from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One of the earliest depictions of a baptism in the Catacomb of Calixtus (3rd century)

The baptism is a Christian ritual , which since the time of the New Testament is. The views on the prerequisite, implementation and effect of baptism are different in the respective denominations ; it can mean incorporation into the Christian community or a public creed. Baptism is carried out by pouring water over the person to be baptized (infusion baptism ) or by submerging in water (immersion baptism ) . A baptismal formula is spoken.

Baptismal understanding

Some churches understand baptism as a rite that includes the cleansing of religiously defined guilt ( sin or original sin ) and subsequently enables the personal experience of closeness to God. The symbolic act of baptism is a participation in the forgiveness of sins through the death of Christ on the cross and is understood as the "integration into the dead and risen Christ" and thus as integration into the church community. Another analogy is the “new birth to be children of God” and the like. a. as a prerequisite for discipleship or discipleship (especially in the evangelical area). Others see it as a symbolic act that does not bring about the processes mentioned, but merely describes them.

The Christian church communities also differ in the practice of baptism. While infant baptism is the rule in many churches , in other churches and ecclesial communities only believers are practiced. The practice of baptism in the Christian churches also differs in formal terms. While some pour water over the person to be baptized, for others the person to be baptized is completely immersed in water. The baptismal formula used also shows differences in the practice of the various churches. Almost all baptize according to the example of the biblical baptismal commission of Jesus ( Mt 28  EU ) “in the” (or “in the” or “in the”) “name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”, but a few church communities baptize according to the example of the Acts of the Apostles only "in the name of Jesus" ( Acts 2,38  EU ; 10,48 EU ; 19,5 EU ).

The genealogical sign for baptism is the tilde (~).

Word origin

The Greek word for “baptize” in the New Testament is baptízein (βαπτίζειν) and means “to immerse” or “to immerse”. It has been documented in this sense in Greek literature since Plato (4th century BC). In the Septuagint , the Greek translation of the Old Testament , the expression baptízein (βαπτίζειν) occurs only four times. Only in 2 Kings 5,14  EU does it refer to the immersion of a person for ritual cleansing .

Flavius ​​Josephus uses the term baptismós (βαπτισμός) - baptism - in connection with his account of John the Baptist .

In the first Germanic translation of the Bible , the Gothic Bible by Wulfila from the 4th century, baptizein is translated as daupjan - which, like the Greek word means "to immerse" - and because of the specific Christian meaning "to make a Christian by immersion". Like the Gothic word, the Old Norse deypa , the Old English dyppan and the Old High German touffe all go back etymologically to the word (in New High German rendering) “deep”, with which the root word “dive” is related.

The word "baptism" was strongly influenced by the Christian tradition and is therefore mostly equated with Christian baptism. Since in other religions ritual acts are also carried out with water, it should be noted that “(the word baptism) can only be used with the greatest caution on non-Christian cleansing or washing with water”.

Old Testament and Judaism

Old testament

The leprous Naaman dipped by order of the Prophet Elisha seven times in Jordan under to heal his illness and recover the purity ( 2 Kings 5, EU  EU ). (Jesus referred to the healing of Naaman in Luke's account: Lk 4.27  EU .)

The psalmist also mentions both an inner cleansing (“sanctification”) with hyssop and a washing for physical purity in Psalm 51.9 EU ; in this verse, ablution and the forgiveness of sin are associated.


The community of Qumran was not the only Jewish denomination which, compared to Christian baptism, showed similarities in the demand for repentance, external and internal purification and penance. The Essenes also knew similar rites . The ritual washing was performed in the name of God and carried out regularly, probably even daily. Baptism rites of the Jewish communities were carried out by each one individually and without public confession. However, the first of these ablutions was considered to be the official admission of a novice.

In the Talmud , regular visits to the mikvah bath to achieve ritual purity are prescribed. Proselyte baptism is also attested from the second half of the 1st century AD .

The differences in Christian baptism can be seen both in the baptism that was carried out only once and in the public confession of Jesus. In addition, a person is missing to perform the baptism. The fact that Flavius ​​Josephus uses the word baptismós only for the baptism of St. John, but not for the ritual washing of the sects he describes, shows that a clear difference was also seen at that time.

Inclusion in the New Testament

Baptism is presumed to be something known in the New Testament. It is understood as the sign of the new covenant, which has its "omens" in the old covenant in many ways; this includes the floating of the Spirit of God over the water of the primordial flood in the beginning ( Gen 1,2  EU ); the Flood (as the breaking up of the “sources of the mighty primordial flood”: Gen 7.11  EU ) and rescue in Noah's Ark (Gen 6–8; cf. 1 Petr 3,20–21  EU ; 2 Petr 2,4–5  EU ); the exodus or passage through the Red Sea as liberation from Egypt (Ex 13.17 - 14.31); the crossing of the Jordan with the entry of the people of God into the promised land , led by Joshua ( Jos 3,1–17  EU ), as well as the covenant sign of circumcision ( Gen 21,4  EU ).

In the New Testament

The so-called Johannestaufe

Baptism Yardenit the Jordan, Israel, April 2006

The first baptism mentioned in the New Testament is the baptism by John . He was therefore given the nickname "the Baptist". John performed the baptism in the waters of the Jordan - she was a confession of sin and of repentance ( penance connected) and came "as a sign of repentance" ( Mt 3,6  EU , Mk 1,4f  EU , Luke 3,3ff  EU ) ; everything happened together “for the forgiveness of sins” ( Mk 1,4  EU ).

Jesus was baptized by John according to the consistent accounts of the Gospels . Some of the later disciples and apostles were also baptized by John and made attentive to Jesus, “the Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world” ( Joh 1,29  EU , Joh 1,36  EU ). In the period that followed, both Jesus' disciples and John baptized according to Jn 4,1f  EU . Jesus himself commissioned the disciples to baptize all people; he himself did not baptize.

In Acts 19 : 1-7  EU , where Paul meets some unspecified disciples in Ephesus and gives them the Holy Spirit in baptism , it becomes clear how the baptism of St. John and Christian baptism differ: After the disciples there reported about their baptism of St. John Paul explains to them that John was baptized with a baptism of repentance and called to "that the people should believe in him who will come after them", namely in Jesus Christ. Then John's disciples were baptized again. The distinguishing features of Christian baptism there are the gift of the Holy Spirit and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

Baptism in the early church

The Gospel of Matthew ends with the so-called baptismal or missionary command of Christ:

“Then Jesus came up to them and said to them: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make all peoples my disciples; baptize them in the names of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey all that I have commanded you. And see, I am with you every day until the end of the world. "

- Matthew 28: 18-20  EU

The baptismal formula “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” occurs only in this “baptismal command” contained in the Gospel, but not in the baptismal narratives of the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of Paul. Where the act of baptism is described in more detail, the baptismal formula is: "In the name of Jesus Christ " (Acts 2.38 EU ; 8.16 EU ; 10.48 EU ; 19.5 EU ; Rom. 6.3  EU and Gal 3.27  EU ).

In his sermon at Pentecost , the apostle Peter publicly calls for baptism. He promises those who repent and are baptized for the forgiveness of sins that they will be given the Holy Ghost :

“Peter answered them, Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise applies to you and your children and to all those far away whom the Lord our God will call. "

- Acts 2, 38-39  EU

Philip preached about Jesus Christ and those who had become believers were baptized ( Acts 8:12  EU ). In Acts 8.31  EU is treasurer of the Ethiopian Queen Candace , the so-called. Eunuch of Candace , by Philip asked about his biblical understanding. The chamberlain replies: "How could I do it if no one guides me?" After the gospel of Jesus was preached to him, he was baptized by Philip.

Paul explains in Romans 6 : 3ff. EU baptism as “being buried” and “new life”. In his view, it is a reproduction of the burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Baptism is closely related to the gift of the Holy Ghost . John the Baptist pointed to Jesus Christ, who baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire ( Mt 3:11  EU ). Peter announced the reception of the Spirit as a result of repentance and baptism ( Acts 2,38f  EU ). When the Holy Spirit fell on the unbaptized centurion Cornelius and other non-Jews who had gathered with him, this convinced the Jewish Christians that non-Jews may also be baptized because the Holy Spirit was poured out on them too ( Acts 10:45  EU ) .

Essence of baptism

In baptism, according to the teaching of the Apostle Paul , the person to be baptized is baptized into Christ's death and "buried in death" with Christ. The performance of baptism thus describes the visible and tangible "threshold" between the old being of man in sin and the new being of his life in Christ. Your water "kills" and "gives life" at the same time. With it the baptized receives a share in Christ's resurrection ( Romans 6 : 1–10  EU ). At the same time he becomes part of the universal body of Christ through baptism in the Holy Spirit ( 1 Cor 12:13  EU ). Baptism is an expression of the divine act of reconciliation through the cross and resurrection of Christ .

Just as this happened in Christ "once and for all" for the salvation of the world, so baptism also takes place for the salvation of the person baptized and does not need to be repeated. The Bible only tells about a repeated baptism in Acts 19: 3-5  EU , because the first baptism there was not a Christian one, but the baptism of John . The distinguishing features of “Christian” baptism there are the working of the Holy Spirit in it and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

Faith is a prerequisite for attaining salvation; Baptism is a consequence of faith, but it can also precede faith. As an event in the Holy Spirit , it makes him partake of justification and at the same time aims at a walk in a new life that leads from bondage to the freedom of the children of God and from sin to the service of righteousness and sanctification .

Peter explains that in baptism it is not the dirt that is washed off the body, but that baptism is the request to God for a clear conscience, since Jesus Christ rose from the dead ( 1 Pet 3:21  EU ).

historical development

Old church

Those who were baptized in the first decades of Christianity did so in the belief that they would experience the second coming of Jesus Christ while they were still alive. In baptism, the person to be baptized was taken out of the pagan context and placed under the power of Jesus Christ - what is meant by the phrase baptism εις Χριστόν Ιησοῦν ( eis Christón Iēsoûn , literally: "into Christ Jesus"). He received the Holy Spirit "as a seal" ( Eph 4,30  EU ) and was incorporated into the body of Christ ( 1 Cor 12,13  EU ). Often times, people were baptized with their whole house . It is assumed that all residents of the house (including wives, children, and slaves) were baptized.

Always connected with baptism was the creed , the oldest formulation of which is κύριος Ιἠσοῦς - Kyrios Jesus  - "Jesus is Lord" ( Rom 10 :NT ).

In the case of the Apostolic Fathers , the character of baptism shifted to a "legally understood rite of entry" into the Church. Water baptism was now understood as the washing away of the sins committed up to then. Other ways had to be found for the sins committed after baptism: doing good works, confessing , renouncing, baptism postponement until the end of life, “blood baptism” (through a death as a martyr ), passive suffering after death in purgatory .

While the biblical accounts know baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, the early church followed the baptismal command Mt 28:19  EU and baptized "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit", as already in the oldest traditional church order, the Didache .

From the end of the 2nd century onwards, the baptized people in Rome and North Africa were baptized mainly during the celebration of Easter Vigil to illustrate the dying of the old and the resurrection of the new with Jesus Christ.

Depiction of the baptism of Christ on the baptismal font in Dalby (Skåne)

In early Christianity , baptism was probably done by immersing the person to be baptized completely in cold, flowing water. Until about the 12th century, going into hiding was quite a common form of baptism in the Roman Catholic Church. Where this was not possible, however, it was possible to baptize by pouring water over them as early as the first or second century.

First mentions of infant baptism can be found around 215 in the Hippolytic Church Order ( Baptism infantium ). Obviously it was widely accepted. There is only a few criticisms of infant baptism. Tertullian argued against this practice:

“The children ... should therefore come when they have grown up; Let them come when they have learned, when they have been taught where to go: let them become Christians as soon as they are able to know Christ. Why is the age of innocence in such a hurry with the remission of sins? "

By the fifth century, infant baptism eventually became the predominant practice throughout the Church.

In the third century, Cyprianus and Tertullian took the view that baptism restored the image of God that had been destroyed by original sin . In theory, faith was sufficient, as with the apostles, of whom the Bible does not report that Jesus baptized them, but since Jesus gave the command to be baptized, believers are compelled to be baptized.

In the heretic controversy, the same theologians argued about whether a baptism should also be recognized that was not donated in a community associated with the Catholic bishop . It was agreed that the Trinitarian baptismal formula was the decisive element. The reception of the Spirit, which was originally connected with baptism, was taken out of the act of baptism at the same time - probably as a reaction to a Gnostic teaching of several baptisms corresponding to the respective level of knowledge - and through own actions, the anointing with chrism and the laying on of hands, added. Under the influence of the simultaneous mystery cults , the baptismal rite was expanded to include interpretative rites (white baptismal dress, rejection of the devil before baptism) and understood as mystérion ( μυστήριον ), Latin sacramentum . This also included the arcane discipline practiced before baptism , which forbade the catechumens , the unbaptized, to attend the Eucharistic celebration .

The name of baptism as "enlightenment" (Greek phôtismós) in the old church comes from 2nd Corinthians 4.6 EU . The term makes it clear that the person to be baptized enters the light of faith and knowledge from the darkness of unbelief. Justin the Martyr wrote about this in his First Apology in the middle of the 2nd century : "But this bath is called enlightenment, because those who experience it in themselves are enlightened in the spirit."

Aurelius Augustine saw in baptism the act of Jesus as “visible word” and “invisible grace”, which in the “visible act of baptism” bring about the “healing effect”. The sacramental act impresses the “character” of the new person on the person to be baptized, like a stamp on a coin. Augustine formulated the doctrine of baptism “as a remedy against original sin ” and established the obligation for infant baptism within the Roman Church.

middle Ages

Baptism of Christ from the Duke of Berry's Book of Hours

The scholastic applied the Aristotle formula of matter (baptismal water) and form (baptismal) to the teaching of St. Augustine. Thomas Aquinas described God as the “principal cause” and the baptismal water as the “instrumental cause” of the effect of grace to redeem original sin. The third part of a valid baptism is the donor's intention to baptize. This teaching was proclaimed in the Bull Exsultate Deo in 1439 and is still valid in the Catholic Church today. As a result, pouring over instead of submerging became widespread in the Middle Ages . Even in the early medieval Franconian church and certainly in parts of Italy, pouring over was already common practice earlier, as the images that have been preserved since the 4th century and the archaeological findings show.

In the Orthodox Church to this day, the understanding of baptism as the first mystery allows the reception of the following mysteries. Cyril of Jerusalem describes in his catechesis to the baptismal candidates how the baptized mysteriously comprehends Christ's life and death. So the three times immersion symbolizes the three days of Christ in the grave.


Martin Luther followed up with Augustine again and saw in baptism God's promise to forgive people for Christ's sake. Baptism is a covenant with God. The person to be baptized promises God that they will die to sin every day. Initially, for Luther, the water of baptism was a symbol of the certainty of salvation only for the person being baptized; only in the fight against the so-called enthusiasts did he emphasize the healing nature of the water of baptism. It is much more important to him that baptism is not a one-off event, but requires daily spiritual repetition:

"So repentance is no different than going back and going to baptism, repeating it and doing it if you started before and let it go."

- Martin Luther

The Zurich reformer Ulrich Zwingli also counts baptism with the Lord's Supper among the sacraments. For him, however, the sacraments are only signs that point to a reality behind them. This reality is more important than the sign. Baptism itself does not, for example, cause the washing off of sins, but outwardly points to this inner, Spirit-effected salvation event. With this, Zwingli positions himself against the previous church teaching and against Luther (baptism as a means of grace).

Zwingli positions himself in two ways against the Anabaptists who refer to him:

  1. According to the New Testament, baptism is a covenant sign that shows that the baptized belongs to God. In analogy to the Old Testament Jewish covenant of circumcision, the parents of the new people of God (the church) have the duty to have their child baptized, because as the child of Christian parents, it belongs to God. As in the Old Testament, parents must then raise their child accordingly.
  2. The covenant as an expression of God's grace always precedes faith, so that the Anabaptists would impermissibly reverse the sequence set by God: “covenant - election - belonging to the people of God - faith”.

The emphasis on the covenant concept in baptismal doctrine, which links the Old Testament and the New Testament, determines the understanding and practice of baptism in Reformed churches to this day.

Johannes Calvin continues Zwingli's covenant idea. In the Geneva Catechism he calls baptism an “outward sign of divine benevolence towards us” and a “pledge” of God's grace. He does not consider them necessary for salvation. The Heidelberg Catechism defines "rebirth out of water and the Spirit" as

"That he wants to assure us through this divine pledge and symbol that we are as truly spiritually washed from our sins as we are bodily washed with the water."

- Heidelberg Catechism question 73

The Baptist doctrine of baptism is a further development of certain aspects of Zwingli's teaching. For them too, baptism is a mere symbol of the covenant that God makes with man and man with God. According to their understanding, God offers the “New Covenant” (“the New Testament”) to all people in the crucified and risen Lord. This offer is made to the people in the preaching of the gospel. According to this understanding, baptism is the external sign instituted by Jesus Christ through which the person consents to God's covenant. Unlike in the Reformed tradition, baptism is practiced exclusively as a confessional baptism after a conscious decision to believe. Baptism is not regarded as a sacrament in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition .

Other movements, like those called “ enthusiasts ” by their opponents , rejected water baptism altogether , like the medieval Cathars . The so-called baptism of the Spirit was more important to them .

The Catholic reaction to the Protestant doctrine of baptism is the reformulation of the scholastic doctrine at the Council of Trent . It was there that it was decided for the first time to make infant baptism an obligation according to the Church's understanding. It should therefore symbolically represent the admission into the religious community, according to which the children should gradually be educated through the Christian teaching "knowing".

Modern times

Anton von Werner : Baptism in my house (1852), typical example of a Protestant house
baptism in the upper middle class of the 19th century

During the Age of Enlightenment , people began to ask the baptized question rather than the baptized person, but their parents. Of rationalistic theologians baptism was understood as "consecrated to the true religion."

Free Churches

Some free churches do not practice baptism. While the Quakers, for example, see it as a negligible externality, the Salvation Army refrains from carrying out baptisms because of its self-image as a revival movement . Anyone among their friends and members who feel the need to be baptized is referred to friendly churches or free churches with this request.

Pentecostal Movement

The Pentecostal movement teaches a multi-stage way of salvation in which conversion is followed by water baptism, which in turn must be supplemented by baptism in the Spirit.

Philosophy of religion

The Lutheran religious philosopher Carl Heinz Ratschow derived the baptism from water rituals from religious history and implemented a further framework of interpretation that made it possible to understand why the element water had a religious meaning.


Baptism in the present is based on the same foundation in the various Christian denominations . However, they disagree on the theological understanding of baptism. This led, among other things, to various embodiments, preconditions, and assumptions about the consequences of baptism.

"Child Baptism" - "Believer Baptism"

It makes a difference in Christian communities whether or not the person to be baptized can express his or her faith at baptism. That is why there are two forms of baptism, although some have rejected infant baptism since the Reformation . The terms themselves are also controversial between the two sides.

Infant baptism

Most of Christianity usually practices infant baptism. Parents or godparents profess their faith in Jesus Christ - either as a representative of the person to be baptized or in their own name - and promise a Christian upbringing of the child. In Protestant churches, those baptized as children are supposed to confirm their baptism in confirmation by making a confession of Jesus Christ.

For the Roman Catholic Church , every baptism presupposes the Christian faith. Small children are baptized in the faith of the Church if their upbringing in the Christian faith can be assumed to be guaranteed. A question about the faith of these children or a representative creed no longer occurs in today's baptismal service; rather, the parents are asked about their own faith, and the "faith of the church" is made known by the assembled community in the Apostles' Creed . School-age children, like adults, can only receive baptism if they have made their own faith public before it. During the Sunday baptismal commemoration in Holy Mass and the annual renewal of the baptismal promise in the celebration of Easter Vigil, the faithful remember their baptism with gratitude, as well as when taking holy water and crucifying individuals when entering a church. The renewal of the promise of baptism has also preceded Confirmation since the Second Vatican Council in order to make it clear that the three sacraments of initiation form a unity. Therefore, in memory of his baptism, the confirmant first speaks the creed, is then confirmed and finally receives the sacrament of the Eucharist .

About the designation: Some representatives of the baptism of believers reject the designation “infant baptism” because they also baptize children themselves - however children who have confessed their faith themselves (usually from school age). These speak of "infant baptism". Even in the churches that practice infant baptism, the word “infant baptism” only refers to the baptism of infants and young children; From a liturgical perspective, the baptism of children of school age is a special case of adult baptism.

Adult or Christian baptism

Christening scarf of an adult baptism in the Roman Catholic Church with anchor cross , ichthys , date of baptism and initials of the person to be baptized

Adult baptism is practiced in all churches. The person to be baptized personally desires to be baptized. In this context he himself publicly confesses to the Triune God. In some churches, the so-called baptismal churches, this is the only possible form of baptism. Some of these churches recognize the baptism of Christians who have not been baptized religiously when they convert if they confess to Jesus Christ and thus validate their infant baptism - as it were retrospectively. However, child baptisms are not carried out in these churches. Other baptized churches see infant baptism as unbiblical and therefore invalid and expect believers baptized as children to be baptized when converting (from their point of view for the first time).

About the name: The churches that practice infant baptism usually speak of "adult baptism" because adult baptism is the rule of this type of baptism. (The baptism of children around school age, who can profess their faith themselves, is a special case of “adult baptism”.) They also consider faith to be necessary for baptism, but it does not have to be “perfect and mature”, but only in a “ Approach that can evolve ”. Thus, according to these churches, faith is precisely not the difference, but rather the confession of this faith; one could therefore also speak of “confessional baptism”, but this is unusual. Another expression is “coming of age”; the confession of baptism has nothing to do with worldly maturity.

Baptismal rite

Cross-shaped baptismal font in a basilica in Shivta ( Negev )
Modern Baptistery ( Heiligenstadt Baptist Church )
Baptismal font in the Roman Catholic Raphael Cathedral in Dubuque, Iowa, with basins for immersion baptism

The essential, externally visible element of baptism is water . The baptismal form of early Christianity, which symbolizes "being buried and resurrected with Jesus Christ" through immersion , is still practiced today in the Eastern Churches , Baptists and many other free churches, as well as in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses . The picture opposite shows a baptismal font from the time of the early Church, which served this original baptismal form.

In this context, the German Bishops' Conference declared: “One can baptize by immersion or by pouring over them. Baptism by immersion is better suited to express participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. In our circumstances it will generally remain with baptism by dousing. ”The Eastern Churches admittedly hold fast to baptism by immersion even with small children, but only do it when the newborn child is strong enough.

The Baptist of the Reformation baptized a few exceptions by pouring. The Mennonites , who emerged directly from this movement, today practice baptism by immersion, watering (affusion) or sprinkling (aspersion), depending on the congregation or the wishes of the person to be baptized. The Mennonite Brethren Congregations are an exception within the Mennonites . They baptize only by immersion.

Baptism by immersion has become common again in the Protestant area since the beginning of the 17th century by the Baptists and several other free churches. It is practiced in this form today in most baptismal church communities. The baptism can also take place outside the church building in lakes, rivers or swimming pools. Sometimes the immersion is done three times in a row to symbolize the three days in the tomb or the Trinity .

Baptismal form Church fellowship
Immersion Old Catholic Church (1st form) | Baptists | Bible Students' Movement | Brethren Movement | Calvary Chapel | Christadelphians | Elim Churches | Free Evangelical Churches | Church of Christ | ICF | Jesus freaks | Church of the Nazarene | Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | Mennonites | Mennonite Brethren Churches | Roman Catholic Church (1st form) | Orthodox Church | Pentecostal | Seventh-day Adventists | Jehovah's Witnesses
Pour over Old Catholic Church (2nd form) | Roman Catholic Church (2nd form) | Anglican Church | Evangelical Lutheran Churches | Uniate Church | Evangelical Reformed Church | Methodist Church | Church of the Nazarene (at the request of the person to be baptized) | Mennonites
Sprinkle Church of the Nazarene (at the request of the person to be baptized) | New Apostolic Church

Baptismal formula

With regard to the baptismal formula, there are minor differences in the introductory sequence, while the rest of the process "... names of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" is identical in most churches.

In the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches as well as in the Alexandrian rite the introduction is given with the words "NN, I baptize you in ...", in most Eastern church rites "The servant of God NN is baptized in ..." and finally, according to Martin Luther, "NN , I will baptize you on the ... “spoken.

In the original Greek text ( Mt 28,18-20  EU ), εις stands with the accusative, which indicates a direction or a purpose (into ... into; to). Paul becomes clearer in Romans 6,3ff EU that those who are baptized “into” ( eis ) Jesus Christ are baptized “into his death” (εις τόν θάνατον αυτοῦ, eis tòn thánaton autoû ).

Martin Luther and other translators after him translated the ice with "auf". This formulation is often misunderstood as a naming, which is why the Protestant congregations have recently adopted the version “in the name”, which is derived from the Latin “in nomine” and adapted to modern usage.

The baptismal formula "εις το όνομα" ( eis tò ónoma ) is the translation of the rabbinic לשם -  l e schem  - "in the name". In the Talmud this phrase is used both in the final sense and to express an authority. In the New Testament the authority of the Name of God extends to Jesus ( John 14:13  EU ).

Baptism “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” means that the person baptized is received into Christ and participates in his death and resurrection .

Instead of the Trinitarian baptismal formula from Mt 28:19, some churches use the formula “in the name of Jesus (Christ)” or “in the name of Jesus (Christ)”, without seeing any contradiction to the mission and baptismal command in Matthew 28 (“baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit ”). They justify this with the traditional practice in early Christianity ( e.g. Acts 2.36  EU , Acts 4.12  EU ) and with the fact that in Matthew 28 the word "name" is singular.

Emergency baptism

Baptism is usually carried out by a clergyman , but in an emergency, a lay person can also donate a valid baptism in many churches . In the Roman Catholic Church, baptism can even be donated in an emergency by “every person guided by the necessary intention”. The person to be baptized pours water over the head of the person to be baptized and says: "I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Baptism in churches and congregations

Catholic christening ceremony

Pitcher with baptismal water consecrated in celebration of the Easter vigil
Roman Catholic infant baptism
Sideboard with what is needed for a baptism in the Roman Catholic Church: bowl for the baptismal water, vessels with catechumen oil and chrism , cotton wool for dabbing, baptismal gown (front left)

The Roman Catholic Church calls baptism the basis of all Christian life, the gateway to the life in the Spirit and to the other sacraments . There are two different liturgical orders: (1) the “integration of adults into the church” (with a special form for children of school age) and (2) the “celebration of infant baptism” (for younger children). Baptism can be administered both inside and outside of Holy Mass . Since time immemorial, baptism in celebration of Easter vigil has been particularly recommended .

If baptism is donated outside of Holy Mass, it still takes place as a liturgical celebration. After the person to be baptized has been marked with the cross , readings are given, such as the gospel of the Lord's baptism . Since the person to be baptized is accepted into the community of saints, the saints are called upon for their intercession in the All Saints' litany. This is followed by baptismal exorcism and anointing with catechumene oil . Before baptism, the water of baptism is sanctified through the consecration prayer (“praise and invocation of God over the water”). The confession of the Christian faith is preceded by the Abrenuntiatio diaboli , the rejection of Satan and evil.

In the "integration of adults into the Church", baptism is usually followed by confirmation and first communion in the same celebration .

In the Roman Catholic, Old Catholic and, if requested, also in the Anglican Church, the so-called postbaptismal anointing with chrism follows the sacrament of baptism during infant baptism ; it refers to the Christ name as well as to the anointing of kings , priests and prophets in the Tanakh and endows the baptized with a special power of the Holy Spirit. It is not about the Sacrament of Confirmation . Rather, the rite serves as a preliminary interpretation of confirmation and is not applicable if confirmation is given during the same celebration.

Then a white dress ( baptismal gown ) is presented (cf. White Sunday ), which symbolizes the innocent purity of the person who was freed from all sins in baptism and who “put on” Christ in baptism Gal 3:27  EU . The custom of lighting a christening candle and handing it over refers to the parable of the wise virgins who approach the Lord with a lamp. At baptism, which is then Effata -Ritus completed and prayed for the person being baptized.

If the chrism anointing foreshadowed confirmation, the third sacrament of initiation , first communion , is now indicated in the case of infant baptism by the fact that the congregation present moves to the altar , the place of the sacrifice . There a Our Father and an Ave Maria are prayed and the blessings are given.

According to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, baptism works ex opere operato ("on the basis of the work done"), because: "He [Christ] is present with his power in the sacraments, so that whenever someone baptizes, Christ himself baptizes" ( Sacrosanctum Concilium Art. 7).

Under specific circumstances, Catholic priests in a Catholic rite are allowed to baptize children of people who belong to a non-Catholic Eastern Church. In this case the child does not become Catholic through baptism, but Orthodox or Oriental-Orthodox (can. 868 § 3 CIC; can. 681 § 5 CCEO).

Orthodox christening ceremony

Baptismal font in the mother church of Santa Maria Assunta in Civita (Italy)

In Orthodoxy , Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist ( First Communion ) are linked to one another in a single celebration of integration into Christ and the Church. When the baptism is performed, the person to be baptized is completely submerged (immersion baptism) in order to symbolize “death and resurrection in Christ” (Rom. 6). Even small children immediately receive the anointing of myron after their baptism (corresponds to Confirmation ) and, unless postponed to the next parish mass, communion (in the form of the Holy Blood ). In principle, the Catholic Uniate Churches of the East and the ancient Near Eastern churches such as the Coptic Church act in the same way .


The prayer for the birth of the child

The first prebaptism prayer is the child's birth prayer. The prayers and the first blessing are given by the priest visiting the mother and child. Today, the time of the Blessing is often postponed so that the prayer can be said shortly after the birth. This has to do with the changed living conditions, so that births no longer take place at home, so that the first blessing after leaving the hospital is made up for the mother and the child. The prayers express gratitude for the baby's birth and ask for the mother's speedy recovery.

The prayer on the eighth day after the birth

The prayer on the eighth day after the birth is attested in the oldest Byzantine Euchologion , the Codex Barberini gr. 336, from the eighth century. For this prayer the child is brought into the church and the priest speaks to the child in front of the doors to the nave. In this service, one prayer should be said to name the child with the cross and one to name the child. The designation of the cross goes back to an ancient tradition in which a baptismal candidate who is accepted into the catechumenate is designated with the cross. The priest says:

“Lord, our God, we ask you and call to you: May the light of your face be drawn on your servant NN and the cross of your only born son in his heart and in his spirit, that he may deceive the folly of the world and everyone Lure the enemy flee. "

Then he sings the troparion of the feast of the presentation of Jesus in the temple and picks up the child. In the meantime, the individual rites can also be combined. Naming is hardly practiced in the present. The following custom can be used as an alternative and connection of the rites.

Prayer on the fortieth day after the birth

The third prebaptism rite is performed on the fortieth day after birth. The child is brought to church by his mother and a godparent. Male baptized persons are accompanied by a godparent , female by a godmother. The prayers are addressed to the child as he will be accepted into the close church fellowship on this day and include the request that the child grow up quickly so that he can receive baptism and Holy Communion . Cleansing prayers for the mother are also included in this ceremony. The mother first waits at the doors of the nave, where the priest takes the child from her and draws the sign of the cross. He speaks the words:

“The servant of God NN is introduced into the church in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen."

He repeats this in the center of the church in front of the iconostasis . If it is a male baptized person, the priest carries him into the sanctuary, bypasses the altar and bows to the side. A girl is brought to the icons of the Savior and the Blessed Mother at the King's Gate to touch them with her lips. The priest speaks the hymn of praise to Simeon (Nunc dimittis) and marks the forehead, mouth and chest of the person to be baptized with the sign of the cross in the name of the Holy Trinity and gives the child back to the mother.


The catechumenate is the immediate preparation for baptism. When a child is baptized, the godparent takes over the answers and actions for the person to be baptized. The priest picks up the child in the vestibule and makes sure that the face and chest of the person to be baptized are uncovered. He breathes on the face three times in the shape of the cross and draws the sign of the cross on his chest and forehead. The fourfold exorcism follows , which is accompanied by prayers and questions to the person being baptized. This creates a unity between the rejection of Satan, here the priest holds the baptized towards the west, and the promise to Christ, in which the priest holds the baptized towards the east. The rite ends in the Nicano-Constantinopolitanum . The catechumenate ends with the words:

“Lord, Lord our God, call your servant NN to your holy enlightenment and honor him of this great grace of your holy baptism. Strip him of his old being and renew him to eternal life and fill him with the power of the Holy Spirit to unite with Christ, so that he is no longer the child of the flesh but a child of the kingdom. "

The rite of baptism

Modern Orthodox baptismal font
Greek Orthodox Infant Baptism

First the priest puts on white, solemn robes. The candles are lit while the priest goes to the baptismal font and incenses it with incense . For the consecration of the baptismal water, the deacon pronounces an ectenia containing twenty petitions . With the previously consecrated oil “the priest anoints the baptized forehead, chest and shoulders, for the healing of the soul and the body,“ the ears to hear the faith ”, the hands,“ your hands made me and formed me ”, and the Feet, 'that I may walk in the way of your commandments' ”. Baptism is now performed. The priest lifts the person to be baptized to the east and says three times:

“The servant of God NN is baptized in the name of the Father, Amen; and the son's, amen; and of the Holy Spirit, amen. "

After each “Amen”, the person to be baptized is completely submerged and water is poured over them. Then the person to be baptized is put on a white robe, which is a sign of the purity that he received through baptism and that he should keep for a lifetime.

Post-Baptism rites

Myron anointing

Immediately after the baptism, there is the anointing with Myron , the confirmation , which indicates the completion of the baptism. The final anointing of myron counts as a second sacrament of its own, "but is connected with baptism to form a unified whole." The transition from baptism to anointing of myron is not noted in the liturgical books. After the anointing of the myron, the person to be baptized can take part in the Eucharist . After the prayer, the priest anoints the person to be baptized with St. Myron. He draws the cross on the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, ears, chest, hands and feet. During this he speaks:

“Seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Amen. ”Then he dresses the person to be baptized. This is followed by the troparion "Grant me the garment of light that you clothe yourself with light as with a garment, merciful Christ our God."

The priest hands the person to be baptized a cross and a white candle. Through the anointing, the person to be baptized becomes a full member of the Orthodox Church and is allowed to receive the Eucharistic gifts. Finally, the priest walks around the baptismal font three times with the baptized and the godfather. The antiphon is sung with everyone present : “All of you who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia. Glory to the Father now and always. ”(Cf. Gal 3:27  EU ) This is followed by the closing prayer, readings and the Gospel (Romans and Matthew are often read).

Prayer of ablation and tonsure

After seven, originally eight days, the person to be baptized is brought back to the church to be washed. The washing of the myron is done by the priest as ordained minister, since the myron oil is to be treated with the greatest respect. Then the tonsure takes place . The priest cuts off some of the person's hair. This rite symbolizes the subordination of the person to be baptized to Christ and the readiness to fight against the enemies of the new life.

Evangelical christening ceremony

Baptism in the Swedish Church (Stora Sköndals kyrka, 2008)

Baptism can take place in the Sunday church service or in a special baptism service. A baptismal hymn is typically sung at the appropriate point in the service (before or after the sermon). This is followed by the question “Do you want to be baptized?”, After which the Apostolic Creed is spoken.

Lutheran baptism in Finland

Since infants are usually baptized these days, the parents and godparents answer the question of whether the child should be baptized and speak the creed. When asked whether you are willing to raise your child in the Christian faith, the answer is “Yes, with God's help!”. When the liturgist asked “What is the name of the child?” The name is given. Older people to be baptized (mostly from school age) are instead asked whether they would like to be baptized.

Then the baptism is performed. A bell can be rung for this.

Usually the person to be baptized receives a baptismal address that should accompany him on his life path. In memory of Jesus' words “I am the light of the world”, a baptismal candle is often lit at the Easter candle and handed over with the words “Receive the light of Christ”, which the baptized person takes home as a souvenir. This is followed by the blessing of the person to be baptized or the parents and godparents. Frequently welcomes the conclusion of a member of the management body (church council or presbytery) of the parish or parish to baptized as a new member of the congregation.

The baptism is entered in the church records together with the baptismal proclamation .

In the case of infant baptism, the later confirmation gives the person to be baptized the opportunity to reaffirm their membership of the Christian faith. Since confirmation is increasingly no longer understood as a prerequisite for participating in the Lord's Supper , the focus is again more on this affirmation.

Baptist christening ceremony

Baptist baptism

There is no prescribed liturgy for the Baptist baptism. As a rule, however, it has the following sequence: The person being baptized confesses to Jesus Christ in his own words . Often the personal testimony is followed by the commonly spoken Apostles' Creed.

Then the person to be baptized (usually dressed in white) goes into the baptistery or - if the baptism takes place outdoors - into the water where the baptist ( pastor or church elder ) is already waiting for him. A baptismal message is read out. The person to be baptized is then baptized in the name of the Triune God (and / or in the name of Jesus) by immersing the person once.

Then the baptized is blessed with the laying on of hands by the elders of the church and accepted into the church. A sacrament celebration can end the baptismal service. The Seventh-day Adventists practice the baptismal service in a very similar way.

New Apostolic Baptism Celebration

In the New Apostolic Church, the sacrament of Holy Baptism with water is the “first and fundamental communication of grace” of the Triune God to man. Underage children can also receive the sacrament of Holy Baptism. When children are baptized, parents profess their faith in the gospel.

The act of baptism takes place after the forgiveness of sins and the sacrificial prayer. When children are baptized, parents or their proxies are made aware of the responsibility for the child's soul with regard to the faith that they have up until the child's confirmation . After the address, the person to be baptized or his deputy is asked whether they want to vow to walk in the New Apostolic faith, to follow in loyalty to the Lord and his messengers or to raise their child in the New Apostolic faith and to be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ preserve.

After the confirmation with the "yes", the service leader offers the vow to God in a short prayer and implores his special help and strength so that the vow can be kept. Then the water, which is kept ready in a baptismal bowl, is separated out with the words:

“Now I separate this water in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and consecrate it for the ordinance of water baptism. Amen."

Then the service leader wets the forehead of the person to be baptized three times with the separated water, making the sign of the cross, and says:

“I baptize you in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Immediately afterwards, the officer in charge blesses the person to be baptized by laying his hand on the person's forehead. The administration of the sacrament ends with the words:

“On this rest the blessings of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Baptism donated in other Christian communities is recognized as valid if it has been performed “rite”, that is, in the name of the Triune God and with water.

The sacrament of Holy Sealing is the transmission of the Holy Spirit. Both sacraments, water baptism and sealing, together form the " rebirth of water and spirit ". The born again is “a member of the body of Christ ” and “heir to the glory to come”.

Validity and mutual recognition

In most churches, the validity of a baptism does not depend on the denomination of the person being baptized or the person being baptized. This question was clarified in the history of the Old Church in the so-called heretic controversy .

Most churches recognize a baptism that has been performed

  • in the name of the triune God ("I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit"),
  • by immersion or dousing with water,
  • with the right intention of the baptist. The intention must be to do what the Church does in baptism.

On this basis, the Magdeburg Declaration was signed for Germany on April 29, 2007 .

The validity of baptism is disputed or mutually questioned in the following cases:

  • In many free churches (especially Baptists , Mennonites , Pentecostal churches, and Seventh-day Adventists ), the validity of a baptism depends on whether the person being baptized has made a conscious decision to be baptized. Christians who have been baptized as infants are usually considered unbaptized there. Nevertheless, as a rule, if they profess the Christian faith, they are recognized as fellow Christians, but are not allowed to take part in the Lord's Supper in all churches and congregations. Free Protestant congregations and some Baptist congregations, however, have special regulations for pastoral reasons. They recognize the conflict of conscience of those baptized as small children and in exceptional cases do not (from the point of view of these believers) be baptized again. These believers are nevertheless integrated into the church as members. The working group of Mennonite congregations formulated in the run-up to the Magdeburg Declaration of 2007 that in principle every baptism can be recognized, provided that it is recognized as valid by the believer concerned. With the joint declaration on Eucharistic hospitality with the Lutheran regional churches , a Lutheran-Mennonite communion has also existed in Germany since 1996. In Baptist congregations, even those who are baptized with small children are generally admitted to the Lord's Supper, but otherwise - apart from the special rules mentioned above - they are not considered to be eligible to vote in congregational meetings. With the convergence document of the Bavarian Lutheran Baptist Working Group (BALUBAG) learn from one another - believe with one another. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism (2009) has rekindled the discussion about the recognition of infant baptism within the Baptist community. The paper recommends mutual full church recognition: “By carefully considering the previous conflicts in the practice of baptism and the Lord's Supper, we worked out proposals through which a basic consensus was reached in the gospel-appropriate design of baptism and the Lord's Supper. Therefore we recommend our churches to take up pulpit and communion fellowship. "
  • Immersion is compulsory for some churches and communities.
  • Some free church groups baptize exclusively “in the name of Jesus” with reference to the Acts of the Apostles (for an explanation see above under baptismal formula).

Ecumenical discussion

In Germany

In the current ecumenical discussion in Germany , the unifying character of baptism is emphasized. It is said in a statement to the understanding of the church , which at the 9th Assembly of the 2006 World Council of Churches was adopted: "By God's grace baptism makes visible that we belong to each other, even though some churches are not yet in a position to another to be recognized as churches in the full sense of the word. "

In doing so, an attempt is made to build a bridge to those Christians who do not practice water baptism. The compromise formula reads: "the common basic pattern of a Christian initiation based on baptism ".

On March 26, 1996, the "Agreement of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland between the Archdiocese of Cologne and the dioceses of Aachen, Essen, Münster and Trier for the mutual recognition of baptism" was signed by the leading clergy at the time. The intention of this agreement was and is to express the unity given in Christ in baptism more clearly and to rule out as far as possible any discrepancies about the valid performance of baptism in the future. Similar agreements at the regional church or diocese level existed in most other regions.

This agreement was extended to the entire area of ​​the German Bishops' Conference and the EKD in the Magdeburg Declaration on April 29, 2007 and was signed by the representatives of a total of eleven churches.


The Lima Declaration of January 1982 formulates the commonality of the concept of baptism of the churches that are members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) . Representatives of the Roman Catholic Church not affiliated with the WCC were involved in drafting the theses. Differences between the individual denominations were deliberately left out.

Baptism by the Holy Spirit

Pentecostal and charismatic Christian churches emphasize, in addition to the visible, external act of baptism, especially baptism by the Holy Spirit . Non-charismatic churches see in baptism by the Holy Spirit an inner change rather than an outwardly visible change. The participation of the Holy Spirit in water baptism is not in question.

The baptism of the Spirit is also mentioned in the New Testament (Mk. 1,8). There is the reception of the spirit (Acts 19,6), which can even precede a baptism (Acts 10,44ff.)

The New Apostolic Church knows the sacrament of sealing for this .

Above all in circles of dispensationalism , that is, in which the Bible is divided in terms of salvation history , the baptism of the Spirit is seen as an event identical to the rebirth . This is justified with the biblical passages in 1Cor 12,13 EU and Acts 11,1-18 EU .

Legal meaning

Internal law of the religious community ("canon law")

In many religious communities, baptism establishes the membership of the baptized in the local community and at the same time in the religious community in terms of church law . For example, Section 6, Clause 1 of the Church Membership Act of the EKD :

"Church membership is acquired through baptism in a parish that belongs to a member church of the Evangelical Church in Germany."

- § 6 sentence 1 of the Church Membership Act of the EKD

The prerequisites for baptism are regulated in the Protestant regional churches in the rules of life , in the Roman Catholic Church in the Codex Iuris Canonici .

Baptism is an official act that is usually to be entered in the church registers ( authentication ). It determines, for example, Article 10, Paragraph 1, Clause 1 of the Church Ordinance of “Baptism” in conjunction with Section 1 of the Church Register Regulations of the Evangelical Regional Church in Baden . In addition to the date and information about the person being baptized and the person to be baptized, the baptismal proclamation is given in the baptismal register (Section 9). A baptismal certificate is issued for the baptism (see, for example, Art. 10, Paragraph 2 of the above-mentioned rules of life).

State law ("State Church Law")

In addition to this canonical significance of baptism, it can also have legal consequences for the state legal system. The extent to which the state recognizes church membership based on baptism is regulated by (secular) state church law .

In Germany, due to the separation of church and state and its ideological neutrality, the state is prevented from determining who belongs to a church. Membership in a religious society rather arranges it according to Art. 137 Para. 3 WRV in conjunction with Art. 140 GG as a separate matter within the limits of the law applicable to all.

The situation is different, however, if the religious communities exercise powers derived from the state or if state law links legal consequences to membership (e.g. church tax collection ). Then the negative religious freedom of the member, i.e. the basic right not to belong to a religion, must be weighed against the religious community's right to self-determination.

However, the Federal Constitutional Court sees baptism and the state exit laws of the federal states as ensuring that no one is treated as a member of a religious community against their will under state law. This also applies to child baptism, where the parents with custody acted for their children. As a result, state law recognizes membership based on baptism even where it results in rights or obligations in the state.

In 2011 a father's attempt to have the baptism of his child declared invalid for joint custody failed (Augsburg Administrative Court, decision of May 31, 2011, Az. Au 3 K 11.282)

In another case, after the baptism of his child, which was unilaterally decided despite joint custody, the father protested against being brought up in a Catholic kindergarten. The court ruled that since the mother is raising the child in this context, the parenting mother is naturally the person who also has to decide on religious affiliation. The mother, who is the main caregiver of the child, will convey catholic values ​​anyway, so that a different decision on an individual issue could lead to a break in the continuity of upbringing (OLG Oldenburg, decision of February 9, 2010, Az. 13 UF 8/10).

See also



  • Gerhard Barth: Baptism in early Christian times . Neukirchen-Vluyn 1981.
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer : Successor . In: Martin Kuske and Ilse Tödt (eds.): Collected works . 2nd Edition. tape IV . Christian Kaiser Verlag, Gütersloh 1994, Die Taufe, p. 219 ff .
  • 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 ).
  • Liturgical Commission of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church, SELK (ed.): The holy baptism . Hanover 2002.
  • Markus Graulich , Ralph Weimann : Baptism preparation and baptism talk. A guide for parents and pastors, Regensburg 2019, ISBN 978-3-7917-6160-2 .
  • Peter Gerlitz, Udo Schnelle, Edward J. Yarnold, Jörg Ulrich u. a .: Baptism. I. Religious history II. New Testament III. Old Church IV. Middle Ages V. Reformation period VI. Modern times VII. Dogmatic and ethical VIII. Practical-theological . In: Theological Real Encyclopedia . TRE. tape 32 , 2001, p. 659–741 (comprehensive review with Ref.).
  • Johann Adam Möhler Institute for Ecumenism (Paderborn) / Denominational Institute of the Evangelical Federation (Bensheim): Baptism. An ecumenical working aid . Evangelischer Presseverlag Pfalz, Speyer 2009, ISBN 978-3-939512-14-1 .
  • Christian Lange , Clemens Leonhard, Ralph Olbrich (eds.): The baptism. Introduction to history and practice . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-534-20782-4 .
  • Markus Öhler: Baptism . Topics of Theology 5, UTB 3661. Tübingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-8252-3661-8 .
  • David P. Scaer: Baptism . In: Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics . tape XI , 1999.
  • Friedrich Fiederlein: Are born of water and spirit . In: School and Mission . H. 4, no. (1992/93) , 1993.
  • Carl Heinz Ratschow: The one Christian baptism . 3. Edition. Gütersloh 1983.
  • Franz Eugen Schlachter : What does the Bible teach about baptism? 1896.
  • Edmund Schlink : The Doctrine of Baptism . Kassel 1969.
  • Uwe Steffen : Baptism. Origin and meaning of the Christian initiation rite . Stuttgart 1988.
  • Franz-Josef Nocke : Special doctrine of the sacraments. I. Baptism . In: Theodor Schneider (Ed.): Handbuch der Dogmatik . tape 2 . Düsseldorf 2002, p. 226-259 .

Orthodox literature

  • Stefanos Alexopoulos: Shape and Interpretation of Christian Initiation in Medieval Byzantium. In: Christian Lange, Clemens Leonhard, Ralph Olbrich (eds.), Die Taufe. An introduction to history and practice. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-534-20782-4 .
  • Christoph Brey: Design and Interpretation of Christian Initiation in the Orthodox Churches. In: Christian Lange, Clemens Leonhard, Ralph Olbrich (eds.), Die Taufe. An introduction to history and practice. Wuppertal 1998.
  • Karl Christian Felmy: Introduction to Contemporary Orthodox Theology. Textbooks and study books on theology . Berlin 2005.
  • Anastasios Kallis (Ed.): Akoluthia tu baptimatos tēs orthodoxu ekklēsias. Greek-German . Munster 1999.
  • Bryan Douglas Spinks: The Formation and Theology of the Eastern Rites of Baptism: II The Byzantine, Armenian, Coptic and Ethicoptic Rites in: DERS., Early an Medieval Rituals and Theologies of Baptism. From the New Testament to the Council of Trent. Aldershot 2006.
  • Petros Bozinis: Les prières pour le baptême dans l'Euchologist Barberini grec 336. Analysis théologique et rituelle . Diss. Strasbourg 2013.

Baptist literature

  • George Beasley-Murray: The Christian Baptism. An investigation into their understanding in the past and present . Reprint of the 1st edition. Brockhaus, Wuppertal 1998, ISBN 3-417-29431-2 .
  • Johannes Schneider: Baptism and Congregation in the New Testament . 2nd Edition. Oncken Verlag, 1984.
  • Friedrich Sondheimer: The true baptism. A commitment to the baptism of believers . 4th edition. Oncken Verlag, 1974.
  • Robert H. Stein: Baptism and Becoming a Christian in the New Testament . In: Southern Baptist Theological Journal . tape 2 , (spring), 1988, p. 6-17 .
  • Franz Stuhlhofer : Symbol or Reality? - Baptism and the Lord's Supper . Schwengeler, Berneck 1988.

Web links

Commons : Baptism  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Baptism  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Josephus: Jewish antiquities. Chapter XVIII, line 117.
  2. Carl-Martin Edsman:  baptism . In: Religion Past and Present (RGG). 3. Edition. Volume 6, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 1962, Sp. 626-627.
  3. In the Qumran texts (1QS 3,6-8, 1QS 4,21f, 4Q 414, from Klaus Berger Qumran and Jesus , Quell-Verlag Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-7918-1929-1 , pp. 73-76)
  4. Josephus: History of the Jewish War , II, 8
  5. cf. the strongly Gnostic so-called sect rule (1QS 2.25-3.12)
  6. Differences and similarities between mikveh and baptism
  7. Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church (1993), numbers 1217-1222: Baptism in the salvation economy .
  8. J. Betz: Baptism. In: Heinrich Fries (ed.): Handbook of theological basic concepts . Munich 1962, Volume 2, pp. 614-630, here p. 614.
  9. Erich DinklerBaptism II: In Urchristentum . In: Religion Past and Present (RGG). 3. Edition. Volume 6, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 1962, Sp. 636.
  10. Stuhlhofer: Symbol or Reality? Pp. 57-64.
  11. Didache 7.1, accessed on July 23, 2017.
  12. Udo Schnelle : Baptism . In: Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon, Volume 4. Göttingen 1996, Col. 663: "Probably [...] usually by immersion in running water"; Didache 7.
  13. Didache 7: “Regarding baptism, keep it this way: When you have said all of the preceding, baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in running water. But if you don't have running water, baptize in another water; if you can't do it in the cold, do it in the warm. If you don't have both, pour water three times on your head […] ”.
  14. Church ordinances . In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie (TRE). Volume 18, de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1989, ISBN 3-11-011613-8 , p. 667.Berthold
    Altaner, Alfred Stuiber: Patrologie. 9th edition Freiburg / Br. 1978, p. 83.
  15. Tertullian: On Baptism (De baptismo) , 18. Accessed July 23, 2017.
  16. Art. Baptism in: Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon , Volume 4. Göttingen 1996, Sp. 666.
  17. Tertullian: On Baptism (De baptismo) , 13. Accessed July 23, 2017.
  18. ^ Tertullian: About baptism (De baptismo) , 6ff. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  19. Justin the Martyr: First Apology. Chapter 61 Baptism. Online library of the Church Fathers at the University of Friborg, accessed on June 12, 2015.
  20. Augustine: Tractatus in Iohannis Euangelium 80,3
  21. Augustine enchiridion 17, 64
  22. Aurelius Augustinus The Holy Church Father Aurelius Augustinus selected writings, vol. 8 ; Library of the Church Fathers, 1st row, Volume 49. J. Kösel / F. Pustet, Kempten / Munich, 1925.
  23. Exsultate Deodorant 1439
  24. Baptismal catechesis of Cyril of Jerusalem (English)
  25. Martin Luther: Great Catechism, Part Four, From Baptism
  26. Summary of Zwingli's doctrine of baptism
  27. Geneva Catechism, question 310
  28. ( Memento from October 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  29. ^ Rejection ( anathemata ) of all Reformation doctrines on baptism
  30. Decree on infant baptism: “Anyone who denies that small children are to be baptized straight away from the womb”, even if they come from baptized parents, “or says that although they were baptized for the forgiveness of sins, they did not draw anything from an original sin from Adam on oneself what would have to be atoned for by the bath of regeneration "in order to attain eternal life, from which it follows that with them the form of baptism for the forgiveness of sins is not correctly understood, but incorrectly:" he is excommunicated . "
  31. The celebration of infant baptism. Pastoral introduction. Edited by the Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference. 2nd, improved edition, Bonn 2008 (PDF; 1.6 MB)
  32. E.g. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1253
  33. ^ The Celebration of Infant Baptism, page 15
  34. ^ Survey among German Mennonite communities by the magazine Junge Gemeinde
  35. a b Catechism of the Catholic Church (KKK) No. 1240 and BCP (1979) (German translation: p. 203; Urtext p. 307)
  36. Agende for Evangelical Lutheran Churches and Parishes Volume III The official acts, Part 1 The baptism of the Lutheran publishing house in 1988
  37. H. Biedenhard: Name , in: Brockhaus Theologische Lexikon zum New Testament study edition Volume 2, Wuppertal 1986 4
  38. Codex juris canonici Can. 861 §2 . If an ordinary donor is not present or is unable to do so, the catechist or someone else designated by the local ordinary may donate baptism, in an emergency even every person guided by the necessary intention; the pastors and above all the pastor must make it their business to instruct the faithful about the right baptism.
  39. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia : "In case of necessity, baptism can be administered lawfully and validly by any person whatsoever who observes the essential conditions, whether this person be a Catholic layman or any other man or woman, heretic or schismatic, infidel or Jew." The essential conditions are that the person pour water upon the one to be baptized, at the same time pronouncing the words: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Moreover, he must thereby intend really to baptize the person, or technically, he must intend to perform what the Church performs when administering this sacrament. "
  40. Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1213
  41. ^ The celebration of child baptism in the dioceses of the German-speaking area. Second authentic edition based on the Editio typica altera 1973. Herder Verlag, Freiburg (Breisgau) 2018, ISBN 978-3-451-38201-7 .
  42. ^ Leo von Rudloff: Baptism and confirmation in the Byzantine rite . (Holy celebrations of the Eastern Church 1). Schöningh, Paderborn 1938; The worship of the sacraments of baptism and anointing . Compiled, translated and introduced by Theodor Nikolaou (Liturgical Texts and Studies 4). Munich 2001 (Greek-German); Lothar Heiser: Baptism in the Orthodox Church. History, donation and symbolism according to the teaching of the fathers . (Sophia 25). Paulinus, Trier 1987. ISBN 3-7902-1411-6 ; Sebastià Janeras: La iniciación cristiana en la tradición litúrgica oriental . (Cuadernos phase 149). CPL, Barcelona 2005.
  43. Anastasios Kallis (Ed.): Akoluthia tu baptimatos tēs orthodoxu ekklēsias . Greek - German. Münster 1999, p. 19.
  44. Anastasios Kallis (Ed.): Akoluthia tu baptimatos tēs orthodoxu ekklēsias . Greek - German. Münster 1999, p. 35.
  45. Christoph Brey: Design and Interpretation of Christian Initiation on the Orthodox Churches , in: Lange, Christian / Leonhard, Clemens / Olbrich, Ralph (ed.): Die Taufe. Introduction to history and practice . Darmstadt 2008, p. 145.
  46. Anastasios Kallis (Ed.): Akoluthia tu baptimatos tēs orthodoxu ekklēsias . Greek - German. Münster 1999, p. 69.
  47. Anastasios Kallis (Ed.): Akoluthia tu baptimatos tēs orthodoxu ekklēsias . Greek - German. Münster 1999, p. 91.
  48. Felmy, Karl Christian: Introduction to Orthodox Theology of the Present, pp. 227–228.
  49. Anastasios Kallis (Ed.): Akoluthia tu baptimatos tēs orthodoxu ekklēsias . Greek - German. Münster 1999, p. 99.
  50. Anastasios Kallis (Ed.): Akoluthia tu baptimatos tēs orthodoxu ekklēsias . Greek - German. Münster 1999, p. 101.
  51. Cf. Christoph Brey: Design and Interpretation of Christian Initiation in the Orthodox Churches. In: Christian Lange, Clemens Leonhard, Ralph Olbrich (eds.): The baptism. Introduction to history and practice. Darmstadt 2008, p. 147.
  52. a b c d Anne Lüters: Course of a baptismal service. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria , March 12, 2014, accessed on June 12, 2018 .
  53. ^ Website of the church in North Rhine-Westphalia: Doctrine & Faith - Three Sacraments
  54. Mutual recognition of being baptized is possible. (PDF; 83 kB) Accessed April 6, 2011 .
  55. 10 years of Eucharistic hospitality with Mennonites. United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany, accessed April 6, 2011 .
  56. ^ For the Free Evangelical Congregations: Guidelines for Baptism in Free Evangelical Congregations, sentence 8 ( Memento of September 22, 2010 in the Internet Archive ); for the Baptists: On the current discussion about mutual recognition of baptism, declaration by the Presidium of the Federation of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany from May 15, 2007, Article 5
  57. Press release EKD: Mutual recognition of baptism
  58. The inability of the churches mutually to recognize their various practices of baptism as sharing in the one baptism, and their actual dividedness in spite of mutual baptismal recognition, have given dramatic visibility to the broken witness of the Church. The readiness of the churches in some places and times to allow differences of sex, race, or social status to divide the body of Christ has further called into question genuine baptismal unity of the Christian community (Gal. 3: 27-28) and has seriously compromised its witness. The need to recover baptismal unity is at the heart of the ecumenical task as it is central for the realization of genuine partnership within the Christian communities. Lima Declaration Baptism (English) ( Memento from July 9, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  59. Book 4: Sanctification of the Church - Can. 849 ff.
  60. BVerfG, decision of March 31, 1971, Az. 1 BvR 744/67; BVerfGE 30, 415 - Membership Law.
  61. ^ Augsburg Administrative Court, decision of May 31, 2011, Az. Au 3 K 11.282