this to mean deep waters for immersion purposes, they are mistaken, for after studying this verse, the opposite conclusion is reached. It is difficult to imagine the immersion of large numbers of people in "a place of springs."
The expression "polla hudata" is found four other times in the New Testament (Revelation 1:15; 14:2; 17:1; and 19:6). Each time it is translated as "many waters." John 3:23 is the only time where it is translated as "much water."
John's baptizing of people in the Jordan River does not specify the mode used. Immersionists frequently quote the following verse as proof that John the Baptist baptized by immersion. "And there went out unto him all the land of J udea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins" (Mark 1:5).
The word "in," or "en" in Greek, used here when reading "in the river Jordan" is translated in the Gospel of Matthew as "on, with, by, among, unto, because, in, and at," according to its various contexts. Never does "en" mean "under." In this context, "en" means that John baptized people "at" or "in" the river Jordan, but not "under" the water. The same word "en" is used in the previous verse, "John did baptize in ('en') the wilderness" (Mark 1 :4a), or again "These things were done in ('en') Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing" (John 1:28). Certainly John did not baptize under the wilderness or under Bethabara. In like manner, he baptized in or at Jordan. No proof of immersion is provided here. If John was in rather that at Jordan, we could picture him standing knee- or waistdeep in the water and baptizing by placing water on or pouring it over the heads of those being baptized just as readily as immersing them under the water. Scripture speaks of John baptizing "with water" (Matthew 3:11), rather than in or under the water.
Various practical considerations render sprinkling or pouring a more probable mode. No mention is made in Scripture of the crowds changing into baptismal or spare garments before or after their baptism, nor do we read of health or modesty
Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean.
John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.