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Proselyte Baptism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 February 2009

T. F. Torrance
Affiliation:
Proselyte Baptism

Extract

By three things did Israel enter into the Covenant, by circumcision, and baptism and sacrifice. Circumcision was in Egypt, as it was written, ‘No uncircumcised person shall eat thereof’ (Exod. xii. 48). Baptism was in the wilderness just before the giving of the Law: as it is written, ‘Sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes’ (Exod. xix. 10). And sacrifice, as it is said, ‘And he sent young men of the children of Israel which offered burnt offerings’ (Exod. xxiv. 5). And so in all ages when a Gentile is willing to enter into the Covenant, and gather himself under the wings of the Shekinah of God, and take upon him the yoke of the Law, he must be circumcised and be baptized and bring a sacrifice. As it is written, ‘As you are, so shall the strangerbe’ (Num. xv. 55). How are you? So likewise the stranger (or proselyte) through all generations: by circumcision and baptism, and bringing of a sacrifice. And what is the stranger' sacrifice? A burnt offering of a beast, or two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons, both of them for a burnt-offering. And at this time when there is no sacrificing, they must be circumcised and be baptized; and when the Temple shall be built, they are to bring the sacrifice. A stranger that is circumcised and not baptized, or baptized and not circumcised, is not a proselyte till he be both circumcised and baptized: and he must be baptized in the presence of three…. Even as they circumcise and baptize strangers, so do they circumcise and baptize servants that are received from the heathen into the name of servitude…. The Gentile that is made proselyte and the slave that is made free, behold he is like a child new born.

Type
Short Studies
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1954

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