RE: Why isn't BAPTIZW translate

From: KULIKOVSKY, Andrew (
Date: Thu Sep 19 1996 - 14:38:58 EDT

Stephen Carlson replied:

>>BAPTIZW may have become a technical term in English but
>>there in no evidence to suggest that it became a technical
>>term in Greek. D. A. Carson warns against this "technical
>>term" fallacy in his book Exegetical Fallacies (2nd Ed, p. 45).
>>In any case the standard lexical meanings (dip, immerse,
>>sink, envelop, engulf, place into) fit perfectly into any context
>>of the NT.
>The evidence that BAPTIZW became a technical term in the NT is that
>of the approximately 80 occurrences of the word, *all* of them have
>a ritual sense, whether Jewish or Christian (so BAGD). Carson does
>discuss the "technical term" fallacy, but he did not discuss BAPTIZW
>in specific nor gave much guidance in identifying it. He did say that
>merely 8 occurrences of a specialized meaning is not sufficient to
>demonstrate a technical term, yet we are dealing with about 80 such
>cases (with *no* real counterexamples). However, when the NT writers
>wanted to say that something was immersed or dipped in a non-religious
>sense, they used the word BAPTW (e.g., Jn13:26 Rv19:13). If this is
>not evidence to suggest technical term, I'd like to know what is.

*all* of them have a ritual sense ?
*no* real counter examples ?

I think you should take a closer look at some of the occurences. The
following instances don't have any ritualistic sense (Jewish or
Rom. 6:3
1 Cor 10:2
1 Cor 12:13
Gal 3:27

In fact, many of the references simply mention baptism or baptize
with no suggestion of the sense in the context. To say that these
have a ritual sense is begging the question:

BAPTIZW is a technical term in the NT with a ritual sense. It occurs
80 times in the NT with this sense, therefore it must be technical term!

It is exactly this kind of reasoning that Carson warns against.

For it to be classified as a technical term, it would have to be shown
unambiguously that every occurrence is used in pretty much the
same way and that this usage has a slightly different shade of
meaning to the standard meaning. This can't be done in the NT.

In any case, dip, immerse, place into, identify with, envelop,
engulf are all satisfactory meanings for NT uses.

>>>"Concerning baptism, baptise thus: Having first rehearsed all
>>>these things, 'baptise, in the Name of the Father and of the
>>>Son and of the Holy Spirit,' in running water; 2. but if thou
>>>hast no running water, baptise in other water, and if thou canst
>>>not in cold, then in warm. 3. But if thou hast neither, pour
>>>water three times over the head 'in the Name of the Father and
>>>of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.'"
>>This quote from the Didache, enhances my point. "Baptize" is
>>used in all the instructions except for the last one. If there was not
>>enough water available (enough to immerse someone) then the
>>water could be poured 3 times over the head. Baptize could easily
>>be substituted here for Dip or Immerse.
>Not really. The poured water in verse 3 is an example of how to
>fulfill the hOUTW BAPTISATE "Baptize thus" command in verse 1. This
>means that a valid baptism according to the Didache was satisfied
>by pouring water (afflusion?) -- confirming the technical meaning of
>the term.

Yes really. The poured water in verse 3 is an example of how to
full the hOUTW BAPTISATE "Baptize thus" command in verse 1,
IF THOU HAST NEITHER. The first two options should be
preferred. The 3rd is a last resort. (Also remember that the
Didache is only an interpretation and doesn't claim divine


| Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc(Hons) MACS
| Software Engineer
| British Aerospace Australia
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| What's the point of gaining everything this world has
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| ...Look to Jesus Christ

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