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What’s Your Question? for Feb. 10, 2010


What does the word baptize mean?


The Greek word baptizo was not translated, but transliterated into the English word baptize. Early translators believed in sprinkling, and did not translate the word, which means “the process of immersion, submersion and emergence” (W.E. Vine). John the baptizer was baptizing “in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there” (Jn. 3:23). Mark records that Jesus was baptized “in (Greek: into) the Jordan” (Mk. 1:9,10). Paul twice clearly defined the action. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death” (Rom. 6:4). “Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God…” (Col. 2:12). There are five Greek words translated “pour,” and two that are translated “sprinkle.” There is one Greek word transliterated baptize. It is never translated sprinkle or pour, because it means to immerse, or bury.


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