Mark 7:4

Mark 7:4
"And when they come from the market, except they wash . . ."


Luke 11:38
"And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner."


Since the Greek word, "baptizo" is translated "wash" and "washed" in these passages, it is argued that one cannot insist that the form of baptism must be immersion.


  1. These are the only two passages in the A.V. where "baptizo" is translated other than baptism. In 74 other passages "baptizo" is translated by "baptize".1 The Greek word, "rhantizo" which means "sprinkle" is never translated "baptize".


  2. The word "baptizo" comes from "bapto" which means, "to cover wholly with a fluid . . . to fully wet . . . by implication, to stain (as with a dye): dip".2


  3. The descriptive language of Biblical baptisms clearly implies immersion. For example:
    1. John the Baptist - "John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there." (John 3:23).
    2. Jesus - "Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water . . ." (Matthew 3:16).
    3. Eunuch - " . . . and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water . . ." (Acts 8:38, 39).


  4. Baptism is likened to a burial in Rom. 6:4, (cf. Col. 2:12) "Therefore, we are buried with him [Jesus Christ] by baptism into death." The figure of death and burial is preserved in immersion in water; it is not preserved in sprinkling or pouring.
  1. The Greek word "baptismos" is translated "washing" in the A.V. of Mark 7:4, 8 and Heb. 9:10. Return


  2. James Strong, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, (New York: Abingdon Press, 1965). Return
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