Was Anyone Baptized Before John the Baptist?

Dove-tailing my Born-Again post, my next question that arose in my mind was this one.

We have previously explored the question in this blog of did anyone go to heaven before Jesus (see discussion here).  It was determined that Jesus went first and then those who had been awaiting to enter heaven did so.

I believe this: One does not have to be baptized to get into heaven; one only has to accept Jesus into their heart.  Others said one must be baptized to reach heaven and quoted scripture as well.

So when did baptism arise and what’s it purpose?

John the Baptize began baptizing people before Jesus.  John the Baptize baptized Jesus and in so doing, “The Spirit descended on him like a dove…and a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:10

Was John the Baptist the first to begin baptizing people?

I believe so, yes.  He is called John the Baptist, right?

Then Jesus came along, was baptized, and commissioned his disciples to do the same.

I have concluded with two links.  One describes how the Old Testament leads up to baptism and even says how the flooding of the earth and the crossing of the Red Sea was a form of baptism.

It’s interesting so I’m including it here.

But baptism to me is accepting of Christ so I’m hesitant to see how these above examples could be baptism in the modern sense of the word when Christ didn’t exist yet.

This second link does a great job about explaining baptism and its purposes here.

I’m curious as to what your knowledge/opinions are on the history of baptism.

11 thoughts on “Was Anyone Baptized Before John the Baptist?

  1. I do not believe that you have to be baptized to be saved, or to accept Jesus as Savior, nor to enter Heaven. I believe that being baptized is an outward sign of an inward decision. I do believe that Jesus wants us to be baptized to show the world that we have accepted Him and I belive you should be totally submerged as He was.

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    1. -How do you explain verses like this one when Jesus says, ” I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again (baptized) he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven.”? John 3:5 Or Peter who said, “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “

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  2. This comment doesn’t address your question, however, I have a question of my own. I know that scripture specifically says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” I am of the faith that sprinkles infants. I had no conscious knowledge of this event and have the faith of my parents who commited me to Christ when I was a baby. I have had this explained to me by various pastors, but I still question. Because to me baptism should be a conscious act after you acknowledge your belief. What are your thoughts?

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    1. Hey Mary,

      When I was a kid, I just knew you were supposed to get baptized at some point in your life. Today, I understand baptism as a conscious choice when one is older (our church won’t let kids younger than 6 get baptized) to accept Jesus into their heart. I agree with this premise and with you.

      Do I believe you have to be baptized to go to Heaven? No.

      I am unfamiliar with the religions who do infant baptism so hopefully someone else here can explain. I’m not sure what the logic is but I would guess it stems from ancient times when the odds of babies dying before the age of 5 was over 50% so parents decided to baptize their children to ensure Heaven. Not sure though. This is a guess.

      Good question though. I will do more research as the time affords.

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      1. My understanding is that it is purely a tradition that arose out of the scriptures like the following: Acts 18:8
        Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

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  3. When Christ was crucified he said to one of those crucified WITH him:
    “TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE” (Luke 23:43). There was NO time to have him baptised.
    Ditto for deathbed conversions nowadays.
    Based on that, I believe that baptism is NOT necessary.

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    1. My understanding of this event is that the covenant of Baptism for repentance of sin and receiving of the Holy Spirit doesn’t take effect until Christ dies on the cross for our sins and rises from the grave having conquered death.

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  4. As the church conquered the pagan world, infant baptism is arising as a universal practice. In part this appears to be based upon the fact that even in the ancient church there was the concept that baptism was the initiation rite into the community of faith, and infants are born into that community so are baptized. A second factor appears to have been the rise of the understanding of original sin and the belief that baptism washed away the stain of original sin. Third, the ordinances very early were understood as actually conveying grace and accomplishing something spiritually. As early as A.D. 400 Augustine appeals to the universal practice of infant baptism as proof that the church saw infants born with the stain of original sin. We find explicit mention of infant baptism as early as Tertullian around A.D. 220. Tertullian mentions the practice in conjunction with sponsors who would aid in the child’s spiritual training. I would assume that this is the origin of the practice of godparents. In the year 416 infant baptism was made compulsory throughout the Roman Empire by law. So to this day, infant baptism is practiced in catholic and Lutheran churches.

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  5. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV)

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  6. Paradise was a transitional place for Old Testament Saints it was not Heaven, the saints that died Old Testament were in limbo because Christ was not Crucified. The dispensation of the law was fulfilled when Christ gave up the ghost at Calvery.

    Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (Matthew 27:50-53 KJV)

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  7. As a person toils with baptism and they say it was for Jews only, Apostle Paul’s letters still speak of it among Gentiles the same gospel was preached both Jews and Gentiles. You must be born of both water and Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God according to J.C.

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