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Page 378

 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Then they that gladly received His Word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

- Acts 2:38-41

 



 

Then they that gladly received His Word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

- Acts 2:41

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Yemen of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

- Acts 2: 14-15

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

- Acts 2:40

 

Let us carefully examine all the examples of New Testament baptisms in search of the mode used in each. Note carefully that no direct testimony is given regarding the method used in any of the examples.

1. The baptism of 3,000 on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38-41) The difficulties of attempting to picture this baptism as one taking place by immersion would include the following:

  • No mention is made of the entire multitude of 3,000 leaving the temple area where Peter preached to them. Scripture simply states, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized" (Acts 2:41a). A sufficient quantity of water to three thousand people was not available in the temple.

  • In biblical times people carried water to their homes in jugs borne on their heads. Bathing was done by pouring water over one part of the body at a time. Immersion for bathing was not practiced due to the scarcity of water. The Jewish people, the Sanhedrin, and the Roman soldiers would never have allowed the followers of the crucified Jesus to pollute their scarce, clean, precious water supply by immersing 3,000 people in one of the few pools located in the city. To travel to the Jordan River is a walk of approximately eighteen miles (twenty-nine kilometers) from the temple. Had a trip of this distance occurred with a crowd of this size, would it not have been recorded in Scripture?

  • The baptism of 3,000 people took place on Pentecost Day (Acts 2:41). If all eleven apostles immersed one person every two minutes, they would need to be standing in the water baptizing for over nine hours without stopping. Peter began preaching to the multitude at 9:00 a.m. (Acts 2:14-15), and "with many other words did he testify and exhort" them (Acts 2:40). If he preached for an hour, the soonest the multitude could leave the temple would be 10:00 a.m. If the entire multitude could walk the eighteen miles (or twenty-nine kilometers) to the Jordan River in three hours, they would have arrived at 1:00 p.m. If baptism by immersion took place without stopping to eat or rest, the soonest the baptizing could have been finished would have been after 10:00 p.m. In Canaan, daylight hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This


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