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Describe and explain the central features of infant baptism.

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AO1 Baptism Describe and explain the central features of infant baptism Baptism comes from the ancient Greek word "baptzein" which means to plunge into water. The word is also used to describe the sinking of a ship and to plunge clothes into dye.1 Baptism has its roots in the mikvah otherwise known as a Jewish ritual bath. A group of first century Jews called the Essenes use to bathe ritually frequently so that they would remain ritually pure. The Essenes were probably influenced by John the Baptist.1 John the Baptist gave a new meaning to the Jewish ritual bath. For John it was a sign of repentance and for people who are looking for their sins to be forgiven.1 We also see a new meaning of baptism when John baptises Jesus. We see here Jesus was chosen by the Father and anointed by the Spirit for his role as the Messiah. This baptism was a baptism for all Christians.1 There is a series of Baptisms in the New Testament. There were 3,000 baptized at Pentecost (Acts 2:37-41). There were also baptisms at the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40); Paul (Acts 9:18); Cornelius and his Household (Acts 10:47-48); Lydia and her household (Acts 16:15) ...read more.


When they emerge from the water this is being ritually reborn. These symbolise the person dying and going with Jesus to the tomb in death and the rising from the dead to new life.3 Cleansing from sin - Baptism symbolises the washing away of sin both Original and Actual Sin. Original Sin is the sins, which we have inherited from Adam and Eve and Actual Sins are the sins we commit ourselves. Pouring water over the person seems to imply the washing away of sin that all Christians believe takes place in Baptism3 Initiation - Initiation means the rite by which you become part of a group. Christian initiation is when you become part of the Christian Church. For Catholics and Orthodox Church, Baptism, Confirmation and first Eucharist are the rites by which you become a full member of the church. For Methodists and Anglicans are similar to a lesser extent. Baptists actually have a Reception into membership which is the way the Church gets a new official member. Methodists also have a rite of admission to membership in the church.3 Promise of the Holy Spirit - Holy Spirit is given in Baptism, believed by the Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Methodist, which they all regard as a sacrament. ...read more.


Parents might feel pressured by family or neighbours to have their child baptised so again they will be pressured to return to the local church more often. Babies do not what is going on during baptism and do not understand what the meaning and significance of it. Baptism is the washing away of sin. As a young child the only sin that they should truly have would be Original Sin. Why not wait until the children are older, understand what they are doing, and will also have Actual Sins to ritually "wash away". Also a famous quote was made by Tertullian (160-225) - "Christians are made not born." I think that he means that we have to develop into a Christian and not take Christianity for granted and get accepted in the local parish soon after you are born. I think that Infant Baptism is pointless because of the fact that the children do not understand what and why they are getting baptised. I think it is better to wait and baptise them when they are older and understand the meaning and significance of Baptism and go through the initiation wise fully. 1 The Meaning and Purpose of Baptism. (hereafter MPB) p. 1 2 The Sacrament of Initiation (afterhere TSI) p.6 2 2 2 3 MBP p.5 3 3 Liam Mulholland 11.3 ...read more.

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