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Was Jesus baptized by immersion?

Full Question

Mark 1:9-10 reveals that Jesus was baptized by immersion. How do you square this with Catholic tradition?


This passage doesn’t say Christ was baptized by immersion, only that after his baptism, Jesus “came up out of the water.” This phrase could refer to immersion, but needn’t. Jesus could have stepped into the shallows and had John the Baptist pour water on his head. Even if Christ had been baptized by immersion, this wouldn’t present a problem for Catholics; we accept baptism by immersion as a valid mode of receiving the sacrament.



  1. Mike Reply

    Because of the phrases “Buried with Christ” in Romans 6:4 and “buried with him” in Colossians 2:12. You don’t bury someone by pouring a cup of dirt over their head. Plus study the Greek etymology of “baptidzo” it means to immerse o submerge. Not pour or sprinkle. The term was transliterated into English by the KJV so as not to offend the Church of England, which practiced infant baptism (also not found in scripture)

    1. Michelle Reply

      Entire households were baptized. One can easily assume that, that included babies.

      1. margieinoz Reply

        Hypothetical conversation between John and Jenny. John “why do I need to be baptised, I was baptised as a baby.” Jenny “the Bible says we ust repent and be baptised knowing our old man is crucified with Christ, did you know that and repent when you were baptised as a baby.?” John “no, but whole families were baptised in the jailor’s home and there must have been babies there”. Jenny ” no, there was a 15 year old boy and a 12 year old girl” John “where did you get that from?” Jenny “same place you got your babies!”

      2. Prince Allison Reply

        According to your comment “baptidzo" it means to immerse o submerge. It doesn’t say immerse or submerge in water. Does it? If I use your same tactic about ‘not found in the bible’ as an argument, in response to you I would say that the bible doesn’t speak against infant baptism either.

  2. catstclair12000 Reply

    Jesus said that the children should be allowed to come to Him. How can they come to Him if they are not baptized into his death and resurrection? Only the Pharisees would think that the amount of water used would determine if the person was baptized or not. Immersion does bring out the sign matter much better, but let’s not get out the measuring cup for water baptism. Since baptism by blood and by desire are also allowed, amount seems pointless. Jesus promised Paradise to the Good Thief and never stopped to baptize him at all.

  3. Eric Reply

    Catstclair12000 … The Lord had not died yet. So, while still alive hanging from the cross He had the power to forgive the thief of his sins, just as He had power to forgive others of their sin while still alive here on earth. He is no longer with us here on earth physically, but now after his resurrection is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven. It is only by baptism that peoples sins are washed away, and then and only then will they then receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

  4. Edy Reply

    Christians was for the candidate to be immersed, either totally (submerged completely under the water) or partially (standing or kneeling in water while water was poured on him or her).[a] While John the Baptist’s use of a deep river for his baptism suggests immersion,[14] pictorial and archaeological evidence of Christian baptism from the 3rd century onward indicates that a normal form was to have the candidate stand in water while water was poured over the upper body.[15][16] Other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead, a method called affusion.

    Martyrdom was identified early in Church history as “baptism by blood”, enabling martyrs who had not been baptized by water to be saved. Later, the Catholic Church identified a baptism of desire, by which those preparing for baptism who die before actually receiving the sacrament are considered saved.[17] As evidenced also in the common Christian practice of infant baptism, baptism was universally seen by Christians as in some sense necessary for salvation, until Huldrych Zwingli in the 16th century denied its necessity.[18]

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