On Baptism: “Satyrus had somewhat left of the drug by which he had put Conops to sleep. Of this, while serving us, he pours, secretly, into the last cup which he brought to Panthia. She, rising, went into her chamber and immediately slept. But Leucippe had another chamber servant, whom, having baptized (BAPTIDZO) by the same drug, Satyrus comes to the doorkeeper, at the third door; and him he cast down by the same potion.” Achilles Tatius , Leucippe and Clitophon ii, 31
How is it that a drug can baptize? It is a great mystery if you believe a baptism is a dipping in water. However, if you understand that the BAPTIDZO hear makes reference to the controlling influence of the drug, an influence that produces sleep, then to be baptized by a drug into sleep is a perfectly logical
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History of Baptism
statement-to a Greek. As a result, a very appropriate and specific translation of BAPTIDZO in this context would be to stupefy or bewilder.
“You seem to me, O convivialists ! To be flooded, beyond expectation, with impetuous words, and to be baptized (BAPTIDZO) by unmixed wine.” Athenaeus , Plilos, Banq., ix, 44
“Unmixed wine, freely used by convivialists, invariably produces one effect-makes drunk-therefore, the word which embodies such intoxicating influence may, with the highest propriety, be translated by the specific word expressive of drunkenness.”
This partygoer was not dipped into a barrel of wine, although he seems to have been drunk enough to fall into one. However, if he had fallen into one and been baptized, he would have drowned. That is the nature of the baptism of a person. His only hope would be that he would experience a BAPTOinstead of a BAPTIDZO. The first would have gotten him wet; the second would have gotten him dead. However, used in this absolute way, typical of the Greeks, it simply means he was drunk; he experienced a change of condition from sobriety to drunkenness.
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Influence without Envelopment - Pt 3
“Thebe exhorted to the murder, and having baptized (BAPTIDZO) and put to sleep Alexander, by much wine, she dismisses the guards of the bedchamber under pretext of using the bath, and called the brothers to the work.” Conon , Narrat., L
Again, BAPTIDZO, used in the absolute sense, within the context of drinking, simply means to become drunk. It is a baptism by means of wine, not a baptism into a pot or barrel of wine. The means was drinking; the result or change of condition was from sobriety to drunkenness. Change of condition is a driving power in the word BAPTIDZO. Mode in baptism is most diverse and often insignificant.
“When an old man drinks, and Silenus takes possession of him, immediately, he is for a long time, silent, and resembles one heavy-headed and baptized (BAPTIDZO).” Lucian , Bacchus, vii
One illustration added to another does not make more certain the fact that to be baptized in the context of drinking simply meant to be drunk. How could this word come to mean drunkenness? Obviously, the Greeks had no trouble with the idea. They understood that BAPTIDZO had inherent in it the power to effect major change. It was this idea, not mode, which gave BAPTIDZO the capacity to serve in this fashion, from sobriety to drunkenness.
“You would not have seen a shield, or a helmet, or a long pike; but soldiers baptizing (BAPTIDZO) with bowls and cups and flagons, along the whole way, pledged one another out of large wine-jars and mixing vessels.” Plutarch , Alexander, lvii
“The historian is speaking of the riotous march of Alexander’s army, through a region of abundance, after the perils and sufferings of the homeward march from their Eastern conquests.” Again, wine plus BAPTIDZO in Classic Greek literature equals heavy drinking. It could be asked, did they dip their cups in wine? They may have, but that is not the point Plutarch is making. It was not the bowls and cups that were baptized; it was the soldiers! And they were baptized by drinking from those bowls and cups. A change of condition from sobriety to an inebriation occurred; that thought is inherent in the power of the word BAPTIDZO; a specific mode is not.
“Since, now, a mass of iron, pervaded with fire, drawn out of the furnace, is baptized (BAPTIDZO) by water, and the heat, by its own nature quenched by water, ceases.” Homeric Allegories , 495
A mass of iron, pervaded with fire has its condition changed from coolness to red-hot heat. However, when baptized it has its condition changed from a red-hot heat to coolness. It is this change of condition that is the essence of the statement, not any particular mode of accomplishing this goal. It is a baptism by means of water, not a dipping in water.
Could this mass of iron have been immersed? Yes. Could it have had water poured over it? Yes. Could it have water sprinkled on it? Yes. Could any number of other methods or modes be used? Yes. Why? It is so simply because mode of baptism is not addressed in the word BAPTIDZO. But could it not have been dipped? No. Why? Because in so doing, the momentary use of the water would have lacked the capacity to achieve the intended goal-cool the iron.
There are many modes of baptism illustrated in Greek literature such as: flowing, placed, pushed, plunged, jump, setting, dropping, marched, advances, falling, sinking, push down, force under, and throw down. The only one not present is dip!
We have also learned that in the classic period of the Greek language, to be changed from sobriety to drunkenness is to be baptized, to be changed from a condition of financial independence to a condition of indebtedness is to be baptized, to be changed from joy to a condition of grief is to be baptized, to be changed from peacefulness to a condition of anger is to be baptized, to be changed from fortune to a condition of misfortune is to be baptize, to be changed from solvency to a condition of heavy taxes is to be baptized, to be changed from well being to a condition of calamity is to be baptized and to be changed from health to a condition of sickness is to be baptized. We have learned that evil can baptize a man, the arts of wizards can baptize a man and that midnight can baptize a city. We have also learned that dipping could do none of these.
And most importantly, we have learned that baptism does not express a definite act or mode of any kind; it expresses a change of condition, state or result. That’s it.
We have learned that “the master-key to the interpretation of BAPTIDZO is CONDITION-condition characterized by completeness, with or without physical envelopment.”