Jump to content


Photo

Baptism Or Child Birth?


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Geode

Geode

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 612 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 60
  • Mormon
  • Theistic Evolutionist
  • Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 05 June 2010 - 11:39 PM

John 3:1-7) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.


I saw a debate about this on another board. One side, including myself thought that being "born of the water" refers to baptism. But there was a differing point of view that this is a reference to how all of us are born. What do people here think about this?

#2 Guest_Eocene_*

Guest_Eocene_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 June 2010 - 02:20 AM

I saw a debate about this on another board. One side, including myself thought that being "born of the water" refers to baptism. But there was a differing point of view that this is a reference to how all of us are born. What do people here think about this?

View Post



Baptism was something new to the Jews of Jesus day. It wasn't something required by the Mosaic Law. But it did have public and symbolic references. When Jesus was baptized, it had nothing to do with a request for a clean conscience for sins committed, but rather publicy declaring himself to fully accomplishing God's will for his minitry there on Earth. From that point forward, he publically declared God's Kingdom for undoing all the damage done by God's enemy Satan. Approximately 3 1/2 years.


For followers it symbolized a public declaration also, but it entailed continually following Jesus teachings (exercising faith) from that point after. Such an individual would have already made a private dedication to do God's will in his heart by means of prayer long before this, but this was public expression. The Spirit is also mentioned. Those whose hope it was to go to Heaven and rule with Christ needed God's Holy Spirit to change them in the sense that going to heaven was there hope. It is unnatural for any human, born of a physical background, and only experiencing life as we know it here to desire such a life in a spirit realm where nothing is physical. This would change the person's feelings of knowing that they were/are a chosen anointed one. It's like a normal man or woman waking up each morning knowing as a fact that they are a man or woman. (of course I realize our times have changed, but that's another discussion :rolleyes: ) But hopefully you get the point. ;)


Beyond that I'm not sure what your discussion actually was, unless the mistaken literal meaning Nicodemus had. Much like the Jews who were stumbled over the symbolic illustration of eating Jesus flesh and blood. :rolleyes:

#3 Geode

Geode

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 612 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 60
  • Mormon
  • Theistic Evolutionist
  • Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 06 June 2010 - 08:27 AM

Baptism was something new to the Jews of Jesus day. It wasn't something required by the Mosaic Law. But it did have public and symbolic references. When Jesus was baptized, it had nothing to do with a request for a clean conscience for sins committed, but rather publicy declaring himself to fully accomplishing God's will for his minitry there on Earth. From that point forward, he publically declared God's Kingdom for undoing all the damage done by God's enemy Satan. Approximately 3 1/2 years.
For followers it symbolized a public declaration also, but it entailed continually following Jesus teachings (exercising faith) from that point after. Such an individual would have already made a private dedication to do God's will in his heart by means of prayer long before this, but this was public expression. The Spirit is also mentioned. Those whose hope it was to go to Heaven and rule with Christ needed God's Holy Spirit to change them in the sense that going to heaven was there hope. It is unnatural for any human, born of a physical background, and only experiencing life as we know it here to desire such a life in a spirit realm where nothing is physical. This would change the person's feelings of knowing that they were/are a chosen anointed one. It's like a normal man or woman waking up each morning knowing as a fact that they are a man or woman. (of course I realize our times have changed, but that's another discussion  :rolleyes: )  But hopefully you get the point.  ;)
Beyond that I'm not sure what your discussion actually was, unless the mistaken literal meaning Nicodemus had. Much like the Jews who were stumbled over the symbolic illustration of eating Jesus flesh and blood.  :rolleyes:

View Post


I was answering to somebody else's question, and said that the passage from John was talking both about baptism and a spiritual rebirth. He claimed that the water referred to part of the process of physical birth to which i disagreed.

#4 Guest_Eocene_*

Guest_Eocene_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 June 2010 - 12:41 PM

I was answering to somebody else's question, and said that the passage from John was talking both about baptism and a spiritual rebirth. He claimed that the water referred to part of the process of physical birth to which i disagreed.

View Post



Okay I see. The baptism itself is a public declaration to do God's will by becoming a follower of Jesus Christ and doing the work he did and exercising faith (practicing continually) what Jesus taught. As far as the symbolism of the water, it's like dying to a former way of life and being reborn to a new course spiritually speaking.

The old nation of Israel with it's Mosaic Law was merely a physical representation of of the reality of the Christ. I believe this is mentioned in Hebrews where the Law is called a tutor leading to Christ. All through the ages when God dealt with the Israelites as a special property (chosen people) ONLY because of the promise God made to Abraham, it was for the purpose of illustrating just how God views matters in a litter way on Earth (something Adam and Eve rejected) and of course the lineage of the promised Seed mentioned at Genesis 3:15. For centuries this had been called a sacred secret because gradually over time prophecies over time would reveal just who this promised one was. The Jews were a fleshly materialistic minded people. The majority rejected Christ while a handful accepted him and got baptised. In a sense it was a spiritual rebirth. Jews who accepted Christ could see the value of practicing not just an actual Law, but the principles and standards behind the law, something the Jewish religious leaders could never comprehend.

Hence at Pentecost, we see all those being literally publically baptised with water immersion, also receiving out pouring of holy spirit. They were the foundation of God's new chosen people. The fact that they had miraculous abilities to heal, perform other miracles and speak in other languages to further the spreading of Christianity around the then known world also served to publically serve notice of God's rejection of Israel as a nation and backing this new spiritual Israel which encompased people from every nation. Something the Jews also resented, but yet was the promise God had promised to Abraham that by means of his Seed, all the nations (those who accepted) would bless themselves.

Sorry if this is a bit long winded, but as far as a physical rebirth, no. When those with the heavenly hope are resurrected, they receive a spirit body since the heavenly realms are nothing physical as we relate to things here on Earth. This is what Jesus emphazised with the Samaritan woman who claimed her people worshipped physically at a specific holy mountain, but Jews say Jerusalem. Jesus told her times were soon to change because worship of the father would be neither in that holy mountain nor Jerusalem, but people would learn to worship God with spirit and truth. This would bind all Christians with unity no matter what race, nationality, language , culture, social standing, financial status, etc. Unfortunately much of the various Churches conduct since the death of the Apostles hasn't always followed these principles, something which Jesus himself and the Apostles foretold would happen after their deaths.

#5 chipwag64

chipwag64

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 104 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pennsylvania

Posted 06 June 2010 - 12:52 PM

I don't believe that the water, of which Jesus spoke in John 3:5 refers to baptism.
The Greek word "ek" which is translated into English as "of",as in "born OF water and OF the Spirit" (KJV), is a preposition meaning "out of".
Jesus is saying "Except a man be born "out of" water and "out of" the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God."
I believe that the water can only refer to the amniotic sac, of which, when the water breaks, the baby is born "out of" the womb.
I don't believe that Baptismal waters have a regenerating power.

#6 Geode

Geode

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 612 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 60
  • Mormon
  • Theistic Evolutionist
  • Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 07 June 2010 - 03:46 AM

I don't believe that the water, of which Jesus spoke in John 3:5 refers to baptism.
The Greek word "ek" which is translated into English as "of",as in "born OF water and OF the Spirit" (KJV), is a preposition meaning "out of".
Jesus is saying "Except a man be born "out of" water and "out of" the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God."
I believe that the water can only refer to the amniotic sac, of which, when the water breaks, the baby is born "out of" the womb.
I don't believe that Baptismal waters have a regenerating power.

View Post


Thank you for your response. Your viewpoint is the same as one that was posted in that other other discussion. It was a viewpoint I had never encountered before, as everyone I had heard comment upon the verses in question thought it referred to baptism. Now I know that there is an alternative interpretation. Another poster supplied this as a reply:

People's New Testament:

"All agree that the birth of the Spirit refers to the inward, or spiritual change that takes place, and all candid authorities agree that born of water refers to baptism. So Alford, Wesley, Abbot, Whitby, Olshausen, Tholuck, Prof. Wm. Milligan, the Episcopal Prayer Book, the Westminister Confession, the M. E. Discipline, and M. E. Doctrinal Tracts, and also the writers of the early Church all declare."

Wesley's Notes:

"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit - Except he experience that great inward change by the Spirit, and be baptized (wherever baptism can be had) as the outward sign and means of it."

Ezra Abbot:

"We are to understand Christ as he expected his auditor to understand him. John the Baptist baptized both Jew and Gentile as a sign of purification by repentance from past sins. Nicodemus would then have certainly understood by the expression, born of water, a reference to this rite of baptism."

Henry's Concise Commentary:

"The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is compared to water. It is also probable that Christ had reference to the ordinance of baptism. Not that all those, and those only, that are baptized, are saved; but without that new birth which is wrought by the Spirit, and signified by baptism, none shall be subjects of the kingdom of heaven."



#7 chipwag64

chipwag64

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 104 posts
  • Age: 44
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Pennsylvania

Posted 07 June 2010 - 01:31 PM

Geode,

I will not debate whether the water refers to baptism or not, I just don't see in this passage any reason to believe that it refers to baptism for two reasons.
#1) The word translated "born" is the Greek word "gennao" which means to procreate (focusing more on the father than the mother).
Again, as I stated previously, I don't think that Baptism, as a rite, has any procreating powers, I don't see any Biblical support. (please show me if I am missing the Scripture(s)). I grew up in a church that taught that regeneration happens in Baptism. I just didn't see much evidence of this, especially in my own life!!

#2 I believe that Jesus, in verse 6, is further explaining His statement from verse 5, when He says " That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

I believe the water may also refer to God's work of cleansing, i.e. Titus 3:5 the "washing of regeneration" which is only symbolic as regarding Baptism, not something actually achieved BECAUSE of the Baptism.

#8 Geode

Geode

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 612 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 60
  • Mormon
  • Theistic Evolutionist
  • Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 09 June 2010 - 07:48 AM

Geode,

I will not debate whether the water refers to baptism or not, I just don't see in this passage any reason to believe that it refers to baptism for two reasons.
#1) The word translated "born" is the Greek word "gennao" which means to procreate (focusing more on the father than the mother).
Again, as I stated previously, I don't think that Baptism, as a rite, has any procreating powers, I don't see any Biblical support. (please show me if I am missing the Scripture(s)). I grew up in a church that taught that regeneration happens in Baptism. I just didn't see much evidence of this, especially in my own life!!

#2 I believe that Jesus, in verse 6, is further explaining His statement from verse 5, when He says " That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

I believe the water may also refer to God's work of cleansing, i.e. Titus 3:5 the "washing of regeneration" which is only symbolic as regarding Baptism, not something actually achieved BECAUSE of the Baptism.

View Post


I am a bit confused by your first sentence in which you say you don't want to debate whether or not water in the verse refers to baptism, because as I read it the second half of your sentence and the rest of your post seems to set out to debate that point. It appears that we just disagree, as I do think the water is in reference to baptism. I am not as sure about regeneration through baptism and at this point in my life I think it may be more symbolic. I grew up in a tradition that strongly believed in a remission of sins through baptism.

Once again from the poster citing Wesley and the like:

The practice of baptism predates Christianity, obviously; John the Baptist did not simply decide to start dunking people under the water on a whim. This process, tevillah, which involved immersion in a water bath called a mikveh, was viewed in EXACTLY the terms Christ uses in John. We are told that the mikveh is the "womb of the world," and that the one who has emerged from the mikveh is "a little child just born." (Yebam. 22a, 48b)

The "born again" experience that Christ speaks of has a long tradition in Judaism, and is EXPLICITLY linked to the rite of baptism.



#9 Hawkins

Hawkins

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Age: 43
  • Christian
  • Old Earth Creationist
  • Hong Kong

Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:55 PM

I saw a debate about this on another board. One side, including myself thought that being "born of the water" refers to baptism. But there was a differing point of view that this is a reference to how all of us are born. What do people here think about this?

View Post



Jesus was answering the following question from Nicodemus.

"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

Nicodemus talked about how a body can be reborn again from a mother's womb. Jesus answered how a spirit is reborn from water. It not only implies the water baptism but more.

Hades is very much water like visually speaking. More or less like viewing things under sea (I can't give you more 'evidence' on this though). When spirit dies it is buried here in Hades. If a spirit is given life again - that leads to the symbolic water baptism.

So Jesus may not only imply the water baptism, he may also imply how a spirit's reborn from Hades through resurrection then survive the final judgment.

#10 AFJ

AFJ

    AFJ

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1625 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baton Rouge, LA
  • Interests:Bible, molecular biology, chemistry, mineralogy, geology, eschatology, history, family
  • Age: 51
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Baton Rouge, LA

Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:04 PM

I don't believe that the water, of which Jesus spoke in John 3:5 refers to baptism.
The Greek word "ek" which is translated into English as "of",as in "born OF water and OF the Spirit" (KJV), is a preposition meaning "out of".
Jesus is saying "Except a man be born "out of" water and "out of" the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God."
I believe that the water can only refer to the amniotic sac, of which, when the water breaks, the baby is born "out of" the womb.
I don't believe that Baptismal waters have a regenerating power.

View Post


I haven't read anyone here who would suggest that water would have regenerating power. However the act of baptism (following repentance and confession of faith) is the symbol of our joining the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

This is the entire teaching of Romans 6. And the apostles did not wait to baptize new believers after their confession of Christ. One will find that to be true in the book of Acts.

He that believes and is baptized shall be saved. And the Lord himself was baptized, saying to John the Baptist, "Allow it to be so, in order to fulfill all righteousness."

No, the water does not save. But the act of submission to God's will does. Baptism and the Lord's supper are acts of faith--and it is demonstrated faith that saves.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users