re: Mark 7:4

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 17:28:29 EDT

<x-flowed>I went over to Perseus to see how this word is used in non-theological
Both their glosses and their examples are interesting. Consider the
following glosses: dip, plunge, (passive) to be drowned, (of ships) sink or
disable them, flooded, to be drenched, soaked in wine. If we were to look
just at the glosses, the force of this word does seem more related to
dunking and drenching than to washing.

Now consider some of these example:

ophlêmasi bebaptismenoi, over head and ears in debt (Plu.Galb.21)
ebaptisan tên polin flooded the city, metaph., of the crowds who flocked
into Jerusalem at the time of the siege, J.BJ4.3.3
hôs ek tou bebaptisthai anapneousi Hp.Epid.5.63; to be drenched
gnous baptizomenon to meirakion seeing that he was getting into deep water,
Plat. Euthyd. 277d;
b. eis anaisthêsian kai hupnon J.AJ10.9.4

The illustrative examples chosen by LSJ don't seem to be talking primarily
about washing. Personally, I like the notion that getting baptized is
getting yourself into deep water ;->


Jonathan Robie

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