Bible Question: In
the Bible it mentions baptism many times. The Greek wording and the
Roman Catholic Catechism says that baptism means immersion. Why then
does the Roman Catholic Church not baptise in this manner? When did
change to the pouring over the head? When did they begin to baptize
My son-in-law from the Church of Christ claims that since I was baptized
as a baby and not immersed, I am not saved. Therefore I am not a
Christian and can not even pray to God who can not hear me until
I repent and
Bible Answer: The
Greek word for "to baptize" is BAPTIZO. The ancients used
this Greek word in a variety of ways. For example, the word had the
meaning "to dip," "to immerse" and "to
drown." One example of its usage was to refer to a ship "sinking." John
3:23 tell us that John the Baptist baptized where there was a lot
of water. Why? So he could dip people down into the water. In short,
"baptism" is immersion.
Roman Catholic Baptism. The
Roman Catholic baptism is done by sprinkling and not by immersion
as you have already stated. The Roman Catholic Church states that
the Greek word BAPTIZO is used in Luke 11:38 to refer
Pharisees "washing," and use this passage to say
that the word does not always mean to dip. But the conclusion assumes
that the Pharisees
hands into water. They
also quote Mark 7:3–4a as another example of BAPTIZO being
used for washing or sprinkling. But the Greek text does not
use BAPTIZO. It uses
VIPTO for "washing" in verse 3, and PAVTIZO for "sprinkling"
in verse 4. In short, BAPTIZO does not occur in either of these two
There are no passages in the New Testament
which support the Roman Catholic Church's concept of pouring water.
However, this is a minor issue in the Christian faith. Some of the
early church fathers seem to indicate that the early church did sprinkle
when a small body of water was not
available for immersion. There is nothing wrong with this. The method
in which a person is baptized is not a major doctrinal issue, except
baptism is required for salvation.
When Adopted. It is not clear
when the Roman
Church started pouring water as a method of baptism, nor is it clear when they
started baptizing babies. But it is important to understand that the Roman Catholic
saves a baby. Here is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway
to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to
other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and
reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated
into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism
is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."
of the Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church teaches that baptism results in new life. The
one being baptized is saved, and given eternal life. It is important
to understand that they believe baptism is required for forgiveness
and to go to heaven.
is a previous question
and answer at this site which explains why
baptism does not save you. There are also a series of other questions
about baptism and salvation that you may want to read. Baptism does
you a Christian. Forgiveness
of your sins comes only by faith
in Jesus Christ. There is no other
way to be forgiven and to go to heaven.