Baptism Does Not Regenerate! – Calvinism Versus “Christening”

Thus, a Hebrew male baby did not become a Hebrew by being circumcised.   To the contrary, a Hebrew baby was circumcised as a baby — precisely because he was already a Hebrew before his Infant Circumcision.   See: Philippians 3:5 cf. Second Timothy 1:3-6.   Indeed, uncircumcisable Hebrew female babies were fully Hebrewesses and later Israelitesses — regardless of their lifelong uncircumcision.   Genesis 34:1-31; Num. 27:8f & 36:2f; Luke 13:16 & 23:28f.

According to the Talmud,4 the babies of Gentile proselytes themselves became Jews — before their infant Circumcision.  They became Jews as soon as their parents were adopted by Jewish families, or alternatively themselves professed the Jewish faith.   For, declared the Talmud, "whenever one becomes a proselyte he is accounted as an infant newly born" and one day old -and hence as one not yet circumcised only from the age of eight days onward.5 Israelitic missionaries, continued the Talmud,6 "baptized the little young proselyte" along with

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his parents.  This refers to the practice of the Israelitic Infant Baptism also of the babies of proselytes — before and during the earthly lifetime of John the Baptizer and of Jesus Himself. See: First Kings 18:30-37; Malachi 3:1f & 4:4-6; Luke 1:13-17; John 1:25-34f ; Matthew 21:25 & 23:15.

The famous antiquarian Rev. Professor Dr. Joachim Jeremias lived and wrote as a confessionistic and consubstantiationistic Lutheran.   Yet, explaining First Corinthians 7:14, he nevertheless rightly insisted regarding ‘Proselyte Baptism’: "Judaism distinguishes between [baptizable] children who are begotten and born…before conversion to Judaism and children who were begotten and born…after conversion to Judaism [without Baptism]….  We conclude that the ‘holiness’ of the children [as referred to in First Corinthians 7:14] rests not on Baptism — but on their descent from a Christian father or a Christian mother."7

The Alexandrian Jew Philo who died around 40 A.D., asked and answered how fallen Eve conceived ' children of God.'   Philo asked: "Who, then is the One Who sows…the things that are good?"   Philo then himself answered: "It is God then Who indeed sows the seed….   He bestows His own offspring whom He has sown."   Further, Philo added that Jewish babies are taught religion even "in their swaddling clothes" — and therefore again even also before their Circumcisions.8

About half a century later, the Judaistic Sadducee and famous historian Josephus wrote his 93 A.D. autobiographical Life and his Antiquities of the Jews.  Therein, looking back several decades, he told us: "I am not only sprung from a sacerdotal family….   By my mother I am of the royal blood…. I was born in the first year of the reign of Caius Caesar [37 A.D.]….  Jesus, a wise man, was about this time….   He was Christ….  John that was called the Baptizer…was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue both as to righteousness towards one another and piety towards God, and so to come to Baptism….   The washing would be acceptable to him if they made use of it not in order to the putting away of some sins, but for the purification of the body —  supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness."9

Very clearly, all this presupposes "piety" and "righteousness" and "virtue" in candidates before their "Baptism."   The "washing" was "not in order to the putting away of some sins."   For John the Baptizer supposed "that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand" — and, indeed, purified by "righteousness" (whether imputed or inherent).   Thus Josephus.   A stronger discounting of any theory of baptismal regenerationism, is scarcely imaginable.

2.  Early-patristic literature denies baptismal regenerationism

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