Christian baptism, too, is often connected with repentance and forgiveness, implying that radical change of life called 'conversion' in some philosophical circles (Luke 24:47; Acts 22:16; 26:20; Ep. Barn. 11:1; Justin, 1 Apol. 61; Acts Thom. 132).33 Members of the new Christian group, however, were careful, at least according to the book of Acts, to distinguish baptism 'in the name of the Lord Jesus' from the baptism of John (Acts 19:5). The formula, 'in the name of (the Lord) Jesus (Christ)' was used very early and very widely (1 Cor 1:13; Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; Did. 9:5). Soon it was expanded into the threefold formula, 'in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit' (Matt 28:19; Did. 7:1; Justin, 1 Apol. 61.3; Acts Thom. 49; 121; 132; 157; Acts Pet. [according to the Actus Vercellenses manuscript] 5; cf. already 1 Cor 6:11).
Although three of the four canonical gospels recount Jesus' own baptism by John, it is not connected expressly with Christian baptism until the early second century, when Ignatius says that Jesus was baptised 'in order to purify the water by his own submission [or suffering]' (Ign. Eph. 18.2). Instead, it is Jesus' death that is most clearly linked early on with baptism (cf. Mark 10:38; Luke 12:50), which canbe equated with dying and rising with Christ. Reminders of baptism in the epistles express the equation in the language of analogy: 'As Christ was raised from the dead ...so also we . ..' (Rom 6:4), in the language of participation: 'We have been baptised into his death' (Rom 6:3), and by verbs compounded in syn-, 'with' (Rom 6:4, 8; Col 2:12-13; Eph 2:5-6). A variation of this theme describes the state of the convert prior to baptism as itself death; baptism is a death of death, the beginning of life (Col 2:13; Eph 2:1,5). From the notion of dying and rising with Christ in baptism, it was but a short step to think of the baptised person as 'reborn' (John 3:3-5; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3; Justin, 1 Apol. 61.3; Herm. Sim. 9.16.4; Acts Thom. 132). Accordingly, representations of baptism in early Christian art usually depict the initiate as a child. In some circles, best attested in the Pauline letters, clothing removed before baptism symbolised death with Christ as taking off 'the old human (anthropos)', 'the body of flesh' and the vices associated with it. The removal of the old body could be called 'the circumcision of Christ' (Col 2:11), that is, the Christian equivalent of Jewish circumcision of proselytes. What was 'put on' was Christ himself, 'the new human', who was 'being renewed... accordingto the image of his creator' (Col 3.10).
The early Christian poem quoted by Paul in Phil 2:6-11 was probably used sometimes in baptismal contexts. It climaxes with a scene of invisible powers
33 On conversion in philosophical circles, the classic work is Nock, Conversion. See also Malherbe, Paul and the Thessalonians, 21-33; Meeks, Origins, 18-36; Cancik, 'Lucian on conversion'.
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