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If it should be said, the phrase must signify that they were baptized of him in the water of Jordan, I answer, The evangelists give a different explanation of it. That it was not the water of the river, but the country on its banks; is evident from the fuller and more particular account of the apostle John. What Matthew calls šv Iogdávn, in Jordan, John calls šv Bnor aßagã, in Bethabara, and expressly says, it was rigar TOữ ’Iogocvov, beyond Jordan. I do not say, at any distance from the river. I am willing to adopt Dr. C.'s translation of négav, in Matth. iv. 15. and to say,
situate on the Jordan.” But the phrase will not carry us one jot further than the margin of the stream. By observing attentively the narrative in the first chapter of John, from the 19th to the 28th verse inclusive, the reader will perceive, that if John baptized standing in the water of the river, then he bore his testimony to the priests and Levites from Jerusalem standing in the water. John i. 28. ταύτα εν Βηθαβαρά εγένετο πέραν του Ιορδάνου, "ΟΠΟΥ ήν Ιωάννης βαπτίζων. “ These things were done in Bethabara, beyond, or situate upon
the Jordan, WHERE John was baptizing." That this was precisely the place spoken of in Matth. ii. 6. is confirmed by John iii. 26. where it is declared to be the place where Jesus was with him, (as narrated, Matth. iii. 13.) and received his testimony. Ραββί, ός ήν META' ΣΟΥ ΠΕΡΑΝ του Ιορδάνου, και συ
the immediate bank of the river. This second bank is so beset with bushes and trees, such as tamarisks, willows, oleanders, &c. that you can see no water till you have made your way through them."
lesuaprugnxas. “Rabbi, he who was with THEE ON the Jordan, to whom thou barest witness.” It is also particularly marked in John X. 40. και απήλθε πάλιν πέραν του Ιορδάνου, εις τον τόπον "ΟΠΟΥ ήν 'Ιωάννης ΤΟ ΠΡΩΤΟΝ βαπτίζων. . “ And he went away again beyond Jordan, (to the country on the Jordan) into (unto*) the place WHERE John AT FIRST baptized.
If these passages be duly considered, they will explain the šv rõ 'Iogdáun Torajo, in the river Jordan, of Mark i. 5. and also Mark i. 9. “ And it came to pass in those days, ήλθεν Ιησούς από Ναζαρέτ της Γαλιλαίας, και εβαπτίσθη υπό Ιωάννου, εις τον Ιορδάνην. Και ευθέως αναβαίνων από του ύδατος. κ. τ. λ. Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee to Jordan, (to the country on the banks of Jordan) and was baptized by John. And immediately on coming from the water," &c. So I think the passage ought to be pointed and translated, although the arrangement of the clauses is not of the smallest importance to the present argument. The expression is equivalent in Matth. iii. 13. “ Then cometh Jesus, από της Γαλιλαίας 'Επι τον Ιορδάνην, from the Galilee Upon the Jordan (from the country of Galilee to the country upon the Jordan) to John, to be baptized of him."
I have no doubt that John the Baptist usually preached in “the country about Jordan,” tav megíxwgov poũ ’Iogdávou, Luke iii. 3. as Christ afterwards did for a time in the country about the Lake of Tiberias. I believe that John frequented the banks of the Jor
* See the Appendix, on sis.
dan, as the most convenient place of the wilderness, not only for multitudes to attend him, but also for having water at hand with which to baptize them. But the whole language of scripture, on this subject, relates to the place where he administered the ordinance, and not to the act, nor to the mode, of his administration. His baptizing “ in Jordan,” Matth. iii. 6. was identically his baptizing " in Bethabara upon the Jordan,” John i. 28. and was exactly similar to his baptizing “ in Ænon near to Salim,” John iii. 23.
Dr. C. urges next what, along with many, he alleges to be the meaning of βαπτίζειν. . 6 Both in sacred authors and in classical,” he says, “it signifies to dip, to plunge, to immerse, and was rendered by Tertullian, the oldest of the Latin fathers, tingere, the term used for dying cloth, which was by immersion." His alleged significations of Bansilav, of tingere, and of the mode of dying, as being by immersion, have been already considered. And as he has not specified any of his sacred or classical authorities, we cannot say more on the subject at present, than that we decline admitting his assertion. His appeal however to Tertullian must not pass unnoticed. I can have no objection to the illustration of words from various languages. I have in this Essay endeavoured to illustrate Burtiça (the word in question), by a reference to Latin and English as well as to Greek. Is it not however a marvellous thing, that the question is about the meaning of a Greek word, and that for deciding it, Dr. C. refers us to the authority of the translation of
it by a Latin father? And that this is the only ancient authority which he has specified on the subject ? Were there no writings of the oldest Greek fathers, to which reference might have been made? What should we have thought of Johnson's English Dictionary, if he had supported his explanations by authorities solely among the French writers? The reader will deceive himself, if he suppose that the Doctor did not want authorities among the Greek fathers, and was thinking merely how foreigners had translated the word. Gladly would he have referred to the oldest of the Greek fathers; but he could find nothing at all in their writings to support his translation of Barrilaiv. Their style, in speaking of Baptism, has already been mentioned.* The fact is, the idea of immersion in Baptism seems to have arisen among the Latin fathers of Africa ; and that, not from their opinion of the meaning of the original words of the institution, but from their unwarrantable zeal for improving on the simplicity of that, and of all the other institutions, of Christianity. It originated with Tertullian of Carthage, who embraced Christianity, about A.D. 185; and was followed by Cyprian, whose conversion happened in A. D. 246. These two (the one of whom was in the habit of calling the other his master) preferred translating Batti(e. by tingere, (a word we have seen of similar latitude with βαπτίζειν) ) that they might thereby give room for the innovation which they patronized. But they soon found that
tingere was not sufficient for their multiplying projects. From tingere they proceeded to intingere, from that to mergere, and last of all to the frequentativë mergitare, to favour the further improvement of the trine immersion ; that is, immersion at mentioning the Father, immersion at mentioning the Son, and immersion at mentioning the Holy Spirit. I believe the following account of the matter, under Bansifw, in Valpy's Edition of Stephens' Thesaurus, now publishing, is a just one. “ Apud: Christianos autem Barricen de solenni illo mysterio initiationis dictum, qua
Christo initiamur, nom. suum retinet; nam Baptizare dicimus, et qui Laváre s. Abluere pro Baptizare, itidemque Ablutionem s. Lotionem pro Baptismo s. Baptismate, dicere ausi sunt, explosi jure optimo fuerunt. Cyprian. tamen cum alibi, tum in quadam Ep. ad Cæc. certo, ut opinor, consilio, pro Battitoutes dixit Tingentes: nam hæc Matth. xxviii. 19. Maonτεύσατε πάντα τα έθνη, βαπτίζοντες αυτούς εις το όνομα του Πατρός, και του Υιού, και του αγίου Πνέυματος, interpr. Docete omnes gentes, tingentes eos in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Sequitur autem in hac interpr. Tertull. magistrum suum, qui non solum Tingere, sed et Intingere interpr. Quibusdam tamen v. Gr. hac de re dictum Latino Mergere interpr. magis placuit. Atque adeo idem Tertull. de Cor. Mil. magis proprie interpr. Mergitare, servata propter trinam in baptismo immersionem, forma, quam frequentativam Gramm. vocant: sicut a Búrtw deductum Bansilw eam habere videtur.”, “ But among Christians, Burrile, applied to that solemn symbol of ini,