Q – I was wondering if you could tell me if there is reference in Scripture to baptizing babies. Do we baptize babies because of tradition or are we following Scripture?
“After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.” – Acts 16:15
“He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once.” – Acts 16:33“I did baptize also the household of Stephanas” – 1 Cor 1:16
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” Peter (said) to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” – Acts 2: 37-39
Notice that Christians are called to baptism and that the promise of the Holy Spirit given in baptism is for “you and to your children”.
“In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ. You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” – Col 2: 11-12
“And when a child has been born to one of them[ie Christians], they give thanks to God[ie baptism]; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who as passed through the world without sins.” – Aristides,Apology,15(A.D. 140)
“And they shall baptise the little children first. And if they can answer for themselves, let them answer. But if they cannot, let their parents answer or someone from their family.” – Hippolytus of Rome, Apostolic Tradition,21 (A.D. 215)“‘And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan’ [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as newborn babes, even as the Lord has declared: ‘Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven’ -John 3:5″ – Iranaeus, Fragment (A.D. 190).
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