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132– May 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past


132– May 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past



He Loved the Word of God above the word of man”


The Bible, being the pure unadulterated Word of God, is the final authority of Baptist Faith and Practice.  Therefore, Baptists have always been sincerely interested in disseminating the Scriptures far and wide. An application was made to the American Bible Society that the word baptizo was the equivalent to “immerse,” and though the contributions of the Baptist churches were sizable, the American Bible Society refused its indication. The Society patronized a version which translated baptizo with the word “sprinkle.”


In the session in which the American Bible Society exiled the Baptists from their ranks, a gentleman defending pedobatism rose to speak. He argued that warfare is perpetual for Christians, and we are all in one large army. The enemy is poised to strike, and a regiment that does not continue to show the solid front is guilty of desertion.


Only one course of action was left to the Baptists. “On May 12, 1836, a large convention met in the Oliver Street Church, New York, and after discussion, proceeded to organize the American and Foreign Bible Society. Rev. Spencer H. Cone . . . . was its first president.”


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History, Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 194 -195



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“He said the word “baptizo” is to immerse or dip.”
Dr. Alexander McLaren was born on Feb. 11, 1826, and lived until May 5, 1910.  He was a Baptist and an outstanding Bible expositor from Manchester, England who wrote for the Sunday School Times.  These lessons were used in all denominations throughout England.
In one of his lessons he commented on the immersion of the Lord Jesus in the Jordan.  Immediately the editor was bombarded by pedobaptists for allowing such a statement.  The editor himself a Presbyterian, replied that though he was not a Baptist, he concurred.  When McLaren used it a second time they were attacked again.  This time the Editor of the times quoted several scholars who all agreed that in every instance they agreed that “baptizo” is translated immersion.  These included John D. Davis, professor in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, NJ copyrighted by the Trustees of the Presbyterian Board of Education.  He said the word “baptizo” is to immerse or dip.”  Every lexicon renders it the same way.  Thayers Lexicon, Liddel and Scott, Bagsters Greek New Testament, all render that word to be either immerse or to dip.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon,  adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp

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On Jan. 10, 1887, the Baptists of Burma sent a reply to the Anglican Bishop of Rangoon, Burma, and the British and American Bible Societies request made in 1886 to reprint Judson’s Burmese translation but with one change – replacing “immerse” with the transliteration “baptize.”  Judson’s reply to an earlier request had been, “I would rather lose my right hand than tamper with the Word of God.”  The Baptists said that they understand that they want to use the transliteration “baptize” or a neutral word that all denominations might use, rather than the word “immerse”, “not on the ground that [it] is an incorrect or inadequate translation of the Greek word, but because it is not acceptable to other denominations of Christians.  You seem to regard it as more important to please these other denominations than to make the Burman version mean the same thing to the Burman that the Greek Testament means to the Greek…We are compelled to decline.”  After giving several supporting reasons to back up this opening statement the letter closes with this poignant thought: “What you really mean is, that you will not circulate such a version if it be made by Baptists…you will circulate it if made or used by a people who say, ‘I immerse thee,’ when they simply apply their wet fingers to the forehead of the candidate…” J.N. Murdock,  Cor.[esponding] Secretary.  As David L. Cummins says, “May we be as faithful as these Baptists in upholding the truth of God’s Word”!
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 20-22.

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