A Telling Admission

My present sermon series has brought me to John 3:22-36. In studying this passage, I just opened Calvin’s commentary and noticed these surprising words about John 3:22-23 (surprising words are in bold):

It is probable that Christ, when the feast was past, came into that part of Judea which was in the vicinity of the town Enon, which was situated in the tribe of Manassah. The Evangelist says that there were many waters there, and these were not so abundant in Judea. Now geographers tell us, that these two towns, Enon and Salim, were not far from the confluence of the river Jordan and the brook Jabbok; and they add that Scythopolis was near them. From these words, we may infer that John and Christ administered baptism by plunging the whole body beneath the water. . .

Of course, he goes on to explain that we need not follow the mode of immersion today, but it is interesting to see John Calvin argue that baptism, as it is described in Scripture from the ministries of John and Jesus, was by immersion.

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2 Responses to “A Telling Admission”

  1. Ali Says:

    Hi Aaron

    Yes, it is a commonly said by those who believe that immersion is the only acceptable mode of baptism that the reformers (including Calvin and Luther) understood baptism to most correctly be performed via full immersion. I have even seen a quote where Calvin states that baptizo means immerse.

    Oh well, even Calvin ‘aint perfect 😉

  2. Kenan Says:

    Even in his Institutes, he writes like a Baptist in Book IV, ch 15, but like a pædobaptist in IV, ch 16.

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