About Me – On Baptism

If you don’t know, this is a post that helps you the reader to become more acquainted with where I – the author of this site – stand on various topics and theological points. Keep reading to see where I stand on today’s topic.


In short, I am credo-baptist.

This means I see value and biblical support for the baptism of a professing believer in Christ. This does not include the baptism of infants.

I have long since viewed baptism this way and came to it naturally by simply reading the Scriptures. I’ve read and listened to many an argument for infant baptism (paedobaptism) and do not find the arguments convincing. Even my current studies continue to reaffirm what Scripture clearly teaches – credo.

I know there are some dedicated paedobaptists out there who are likely triggered by that last comment but this post isn’t about debating. This is about where I, the author of this site, am at.

I do want to make a distinction though. There’s another practice often associated with infant baptism that is extra-biblical but there’s also nothing truly wrong with it either. That would be baby dedications and these often involve the parents pledging, before the church, to raise their child right before the Lord. This isn’t a necessary practice or even a required one by Scripture but I also see nothing wrong with it.

I bring these dedications up as they are often confused with infant baptism since they are not uncommonly done alongside it.

Infant baptism isn’t the biblical pattern. In addition, the earliest Christians didn’t do this practice and once they did start doing so, they did it based on very different reasoning than what people do today.

FYI: once infant baptism did become a things, not everyone practiced it and they based it upon the thinking of trying to secure the child through the grace imparted through the act. The reasoning simply wasn’t what you typically see today.


Note: I do these posts not because I think I’m somehow superior in my views or anything absurd like that but out of a desire to be up-front and honest with my readers as to where I stand. Otherwise, you’d be left to figure things out by reading between the lines and/or guessing.

See more in the master list.

Greek Word: ερχομαι

Today – erchomai

In the Greek: ερχομαι

Pronunciation (Erasmian): er – ch (like in the word loch) – oh – my

Definition/approximate English equivalent: “to come” or “I come”. It carries the idea of coming from somewhere or to make one’s appearance known.

Example of its use:

  • John 1:7 (Tischendorf) – οὗτος ἦλθεν εἰς μαρτυρίαν, ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός, ἵνα πάντες πιστεύσωσιν διʼ αὐτοῦ.
    • ερχομαι is a word that has an alternative stem so it has been bolded in the above text to make it stand out to you since it is this alternative used here. This is rather common which is why it was chosen as an example.
  • John 1:9 – Ἦν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινόν, ὃ φωτίζει πάντα ἄνθρωπον, ἐρχόμενον εἰς τὸν κόσμον.
    • I bolded this one as well for contrast but you can more easily see the similarities here to the original word.

Note: Endings are often different because of the word’s place/use in the sentence. As you study Greek, you find nouns have to match with parts of the surrounding context of terms in gender, case, and plurality – among other things – and that’s what’s going on here. Verbs must do similarly – like in today’s example – having to follow a “tense”, plurality, and more.

Heresy

Dictionary.com

noun, plural her·e·sies.

  1. opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, especially of a church or religious system.
  2. the maintaining of such an opinion or doctrine. Roman Catholic Church.
  3. the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.
  4. any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.

Etymonline.con

“doctrine or opinion at variance with established standards” (or, as Johnson defines it, “an opinion of private men different from that of the catholick and orthodox church”), c. 1200, from Old French heresie, eresie “heresy,” and by extension “sodomy, immorality” (12c.), from Latin hæresis, “school of thought, philosophical sect.” The Latin word is from Greek hairesis “a taking or choosing for oneself, a choice, a means of taking; a deliberate plan, purpose; philosophical sect, school,” from haireisthai “take, seize,” middle voice of hairein “to choose,” a word of unknown origin, perhaps cognate with Hittite šaru “booty,” Welsh herw “booty;” but Beekes offers “no etymology.”

The Greek word was used by Church writers in reference to various sects, schools, etc. in the New Testament: the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and even the Christians, as sects of Judaism. Hence the meaning “unorthodox religious sect or doctrine” in the Latin word as used by Christian writers in Late Latin. But in English bibles it usually is translated sect. Transferred (non-religious) use in English is from late 14c.

Discussion/Explanation

This term’s use can often get foggy when speaking historically and is often confused with or treated equivalent to apostasy. Whether used to mean “sect” or simply any who are at odds with the official doctrine, the fact remains the same that those considered in heresy are outside the accepted doctrine.

Many Protestants would consider Roman Catholics as heretical though the same could just as easily be said in reverse. There are significant differences between the two despite their similarities such that you cannot truly consider them the same faith without ignoring significant differences.

Various other heresies would include (but not limited to): Deism, Docetism, the various Gnostic heresies, Arianism, prosperity gospel, LDS church (Mormon), and many more. Many of these and more would also be described as apostate at the same time.

See the apostasy link above for further discussion, compare/contrast, and other articles on this topic.

Greek Verb Endings Four-Quad Chart

Τhis first chart lays out the 4 sections of the quad chart. Each section is labeled with a referring letter (Α, Β, C, & D). These are commonly used to reference the endings used for the various verb forms (you can see these forms listed next to their respective letter below). As an example, the Present Active verbs would use the endings found in the A quarter of all the charts below.

APresent Active
Future Active
Perfect Active
BAorist Active
Aorist Passive
Imperfect Active
CPresent Middle
Future Middle
Future Passive
Perfect Middle
DAorist Middle
Imperfect Middle

The following chart gives the verbal endings with the combining vowel included.

A
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ω
εις
ει
ομεν
ετε
ονσι(ν)
B
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ον
ες
ε(ν)
ομεν
ετε
ον
C
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ομαι

εται
ομεθα
εσθε
ονται
D
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ομην
ου
ετο
ομεθα
εσθε
οντο

The following chart gives the verbal endings without the combining vowel included.

A
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p


ς
ι
μεν
τε
νσι(ν)
B
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ν
ς
(ν)
μεν
τε
ν
C
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

μαι
σαι
ται
μεθα
σθε
νται
D
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

μην
σο
το
μεθα
σθε
ντο

This chart provides an example of the verbal endings in use.

Α
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

λύω
λύεις
λύει
λύομεν
λύετε
λύουσι(ν)
Β
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ἒλυον
ἒλυες
ἒλυε(ν)
ἐλύομεν
ἐλύετε
ἐλύον
C
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

λύομαι
λύῃ
λύεται
λύομεθα
λύεσθε
λύοντα
D
1s
2s
3s
1p
2p
3p

ἐλυόμην
ἐλύου
ἐλύετο
ἐλυόμεθα
ἐλύεσθε
ἐλύοντο

Note: there are plenty of charts out there that combine all of the above into 1 single chart but this creates a clutter for someone such as myself that can be distracting – particularly if I’m trying to study just one part of the chart. This is why you see the information split up the way you do.

Square of Stops

Another key chart to learn and memorize when studying New Testament Greek is the square of stops. This becomes important as you deal with word endings that change.

Use the following for memorization practice. 

+ σ+ θ
Labialsπβφψφθ
Velarsκγχξχθ
Dentalsτδθσσ

Just scroll back and forth between these two tables to challenge yourself. I do this by making the part I don’t want to look at, at that moment, be not visible to my eyes by simply scrolling that table off the screen.

+ σ+ θ
Labials
Velars
Dentals

If you’re unfamiliar with the square of stops, it is a tool to help you keep track of the Greek characters that transform when in the presence of certain characters that follow. The + sigma (σ) and the + theta (θ) columns indicate what happens when they are added to any of the characters to the left.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Such a simple sentence but with so much meaning bound up in it.

“In the beginning…” – this is at the start of it all. The beginning of the created universe and with it comes the concept of time.

“God created…” – this speaks volumes about God. He didn’t just build something as you or I did, but created something out of nothing, ex nihilo. This is true creation, being able to make something that had never been. To illustrate this, I think back to an example a friend used on me once. In it he had me try to create an all new color. The trouble was that no matter how hard I tried, all I could think about were colors made from other colors. I simply could not invent something that wasn’t made from something else. This is the nature of human creation. We “create” out of something but God creates out of nothing.

“God created the heavens and the earth.” – this is profound – especially in light of all that we know today of the universe we are in. The heavens here include every heaven you could imagine, especially those of the stars and planets in the night sky. These are seemingly an endless array of stars, space dust, planets, moons, asteroids, nebula, etc.

There is also a contrast here as God also created Earth. Earth is just another planet among the heavens but it is specifically mentioned here as a specified work of God. The heavens reference is effectively general but also immense and then we have Earth which is singular and just one planet out of many. Earth is here because God put it here by his sovereign choice and in that choice, we see a being with deliberate action and the ability to carry out that which He sets to do. There are no hindrances. He does it and it is as he chooses. We see no whim here.

The contrast here between the heavens and Earth also serves to emphasize that Earth is important. Out of all the billions of stars and planets out there, the earth is specifically brought up. Not Mars, not Venus, nor any other planet we’ve come to know exists. Just this rock we call Earth.

In This Week of Thankfulness…

Thanksgiving has come once again. With it comes a time to remember the many blessings we should be thankful to God for. 

In light of this season of thankfulness, here’s a message that was given by my own pastor on the subject.

http://www.faithbaptistorlando.com/resources/sermon/2018-11-18/a-psalm-for-thanksgiving

Have a Happy Thanksgiving to all who participate and even if you don’t, stop and give thanks to God for all that he gives you.

Biblical Theology

Biblical Theology is a discipline of exegetical theology, one of the 4 that are part of what is called the “Encyclopedia of Theology” – Exegetical, Historical, Systematic, and Practical Theologies (Hagenbach).


Etymonline.com

biblical

1734, “pertaining to the Bible,” from Bible + -ical. Related: Biblically. Earlier adjective was Biblic (1680s). Related: Biblicality.


Discussion/Explanation

Biblical theology is considered by some to be the capstone of exegetical theology. However, it is not exegetical theology itself.

The reason for calling it the capstone is because it presupposes everything else within exegetical theology. To be clear, this means it is keeping in mind the Hebrew and Greek behind our modern translation, historical context, textual criticism, translation approach, the history and canonicity of the Bible, and hermeneutics. Everything done within exegetical theology is taken into account when engaging in biblical theology studies.

Biblical theology is, therefore, the area of theology of the entire Bible. It looks at the Bible as a whole and does not subdivide based upon Old Testament and New Testament. As a result, it naturally traces the entire story of the Scriptures in which you can see God’s progressive revelation.

Now, I do want to point out that biblical theology is not practiced in every corner of Christianity today. There are many who would do everything else found within the exegetical branch and then ignore the capstone and/or use the term biblical theology in an entirely different way – usually to state whether or not a particular theology or theological approach is biblical. With this in mind, the use of the term “biblical theology” can often seem unclear.


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Philology

Dictionary.com

noun
  1. the study of literary texts and of written records, the establishment of their authenti-city and their original form, and the determination of their meaning.
  2. (especially in older use) linguistics, especially historical and comparative linguistics.
  3. Obsolete. the love of learning and literature.

Etymonline.com

late 14c., “love of learning,” from Latin philologia “love of learning, love of letters, love of study, literary culture,” from Greek philologia “love of discussion, learning, and literature; studiousness,” from philo “loving” (see philo-) + logos “word, speech” (see Logos).

Meaning “science of language” is first attested 1716 (philologue “linguist” is from 1590s; philologer “linguistic scholar” is from 1650s); this confusing secondary sense has not been popular in the U.S., where linguistics is preferred. Related: Philological.


Discussion/Explanation

I kinda would like to resurrect the original meaning of the term that has now become obsolete as is so clearly noted under the Dictionary.com entry. Even so…

The first definition under the Dictionary.com is what best fits for our purposes here. It is the area of study that is actively involved in authenticating ancient documents and this includes manuscripts of the Bible and particular books of the Bible. It is an area of study actively involved in all sorts of ancient/old documents, not just the Christian Bible.


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