It has been the dominant rule in worldwide Christianity since the 5th and 6th centuries. It is also practiced in Germany by the people's churches and in some free churches . The majority of the baptized church communities do not recognize child baptisms and practice the so-called baptism of believers .
New Testament texts and their controversial interpretation
There is no detailed teaching about baptism in the New Testament. Therefore, nowhere is the question of whether or not children should be baptized is discussed. Also, there is no explicit mention of a child's baptism; Rather, it can be said unequivocally: There are no reports on the performance of infant baptism. However, there are passages that can be understood to mean that even underage children were baptized when whole families were baptized in New Testament times.
- Mark 10.13-16 EU
- “Children were brought to him so that he could lay hands on them. But the disciples harshly rejected the people. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them: Let the children come to me; don't stop them! Because people like them own the kingdom of God. Amen, I tell you: whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it. And he took the children in his arms; then he laid his hands on them and blessed them. "
- This is seen by some as a call to allow children and those who are intellectually similar to children to fully participate in the Christian community. According to Paul, the church is the body of Christ (cf. Rom 12.5 EU : “Through the one Spirit we were all received into one body in baptism”). With baptism, people become members of this body through the Holy Spirit ( 1 Cor 12:13 EU ). Therefore, in the opinion of the proponents of infant baptism, children should also be "baptized into" it.
- Opponents of infant baptism point out that no statement about baptism is made in this text. Therefore some conclude from the statement “the kingdom of heaven belongs to them” that salvation is open to children even without baptism and that they therefore do not need baptism for salvation.
- On the other hand, they refer to the many biblical passages in which faith in Jesus Christ is mentioned as a prerequisite for salvation (e.g. Joh 1,12 EU , Joh 3,16 EU , Act 16,31 EU , Rom 10 , 9 EU , Gal 2.16 EU , Gal 3.26 EU , Eph 2.8 EU , Phil 3.9 EU ). The opponents of infant baptism assume that infants do not yet believe in Jesus Christ ( Rom. 10.14 EU ).
- John 3.5 EU
- "Jesus replied, Amen, amen, I tell you, if someone is not born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
- The argument for the need for salvation of baptism, as it can be found especially in the Augsburg Confession and in Catholic teaching, refers mainly to the biblical passages John 3.5 EU and Galatians 3.26f EU . It is argued that a person's belief alone does not bring attainment of salvation. Salvation can only be obtained through baptism. According to this understanding, a rejection of baptism means at the same time the rejection of God's saving act and thus blasphemy of his spirit (cf. Luke 12,10 EU ).
- According to the opponents of infant baptism, this view is refuted by Jesus' statement in Luke 23:43 EU . Here Jesus gives the promise to someone crucified with him that he would be with him in paradise on the same day. Since the crucified could no longer be baptized, this statement of Jesus contradicts the need for salvation of baptism.
- Opponents of infant baptism also refer to EU 4.5 within the Gospel of John . According to this, belief alone is sufficient for salvation, without any actions having to be performed. They also assume that with the new birth out of “water and spirit” a Hendiadyoin (double expression for one and the same thing) is given for the spirit (cf. 7.38f EU ), or the word of God is meant there "Water" is also used in other places as a symbol for the word of God (cf. Eph 5:26 EU ).
- Acts 16.15 EU ; 16.30-34 EU ; 18.8 EU and 1st Corinthians 1.16 EU
- Individuals are baptized with "their house" or with "all their relatives" ( Acts 16:33 EU ).
- See also New Testament house baptisms .
- The house of a person is representative used in the OT for the family and the servants. That is why proponents of infant baptism see it as a justification for infant baptism through the example of the apostles.
The proponents assume that children are implied. Opponents point out that children are not specifically mentioned; and even if young children were among those families, we would still have no evidence that they were baptized. The phrase "he was baptized with his whole house" is also not proof, because OT sometimes speaks of the "whole house" even though only part of the family was meant (1 Samuel 1:21: one of the two women and the newborn Samuel stayed at home). In any case, when it comes to such an important practice as infant baptism, opponents consider a clear example in the Bible to be important. But there is no such thing in the case of infant baptism.
- Mission in Matthew 28: 16-20 EU
“The eleven disciples went to Galilee to the mountain that Jesus had named them. And when they saw Jesus, they bowed down before him. But some had doubts. Then Jesus came up to them and said to them: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go to all peoples, and make all men my disciples; baptize them in the names of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey all I have commanded you. Be certain: I am with you every day until the end of the world. "
- The so-called missionary order is aimed at Christians who still have doubts. Proponents of infant baptism conclude that perfect faith is not required in either the person being baptized or the person being baptized. Human inadequacy takes a back seat to the God-given mandate and Christ's authority (verse 18). For this reason, the churches also baptize children.
- In addition, doctrine follows baptism in verses 19 and 20, so that the sequence of baptism and teaching in infant baptism has a biblical reference here. However, it must be mentioned here that the first command is to make disciples (successors). Many believe it is unlikely that Jesus was referring to infants.
- The third argument put forward is that the commission of Jesus specifically means a baptism of the peoples , and peoples include both adults and children, both believers and doubters.
- Opponents of infant baptism refer to accounts in the Acts of the Apostles (e.g. 8.26–28 EU ; 16.14–15 EU ) according to which people were baptized after they had listened to a sermon and had said yes. This is hardly possible, especially with very young children, so they lack the prerequisites for baptism.
Child baptism in the old church
Since the late 2nd century AD there is clear evidence that infant and child baptisms were practiced:
- Tertullian , * around 160, lawyer and Christian writer from North Africa, refused to baptize children out of concern that they might later prove unworthy of baptism. He does not question the validity of a baptism of children. His remarks prove that the practice of infant baptism existed in his time.
- Origen , * around 185, theologian in Caesarea in Palestine , claimed in his writings that z. Some were later condemned that infant baptism was apostolic, i.e. H. was already exercised in early Christianity. He considered it necessary because the preexisting soul of the newborn was tainted by conception and birth .
- Cyprian , * around 200, Bishop of Carthage , advocated baptism immediately after birth so as not to endanger her salvation, as she was affected by original sin . As a further argument he cited: For as little as God looks at the person, he just as little looks at old age, since he proves himself to be a father without any distinction to all who want to obtain heavenly grace .
- The Traditio Apostolica , a church ordinance around 220, also takes into account the baptism of small children, for whom their parents should speak . Normally, however, the baptized person actively answers three baptismal questions.
Inscriptions and reports from the same period show that children and adults were often baptized on their deathbed. A general baptism of young children was therefore not yet practiced.
Augustine and the doctrine of original sin
The theological dispute between Augustine and Pelagius is symptomatic of the later discussion about infant baptism. In this dispute about the sin of man and the grace of God, the main focus was on original sin and the greatness of God's grace. For Augustine, the existing ecclesiastical practice of baptizing small children too was evidence of the existence of inherited guilt. Faith can come later. Infant baptism is particularly recommended because the underage child is not yet able to oppose the ordinance with contradicting thoughts.
Since infant baptism was viewed as an expression of grace, the positions subsequently tightened. After some hesitation, the Church decided in favor of the Augustinian position and in the 4th Synod of Carthage in 418 ordered the baptism of children of Christian parents soon after their birth, “in order to save them from the danger of damnation that threatens them if they are not baptized to die". There is also talk of a kind of "intermediate heaven" for children who have died without being baptized. This doctrine of limbus infantium was further specified in the Middle Ages, but has no biblical basis.
The interpretation of baptism as a sacrament , an expression also coined by Augustine, led to the fact that the understanding of baptism changed from conscious entry under the rule of Christ to a work of salvation ( opus operandum ) that had to be performed in order to share in the divine To attain sphere.
In the non-Latin Eastern Churches , Augustine's doctrine of original sin was not taken into account, but baptism and the other sacraments were viewed early on as a “holy secret” that should not be withheld from anyone. The church father Jerome naturally taught infant baptism around 350 as the better variant. However, Cyprian and Hieronymus are pre-Augustinian, but still western church fathers, who are therefore closer to the eastern churches than later western theologians, but are not necessarily representative of them.
The eastern church father Gregory of Nyssa argued a little later in his work On the Early Death of Infants that God was not so unjust that he would equate a newborn child who has not yet had the opportunity to sin with a long-time sinner. The thought that an older child would die unbaptized did not occur to him at all, as infant baptism was already so natural. According to this belief that an infant who has died unbaptized is by no means condemned, baptisms in the Eastern Churches are usually somewhat later than in the Roman Catholic Church; Baptism on the fortieth day of life is common. The complete immersion of the person to be baptized has always been maintained here.
More theological arguments
In addition to the doctrine of original sin, the typological interpretation of circumcision to baptism served as a theological basis for infant baptism. Since Jesus, like every Jewish boy, entered the old covenant on the eighth day of his life through circumcision , Christians should also allow their children to enter the new covenant as babies at baptism . In Col 2,11 EU baptism is called "circumcision through Christ". The subsequent interpretation of baptism and faith in verse 12 as a “being buried and resurrected” is already from the point of view of internal logic a further argument for baptism at the beginning of life as a temporally and materially “anticipatory” act of God, whereas faith is that necessary but secondary human response.
The fact that infant baptism was increasingly becoming the rule was due to the public recognition of the Christian religion in the Roman Empire in the 4th century . On April 30, 311, Emperor Galerius issued his Edict of Tolerance, and in the spring of 313, Emperor Constantine issued the Milan Convention , in which Christianity was also allowed unrestricted religious practice. The development from a Jewish sect to a folk religion - as Judaism had already been - was thus initiated for the Roman Empire. With the edict of the Three Emperor in 380 and the ban on pagan cults in 391, the Christian church finally became the state religion of Rome . However, there was no compulsory membership of the Christian religion.
The adult baptism has been no time in church history into disuse. The traditional baptismal ordinances of the Catholic-type churches are geared towards them and take into account the baptism of small children rather incidentally, e.g. For example, they cannot walk and speak yet, so an adult has to wear them and speak in their place. A baptismal ordinance that fully considers the child to be baptized has only existed since the liturgical reform after the Second Vatican Council .
Controversy about infant baptism during the Reformation
During the Reformation , the practice of infant baptism was largely and naturally continued. But for the first time since ancient times, the justification of infant baptism was also questioned, now with new arguments. Above all, it was the Anabaptists who radically rejected it. In the first article of the Schleitheim Confession of 1527 compiled by Michael Sattler it says:
“ Baptism is to be given to all who have been taught about repentance and change of life and who truly believe that their sins are removed in Christ, and to all who want to walk in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and with him in him Want to be buried in death, so that they may rise with him, and all those who, in such an opinion, desire it from us and demand it of themselves. With this every child baptism is excluded, the Pope's highest and first abomination. For this you have proofs and testimonies in the scriptures and examples from the apostles (Matth. 28,19; Mark. 16,16; Acts 2,38; 8,36f .; 16,31,33; 19,4f.). We want to remain simple-minded, but still firm and with certainty. "
Zwingli considered baptism, like the other sacrament, the Lord's Supper, only to be an outward symbol that itself did nothing. With him begins the interpretation of baptism, which in the Reformed branch (Switzerland, Netherlands) of the evangelical movement leads to a stronger separation of spirit (works salvation) and rite (denotes salvation). As early as 1519 Zwingli gave up the belief that children who die unbaptized are lost to eternal salvation. In 1521 he called the doctrine that baptism could cleanse from original sin , a superstition . This distancing from previous baptismal theology did not lead to a fundamental rejection of infant baptism. Rather, in the Reformed theology according to Ulrich Zwingli, infant baptism is viewed as a covenant sign of the new covenant - analogous to circumcision, the symbol of the old covenant. Since circumcision is to be performed on male children by the 8th day (Genesis 17:12, cf. Luke 2:21), the baptism of children who are not of religious age is also required (cf. Col 2: 11-12 EU on the parallelism between circumcision and Baptism). This covenant and the divine election , which is visible in the sacrament of baptism, always precede faith. Zwingli also distanced himself from the Anabaptists for political reasons , because they wanted the separation of church and state . He feared that the Reformation in Zurich might fail as a result and that Catholicism would be reintroduced.
Martin Luther emphasized: Everyone is unworthy to receive baptism . He appealed to the grace of God, which is obtained without merit, and derived from it the baptism of an underage child. This is how Luther wrote in the Great Catechism :
“Then we go on to say that our greatest power is not whether someone who is baptized believes or does not believe; for that is why baptism is not wrong; everything depends on God's word and commandment. ... that is, if the word is with the water, then baptism is right, whether faith does not come to it; for my faith does not make baptism, but receives baptism. "
Against the baptismal movement he writes:
“But they, the enthusiastic spirits, are so blinded that they do not see God's word and commandments and see baptism and authorities no further than as water in the brook and pots or as another person, and because they should see no faith or obedience it does not count in itself either. There is a secret, rebellious devil who would like to tear the crown from the authorities so that they will then be trampled upon, in addition to perverting and destroying all God's works and ordinances. That is why we must be brave and comforted and not allow ourselves to be led or turned by the word, that we do not let baptism be a mere sign, as enthusiasts dream. "
“And I want to bet high and dear that the devil has just that in mind through the spirits and Anabaptists and only therefore wants to abolish the baptism of children and baptize only the old and the great. Because his [the devil's] thoughts are certainly the following: when I have the baptism of children, I want to get so far with the old ones that they will forgive and postpone the baptism until they have finished, or to the last hour, besides I am very good at keeping them from preaching so that they neither learn nor keep anything from Christ or from baptism ... "
John Calvin advocated the retention of infant baptism from the start. His theology of infant baptism is later summarized as follows:
“ Should the young children also be baptized?
- Yes; for because they, like the ancients, belong in the covenant of God and in his church (Genesis 17: 7) and for them in the blood of Christ the redemption from sins (Mt 19:14) and the Holy Spirit who gives them Faith works no less than is promised to the ancients (Lk 1:14, 15; Ps 22:11; Isa 44: 1-3; 46: 3-4; Acts 2.39), they should also be baptized as the covenant sign of the Christian To be incorporated into the church and to be distinguished from the children of unbelievers (Acts 10:47), as happened in the Old Testament through circumcision (Genesis 17:14), which was replaced by baptism in the New Testament (Col 2, 11-13). "
Finally, in the Confessio Augustana , written by Philipp Melanchthon , the confession of faith of the Lutheran Church , the Anabaptists , who are not only referred to there as Anabaptists, are condemned five times for their rejection of infant baptism (CA, Articles 5, 9, 12, 16 and 17) .
In his church ordinances, Johannes Bugenhagen emphasized the necessity of infant baptism so that no one, including children, would be excluded from the Christian community. But in order for the children to learn to stay with Christ, he attached great importance to a Christian upbringing . Schools were established for this purpose .
Every year around 345,000 people are baptized in Germany. According to figures from the German Bishops' Conference and the Evangelical Church in Germany , this number is divided into 180,000 Evangelical and 165,000 Catholic baptisms.
In the present, the popular church practice of infant baptism has been discussed anew, especially within the Protestant churches . The starting point for this discussion was the book by the Reformed theologian Karl Barth, "Baptism as the foundation of Christian life" , published in 1967 . In this scripture, Barth differentiates between water baptism and baptism by the Holy Spirit . Water baptism is the work of man, baptism with the Holy Spirit is God's work. The two must be clearly distinguished from one another. While in the " Spirit baptism" God turns to man, in water baptism man turns to God. For this reason, Barth advocated adult baptism as the human "answer of faith".
On the other hand, the Lutheran New Testament scholar Joachim Jeremias took the view that child and infant baptism was practiced early in the early church. He justified this with the collective thinking of antiquity and Judaism at the time of Jesus, that is, thinking in the social group ( Oikos = "house", family, polis = community ) in contrast to modern individualism , as well as with the Jewish baptism of proselytes , which also began Children. According to Jeremias it is absolutely inconceivable for an ancient person to withhold the baptism of children who belong to his house (see house baptisms in the New Testament ).
The Evangelical Church in Germany has to Pentecost issued a "guidance on understanding and practice of baptism in the Evangelical Church" in 2008, which represents the current state of discussion within the EKD. There it says on infant baptism: “If we understand faith exclusively as a subjective faith, as a personal decision for God and as a conscious act of trust in God, then infant baptism must indeed become problematic. If, on the other hand, we understand, like most biblical texts, faith primarily as a gift and as a force field in which we live, infants and small children can be baptized with a clear conscience. But since faith is always both - both a gift and personal appropriation ... - the great majority of Christian churches practice both infant baptism and baptism of maturity and thus oppose a one-sided understanding of faith. In conversations with Baptist fellow Christians, it should be promoted that, against the background of the biblical testimony of the Christian faith, the validity of infant baptism is at least respected, as conversely the Protestant churches can become aware of the opportunities and possibilities of adult baptism. " ) “Theologically it must be stated that baptism is not suited to be the expression of an active response from the believer; it does not presuppose the maturity and the faith, but evokes it. The baptism of infants is therefore an acknowledgment of the indispensability of God's action ”(p. 43)
A majority of the Protestant free churches, such as the Baptists and the Mennonites belonging to the Anabaptists, reject infant baptism and instead advocate confessional baptism , which presupposes that the responsible person confesses to the faith.
For the Roman Catholic Church, every baptism presupposes the Christian faith. Small children (before starting school age) are baptized in the “faith of the Church” if their upbringing in the Christian faith can be assumed to be guaranteed. There is therefore no question about the faith of these children in today's baptismal service. Rather, mother and / or father are asked about their, ie adult, personal belief and the belief of the church is made known. School-age children, adolescents, and adults can only receive baptism if they have made public their personal beliefs before it.
Today's canon law, as well as the instructions of the Church published in the ritual of infant baptism, insist that the hope of an education in the Catholic faith is a condition for infant baptism. This raises a number of new questions and has led the bishops of some German-speaking countries to allow baptism in two stages
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints understands that a child is cleansed from the work of original sin and innocent through the Atonement of Christ until he reaches the age of responsibility. So it is not able to sin and therefore does not need baptism. The Book of Mormon justifies this:
“Behold, I say to you, this is what you are to teach: repentance and baptism for those who are responsible and able to commit sin; Yes, teach parents to repent and be baptized and humble like their young children, and then they will all be saved with their young children. And their young children do not need repentance or baptism. Behold, baptism is for repentance, to keep the commandments for the forgiveness of sins. Yet the little children are alive in Christ, yes, from the foundation of the world; if it were not so, then God would be a partisan God and also a changeable God and would look to the person, because how many small children have died without baptism! So, if little children could not be saved without baptism, they should have gone to an endless hell. Behold, I say to you: Anyone who thinks that little children need baptism is in the bile of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity, for he has neither faith nor hope nor charity; therefore, if he is cut off while he still thinks so, he must go down to hell. For it is terrible to assume that God saves one child because of baptism and that the other must perish because it was not baptized. "
Children are only baptized when they are eight years old, provided they want it themselves and their parents agree. By the age of eight they have reached the age of responsibility and can sin. Parents have a duty to lead their children to baptism. Newborns or young children of new converts are blessed by a Melchizedek priesthood holder (usually the father).
Child baptism and naming
The pastor's question about the name of the person to be baptized during the infant baptism, which often only takes place a few days after the birth, has led to a widespread misunderstanding of the relationship between baptism and naming. This misunderstanding is expressed, among other things, in the following words: ship baptism and being renamed (symbolic of: changing your name). Infant baptism contributed to this misunderstanding, as it is performed on newborns and thus brings naming and baptism together within a narrow time frame. The New Testament baptism originally had nothing to do with naming the person to be baptized. Those to be baptized were and will be baptized in the name of the Triune God or in the name of Jesus , not their own. This becomes evident in the Catholic liturgy, where the parents are asked at the beginning of the celebration today: "Whatever name you give your child?" It has therefore been his personal name, even before it "on behalf" of the Trinity is baptized.
In the early Church (but not at the time of the New Testament) and in the context of missions , it was common for those baptized of age to give up their old pagan name and get a new - mostly biblical - name. This custom is still reflected in the custom of adopting an additional company name on the occasion of confirmation .
Concepts of popular piety in connection with child baptism
Out of the great fear that the newborn might die before baptism and thus not go to heaven, but only to limbus infantium , all kinds of customs began to gather around baptism from the Middle Ages. So the unbaptized child was not allowed to leave the house and one avoided saying his name. It was also believed that the characteristics or behavior of the godparents and mother on the day of baptism had an impact on the later life of the child or that the behavior of the child was interpreted as a portent.
Worries about the salvation of souls of children who died unbaptized also led to baptisms in the womb , to eavesdropping burials or to pilgrimages.
Kurt Aland :
- Infant Baptism in the New Testament and in the Old Church. An answer to Joachim Jeremias. (1961)
- Baptism and infant baptism. 40 sentences on the statements of the New Testament and the historical findings, on the modern debate about it and the conclusions from it for church practice - at the same time an examination of Karl Barth's doctrine of baptism (1971)
- Carl Heinz Ratschow: The one Christian baptism , Gütersloh: Mohn (²1979)
- Karl Barth : Baptism as the Foundation of Christian Life (1967)
- Markus Barth: Baptism - a sacrament? (Zollikon-Zurich 1951)
- George Beasley-Murray:
- Christian baptism , in: Series of Church History Monographs (KGM) (Wuppertal 1998) ISBN 978-3-417-29431-6
- Aspects of the Baptism Discussion Today (Kassel 1965)
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer : The baptism . In: ders .: Succession . Collected works (edited by Martin Kuske and Ilse Tödt), Gütersloh: Christian Kaiser Verlag, 2nd edition 1994, volume IV, p. 219ff
- Franz Stuhlhofer : Symbol or Reality? Baptism and communion. Schwengeler, Berneck 1988, pp. 24-50, ISBN 3-85666-033-X .
Joachim Jeremias :
- Mc 10, 13-16 parr. and the practice of infant baptism in the early church , ZNW 40 (1941), pp. 243–245
- Did the oldest church practice infant baptism? Göttingen 1938
- Did the early church practice infant baptism? Göttingen 1949, 49 pp.
- Proselyte baptism and New Testament , Theologische Zeitschrift Basel 5 (1949), pp. 418–428. (See also his other early essay " The Origin of the Baptism of St. John ")
- Infant baptism in the first four centuries . Göttingen 1958, 127 pp.
- Again: the beginnings of infant baptism. A reply to Kurt Aland's writing: 'The baptism of babies in the NT and in the Old Church' , Munich 1962, 72 pp.
- Walter Kasper (ed.): Being a Christian without a decision or should the church baptize children? Mainz 1970
- Wolfram Kerner: Believer Baptism and Infant Baptism. Studies on Baptism and Mutual Baptism Recognition in Newer Protestant Theology . Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2004, ISBN 3-8334-2174-6 (At the same time dissertation at the University of Heidelberg 2004 under the title: Believer Baptism, Infant Baptism and Mutual Recognition of Baptism ).
- G. Koch: Child Baptism : Lexicon of Catholic Dogmatics, Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1991 p. 305f. ISBN 3-451-22576-X / ISBN 3-451-22575-1 .
- Evangelical Church in the Rhineland : Child Baptism - Duty or Obligation? (Düsseldorf 1968)
- Wayne A. Meeks: Early Christianity and Urban Culture. The social world of the Pauline congregations in Munich: Kaiser (1993)
- Karl Ferdinand Müller , Walter Blankenburg (editor): LEITURGIA. Handbook of evangelical worship . Volume 5: The Baptism Service (Kassel 1970)
- Friedrich Sondheimer: The true baptism. A commitment to the baptism of believers (Kassel, no year)
- Church Office of the Evangelical Church in Germany (editor): The baptism. A guide to the understanding and practice of baptism in the Protestant church . Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2008, ISBN 978-3-579-05904-4 ( EKD for baptism (PDF file; 474 kB)).
- Significance of Baptism for the Church of Jesus Christ. A declaration by the Theological Working Group from March 6, 2001. Website of the Gnadauer Association . (PDF file; 0.05 MB)
- Child baptism - unbiblical? Answer from a catholic point of view to objections of free church Christians to the child baptism website of the catholic theologian Karl Veitschegger. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- God's yes to infant baptism! A plea for infant baptism! Website of the Evangelical Lutheran Philippus Congregation Gifhorn. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- Collection of sources on the topic of infant baptism
- Instructions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church on infant baptism of October 20, 1980
- The celebration of infant baptism. Pastoral introduction. Edited by the Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference. 2nd, improved edition, Bonn 2008 (PDF file; 1.50 MB)
- Gustav Baur: The Christian education in its relation to Judaism and to the ancient world . In: KA Schmid, Georg Schmid (Hrsg.): History of education from the beginning to our time . 2nd volume. Cotta, Stuttgart 1892, p. 47 . ( full online version in Google Book Search - USA )
- Evangelical Church in the Rhineland: Child Baptism - Duty or Obligation? P. 19
- Tertullian: De baptismo 18
- Cyprian: Letter 64 1f
- Augustine: De peccatorum meritis ac remissione et de baptismo parvulorum
- The resolution of the Synod of Carthage, which is still valid today under canon law
- Catholic explanation of the Limbus infantium
- Augustine: Tractatus in Iohannis Euangelium 80,3
- Cf. Cyprian: How much less can one then reject a child who is newborn and has not yet committed any sin, but is only exposed to the effects of the old death at the first birth, since he was born in the flesh like Adam! In this way the forgiveness of sins can be more easily achieved because there are no sins of their own, but only those of others to be forgiven. Cyprian: ep . 64
- Hieronymus: Dialogi contra Pelagianos libri III 18
- Alfred Kuen: Congregation according to God's blueprint. 3. Edition. Publishing house and writing mission of the Evangelical Society for Germany, Wuppertal 1986, ISBN 3-7256-0020-1 , p. 189.
- Luther: Great Catechism, Part Four, From Baptism
- Weimar Complete Edition of the Works of Luther 30 / II, p. 596
- Infographic: Numbers worth knowing about baptism. Retrieved November 27, 2019 .
- Church Office of the Evangelical Church in Germany (editor): The baptism. A guide to the understanding and practice of baptism in the Protestant church . Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 2008, ISBN 978-3-579-05904-4 ( PDF; 0.5 MB ).
- The celebration of infant baptism. Pastoral introduction. Edited by the Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference. 2nd, improved edition, Bonn 2008. Page 8, section 5, sentence 2. (PDF file; 1.50 MB)
- Bruno Jacobs: Le baptême des petits enfants dans une société déchristianisée - source approche pastorale pour notre époque? Parole et Silence, June 2019, p. 210-231, 433-515 .
- Book of Mormon, Moroni 8: 10–15
- Doctrine and Covenants 68:25
- Handbook 2 of the Church, p. 199, section 20.2.2 Instructions for naming and blessing children
- example, "How should it be called for the permanent reminder of his baptism?" In: Schleswig-Holsteinisch Kirchen-Agende. Establishment of public worship. Forms for public religious acts. Sunday and holiday pericopes. On the highest royal orders ... written by Dr. Jacob Georg Christian Adler 1797, p. 150
- In the novella The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf , the framework of which is a child baptism, a number of such customs are mentioned.
- Practice with children who have died without being baptized