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Baptistery

(308 words)

Author(s): Peschlow, Urs | Leonard, Bill J.
Originally the term baptisterium denoted the basin in the frigidarium (cold bath) of the Roman baths. From the fourth century it came into use for the piscina (Lat. for “tank, basin”), or baptismal church. Other names were balneus and loutron (bath) and, among Christians, phōtistērion (enlightenment). From the third century certain cultic places were set apart for the purpose of baptism. In keeping with the form and situation of the piscina, these were often round or octagonal with surrounding pillars, upper lighting, and a cupola. Such forms derived from the a…

Baptism

(9,795 words)

Author(s): Fahlbusch, Erwin | Schnelle, Udo | Wainwright, Geoffrey | Leonard, Bill J. | Grethlein, Christian | Et al.
Overview In Christianity, baptism—either by plunging in water or by sprinkling with it—represents the first act of incorporation “into Christ” and into the fellowship of the church. Further acts of incorporation are confirmation (Initiation Rites 2) and the Eucharist. Other religious societies have similar rites (Initiation Rites 1). Jewish proselyte baptism incorporates the baptized not only into the religious fellowship but also into God’s covenant people. This matter is relevant in the dialogu…

Baptists

(5,875 words)

Author(s): Halbrooks, G. Thomas | Geldbach, Erich | Leonard, Bill J. | Stanley, Brian
[German Version] I. Denomination – II. Church History – III. Missions I. Denomination Because the Baptists came into existence in a situation of persecution, they have consistently held to the doctrine of freedom of conscience as one of their most fundamental convictions. This is the basis for the Baptists' historically conditioned refusal to publish a dogmatic declaration that claims to speak for …

Graves, James

(154 words)

Author(s): Leonard, Bill J.
[German Version] (Apr 10, 1820, Chester, VT - Jun 26, 1893, Memphis, TN), a Baptist preacher, editor, and founder of the Landmark Movement (Baptists). From 1845 he was editor of the The Tennessee Baptist, a journal that he used to promote his views. In 1851 he led a conference on Gospel Landmarkism (“landmark” taken from Prov 22:28), an attempt to establish Baptist churches as the only true churches, directly connected to Jesus and the early Christians. Landmarkism regarded baptism and ordination in all non-Baptist churches as …

Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)

(359 words)

Author(s): Leonard, Bill J.
[German Version] is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States and the largest Baptist denomination (Baptists: II) in the world, claiming some 17 million members in over 40,000 churches. The convention began in 1845 as a result of debates over slavery between Baptists North and South, specifically related to the appointment of slaveholding missionaries. Southerners pledged to evangelize the world and supported the Confederacy. After the American Civil War, the denomination was rebuil…