Did John the Baptist originate baptism?

Christ baptized. Ryley. In the Bowyer Bible in...

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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.

Randall Johnson


One thought on “Did John the Baptist originate baptism?

  1. A reader added this comment:

    While I agree completely with your writing regarding water baptism and strongly encourage it, I wanted to add possible words of comfort to some readers.

    In Luke Chapter 23 one thief rebukes the other and then tells Jesus, ”
    Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  To which Jesus replies, ” Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

    This man was not removed from his cross and baptised.

    I am thinking of elderly dying loved ones who finally accept Christ, or an accident victim who has yet to be baptised, or the one who the Pastor planned to baptise next Sunday, but departs today.  Their loved ones shouldn’t wonder if they are with Jesus, they are.

    It is always a pleasure reading your writings.  They are often topics of conversation with my best friend and Bible study partner, the same woman.
    Thank you again.

    Joe Pretzler

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