these Baptisms Are Figurative."

 

“An attempt is made to get rid of these baptisms and bury them (if not ‘without benefit of clergy,’ yet beyond the reach of the clergy), in some bottomless abyss, by affirming that these baptisms are ‘figurative.' If by this term is meant that these are not actual and most real baptisms, the statement could not be more deeply stamped with error. Is not the condition of a drunken man, of a sleeping man, of a drugged man, a most substantial reality? If it is meant to say, that these baptisms are not physical baptisms, then, again, I reply, the error, still, is as profound as in the other case. Is not drunkenness a physical condition? Does it not affect the intellect only as it affects the physical organs through which it operates? Is not this, also, true of sleep? And is it not, equally, true of drugged stupor? Is not wine a real, substantial fluid? Is not opium a real existence whose solidity may be seen, and felt, and weighed in the balances? Do fluids and solids produce purely metaphysical, ideal, unreal, nonentical conditions?

 

“Is it meant to say, that these baptisms are not ‘dipping’ baptisms? Then, the response may be given with a smile: Certainly if they are, appearances must be deceitful, for they have any other appearance! Is it meant that there is no physical envelopment? I would not like to undertake to prove that there is, but I would like, very much, to see such attempt made on the part of those who affirm that ‘baptism in one case is baptism in another; there can be no difference in the mode.’ And this more than Herculean task they must enter upon and perfect, or else confess (to the undoing of their theory), that the Greeks called conditions, without physical envelopment, baptisms.”7

 

 

And how about the baptism of Paul? Where do we find anything about an immersion? Further, where do we find any mention of the use of water? He was baptized as he stood up.8 

 

 

Further,  See Isa 1:16 for another example of a washing without the use of water.9

 

“It is not true, by the showing of the theorists, that the covering of the entire person by water is necessary to a physical baptism. It is declared that Noah was literally and physically baptized in the ark; while it is admitted that he was not covered by the water. It is affirmed that the Israelites were literally and physically baptized at the Red Sea; yet it is admitted that they were not covered by the water. It is affirmed that Elijah's altar was physically baptized; yet it is admitted that it was not covered by the water.”10

 

 

I have my doubts as to how much of Dale’s work Broadus read. He critiques Dale as if he was completely oblivious to Dale’s exhaustive explanations. Based on what the critics of Dale (in Dale’s time) wrote, I’d bet none of your sources studied his research either! Immersionists seem to treat their incomplete study or complete ignorance of Dale’s research as a badge of honor. I have yet to correspond with an immersionist who has actually read Dale’s research en toto before criticizing his findings! Even Puritan Phil admits to only reading about 80% of Dale (and I'm sure that’s probably an exaggeration), yet he thought he knew enough about Dale’s conclusions to write a 105 page review. In volumes 2 and 3, Dale responds to many Baptist criticisms and reviews. One need only read these reviews to see that many of those who criticized Dale’s work admitted that they hadn’t read enough of it (if any of it at all). Observe:

 

 

From the Christian Press—

"The author of the book shows himself to be an ignoramus, to stand up in the face of scholars and say that the classic meaning of the word is to sprinkle and pour.”11 (Dale says, "This statement bears the most conclusive internal evidence that the writer had never seen even so much as the outside covering of Classic Baptism.")

 

From the American Christian Review—

"If he will pardon us, we feel like expressing the opinion, that the argument throughout, whether intended or not, is an effort to obscure the plain and simple meaning of a positive ordinance of Christ, and to darken counsel by a show of learning and by a multitude of words without knowledge. We have not examined it sufficiently for an elaborate review.”12

 

 

From the Religious Herald—

"We have neither time, space, nor inclination to review Judaic Baptism."13

 

 

From the Watchman and Reflector—

“It is not our purpose at this time to criticize the author's work. We can say, however, from the little reading which we have been able to give to the book, that the author shows a large acquaintance with his subject. His investigations have been wide, and he discusses the various points with a candor and good nature which are worthy of praise. Differing as we do from his conclusions, we can yet respect the ability and commend the spirit which characterize Dr. Dale's argument.”14

 

 

And yet, they — like you — think they knew enough about Dale’s position and his arguments to warrant a credible critique. Why Broadus and you mocked Dale’s definition of baptizo is as plain as day:

 

 

If acknowledged as a reasonable definition, it would overthrow the immersionist position completely!  More to come.

 

 

 

2 Baptism, pp. 180-198; Great Carrolton Debate, pp. 37ff.

3 Immersion Essential to Christian Baptism, pp. 414-15 in an appendix of Jeter’s Baptist Principles Reset.

4 Systematic Theology, pg. 523

5 Classic Baptism, pg. 326-327. See also pp. 340-341 and pp. 351-352

6 Judaic Baptism, pg. 388

7 Johannic Baptism, pp. 80-83 

8 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 29

9 Judaic Baptism, pg. 123

10 Ibid., pp. 366-367
11 Judaic Baptism, pg. 21

12 Johannic Baptism, pg. 18

13 Ibid., pg. 20

14 Ibid., pg. 33 


Edited by Unbound68, 15 April 2019 - 08:58 PM.


#17 Unbound68

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Posted 04 April 2019 - 10:31 PM

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

 

 

 

 

Spare me, Jon. I didn’t say I would never read a review of Dale. In fact, he provides critical reviews of his work in the beginning pages of volumes 2 and 3, and responds to each one. I’ll bet you weren’t even aware of this. This is further evidence that you didn’t even open volumes 2-4. Had you done so, you would’ve known that I would end up reading those reviews of Dale in the course of reading through Dale’s entire tome. 

 

I prefer to read Dale in full for myself before I entertain what others say about what he wrote - others who, like you, haven’t read him en toto, yet think his every position has been completely refuted.

 

Do you expect me to believe that you would seriously entertain the words of a critic of the Bible before you read the Bible for yourself? Isn’t one who reads a work in its entirety before studying critiques of that work standing upon a more firm foundation? Isn’t there an advantage to having read a work in its entirety, before reading criticisms of it? Isn’t being fully familiar with a work a sure-fire way of arming one’s self against any and all misinformed, uneducated, and ignorant attacks made against it?  Apropos here is a comment from Dale himself:

 

“...to read a book before criticizing it, [is] only a hamper to genius.”1

 

 

Assuming that you didn’t even make it through volume 1 of Dale, we will let him speak for himself as he responds to your very criticism, which same criticism also appeared in the Examiner and Chronicle two centuries ago and was refuted in volume 2 of Dale’s work, Judaic Baptism:

 

 

5. "Fire is a great baptizer."

 

A very true statement, and one of which the Examiner will hear more, if Judaic Baptism should be read.  Baptism by any influence imports the subjection of the baptized object to the full controlling power of that influence. "There are some things which exert over certain objects a definite and unvarying influence.  Whenever, therefore, baptidzo is used to express the relation between such agencies and their objects, it gives development in the completest manner to that specific influence." (C. B., p. 316.) The specific influences of fire are: 1. A power to destroy. 2. A power to purify.

 

When fire is used to bake bread, or to boil the kettle, it is used for the development of neither of these influences. They are not, therefore, cases of baptism. Where fire is used to consume fuel, it is inappropriate to speak of it as a case of baptism by fire, because the object is not to destroy the fuel, but to give warmth to those around it. But if any one chooses to set his woods, or his house, or his bonds and mortgages, [or a piece of paper] on fire, he will secure what the classics would thoroughly understand by a baptism of fire.

 

It is a blundering use of language, however, to say that the object burned is "baptized into ashes." There is neither truth nor sense in saying, that a burned object is "baptized into ashes." "Ashes" constitute the object itself in another form. You cannot put a thing into itself. The proper expression is, as everywhere through the Classics, baptized by fire. This carries its own explanation with it. If it is a combustible body, then we know that it is destroyed. If it is a metallic ore, then we know that it is purified from its dross. If it is the "impure lips" of Isaiah, then we know that they are purified from defilement. "Fire is a great baptizer.”2

 

 

You cited the argument of Broadus (not Strong) that Dale’s definition of baptizo is wrong because burning a piece of paper would then be considered a baptism, as if you were completely unaware of the fact that Dale had already met that argument head-on within the first 30 pages of volume 2. This proves you never even opened it, but were entirely reliant upon one of Dale’s critics for your “knowledge” of the issue. You haven’t read anywhere near enough of Dale’s research to make an informed criticism of it. In fact, I’ll bet you will have read more of Dale (via my citations of him) by the time you finish reading this response than you did before this discussion started.

 

 


“Dale makes nonsense of the word.”

 

 

No, you just don’t understand his argument because you’ve only read reviews of Dale, rather than reading Dale fully for yourself. Classical usage proves Dale to be accurate in his definition of baptizo. Maligning Dale and his research shows how fearful you are of his conclusions.

 

Here, I’ll provide you with some context behind his definition of the word:

 

 

4. It is objected that "the conclusion" of Classic Baptism is too broad; that there are many things which exert a complete influence in changing condition which could not, properly, be said to baptize.

 

This objection is grounded both in a failure of comprehension and of discrimination. There has been a failure to comprehend both acts and influences as causative of changes of condition, and a failure to discriminate between the characteristic differences in the changed conditions, effected, respectively, by act and influence. The only change of condition effected by "act," with which Classic Baptism has anything to do, is that resulting from an object being intusposed within some readily penetrable medium.

 

If, now, the act of sharpening a knife by a whetstone changes the condition of the knife by putting it under the water; or if a power-loom, by its action, puts a bale of cotton into the mill-dam, then they will come within the range of the "conclusion," and may be employed to test its correctness; but not till then. In like manner "the influences" of Classic Baptism have their limitation. They are not only complete in their controlling power, but they assimilate the condition of the baptized object to their own peculiarities. Thus, an intoxicating influence produces an intoxicated condition; a soporific influence produces a soporific condition; a stupefying influence produces a stupefied condition; an oppressive influence produces an oppressed condition.

 

If, now, the amputating knife influences the condition of the patient, assimilating it to the characteristics of the cutting steel, then it may be employed to test the doctrine whether all influences, like those of which Classic Baptism treats, may be justly said to baptize.

 

Every conclusion should be broad enough to include all the particulars from which it is deduced; it should not be expected to have greater breadth. The brevity with which the conclusion of Classic Baptism is stated might render it obscure, or apparently erroneous, to one who had not thoughtfully read the volume on which that conclusion rests; but, none others, I think, would find any embarrassment in its statement.

 

It might be amplified thus: "Whatever act is capable of thoroughly changing the character, state, or condition, of any object, by placing it in a state of physical intusposition, is capable of baptizing that object; and whatever influence is capable of thoroughly changing the character, state, or condition, of any object, by pervading it and making it subject to its own characteristic, is capable of baptizing that object; and by such changes of character, state, or condition, these acts and influences do, in fact, baptize their objects."

 

There is nothing in this more amplified form, other than, what was in contemplation when the briefer form was written, and which is stated everywhere in the preceding pages of the volume. As there are "acts" which change the condition of their objects without changing it in that way here contemplated, to wit, by placing them in intusposition, and are, therefore, excluded from consideration; so, there are "influences" which change condition, but not after the manner of those with which we have here to do, and are therefore excluded, in like manner.3

 

 

Perhaps if you would take the time to give Dale a fair hearing, and not let his critics lead your “investigation,” you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his findings? Here are a few questions for you:

 

Do you believe circumcision was a baptism?

How about the Passover?
How about the Passion of Christ?

 

 

 

 

1 Judaic Baptism, pg. 21

2 Ibid., pp. 29-30

3 Ibid., pp. 56-57


Edited by Unbound68, 16 April 2019 - 05:44 PM.


#18 Unbound68

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 06:48 PM

“Strong rightly pointed out that Dale's redefinition of the word means that anything can be described as a baptism;”

 

 

 

 

Again, that was John Broadus, not Augustus Strong. I can’t believe you went running to a Systematic Theology to “refute” Dale’s massive work on Baptizo! Dale certainly did not “redefine” the word. He produced its correct meaning based on its usage throughout the classics. As he says,

 

“The best evidence within reach [for the meaning of baptizo], or which can exist, has been adduced,—the usage of accredited writers. If this is not accepted, let it be rebutted by testimony of equal authority.”1

 

 

“Equal authority.” That means you would have to find evidence from usage contemporary with the classics themselves that demonstrates the word wasn’t used as Dale has shown from the classics (which examples of classical usage in large measure came from the Baptist Conant in the first place). Dale goes on to say,

 

 

“Baptists have defined the word in question with the severest limitations. And when the supreme authority of usage is shown to condemn such definition, a cry for help is made upon, lexicographers.”2

 

 

And Ditzler and Rice absolutely demolish the immerionist argument from them, as you will see later. Now on to your most recent post...

 

 

 

1 Judaic Baptism, pg. 24

2 Ibid., pg. 26


Edited by Unbound68, 05 April 2019 - 06:53 PM.


#19 Unbound68

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Posted 05 April 2019 - 07:20 PM

“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’."

 

 

 

Wrong. Do not confuse your ignorance with an inability to recognize NT usage on my part. You’re assuming that I'm referring to classical usage only because you seem to be completely unaware of the fact that there are lexicons that actually give sprinkle or pour as NT definitions of the word baptizo.  You claim that you've cited "what the lexicons say about the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament," but you haven't done any such thing!



“Please substantiate these claims.”

 

 

My claims will be more than substantiated by the end of this response.

     

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

 

 

For New Testament use. And as I said earlier, they are from the 18th/19th centuries. Based on the fact that you actually needed to ask me if the lexicons to which I refer used sprinkle and pour as classical or NT meanings of baptizo, do you mean to acknowledge that sprinkle and pour are, in fact, classical meanings of baptizo? If so, you give up the argument. If not, your question has no purpose.  

 

Here is some “evidence for my case” from a few lexicons to get you started:

 

 

1) Stokius:

 

Baptidzo: To wash, to baptize; passive, to be washed, to be cleansed. Generally, and by the force of the word, it obtains the sense of dipping or immersing. Specially (a) properly it is to immerse or dip in water; (a) tropically (1) by a metalepsis, it is to wash (lavare) or cleanse (abluere), because anything is accustomed to be dipped or immersed in water that it may be washed or cleansed, although also the washing or cleansing can be, and generally is, accomplished by sprinkling the water (Mark 7:4; Luke 11:38). Hence it is transferred to the sacrament of baptism...

 

3. Metaphorically it designates (a) the miraculous pouring out (effusionem) of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and other believers, as well as on account of the abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, since anciently the water was copiously poured upon those baptized, or they were immersed deep in water, etc.3

 

 

 

2) Rost and Palm:

Baptidzo: Oft and repeatedly to immerse, to submerse...To moisten, to wet, to sprinkle, made drunk, vino madidi. Generally to besprinkle, to pour upon, to overwhelm, to burden with taxes, with debts, to oppress. (2) Draw [or pump] water. (3) To baptize, to suffer oneself to be baptized; also to bathe, to wash.4

 

 

 

3) Schleusner:

Baptidzo: Properly, I immerse or dip, I plunge into water, from bapto, and answers to the Hebrew tabhal, 2 Kings 5:14, in the Alexandrian version, and to tabha, in Symmachus, Psalm 68:3, and in an unknown Psalm 9:6. But in this sense it never occurs in the New Testament, but very frequently in Greek writers....Now because not infrequently a thing is immersed or dipped in water that it may be washed; hence, second to cleanse, to wash, to purify with water. Thus it occurs in the New Testament. Mark 7:4, Luke 11:38.

 

...Fourth, metaphorically, as the Latin, to imbue, to give largely and copiously, and to administer, to pour forth abundantly (Matt 3:11), etc.5

 

 

 

4) Robinson:

[Classic use he gives first, as] to dip in, to sink, to immerse; in Greek writers, spoken of ships, galleys, etc. Polyb. i.51; Diod. Sic., Strabo, Plut... In the New Testament, first, to wash, to lave, to cleanse by washing; second, to wash oneself, i.e., one’s hands or person, to perform ablution; third, to baptize, etc.

 

[He then adds a note to the word]:

 

NOTE: While in Greek writers, as above exhibited, from Plato onward, baptidzo is everywhere to sink, to immerse, to overwhelm, either wholly or partially, yet in Hellenistic usage, and especially in reference to the rite of baptism, it would seem to have expressed, not always simply immersion, but the more general idea of ablution or affusion.6

 

 

 

The fact that you are unaware of 18th/19th century lexicons that give sprinkle or pour as NT definitions of baptizo, while claiming farther down to have actually examined these very lexicons, shows one or more of the following to be true:

 

*  you never really physically examined the lexicons you claim to have examined.

*  your research is inadequate and reveals a disinterest in the details.

*  you purposely withheld evidence from those lexicons you claim to have examined.

 

 

There is such an overabundance of evidence showing that sprinkle and pour were given as NT meanings of baptizo, and in so many different lexicons, that the reader can come to no other conclusion than that your research can't be trusted.

 

 

 

 

3 Ditzler, Baptism, pp. 144-145. In Stokius see Clavis Linguae Sanctae Novi Testamenti, pp. 182-184

4 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 160. In Rost and Palm see Handwoerterbuch der Griechischen Sprache, vol. 1, pg. 489. The same definitions can be found in the lexicons of Passow (vol. 1, pg. 489) and Pape (vol. 1, pg. 431). 

5 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 148-149. In Schleusner see Novum Lexicon Graeco Latinum in Novum Testamentum, vol. 1, pp.417-419

6 Ditzler, Baptism, pg. 144. In Robinson see A Greek and English Lexicon, pg. 118. 

 

Edited by Unbound68, 16 April 2019 - 05:54 PM.


#20 Unbound68

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 07:23 PM

“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.”

 

 

That's almost laughable, Jon, and seems to fly directly in the face of your claim that you actually examined the earlier lexicons I listed! I asked:

 

 

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 you replied with:

 

“And like Buddaeus, Alstidius, Altingius, Beza, Casaubon, Stourdza, Buttmann, Augusti, and Bretschneider? Yes I have.” (emphasis mine)

 

 

 

Yet now you’re claiming that you aren’t interested in the earlier lexicons. Which is it? Furthermore, out of the 40 footnotes in your article, only two of them are citations from “professional scholarly lexicons!” A lack of interest in the earlier lexicons is not an excuse for omitting pertinent information found within them regarding the meaning of the word baptizo, especially when you were supposedly conducting a thorough study of the word’s meaning!

 

You said your aim was to "cite lexical evidence for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament.” You claim to have examined the earlier lexicons. An honest investigator who has actually examined the earlier lexicons would include all lexical evidence “for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament.” More than 30 lexicons I’ve found offer sprinkle or pour as NT meanings of baptizo, and yet you completely omit any mention of the fact that more than 30 lexicons offer sprinkle or pour as NT meanings of baptizo!

 

Please explain this, in light of your claim that you actually examined the earlier lexicons.

 

 

It certainly doesn’t seem to me like you examined the lexicons I listed at all, nor does it seem like you examined the lexicons of Buddaeus, Alstidius, Altingius, Beza, Casaubon, Stourdza, Buttmann, Augusti, and Bretschneider, which you added to my list. Could it be that your “interest” seems to only take you as far as your bias will allow? Or were you stretching the truth a tad when you told me you examined all those earlier lexicons, hoping I was as ignorant of their contents as you are?  Prove to me that you’ve actually examined those lexicons, Jon. Give me the bibliographic information for the entries on baptizo in each of those lexicons you claim to have physically examined. I don’t believe you examined any of them, particularly those of Alstidius and Altingius. Had you truly examined all of these lexicons, you would never have had to ask me if the lexicons I examined listed ‘sprinkle’ or ‘pour’ under classical or NT usage!  And since you claim to have examined de Stourdza, do you agree with his definition of baptizo? Can you tell me exactly what his position is and how he arrived at that conclusion? 

 

 

You claim that your aim was to cite lexical evidence for the meaning of the word baptizo in both the NT and LXX. What do we actually find? Has your goal been met?

 

If your aim was to cast immersion in a favorable light while purposely hiding the evidence for pouring and sprinkling, I’d say you met your goal.

 

If your aim was to cast immersion in a favorable light while pretending to have examined lexicons you’ve never seen, much less examined, I’d say you met your goal.
 

If your aim was to cite evidence for the use of the word “immerse” in lexicons, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and sectarian works, I’d say you met your goal.
 

If your aim was to just list as many lexicons as you could think of, without bothering to examine them at all, I’d say you met your goal.
 

If your aim was to cite lexical evidence for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament, you have not met your goal.

 

Furthermore, how would you even know how much evidence earlier lexicons had or had not, or how accurate they were, when you admit to having no interest whatsoever in what they have to say anyway? You’re running in circles like a dog trying to catch his own tail. Misrepresentation or incomplete citation of lexicons and other sources does not constitute evidence for your case.

 

 


“Of course I am. I cite many such works in my article;”

 

 

No you don't. You cite works (treatises, pamphlets, etc.) that were published concerning the national debate over the meaning of baptizo in the 19th century. I asked if you were aware of just how many debates (plural) occurred in the 19th century, in which multitudes of lexicons are cited showing sprinkle and pour as NT meanings of baptizo. I’m referring to formal timed debates such as:

 

Campbell vs. Rice,

Ditzler vs. Graves,

Ditzler vs. Wilkes,

Campbell vs. Walker,

Campbell vs. McCalla, etc.,

 

wherein the several issues having to do with baptizo are discussed in head-to- head format. You are able to study the arguments of both sides, with the benefit of watching how different claims are immediately answered and/or refuted by each opponent in “real time,” so to speak. You don’t have to wonder if one side is citing the other side incompletely, or misrepresenting what was said. The words of both sides are all contained in the same volume. Time spent reading these debates would profit you much. In fact, had you read just one of the debates I just mentioned, your question as to whether earlier lexicons gave sprinkle and pour as NT or classical meanings of baptizo would never have needed to be asked! I’m sure you have never even heard of the above formal debates until now, which makes your response to my question about it all the more ridiculous.

 

Speaking of reading, did you actually read the works that were footnoted in your article from Thorn, Kerr, and Bush? Based on the many inaccuracies I've discovered in your article and in your posts, I must assume that you haven’t done anything approaching a fair reading of any of them.

 

Are you even aware that you have wrongly cited Kerr as the author of The Heavenly Father's Teaching: a pedo-Baptist's reply to immersionists...? It was not written by Kerr, but by John C (John Collins), which you would have seen on the title page had you actually examined this work.

 

Are you also aware that you have wrongly cited Ferguson’s work Baptism in the Early Church regarding the “strange fantasy” of Jesus standing waist deep in water while John poured water on his head? That statement appears on pg. 202 in a completely different work of his called The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology For Today.

 

Was any proofreading or fact checking done by you prior to publishing your article? It’s amazing that your article can be online for as long as it has been without a single reader, prior to myself, alerting you to the inaccuracies found within it. Either your readers blindly accept your claims and the statements of your sources without independently verifying any of them, or you have no readers at all. Or, is it possible that you actually were alerted to the inaccuracies, and you just don’t care to correct them? Or perhaps you have corrected them and just gave me an incomplete and error-ridden earlier draft of your article, which further demonstrates your inattention to detail?



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

 

 

And exactly what constitutes “answers” in your mind, Jon? What are the questions? Both 19th and 20th century lexicons trace baptizo back to the same classical Greek authors (Strabo, Polybius, Plutarch, etc.). Both 19th and 20th century lexicons mention the LXX and apocryphal usage of baptizo. Nothing has been discovered and added to the “greek corpus” since the 19th century that has settled the debate over the meaning of baptizo. You’re not going to overturn centuries of evidence with a mikvah!

 

19th century lexicons actually provide much more information on the word baptizo than do modern lexicons like BDAG, Spicq, Louw/Nida, and others. Simply consult the lexicons of Ewing and Thayer, for example, and compare them to modern lexicons for proof of this. BDAG in comparison to Ewing is pathetic, simply because the bulk of what appears in BDAG is bibliographic information. Please tell me what major evidence can be found in BDAG that can’t be found in Ewing? Hint: this means you'd actually have to find and read Ewing’s entire entry on the word.

 

Had you been as thorough as Ewing (and even Parkhurst) in defining baptizo, many of my comments to you wouldn’t exist. Ewing, Thayer, Parkhurst, and dozens more I could name and cite weren’t afraid of acknowledging sprinkling and pouring as NT definitions of the word baptizo. You, on the other hand - as well as Baptists going all the way back to the 18th century - misuse and abuse those and many other lexicons by selectively citing only the “evidence” that helps your case. You said your “aim was to cite lexical evidence for the use of the word for baptism in both the Septuagint and the New Testament.” You didn’t do this. What you did do was “cite lexical evidence” that mentions immerse as one definition of baptizo, and you ignored the rest of the evidence. That’s called contextomy.

 

You aren’t being honest to the reader. What you’re doing is leading the reader into accepting your definition of baptizo without allowing them the benefit of having all the evidence with which they could come to an educated decision for themselves. This is truly ironic in light of the fact that you have a link to a Wikipedia entry on “Intellectual dishonesty” in your sig line at the Berea forum. And I quote an excerpt from that entry:

 

 

Intellectual honesty is an applied method of problem solving, characterized by an unbiased, honest attitude, which can be demonstrated in a number of different ways:

 

-One's personal beliefs do not interfere with the pursuit of truth; 

-Relevant facts and information are not purposefully omitted even when such things may contradict one's hypothesis;

-Facts are presented in an unbiased manner, and not twisted to give misleading impressions or to support one view over another;

 

 

It sure doesn't seem like you’re interested in opposing intellectual dishonesty when it comes to defining baptizo!


“How is it doubletalk?”

 

 

Because instead of favoring the translating of baptizo as "immerse," "plunge," or "dip" in every instance where baptizo occurs, you're arguing for transferring the Greek to English, and then adding a footnote to explain what it means in each instance it's used. You’re adding an obstacle to understanding the Scriptures that doesn’t need to be there.

 

The Apostles and others of that era didn’t need footnotes to understand baptizo.  How did the apostles and Christians of the first three centuries know when baptizo meant dip, when it meant plunge, and when it meant immerse? Furthermore, if a dipping can be called a baptism, why is bapto never used for the rite?

 

Why not let the OT aid us in understanding NT washings and purifications, rather than relying on your footnotes? That’s a rhetorical question. I know why you won’t do that.


Edited by Unbound68, 16 April 2019 - 06:04 PM.





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