Question of the Day for Monday, August 5, 2013
The Beginnings of Baptism
Q. We all know the story of Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan. Where did John the Baptist learn how to baptize? To my knowledge there are no baptisms referred to in the Old Testament. Is it possible that God or even Jesus himself instructed John how to baptize prior to John beginning his public life?
— Dick LaReau
A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin:
Christians employ the word “baptism” to describe the first Sacrament of Initiation, but the word simply means, “to wash.” The Old Testament may not use the term “baptism,” but God’s people understood baptismal washings. In the Book of Exodus, when the Israelites set out on their journey across the desert, God told Moses: “Go to the people and have them sanctify themselves today and tomorrow. Have them wash their garments” (Ex 19:10).
Read the rest of the answer at Our Sunday Visitor: http://www.osv.com/TCANav/TCAQuestionoftheDay/Aug592013/tabid/8729/Default.aspx