Greek European Culture

Europe - West, Greek Language, Orthodox Christianity

Learning Greek without reason!

“In the places where baptizo is used with the meaning wash, the washing is not an immersion. One example of baptizo meaning “wash” is Luke 11:37 where Jesus is invited to eat with a Pharisee. Jesus goes in and reclines at the table without “baptizing” himself. The Pharisee obviously wasn’t objecting to Jesus not immersing himself in water, but apparently to Jesus not doing the ceremonial washing of hands that was the Pharisees custom (Mark 7:3). Jesus apparently did this as a chance to address this Pharisee about his hypocrisy (vv39-44).

Luther would have preferred immersion as the means of baptism because of the words in Romans 6:4. But since there were some teachers also in his day who insisted that the only valid baptism was immersion, Luther said that Christians should also use washing or pouring or sprinkling water to stand apart from the binding of consciences that was being imposed on people by those who insisted on immersion. Since Scripture does not indicate that water is to be used in only one way in baptism, for anyone to say that one way of using water is the only right way is adding to Scripture. Such additions to Scripture must always be opposed by Christians in order to maintain the freedom we have in Christ.

Some Greek Orthodox teachers say that baptizo means immerse. They are only partly right, since the meaning of baptizo at the time when the NT was written was not limited to this one meaning.”


Baptism is to be found in the New Testament more than 100 times. The vast majority of them does not refer to simple wash. If we are to use the NT in order to understand the word baptism, I think we should rely rather on the times that Baptism does not have the meaning of simple wash. Why should we transfer the meaning of simple wash to the rite of baptism? I’m tending to believe that the seminarians try to justify their practices by violating the New Testament, using a few and irrelevant occasions in a different context.


  1. Vasiliki Didaskalou

    At least you didnt have to go into a discussion about the translation of “adelfos” into the English (not so generous) word of “brother” … then you really would have had some fun!

  2. Les

    Loved the post which was both informative and pithy. I hasten to add that I am not a scholar of Greek (although I would love to learn ancient Greek) nor am I at all religious. The phrase”In any case, it is sad to meet with a person that chooses to ignore learning in order to save a little ego (and this wanting to be a Christian!) ” is particularly telling.