Question: I was wondering, was baptising invented by John the Baptiser or was this a practice used by others back then?
Answer: It was a practice used by the Jews for different purposes, including ceremonial washings and a ritual to mark a convert to Judaism’s cleansing, but John used it in a unique way, it seems, to symbolize and memorialize the individual’s commitment to repentance in preparation for the coming kingdom. It has been suggested that for Jews to be asked to be baptized would be offensive because it challenged their view that they were saved. When the church took it over as a symbol of the believer’s faith and submission to the salvation provided by Christ, it had much the same offense. By submitting to baptism you were admitting that your past relationship to God was inadequate for salvation and that only in Jesus was there forgiveness and justification.