On Baptism we read, “When midnight had baptized (BAPTIDZO) the city by sleep.” Heliodorus , Aethiopics, ii, 3
What we know here is that the result of the Baptidzo is sleep. The mode is not revealed directly. It appears that the passing of time in the night is the agent of this baptism. Midnight, the passing of the evening hours, did not dip the city in sleep-or water. BAPTIDZO, possessing the capacity to produce a change of condition, is here employed to inform us that such a change took place-from wakefulness to sleep.
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History of Baptism
“But let us not be co-baptized (BAPTIDZO) by this grief of his, nor be, unobservantly, carried away by his tears, as by torrents.’ Heliodorus , Aethiopics, iv, 20
There is no dipping by means of grief into and out of some kind of sorrow found in this passage. The scene is indicative of the profound influence of grief. As is so often the case, BAPTIDZO represents this complete change of condition produced by grief. The change is profound because the baptism by grief is of an undetermined period. If it were but a momentary dipping, the sorrow would be but nominal.
“The relation of your wanderings, often postponed, as you know, because the casualties still baptized (BAPTIDZO) you, you could not keep for a better opportunity than the present.” Heliodorus , Aethiopics, v, 16
It appears that the person spoken of here has postponed speaking of his wanderings for some period of time. But now he is encouraged to speak for the speaker believes that there is no better opportunity than the present to speak of them. And what was the cause of this long delay? It was because “the casualties still BAPTIDZO you.” It would seem that the incidents, casualties, were so serious that they controlled his
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Influence without Envelopment - Pt 2
capacity and willingness to speak. A brief dipping into and out of these casualties lacks the capacity to bring about the prolonged behavior. A BAPTIDZO by these casualties, however, possessed the power of a long-term effect. “That remarkable events and casualties of life should exercise, for a long time, a controlling influence over our feelings, so that we should feel a reluctance to speak of them, is a matter of daily experience.” Here a BAPTIDZO exercises such a controlling influence.
“Salamis was the pinnacle of exploits; where thou didst baptize (BAPTIDZO) Asia.” Libanius , Declamat., xx
In 480 BC the Greeks won a great battle against Xerxes and his Persian navy at the battle of Salamis. The impact of the battle was so great that it is here said that the Greeks BAPTIDZO Asia. “It was the triumphant victory, which gave Greece a power competent to sway a controlling influence over, to merse, Asia.” Specifically, this was experienced in the wars of Alexander the Great. Asia was not dipped into and taken out of anything. It did however come under the power and influence of Greece. “Asia was mersed by “fighting,’ not by dipping. Controlling influence changed her condition.”
“He exhorts the class of bread-makers to be more just, but he did not think it proper to use compulsion, fearing the running away of the mass; by which the city would, immediately, be baptized (BAPTIDZO), just as a ship, the sailors having deserted it.” Libanius , Life
This man feared for the destruction of the city simply because it depended on the bread-makers for food. He compares this to the certain destruction of a ship if its sailors left it. Now the question is this: is he making a comparison of a ship sunk in water and the city sunk in-what? The comparison is with a ship destroyed and a city destroyed. BAPTIDZO possesses the power to destroy, either, but not necessarily by the same means. Means or mode of baptism is absent in the word BAPTIDZO. However, what is always present in the word is capacity to change the condition of a thing. A city deserted by its bakers would be destroyed as certainly as a ship deserted by its sailors. This is the point of the statement. Dipping the city into and out of something is not a point of the story.
“He who hardly bears the things which he is, already, bearing, would be baptized (BAPTIDZO) by a small addition.” Libanius , Epistle, 310
Does the author envision this hard-pressed man dipped into and taken out of something? I think not. He does, however, envision him destroyed if even a small addition were added to his current burdens. BAPTIDZO possesses the capacity to convey a destructive change of condition, and for this reason was used although not a drop of water was to be found.
“This is he who having found the miserable Cimon baptized (BAPTIDZO) and forsaken did not overlook him.” Libanius , Epistle, 962
Was this miserable Cimon found under water, drowned, and forsaken? No, but he could have been in that BAPTIDZO would leave him under the water. Cimon was certainly not dipped into and taken out of anything either. However, the circumstances of his life had so dramatically changed that he could be described as baptized and forsaken even though no water is mentioned. As can be seen, BAPTIDZO has the power to convey a destructive change of condition, and for that reason was used.
“Grief for him baptizing (BAPTIDZO) the soul and darkening the understanding, brings a certain mistiness over the eyes.” Libanius , Emperor Julian, 148
Grief is here said to carry with it a controlling influence over both the soul and understanding. We can be certain the soul was not dipped into and taken out of grief, although he may have wished it so. For then the power to influence would have been but momentary. Instead BAPTIDZO was used. This word makes no provision to remove the baptized object and therefore exercises the greatest possible power to change the condition of the baptized individual.
“But when he does not so continue, being baptized (BAPTIDZO) by diseases and by arts of wizards.” Plotinus , Ennead., 1, 4, 9
As foul as being “dipped” by disease and by arts of wizards may sound, one thing is worse. That is being baptized by disease and by arts of wizards, for baptism suggests no limitation to time.
As can be seen by these many illustrations, 1) baptism does not require a drop of water and 2) baptism does not allow a dipping.
“Knowing him to be licentious and extravagant, and baptized (BAPTIDZO) by debts of fifty millions.” Plutarch , Galba, xxi
No doubt the man would wish he were a Baptist, for then he would be but dipped into and out of such a difficult state. However, being baptized (BAPTIDZO) by these debts instead, they have subjected him to a most debilitating change of condition, transforming him from solvency to bankruptcy. “Dipped, in connection with debt, implies but a slight indebtedness compared with the means to pay; baptized, in the same connection, was used by the Greeks to express indebtedness beyond all means to pay.”