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Page 387

    To picture Jesus' baptism as one of immersion would necessitate a conflict between the mode of the sign and its fulfillment.

    The Greek words translated "up out of the water" in Matthew 3:16 and in Mark 1:10 never mean coming up from under the water. The Gospel of Mark uses the Greek preposition "ek" which can mean "from" or "out of," as described previously when considering the Ethiopian eunuch's baptism. Matthew uses the word "apo" which is most frequently translated as "away from" and occasionally as "out of." In the Gospel of Matthew "apo" is translated sixty-five times as "away from" and ten times as "out of." The context is to determine the choice of preposition in both cases.

    The following three statements can be made regarding the Greek prepositions used to describe Jesus' baptism:

      a. They probably mean "from" and "away from" the water -the most common usage

      b. They could possibly mean "out of" the water

      c. They never mean "from under" the water

    Therefore, the immersionists who argue that the phrase "when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water" (Matthew 3:16a) proves immersion, are mistaken. The phrase means that Jesus went away from the water after being baptized at the water, or that He went out of the water after stepping or wading into it, i.e., knee-deep or waist-deep, after being baptized there. This phrase provides no evidence regarding which mode of baptism was used.

  • The expression" Jesus went up straightway out of the water" (Matthew 3: 16a) does not state that" Jesus was raised from under the water," as the Baptists frequently interpret this verse. To do so would imply almost a resisting attitude on the part of Jesus to His baptism, if, when He was placed under the water, He "went up straightway out of the water." Consequently, this certainly cannot refer to being raised from



Jesus was baptized by the Holy Spirit. Did the Holy Spirit descend upon Him from above, or did He descend down into the Spirit? When considering the mode of Jesus' baptism, why is this important?


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