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Yes, children were present in household baptisms. Biblical evidence.

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by Ain't Zwinglian, Aug 9, 2022.

  1. Ain't Zwinglian

    Ain't Zwinglian Member

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    There is much debate about whether the “households” in the Book of Acts had children within them. Credobaptists are most insistence when whole households were baptized, children were not present to be baptized.

    Here are some statements I have gather from the internet and CF concerning Credobaptists statements on household baptism:
    • Luke, in writing these narratives, does not have in view infant members of the families.
    • Second, this argument rests on the premise that there were small children within the households. There is simply no evidence for such an assumption.
    • Not unless it can be shown that there are no households without infants.
    • “It is improbable that one can extract a theology of ‘household’ baptisms from a text like Acts 10, if by household one means including infants and very small children…it is an argument from silence, since infants and small children are not specifically mentioned…” (Ben Witherington The Acts of the Apostles, p. 155, n. 94).
    • The argument from household baptism is not only an argument from silence, it is improbable, too, because chances are there wouldn’t have been infants and small children in those households.
    • What are the chances the household baptisms mentioned in Acts included infants? Small.
    We solve whether or not children were included in the term “household” by using the standard hermeneutical rule “Scripture interprets Scripture.” Are there a parallel passages of Scripture that clarifies whether or not children where included or apart of households?

    Our methodology: Go to Bible Gateway and search for "household."
    • I Tim 3:12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his CHILDREN (τέκνων) and his HOUSEHOLD (οἴκων) well.
    • I Tim 3:4 [A shepard] must be one who manages his own HOUSEHOLD (οἴκου) well, keeping his CHILDREN (τέκνα) under control with all dignity.
    Paul links “children” and “household” in one unified concept. This is the NT usage of the term.

    Paul’s statement here at least allows the possibility of children living within a household and at the same time shows the improbability children were absent from households.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
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  2. Ain't Zwinglian

    Ain't Zwinglian Member

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    An Anecdote: I remember reading a comment about John MacArthur statement concerning baptizing the household of the Philippian jailor. He said the household in Acts 16, were adults and his servants.

    At which point, the commentor stated "Servants? Oh really? Do you mean to say the jailor was so wealthy and rich to have servants, that he took a job as a jailor working the graveyard shift in which one mistake would end his life?"

    Why do so many credobaptists believe "households" refer to servants? This presupposes the early christians were all wealthy....something the prosperity preachers here in America teach all day long.
     
  3. Jesse Dornfeld

    Jesse Dornfeld Slave to Christ Supporter

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    I'm afraid your argument works against you in the verses you have stated as in Acts it doe NOT mention children, which, it would be expected if it was the case that children were present. If you want to associate the words children and household, then only when both children and household are present would it mean children are present.
     
  4. Ain't Zwinglian

    Ain't Zwinglian Member

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    IT DOESN'T HAVE TO!

    I have offered evidence using "scripture interprets scripture" interpreting rule, meaning the ORDINARY usage οἴκων (household) in NT term can be inclusive of children. This is Paul's understanding of the word.

    To say children can't be present within the confines of οἴκων is eisogesis. The interpretation of a text by reading into it one's own ideas into Acts.

    The NT usage of οἴκων as understood by Paul has a wider meaning that you will permit.
     
  5. Jesse Dornfeld

    Jesse Dornfeld Slave to Christ Supporter

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    You never explained how that works.

    I'm not saying children can't be present, I am saying there is no evidence for your view. Simply stating that it is Paul's usage of the word doesn't really do much for the book of Acts anyways.

    Okay, explain that then.
     
  6. Ain't Zwinglian

    Ain't Zwinglian Member

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    Are you divorcing Paul's ordinary usage of the word οἴκων from Luke's ordinary usage?

    Please explain.
     
  7. Jesse Dornfeld

    Jesse Dornfeld Slave to Christ Supporter

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    Similar usages of this Greek word are found in Luke 1:40; 7:36; 8:41, Acts 11:12. It means dwelling place, not people.
     
  8. Ain't Zwinglian

    Ain't Zwinglian Member

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    So are you saying the Apostles baptized "dwelling places" and not people in the book of Acts?
     
  9. Jesse Dornfeld

    Jesse Dornfeld Slave to Christ Supporter

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    I just opened my BDAG lexicon and that is what it said.
     
  10. Ain't Zwinglian

    Ain't Zwinglian Member

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    I have had enough of this conversation. I find your comments censorious. Please let others comment.
     
  11. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Children did not have to be immersed in water as they were pure. The idea of baptism is from the Jewish practice. It represents a change in status in regards to purification, restoration, and qualification for full religious participation in the life of the community. Its meaning for Christians was a public acknowledgment similar to the Jewish custom but now holding a more meaningful one time commitment to Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
    Children, especially babies, can not acknowledge until they get older.
    Blessings
     
  12. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Well that is not the case with those who believe in "believer's Baptism" - like Baptists do and Adventists do.

    We claim children as young as 10 or 11 can accept the Gospel and be baptized.
     
  13. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Good point -- but there is much more to it in Acts 10 because the text specifically says
    "
    44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45 All the Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had also been poured out on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter responded, 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

    In every case it is only those who intelligently are "listening to the message" that receive the Holy Spirit and are then baptized.

    Your post ignores this and focuses only on "does the household include children of every age -- even though not mentioned in the text ?"
     
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  14. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    It "can be" but context determines scope and meaning. The actual text further qualified this case as being those who intelligently hear/listen to the message being the qualifier for who was baptized.

    Impossible for the objective unbiased readers to ignore that detail.

    Here we see the case of children being "managed" as opposed to "Being instructed in the gospel" .. and all parents know that managing children occurs long before they are capable of abstract thoughts about salvation and the gospel. So the subject is not about "Baptism" in 1 Tim 3 .. but rather managing.

    • I Tim 3:12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his CHILDREN (τέκνων) and his HOUSEHOLD (οἴκων) well.
    • I Tim 3:4 [A shepard] must be one who manages his own HOUSEHOLD (οἴκου) well, keeping his CHILDREN (τέκνα) under control with all dignit
     
  15. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Acts 16 has "more details" that qualify what is going on - than you are posting.

    29 And the jailer asked for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas; 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

    31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of God to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and was overjoyed, since he had become a believer in God together with his whole household.

    Infants don't "become believers in abstract concepts" and they have no way to "hear the Word of God with understanding"
     
  16. Jesse Dornfeld

    Jesse Dornfeld Slave to Christ Supporter

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    I do apologize. I was looking up a different iteration of the word household in Act. In Acts 16:31 it means "household, family".

    [Edit] Same goes for Acts 10:2
     
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  17. ServantJohn

    ServantJohn Not quite a newbie...

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    All of my "children" are adults.
     
  18. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    Incorrect my friend. YOU are forceing the Scriptures to say what YOu want them to say.

    The truth is however that there are NO Scriptures to support INFANT Baptisms. NONE!
     
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  19. Ain't Zwinglian

    Ain't Zwinglian Member

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    How am I forcing the Scripture to say what I want them to say?

    Paul clarifies in the OP children CAN be present in household. We use the interpretative principle “Scripture interprets Scripture” and deduce children COULD be present in Acts 16:31.

    Based upon the I Tim 3 and Acts 16 passage specifically….how I am forcing the text?

    Do you believe children were apart of households in I Timothly 3?

    Do you disagree with the hermeneutical rule “Scripture interprets Scripture?"

    Could you please exegetically show me the error of my way?

    A narrow detailed answer concerning the Scriptures in the OP would be helpful.
     
  20. Major1

    Major1 Well-Known Member

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    It all depends on what YOU call a CHILD. An infant is a child but an infant has not idea of what SIN is or a conciouse choice.

    The fact is........The Bible does not mention infant baptism. There is not a single verse that commands it. Nowhere does the Bible tell us that Christ or the apostles ever baptized a baby.

    The Bible is abundantly clear of what baptism is, who it is for, and what it accomplishes. In the Bible, only believers who had placed their faith in Christ were baptized - as a public testimony of their faith and identification with Him.

    An INFANT can not do that!!!!

    An infant cannot place his or her faith in Christ. An infant cannot make a conscious decision to obey Christ. An infant cannot understand what water baptism symbolizes. The Bible does not record any infants being baptized. Infant baptism is the origin of the sprinkling and pouring methods of baptism - as it is unwise and unsafe to immerse an infant under water. Even the method of infant baptism fails to agree with the Bible. How does pouring or sprinkling illustrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
     
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