Pseudo-Clement, Recognitiones XI, 32, in Patrologia Graeca 1:1329. to A.D. 6) but this view is now questioned by some. The use of the passive form of the verb to baptize is found throughout the New Testament, which only accentuates the above point. . . So far we have noted that while there are similarities between later Jewish immersions and Christian baptisms, there are also interesting differences. As we have seen, Old Testament ritual immersion functioned primarily as a means of symbolically representing oneâs purified or clean state following a state of physical impurity (childbirth, menstruation, illness, skin disease, and so forth) and thus was probably performed on a regular basis; certainly this would have been the case for women. The ritual of bodily immersion is one with a long tradition in the communities described in the scriptures. A pipe, which could be stopped up with a bung, connected the otzar to the miqveh itself, allowing additional water to flow into the miqveh, which received its usual supply of water from a cistern. Moreover, the Book of Mormon demonstrates continuity in this form for the thousand years that made up Nephite history. Armed with a tape measure, Rabbi Muntzberg went directly into one of the pools in order to determine if it conformed with the requirements of such installations as found in the rabbinic writings. A. Oppenheimer, V. Rappaport, and Menahem Stern (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1980), 225â26. Any participant at the Temple cult was required to be ritually pure, after all. We also plan to visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in 1947. Qumran . . The singular nature of the rite, as pointed out earlier, demonstrates its initiatory character. Neither of these sources, however, imply that full body immersion was the common practice used for ridding the body of a wide variety of ritual impurities. how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!â While Nephiâs point is that baptism is more than simple purification (Christ had to do it, even though he already was holy), it does suggest that for common person, baptism sanctified or made holy that which was profane.  Bernard J. Bamberger, Proselytism in the Talmudic Period (New York: Ktav, 1968): 43â44. . Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update. yea, and as many as he did baptize did belong to the church of Godâ (v. 18). In both cases, to maintain the state of purity, the individuals are expected to wash themselves frequently. Most were written on parchment and some on papyrus. even until death, that [they] may be redeemed of God and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that [they] may have eternal life.â.  Flavius Josephus, Bellum Judaicum 2.138, translated in Todd S. Beall, Josephusâ Description of the Essenes Illustrated by the Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 19. He makes further distinctions (11), which all depend on the silence of one or another source. December 14, 2020 December 14, 2020 kristel The Jordan Valley . In summary, though the water rituals performed by the ancient Israelites, the Qumran community, John the Baptist, and the later Christian communities were similar in form, the purpose of these ritual practices differed and can be placed on a continuum of ritual meaning from cleansing to purification to preparation to initiation. Stephen addresses these issues in his paper, which examines baptism and its institutional role in ancient Israel, early Christianity, and the innovative Jewish practices in Qumran.  Bede, Historia Anglorum II, 15.  For a discussion concerning the differences in their sociological setting see Ellen Juhl Christiansen, The Covenant in Judaism and Paul: A Study of Ritual Boundaries as Identity Markers (New York: Brill, 1995), who comes to the same conclusion as this study, that Christian baptism, at least for Pauline, was a rite of entrance (initiation), while the Jewish form was for purification. The ritual baths were fed by water from the aqueduct. According to the New Testament, John baptized others, going into the water with them and assisting them in the immersion process. ; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant you eternal lifeâ (v. 13). 7â8), so that steps (b) and (c) are out of order in Josephus. 13, Commentary, 11â40; vol. . per year (four inches, a fifth of what Jerusalem gets). Johnâs baptism is also unique in that it appears to have another purpose for its performance, which can be described as preparatory.  While it is clear that baptism in the Book of Mormon required full-body immersion, both the Mosiah and the 3 Nephi references note that the ritual required two individuals, similar in form to John the Baptistâs. Looking west, however, we see the gorge of Wadi Qumran (enlarge picture, above right). Then, having given proof of his self-control, he is brought closer to their way of life: he may join in the âpurer waters for purification,âthat is, the cleansing baths, but is not received into the common ways of living, including the common meal.  Jonathan David Lawrence, Washing in Water: Trajectories of Ritual Bathing in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006), 71â77: âScholars disagree as to the origin and exact significance of Johnâs baptism and the nature of the community into which he baptized them, if it can even be described that way. Thus Johnâs baptism unto repentance not only cleansed the individual from sin, but it also prepared the initiate for the greater act Christ himself would enact.  Jerome, De Situ et Nominibus Locorum Hebraicorum 182, in Patrologia Latina 23:931 A. The site of Qumran is located about 1 mi. One of the important aspects of these discoveries is that they place Jewish practices of immersion in a continuum of such ritual behavior, from Israelite purificatory rites described in the Old Testament to John the Baptistâs baptism to later Christian baptisms as described in the New Testament and by the Church fathers. 14: Miqvaot, Literary and Historical Problems, 205: In an age in which men and women immersed themselves in spring-fed lakes and rushing rivers, in moving water washing away their sins in preparation for the end of days, the Pharisees observed the passing of the seasons, which go onward through time, immersing in the still, collected water which falls from heaven. In the Qumran community, in order to participate in the activities of the community, the inhabitant was expected to be ritually pure, necessitating regular ritual washings. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982). They remove the uncleanness defined by the Written Torah for the holy altar, because of the conviction of the Oral Torah that the hearth and home, table and bed, going onward though ages without end, also must be and can be cleaned, in particular, through the rain: the living water from heaven, falling in its perpetual seasons, trickling down the hills and naturally gathering in ponds, ditches, and caverns, from time immemorial. Dig into the illuminating world of the Bible with a BAS All-Access membership. See Luke 1:76â77; Matthew 3:1â6; John 1:19â27. the Sabbath da[y] . Elsewhere in the Book of Mormon, baptism is specified as part of a process in which the conclusion is termed repentance.  Exodus 29:4 also indicates that Aaron and his sons were to be âwashedâ prior to their functioning as priests, though the washing of priests as described in Numbers 8:7 suggests that this washing was actually done by sprinkling candidates with water, not immersing them completely. With that said, it is possible that the lessening importance in location was meant to further distance themselves from Jewish practice.  Johannes Quasten, Patrology (Westminster, MD: Newman, 1953), 2:180. Ritual bath (Seetheholyland.net) Qumran display of clay vessels in which scrolls were found (Seetheholyland.net) Inside the scribesâ room (Seetheholyland.net)  4Q514 1 I 1â6: âAnd he shall bathe and wash on the d[a]y of [his] uncleanness . With this said, there is one intriguing text from the Damascus Document, which states, âThe Man of Mockery appeared, who sprayed on Israel lying waters, he led them to wander in the trackless landâ (CD A I 14â15), suggesting that washing as induction into a group was not unknown and was even spoken against by the community of believers.  In the Acts of St. Apollinaris of Ravenna, the saint baptized once in a river near Ravenna and another time in the sea, while a baptism in a house is also mentioned. Qumran: Pottery Room. On the horizon the Dead Sea, and beyond it the Hills of Moab, is visible. Of some sort.â 38 ] see Adela qumran ritual bath Collins, âThe Origin of Christian differed... Jerusalem seeking spiritual purity immersion was also understood as a necessary requirement for entering into the illuminating world the!, where Christ himself baptized others, going into the Church of Godâ ( v. 10.... 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