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24024Re: Question on Baptism of John the Baptist

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  • Mathew G M
    Oct 2, 2012
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      > --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Mann wrote:
      > > My question is about the baptism of John the Baptist. Is that his baptism was also for remission of Sin of Eden similar to the New Testament Baptism? Did the Son of God was born with Sin of Eden?
      Dear Thomas Mann,
      I my last email I was trying to make the point that we are not born with the guilt of original sin and the new testament baptism that we currently perform in the church is not for the remission of original sin (sin of Eden). The new testament baptism is a service of 'rebirth' or in other words it is the service of 'first resurrection' mentioned in Revelation 20:6.

      Here I would like to quote H.H Ignatius Zakka I, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East; on this topic.

      His Holiness says; and I quote:
      Lord Jesus met John and asked him to be baptized, but John declined saying to him. " `I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? ' But Jesus answered, 'Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he consented " (Matthew 3:14-15). This righteousness that Jesus wanted to fulfil was the righteousness of HUMILITY that began in him through his incarnation.

      He (Jesus Christ) is the only one to have been born and remained free from sin. The sinners had confessed their personal sins and received forgiveness through repentance at the hand of John who baptized them with the baptism of repentance.

      The Lord Jesus confessed before John the sins of humanity that were placed on His shoulders by His will. For that reason John later called Him the Lamb of God who was lifted up for the sins of the world. (John 1:29) Through His baptism the Lord made the water holy when it touched his pure body.

      All of us are one family born from one mother, baptism, which the Lord Jesus established the day he was baptized by John as some of our Syriac fathers contemplated. Baptism symbolized the DEATH of Christ, his burial and his RESURRECTION and the apostle Paul says about this matter: "Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

      That is why we Syriac Orthodox baptize the believers by immersing them in the baptismal fount three times. This symbolizes the burial of the dead in the tombs as the baptized are buried with Christ to rise up with him in the new life.
      The above is from an article written by H.H Zakka I and published in "The Patriarchal Journal Vol. 32 – January/February 1994"

      Now, I have a question especially to our respected Priests in the forum. H.H Zakka I clearly says that we Syriac Orthodox baptize by "immersing". However I have never seen any child being immersed in the water; I have only seen priest pouring water with their hands over the child. I have been to a Greek Orthodox baptism, where the priest, literally immerses the child in the water and as seen in the following video:


      From the words of the Patriarch, it seems that is the Syriac Orthodox practice as well. So in Malankara who we just pour water over the head and not immerse?

      Mathew G M
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