Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries

By Everett Ferguson | Go to book overview

16. Jewish and Christian Baptisms

The Jewish Christians of the Pseudo-Clementines (and Gentiles influenced by them) observed Jewish baths of purification and the one-time conversion baptism. Gentile Christians (and Jewish converts who identified with their practice) generally rejected the frequent religious baths and made a contrast between the two baptismal practices. The reader must recognize the polemical context in which Christians made the contrast of their baptism with Jewish washings and remember that there were metaphorical and spiritualizing applications of the idea of purification by washing made by Jews.1

The Epistle of Barnabas 11 (chap. 12) made the contrast between Jewish baptism with Christian baptism on the basis that the former did not bring forgiveness of sins but the latter did. This distinction continued to be reiterated in later Christian comments on the difference between Christian and Jewish practice. It seems to be correct for Jewish washings, where the concern was with ceremonial purity (chap. 4). Some later Jewish baptismal movements may have moved to associate their baptismal practice with forgiveness of sins, but there is a question about how early this occurred. The likelihood is that any groups under Jewish influence making this association (e.g., Elkasaites) were dependent in some way on the practice of John the Baptist and his followers.

A striking feature of Christians’ comments on Jewish practice is that they seem oblivious to proselyte baptism. Their comments have to do with Jewish ritual washings for purification. Perhaps the tradition making the contrast of the two rites in terms of forgiveness of sins was established before proselyte baptism became current.2 Or, it may be that the church writers saw proselyte baptism as only another ex-

1. Jonathan D. Lawrence, Washing in Water: Trajectories of Ritual Bathing in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 2006), p. 201.

2. See chap. 4 for the problem of dating the origin of baptism as part of the ritual of conversion to Judaism.

-266-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 953

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.