Baptism by immersion is understood by some to imply submersion of the whole body beneath the surface of the water. Scholars generally agree that the early church baptized by immersion. It also used other forms. Immersion was probably the norm, but at various times and places immersion, whether full or partial, and also total immersion swimming pdf were probably in use.
Baptism of the sick or dying was usually by means other than even partial immersion and was still considered valid. Others speak of early Christians as baptizing either by submersion or by immersion. Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says that at least from the 2nd century baptism was administered by a method “whereby part of the candidate’s body was submerged in the baptismal water which was poured over the remainder”. Lothar Heiser, Jean-Charles Picard, Malka Ben Pechat, and Everett Ferguson agree that early Christian baptism was normally by total immersion. La Sor, Heiser, Picard, and Pechat. Commenting on early church practice, other reference works speak of immersion without specifying whether it was total or partial.
A recent Bible encyclopedia speaks of the “consensus of scholarly opinion” that the baptismal practice of John the Baptist and the apostles was by immersion. A standard Bible dictionary says that baptism was normally by immersion. Grimes says “There is little doubt that early Christian baptism was adult baptism by immersion. Christian baptism was administered by affusion”. His presentation of this view has been described by Porter and Cross as “a compelling argument”.
Laurie Guy says immersion was probably the norm, but that at various times and places full immersion, partial immersion and affusion were probably in use. Tischler says that total immersion seems to have been most commonly used. Stander and Louw argue that immersion was the prevailing practice of the Early Church. Therefore, under normal circumstances it ought to be the preferred, even the sole, practice of the church. Most scholars agree that immersion was the practice of the New Testament church.
Archaeological evidence from the early centuries shows that baptism was sometimes administered by submersion or immersionbut also by affusion from a vessel when water was poured on the candidate’s head”. However, the archaeological and iconographic evidence is ambiguous on this point. Many – if not most – surviving baptismal fonts are too shallow to have allowed submersion. NT baptisms were by immersion”, stating that some early baptisteries were deep enough to stand in but not broad enough to lie down in, and mentioning that ancient representation of Christ at his baptism show him standing in waist-deep water. Submersion, as opposed to partial immersion, may even have been a minority practice in early Christianity. 16 short chapters, is probably the earliest known written instructions, outside of the Bible, for administering baptism. The first version of it was written c.
The second, with insertions and additions, was written c. This work, rediscovered in the 19th century, provides a unique look at Christianity in the Apostolic Age. Now about baptism: this is how to baptize. Give public instruction on all these points, and then baptize in running water, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. If you do not have running water, baptize in some other. If you cannot in cold, then in warm.
If you have neither, then pour water on the head three times in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Before the baptism, moreover, the one who baptizes and the one being baptized must fast, and any others who can. And you must tell the one being baptized to fast for one or two days beforehand. Commentaries, including those that distinguish immersion from submersion, typically understand that the Didache indicates a preference for baptizing by immersion.