De christelijke Doop

I. Betekenis van de Doop

II. Wijze en beschrijving van de Doop

III. Dopen van kinderen 

IV. Wie mag de Doop verrichten?

V. De Doop gedaan door ketters


I. Betekenis van de Doop

"Jezus antwoordde: Voorwaar, voorwaar, Ik zeg u: Als iemand niet geboren wordt uit water en Geest, kan hij het Koninkrijk van God niet binnengaan." Joh. 3:5.

"Petrus zei tegen hen: Bekeer u en laat ieder van u gedoopt worden in de Naam van Jezus Christus, tot vergeving van de zonden; en u zult de gave van de Heilige Geest ontvangen." Hand. 2:38.

"Sta op, laat u dopen en uw zonden afwassen onder aanroeping van de Naam van de Heere." Hand. 22:16.

"Want u allen die in Christus gedoopt bent, hebt zich met Christus bekleed". Gal. 3:27.

"Vanwege Zijn barmhartigheid, door het bad van de wedergeboorte en de vernieuwing door de Heilige Geest." Tit. 3:5.

"Laten wij tot Hem naderen met een waarachtig hart, in volle zekerheid van het geloof, nu ons hart gereinigd is van een slecht geweten en ons lichaam gewassen is met rein water." Heb. 10:22.

"Het tegenbeeld daarvan, de doop, behoudt nu ook ons. Maar niet als een verwijderen van het vuil van het lichaam, maar als vraag aan God van een goed geweten, door de opstanding van Jezus Christus," 1 Pet. 3:21.


Concerning the water, indeed, it is written, in reference to the Israelites, that they should not receive that baptism which leads to the remission of sins, but should procure another for themselves. Barnabas (c. 70–130, E), 1.144.

Blessed are they who, placing their trust in the cross, have gone down into the water. . . . We indeed descend into the water full of sins and defilement. However, we come up, bearing fruit in our heart, having the fear [of God] and the trust in Jesus in our spirit.
Barnabas (c. 70–130, E), 1.144. 

He was born and baptized so that by His passion He could purify the water. Ignatius (c. 105, E), 1.57.

I heard, sir, some teachers maintain that there is no other repentance than that which takes place, when we descended into the water and received remission of our former sins. Hermas (c. 150, W), 2.22.

Before a man bears the name of the Son of God, he is dead. But when he receives the seal, he lays aside his deadness and obtains life. The seal, then, is the water. They descend into the water dead, and they arise alive. Hermas (c. 150, W), 2.49.

At our birth, we were born without our own knowledge or choice, but by our parents coming together. . . . In order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe. . . . And in the name of Jesus Christ . . . and in the name of the Holy Spirit. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.183.

This washing of repentance and knowledge of God has been ordained on account of the transgression of God’s people, as Isaiah cries. Accordingly, we have believed and testify that the very baptism which he announced is alone able to purify those who have repented. And this is the water of life. . . . For what is the use of that baptism which cleanses only the flesh and body? Baptize the soul from wrath and from covetousness, from envy, and from hatred. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.201.

We who have approached God through Him have received, not carnal, but spiritual circumcision, which Enoch and those like him observed. And we have received it through baptism by God’s mercy, since we were sinners. And all men alike may obtain it. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.216.

But there is no other [way] than this: to become acquainted with this Christ; to be washed in the fountain spoken of by Isaiah for the remission of sins; and for the rest, to live sinless lives. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.217.

Christ has redeemed us by being crucified on the tree and by purifying us with water. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.242.

The things proceeding from the waters were blessed by God, that this also could be a sign of men being destined to receive repentance and remission of sins, through the water and bath of regeneration—as many as come to the truth and are born again. Theophilus (c. 180, E), 2.101.

When we come to refute them [the Gnostics], we will show in its proper place that this class of men have been instigated by Satan to a denial of that baptism which is regeneration to God. Thus, they have renounced the whole faith. . . . For the baptism instituted by the visible Jesus was for the remission of sins. Irenaeus (c. 180, E/ W), 1.346.

But there are some of them [Gnostics] who assert that it is unnecessary to bring persons to the water. Rather, they mix oil and water together, and they place this mixture on the heads of those who are to be initiated. . . . This they maintain to be the redemption. . . . Other [heretics], however, reject all these practices, and maintain that the mystery of the unspeakable and invisible power should not be performed by visible and corruptible creatures. . . .These claim that the knowledge of the unspeakable Greatness is itself perfect redemption. Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.346.

When [do we bear] the image of the heavenly? Doubtless when he says, “You have been washed,” believing in the name of the Lord, and receiving His Spirit. Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.537.

Man, with respect to that formation which was after Adam, having fallen into transgression, needed the bath of regeneration. Therefore, the Lord said to [the blind man] after He had smeared his eyes with the clay, “Go to Siloam and wash.” By this means, He restored to him both confirmation and that regeneration that takes place by means of the bath. Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.543.

[Scripture] says, “And he dipped himself seven times in the Jordan.” It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized. Rather, this was a symbol for us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean from our old transgressions by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord. We are spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, just as the Lord has declared: “Unless a man is born again through water and the Spirit, he will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.574.

Being baptized, we are illuminated. Illuminated, we become sons. . . . This work is variously called grace, illumination, perfection, and washing. Washing, by which we cleanse away our sins. Grace, by which the penalties accruing to transgressions are remitted. Illumination, by which that holy light of salvation is beheld, that is, by which we see God clearly. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.215.

If He was perfect, why was He, the perfect one, baptized? It was necessary, they say, to fulfill the profession that pertained to humanity.
Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.215.

Straightway, on our regeneration, we attained that perfection after which we aspired. For we were illuminated, which is to know God.
Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.215.

And he who has just been regenerated—as the name necessarily indicates —and has been enlightened, is immediately delivered from darkness, and instantly receives the light. . . . Thus also, we who are baptized, having wiped off the sins that obscure the light of the Divine Spirit, have the eye of the spirit free, unimpeded, and full of light, by which alone we contemplate the Divine, the Holy Spirit flowing down to us from above. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.216.

Our transgressions were taken away by one Poeonian medicine, the baptism of the Word. We are washed from all our sins, and are no longer entangled in evil. This is the one grace of illumination, that our characters are not the same as before our washing.
Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.216, 217.

In the same way, therefore, we also repent of our sins, renounce our iniquities, and are purified by baptism. Thereby, we speed back to the eternal light as children of the Father. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.217.

The union of the Logos with baptism is like the agreement of milk with water. For, of all liquids, milk alone receives water. It allows itself to be mixed with water for the purpose of cleansing—just as baptism does for the remission of sins. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.222.

John prophesied up until the baptism of salvation. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.331.

 This is what was said, “unless you are converted and become as children” [Matt. 28:3]. That is, unless you become pure in flesh and holy in soul by refraining from evil deeds. This shows that He would have us to be such, as also He generated us from our mother—the water.
Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.439.

The three days may represent the mystery of the seal [i.e., baptism], in which God is really believed. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.462.

The sins committed before faith are accordingly forgiven by the Lord— not that they may be undone, but as if they had not been done.
Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.437.

We were drawn out from the calamities of this world in which we were tarrying, perishing with thirst. We were revived by “drinking” . . . of the baptismal water. Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.170.

Happy is our sacrament of water, in that, by washing away the sins of our early blindness, we are set free and admitted into eternal life. . . . We, like little fishes, after the example of our ichthus, Jesus Christ, are born in water. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.669.

Oh, miserable unbelief that denies to God His own properties, simplicity, and power! What then? Is it not wonderful, too, that death should be washed away by washing? Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.669.

We nevertheless proceed to address this question, “How foolish and impossible it is to be formed anew by water! Pray tell, in what respect has this material substance merited a position of such high dignity?” . . . [TERTULLIANS ANSWER:] Water was the first to produce that which had life, so that it would be no wonder in baptism if waters know how to give life. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.670.

Therefore, after the waters have been (in a manner) endowed with medicinal virtue through the intervention of the angel, the spirit is physically washed in the waters, and the flesh is spiritually cleansed in the same water. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.671.

[The waters] that used to remedy bodily defects, now heal the spirit. The waters that used to bring temporal health, now renew eternal health. The waters that set free but once in the year, now daily save people en masse, death being done away through washing of sins. Once the guilt is removed, the penalty is, of course, removed as well. . . . It is not that in the waters we obtain the Holy Spirit. Rather, in the water, under the angel, we are cleansed and prepared for the Holy Spirit. . . . Thus, too, does the angel, the witness of baptism, “make the paths straight” for the Holy Spirit. For He is about to come upon us. The “paths are made straight” by the washing away of sins, which faith obtains, sealed in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.672.

Now, the teaching is laid down that “without baptism, salvation is attainable by no one.” This is based primarily on the ground of that declaration of the Lord, who says, “Unless one is born of water he has not life.” However, when this is laid down, there immediately arise scrupulous (or rather, audacious) doubts on the part of some. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.674, 675.

“Unless a man has been born again of water and Spirit, he will not enter into the kingdom of the heavens.” These words have tied faith to the necessity of baptism. Accordingly, all thereafter who became believers were baptized. So it was, too, that Paul, when he believed, was baptized. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.676.

We, then, enter the font once. Our sins are washed away once, for they should never be repeated. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.676.

Know that baptism is not rashly to be administered. . . . “Give not the holy thing to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine.”
Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.678.

Easter [Gr. pascha] provides a more than usually solemn day for baptism —when the Lord’s passion, in which we are baptized, was completed. Nor will it be incongruous to interpret figuratively the fact that, when the Lord was about to celebrate the last Passover, He said to the disciples who were sent to make preparation, “You will meet a man bearing water.” . . . After that, Pentecost is a most joyous time for conferring baptisms. . . . However, every day is the Lord’s. Every hour, every time, is appropriate for baptism. If there is a difference in the solemnity, there is no distinction in the grace. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.678.

Therefore, blessed ones, whom the grace of God awaits, when you ascend from that most sacred bath of your new birth and spread your hands for the first time in the house of your mother, together with your brethren, ask from the Father, ask from the Lord, that His own specialties of grace and distributions of gifts may be supplied to you. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.679.

Let not the fact that Jesus Himself did not baptize trouble anyone. For into what would He have baptized? Into repentance? Of what use, then, was His forerunner? Into remission of sins? But He gave this by a word. Into Himself, whom by humility He was concealing? Into the Holy Spirit, who had not yet descended from the Father? Into the church, which His apostles had not yet founded? Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.674.

I do not deny that the divine benefit (that is, the putting away of sins) is in every way certain to those who are about to enter the [baptismal] water. But what we have to labor for is, that it may be granted us to attain that blessing. For who will grant to you—a man of such faithless repentance— one single sprinkling of any water whatever? . . . However, some think that God is under a necessity of bestowing what He has promised [to give] even on the unworthy. So they turn His liberality into His slavery! . . . For do not many afterwards fall out of [grace]? Is not this gift taken away from many? Tertullian (c. 203, W), 3.661.

That baptismal washing is a sealing of faith, which faith is begun and is commended by the faith of repentance. We are not washed in order that we may cease sinning, but because we have ceased, since in heart we have been bathed already. For the first baptism of a hearer is this: a perfect fear. . . . If it is only after the baptismal waters that we cease sinning, it is out of necessity, not of free will. Tertullian (c. 203, W), 3.662.

I see no coherence and consistency [in Marcion]. No, not even in the very sacrament of his faith! For what end does baptism serve, according to him? If it is the remission of sins, how will he demonstrate that he remits sins, when [his God] affords no evidence that He retains them? . . . Marcion therefore seals a man who had never been unsealed in respect of [his God]. He washes a man who had never been defiled so far as [his God] was concerned. And into the sacrament of salvation, he wholly plunges that flesh which is beyond the pale of salvation [according to Marcion]! No farmer will irrigate ground that will yield him no fruit in return—unless he is as silly as Marcion’s God! Tertullian (c. 207, W), 3.293.

 The cleansing of the Syrian [i.e., Naaman] rather portrayed to the nations of the world their own cleansing in Christ their Light. . . . For the virtue and fullness of the one baptism was thus solemnly imputed to Christ. For He alone was one day to establish on earth—not only revelation—but also a baptism endowed with bountiful power. Tertullian (c. 207, W), 3.356.

“Unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”—in other words, he cannot be holy. Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ. Moreover, it is unclean all the time that it remains without this regeneration. And because it is unclean, it is actively sinful. Tertullian (c. 210, W), 3.220.

The flesh is the clothing of the soul. The uncleanness, indeed, is washed away by baptism. Tertullian (c. 213, W), 3.646.

The ropes that stretch around her [the ship of the church] are the love of Christ, which binds the church. The net that she bears with her is the bath of the regeneration that renews the believing, from which too are these glories. Just like the wind, the Spirit from heaven is present, by whom those who believe are sealed. Hippolytus (c. 200, W), 5.217.

Matthew alone adds the words, “to repentance,” teaching us that the benefit of baptism is connected with the intention of the baptized person. To him who repents, it is saving. However, to him who comes to it without repentance, it will produce greater condemnation. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.367.

Regeneration did not take place with John [the Baptist]. However, with Jesus, through His disciples, it does occur. What is called the bath of regeneration takes place with renewal of the Spirit. For the Spirit, as well, now comes. It comes from God and is over and above the water. Yet, it does not come to all after the water. Origen (c. 228, E), 9.367.

“By the bath of regeneration,” they were born as new-born babes. Origen (c. 245, E), 9.491.

It is the Holy Spirit who effects with water the second birth, as a certain seed of divine generation. It is a consecration of a heavenly birth and the pledge of a promised inheritance. Novatian (c. 235, W), 5.641.

In baptism, the coarse garment of your birth is washed. . . . You have once been washed. Shall you be able to be immersed again?
Commodianus (c. 240, W), 4.212.

 By the help of the water of new birth, the stain of former years had been washed away, and a light from above—serene and pure—had been infused into my reconciled heart. Then, by the agency of the Spirit breathed from heaven, a second birth had restored me to a new man.
Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.276.

. . . from that death which once the blood of Christ extinguished and from which the saving grace of baptism and of our Redeemer has delivered us. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.332.

By baptism, the Holy Spirit is received. . . . The Lord speaks to the Samaritan woman, saying, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again. But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will not thirst forever.” By this, He signified the very baptism of saving water, which indeed is once received and is not again repeated. . . . The Lord, when He came, manifested the truth of baptism . . . in commanding that this faithful water —the water of life eternal—should be given to believers in baptism. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.360.

From [baptism] springs the whole origin of faith, the saving access to the hope of life eternal, and the divine condescension for purifying and quickening the servants of God. For if anyone could be [truly] baptized by heretics, he certainly could also obtain remission of sins.
Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.382.

He who has been sanctified, his sins being put away in baptism, and has been spiritually reformed into a new man, has become fitted for receiving the Holy Spirit. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.387.

The blessed apostle sets forth and proves that baptism is that by which the old man dies and the new man is born, saying, “He saved us by the washing of regeneration.” Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.388.

One is not born by the imposition of hands when he receives the Holy Spirit. Rather, it is in baptism. Thereafter, being already born, he may receive the Holy Spirit. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.388.

Since in baptism, every person has his own sins remitted, the Lord proves and declares in His Gospel that sins can only be put away by those who have the Holy Spirit. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.400.

 It is clear that the devil is driven out in baptism by the faith of the believer. And if that faith should fail afterwards, he returns.
Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.402.

They who still are of the earth by their first birth can begin to be of heaven by being born of water and of the Spirit. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.452.

In the bath of saving water, the fire of Gehenna is extinguished. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.476.

In the baptism of water, there is received the remission of sins. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.497.

The old baptism should cease and a new one should begin. . . . Also, according to John: “Unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.511.

Unless a man has been baptized and born again, he cannot attain unto the kingdom of God. In the Gospel according to John: “Unless a man is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.542.

All sins are put away in baptism. In the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: . . . “And these things indeed you were. But you are washed; but you are sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.551.

The second birth, which occurs in baptism, begets sons of God. Firmilian (c. 256, E), 5.393.

Nemesianus of Thubunae said: “The baptism that heretics and schismatics bestow is not the true one. . . . In the Gospel our Lord Jesus Christ spoke with His divine voice, saying, “Unless a man is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” . . . Therefore, unless they receive saving baptism in the catholic church, which is one, they cannot be saved. Rather, they will be condemned with the carnal in the Judgment of the Lord Christ. Seventh Council of Carthage (c. 256, W), 5.566.

Munnulus of Girba said: “Brethren, the truth of our mother, the catholic church, has always remained and still remains with us—especially in the Trinity of baptism.” Seventh Council of Carthage (c. 256, W), 5.567.

 Our salvation is founded in the baptism of the Spirit, which for the most part is associated with the baptism of water.
Treatise on Re-Baptism (c. 257, W), 5.673.

Thus, cleaving to the baptism of men, the Holy Spirit either goes before or follows it. Or failing the baptism of water, it falls upon those who believe. Treatise on Re-Baptism (c. 257, W), 5.676.

They ask that their reproach may be taken away—that is, that they might be cleansed from their sins. For the reproach is the original sin that is taken away in baptism. They then begin to be called Christians. Victorinus (c. 280, W), 7.346.

Christ willingly suffered death for her, that He might present the church to Himself glorious and blameless—having cleansed her by the bath. . . . For in this way, too, the command, “Be fruitful and multiply,” is duly fulfilled. . . . For in no other way could the church conceive believers and give them the new birth through the bath of regeneration, except by Christ emptying Himself for their sake, so that He might be contained by them. Methodius (c. 290, E), 6.319, 320.

Those who are born again by the bath receive . . . of His holiness and of His glory. . . . The illuminated receive the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, and they are appropriately born again to incorruption. Methodius (c. 290, E), 6.320.

This denotes the faith of those who are cleansed from corruption in the bath [i.e., baptism]. Methodius (c. 290, E), 6.336.

Otherwise, we would not do wrong after baptism, for we would be entirely and absolutely free from sin. However, even after believing and after the time of being touched by the water of sanctification, we are oftentimes found in sin. Methodius (c. 290, E), 6.365.

Man is born mortal. He afterwards becomes immortal when he begins to live in conformity with the will of God. That is, he begins to follow righteousness. . . . And this takes place when man, purified in the heavenly bath, lays aside his infancy along with all the pollution of his past life. Then, having received an increase of divine vigor, he becomes a perfect and complete man. Lactantius (c. 304–313, W), 7.201.

 In this we also have the instruction delivered by Peter . . . and the faith of those present and their salvation by baptism.
Pamphilus (c. 309, E), 6.166.

If he was not baptized, neither are any of us baptized. Yet, if there is no baptism, neither will there be any remission of sins. Rather, every man will die in his own sins. Disputation of Archelaus and Manes (c. 320, E), 6.228.

Black I was in sins, but I am comely. For I have repented and converted. I have put away that hateful hue in baptism. For He, the Savior of all creatures, has washed me in His innocent blood. Canticle of Mar (date uncertain, E), 8.654.

When they wish to repent, we receive the pagans into the church to hear the Word. However, we do not admit them to communion until they have received the seal of baptism and are made complete Christians. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.414.

He who out of contempt will not be baptized will be condemned as an unbeliever. He will be reproached as ungrateful and foolish. For the Lord says, “Unless a man is baptized of water and of the Spirit, he will by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven.” And again: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved. But he who does not believe will be condemned.” However, he may say, “When I am dying, I will be baptized, lest I should afterwards sin and defile my baptism.” Such a person is ignorant of God, and he forgets his own mortal nature. For it is written, “Do not delay to turn unto the Lord, for you do not know what the next day will bring forth.” Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.457.

II. Wijze en beschrijving van de Doop

". . . hen dopend in de Naam van de Vader en van de Zoon en van de Heilige Geest," Matt. 28:19.

"Maar ook Johannes doopte in Enon bij Salim, omdat daar veel water was; en de mensen kwamen daar en werden gedoopt," John 3:23.

"En hij liet de wagen stilhouden, en zij daalden beiden af in het water, zowel Filippus als de kamerheer, en hij doopte hem.”. Hand. 8:38.


Concerning baptism, baptize in this manner: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water. If you cannot baptize in cold water, baptize in warm. But if you do not have either, pour out water three times upon the person’s head in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, before the baptism, let the baptizer fast, and the one to be baptized, together with whoever else can. But you will instruct the one to be baptized to fast one or two days before [the baptism]. Didache (c. 80–140, E), 1.379.

The apostles themselves also gave them the seal of the preaching [i.e., baptism]. Accordingly, they descended with them into the water and ascended again. Hermas (c. 150, W), 2.49.

I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ. . . . As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their past sins. The rest of us pray and fast with them. They are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were regenerated ourselves. They there receive the washing with water in the name of God (the Father and Lord of the universe), of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. For Christ also said, “Unless you are born again, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.183.

I will turn to that highest authority of our “seal” itself. When entering the water, we make profession of the Christian faith in the words of its rule. We then bear public testimony that we have renounced the devil, his pomp, and his angels. Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.81.

Do we not renounce and rescind that baptismal pledge, when we cease to bear its testimony? Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.89.

With great simplicity, without pomp, without any considerable novelty of preparation, and without expense, a man is dipped in water. Amid the utterance of some few words, he is moistened, and then rises again, not much the [physically] cleaner. Because of that, the consequent attainment of eternity is esteemed the more incredible. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.669.

It makes no difference whether a man is washed in a sea or a pool, a stream or a fountain, a lake or a trough. . . . All waters . . . attain the sacramental power of sanctification. For the Spirit immediately supervenes from the heavens and rests over the waters, sanctifying them through Himself. And being thus sanctified, they acquire at the same time the power of sanctifying. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.670, 671.

When we have come from the font, we are thoroughly anointed with a blessed unction [i.e., oil]. This practice comes from the old discipline, where on entering the priesthood, men used to be anointed with oil from a horn. . . . In our case, the oil runs physically, but it profits us spiritually. It is similar to the act of baptism itself, which is also physical—in that we are plunged in water. Yet, its effect is spiritual, in that we are freed from sins. . . . Next, the hand is laid on us, invoking and inviting the Holy Spirit through a benediction. . . . This is derived from the old sacramental rite in which Jacob blessed his grandsons who were born of Joseph—Ephraim and Manasseh—with his hands laid on them and crossed. . . . Then that most Holy Spirit willingly descends from the Father over our cleansed and blessed bodies. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.672, 673.

Those who are about to enter baptism should pray with repeated prayers, fasts, and bendings of the knee—with all-night vigils and with the confession of all past sins. This way they may express the meaning even of the baptism of John. The Scripture says, “They were baptized, confessing their own sins.” Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.678, 679.

From our sacrament itself, we should draw our interpretation that practices of that kind are opposed to the faith. For how have we renounced the devil and his angels, if we make [idols to] them? Tertullian (c. 200, W), 3.64.

Marcion washes a man who had never been defiled so far as [his God] was concerned. And into the sacrament of salvation, he wholly plunges that flesh which is beyond the pale of salvation [according to him]! Tertullian (c. 207, W), 3.293.

According to Marcion, the flesh is not immersed in the water of the sacrament, unless it is in the state of virginity, widowhood, or celibacy.
Tertullian (c. 207, W), 3.293.

It is required, then, that the water should first be cleansed and sanctified by the priest, so that it may wash away by its baptism the sins of the man who is baptized. For the Lord says by Ezekiel the prophet: “Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you will be cleansed from all your filthiness.” . . . The very question that is asked in baptism is a witness of the truth. For when we say, “Do you believe in eternal life and remission of sins through the holy church?” we are saying that remission of sins is not granted except in the church. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.376.

There is no ground for anyone . . . to oppose us in the name of Christ and to say, “All who are baptized everywhere, and in any manner, in the name of Jesus Christ, have obtained the grace of baptism.” . . . The Son alone, without the Father (or against the Father) cannot be of advantage to anybody. It is the same as with the Jews. They boasted as to their having the Father. Yet, the Father would profit them nothing unless they believed on the Son whom He had sent. . . . There cannot be a hope of salvation except by knowing the two together. How, when God the Father is not known— nay, is even blasphemed—can they who among the heretics are said to be baptized in the name of Christ be judged to have obtained the remission of sins? . . . Christ Himself commands the pagans to be baptized in the full and united Trinity. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.383.

Someone may object, saying that Novatian . . . baptizes with the same symbol with which we baptize, knows the same God and Father, the same Christ the Son, the same Holy Spirit, and that for this reason he may claim the power of baptizing—namely, that he does not seem to differ from us as to the baptismal questions. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.399.

You have also asked, dearest son, what I thought of those who obtain God’s grace in sickness and weakness. Are they to be considered legitimate Christians, for they have not been bathed with the saving water, but only sprinkled? On this point, my shyness and modesty prejudges no one. I prevent no one from feeling what he thinks right and from doing what he feels to be right. As far as my limited understanding conceives it, I think that the divine benefits can in no respect be mutilated and weakened. Nothing less can occur in that case where, with full and entire faith both of the giver and the receiver, what is drawn from the divine gifts is accepted. . . . In the sacraments of salvation, when necessity compels, and God bestows his mercy, the divine methods confer the whole benefit on believers. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.400, 401.

The dove, flying about through the air over the water, was sent out three times from the ark. This signified the sacraments of our church. Treatise against Novatian (c. 255), 5.658.

Those who are called antichrists cannot administer the grace of saving baptism. . . . Water sanctified in the church by the prayer of the priest washes away sins. . . . By the regeneration of baptism, they may then come to the promise of Christ. . . . Sins are not remitted except in the baptism of the church. . . . If there is anyone who says that the grace of baptism is with heretics, he must first show and prove that the church is among them. Seventh Council of Carthage (c. 256, W), 5.567.

[The bishop] . . . will anoint the head of those who are to be baptized (whether they are men or women) with the holy oil, as a representation of the spiritual baptism. After that, either you, the bishop, or a presbyter that is under you, will in the solemn form pronounce over them the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and will dip them in the water. And let a deacon receive the man and a deaconess the woman.... After that, let the bishop anoint with ointment those who are baptized. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.431.

You should anoint the person beforehand with the holy oil and then baptize him with the water. Finally, you should seal him with the ointment. This is so that the anointing with oil may be the participation of the Holy Spirit, that the water may be the symbol of death, and that the ointment may be the seal of the covenants. However, if there is neither oil nor ointment, water is sufficient both for the anointing and for the seal, as well as for the confession of Him who is dead, or in fact is dying together [with Christ]. However, before baptism, let the candidate fast. For even the Lord, when He was first baptized by John and lived in the wilderness, afterward fasted forty days and forty nights. Now, He fasted after baptism, because He Himself had no need of cleansing, fasting, or purgation. For He was by nature pure and holy. . . . But he who is to be initiated into His death should first fast, and then be baptized. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.469.

When the catechumen is to be baptized, let him learn what is involved in the renunciation of the devil and the joinder of himself to Christ. For it is appropriate that he should first abstain from things contrary and then be admitted to the mysteries. He must beforehand purify his heart from all wickedness. . . . For even our Lord exhorted us in this manner, saying first, “Make disciples of all nations.” But then he adds: “and baptize them into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, let the candidate for baptism declare his renunciation in this manner: “I renounce Satan, his works, his pomps, his worship, his angels, his falsehoods, and all things that are under him.” And after his renunciation, let him make his public association, saying: “I associate myself to Christ and believe, and am baptized into one Unbegotten Being, the only true God Almighty . . .” [here follows the creed]. And after this vow, he comes next to the anointing with oil. Now, this is blessed by the high priest [i.e., bishop] for the remission of sins. It is the first preparation for baptism. For he calls upon the Unbegotten God, the Father of Christ, . . . that He will sanctify the oil in the name of the Lord Jesus and impart to it spiritual grace and efficacious strength. . . . After this, he comes to the water and blesses and glorifies the Lord God Almighty. . . . Next, when he has baptized the person in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, he will anoint him with ointment. . . . After this, let him stand up and pray the prayer that the Lord taught us. Of necessity, he who is risen again should stand up and pray, for he that has been raised up stands upright. Therefore, let him who has been dead with Christ, and is raised up with Him, stand up. But let him pray towards the east. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.477.

If any bishop or presbyter does not perform the three immersions of the one initiation—but performs only one immersion into the death of Christ— let him be deprived. For the Lord did not say, “Baptize into my death.” Rather, He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, O bishops, baptize three times into one Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, according to the will of Christ. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.503.

III. Dopen van kinderen

At our birth, we were born without our own knowledge or choice, but by our parents coming together. . . . In order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed , there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe . . . and the name of Jesus Christ . . . and the name of the Holy Spirit. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.183.

He came to save all persons by means of Himself—all, I say, who through Him are born again to God—infants, children, boys, youth, and old men. Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.391.

And so, according to the circumstances, disposition, and even the age of each individual, the delay of baptism is preferable. This is particularly true in the case of little children. For why is it necessary—if baptism itself is not so necessary—that the sponsors likewise should be thrust into danger? . . . Let the children come, then, while they are growing up. Let them come while they are learning—while they are learning where to come. Let them become Christians when they have become able to know Christ. Why does the innocent period of life hasten to the remission of sins? . . . If anyone understands the weighty importance of baptism, he will fear its reception more than its delay. Sound faith is secure of salvation.
Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.678.

In respect of the case of the infants, you say that they should not be baptized within the second or third day after their birth—that the law of ancient circumcision should be regarded. So you think that one who has just been born should not be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day. However, we all thought very differently in our council. . . . Rather, we all believe that the mercy and grace of God is not to be refused to anyone born of man. . . . As far as we can, we must strive that no soul be lost, if at all possible. For what is lacking to him who has once been formed in the womb by the hand of God? Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.353, 354.

Moreover, belief in divine Scripture declares to us that among all— whether infants or those who are older—there is the same equality of the divine gift. . . . Otherwise, it would seem that the very grace which is given to the baptized is given either more, or less, depending on the age of the receivers. However, the Holy Spirit is not given with measure. Rather, it is given alike to all, by the love and mercy of the Father. . . . For although the infant is still fresh from its birth, yet it is not such that anyone should shudder at kissing it in giving grace and in making peace. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.354.

Even to the greatest sinners and to those who have sinned much against God, when they subsequently believe, remission of sins is granted. Nobody is hindered from baptism and from grace. How much more should we shrink from hindering an infant. For he, being lately born, has not sinned— other than, in being born after the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of the ancient death at its earliest birth. For this reason, he more easily approaches the reception of the forgiveness of sins. For to him are remitted—not his own sins—but the sins of another. Therefore, dearest brother, this was our opinion in council that no one should be hindered by us from baptism and from the grace of God. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.354.

Baptize your infants also and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of God. For He says, “Allow the little children to come unto me and do not forbid them.” Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.457.

IV. Wie mag de Doop verrichten?

Of giving [baptism], the chief priest (who is the bishop) has the right. In the next place, the presbyters and deacons—yet, not without the bishop’s authority, on account of the honor of the church. For when it is preserved, peace is preserved. In addition to these, laymen have the right. For what is equally received can be equally given. So, unless bishops, presbyters, or deacons are present at that location, other disciples are called to the work. . . . But how much more is the rule of reverence and modesty necessary to laymen—seeing that these powers belong to their superiors. . . . The most holy apostle has said, “all things are lawful, but not all expedient.” Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.677.

But the woman of audacity, who has usurped the power to teach, will surely not give birth for herself likewise to a right of baptizing!
Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.677.

[The bishop] has begotten you again to the adoption of sons by water and the Spirit. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.410.

[The bishops are] the ambassadors of God, who have regenerated you by water and endowed you with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.412.

[The bishop] . . . will anoint the head of those who are to be baptized (whether they are men or women) with the holy oil, as a representation of the spiritual baptism. After that, either you, the bishop, or a presbyter that is under you, will in the solemn form pronounce over them the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and will dip them in the water. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.431.

V. De Doop gedaan door ketters

"één Heere, één geloof, één doop," Ef. 4:5.


He adds, “For so will you pass through the water of another,” reckoning heretical baptism not proper and true water.
Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.322.

Heretics, however, have no fellowship in our discipline. . . . I am not bound to recognize in them a thing that is commanded to me, because they do not have the same God as we do. Nor do they have the same Christ. Therefore, their baptism is not one with ours, either, for it is not the same. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.676.

When we were together in council, dearest brethren, we read your letter that you wrote to us concerning those who seem to be baptized by heretics and schismatics, asking whether—when they come to the catholic church, which is one—they should be baptized. . . . We put forward our opinion, but not as a new one. Rather, we join with you in equal agreement in an opinion long since decreed by our predecessors and observed by us. This opinion is namely . . . that no one can be baptized outside the church, for there is one baptism appointed in the holy church. . . . How can the person who baptizes give remission of sins to another when he himself—being outside the church—cannot put away his own sins?
Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.375, 376.

I know not by what presumption some of our colleagues are led to think that those who have been dipped by heretics should not be baptized when they come to us. The reason they give is that there is “one baptism.” . . . He who of his own authority grants this advantage to the heretics yields and consents to them that the enemies and adversaries of Christ have the power of washing, purifying, and sanctifying a man. However, we say that those who come from them are not re-baptized by us, but are baptized. For, indeed, they did not receive anything there, where there is nothing. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.377.

Christ Himself commands the pagan to be baptized in the full and united Trinity. Are we to believe that someone who denies Christ is denied by Christ, but that he who denies his Father . . . is not denied? Are we to believe that he who blasphemes against Him whom Christ called His Lord and His God is rewarded by Christ? Are we to believe he obtains remission of sins and the sanctification of baptism?
Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.383, 384.

 Someone might say, “What, then, becomes of those who were received from heresy into the church without baptism, in times past?” The Lord is able by His mercy to make allowances and not to separate from the gifts of His church those who through ignorance were admitted into the church and have since fallen asleep [in death] in the church. However, just because there was error at one time, it does not mean that there must always be error. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.385.

On the reading of [the letter from Stephen, bishop of Rome], you will more and more observe his error in endeavoring to maintain the cause of heretics against Christians. . . . For he judged the baptism of all heretics to be just and lawful. . . . If, therefore, it is either commanded in the Gospel, or contained in the Epistles or Acts of the apostles, that those who come from any heresy should not be baptized, but only have hands laid upon them to repentance, let this divine and holy tradition be observed. But if everywhere heretics are called nothing else than adversaries and antichrists, . . . no one should defame the apostles as if they had approved of the baptisms of heretics. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.386.

It is practiced and held by us that all who are converted from any heresy whatever to the church must be baptized by the only and lawful baptism of the church—with the exception of those who had previously been baptized in the church (and from there had passed over to the heretics). Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.389, 390.

Just as a heretic may not lawfully ordain or lay on hands, so neither may he baptize. . . . What kind of thing is it that when we see that Paul, after John’s baptism, baptized those disciples again, we are hesitating to baptize those who come to the church from heresy, after their unhallowed and profane dipping. Firmilian (c. 256, E), 5.392.

Who in the church is perfect and wise and can either defend or believe that the bare invocation of names [of the Trinity] is sufficient for the remission of sins and the sanctification of baptism? For these things are only of advantage when he who baptizes has the Holy Spirit.
Firmilian (c. 256, E), 5.392.

If the baptism of heretics can have the regeneration of the second birth, those who are baptized among them must be considered to be children of God—not heretics. For the second birth, which occurs in baptism, begets sons of God. Firmilian (c. 256, E), 5.393.

[Stephen, bishop of Rome] says, “the name of Christ is of great advantage to faith and the sanctification of baptism. So whoever is anywhere baptized in the name of Christ, he immediately obtains the grace of Christ.” . . . However, we join custom to truth. And we resist the Romans’ custom with custom—the custom of truth. . . . It has always been observed here that we knew none but the one church of God. And we have deemed no baptism holy except that of the holy church. Firmilian (c. 256, E), 5.395.

Cyprian said: “We have determined over and over again that heretics who come to the church must be baptized and sanctified by the baptism of the church.” Seventh Council of Carthage (c. 256, W), 5.565.

Primus of Misgirpa said: “I decide that every man who comes to us from heresy must be baptized. For in vain does he think that he has been baptized there. . . . Whatever is done outside the church has no effect towards salvation.” Seventh Council of Carthage (c. 256, W), 5.566.

Crescens of Cirta said: “I judge that all heretics and schismatics who wish to come to the catholic church will not be allowed to enter without their having first been exorcised and baptized.” Seventh Council of Carthage (c. 256, W), 5.567.

Pomponius of Dionysiana said: “It is evident that heretics cannot baptize and give remission of sins, seeing that they do not have power to be able to bind or loose anything on earth.” Seventh Council of Carthage (c. 256, W), 5.570.

A divine and sacred provincial synod, gathered together at Rome by Stephen, the blessed martyr and father, excommunicated those who (in an African synod) had without reason concluded that those who came to the catholic church from any heresy should be re-baptized.
Roman Council of Stephen (c. 256, W), 5.653.

According to the most ancient custom and ecclesiastical tradition, it would suffice that—after that baptism that they have received outside [the church] indeed, but still in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord—that only hands should be laid upon them by the bishop for their reception of the Holy Spirit. And this imposition of hands affords them the renewed and perfected seal of faith. Treatise on Re-Baptism (c. 257, W), 5.667.

Not without reason, we also in the present day may believe that men who are amended from their former error may be baptized in the Holy Spirit, who, although they were baptized with water in the name of the Lord, might have had a faith somewhat imperfect.
Treatise on ReBaptism (c. 257, W), 5.671.

As far as concerns the disciples themselves [prior to Pentecost], they are found to have had a faith that was neither sound nor perfect—as to the matters we have referred to. And what is much more serious, they baptized others, as it is written in the Gospel according to John. Besides, what will you say of those who are in many cases baptized by bishops of very bad character, who . . . are deprived of their office itself, or barred from communion? Or what will you say of those who may have been baptized by bishops whose opinions are unsound, or who are very ignorant? Treatise on Re-Baptism (c. 257, W), 5.672.

Outside the church, there is no Holy Spirit. Therefore, sound faith cannot exist—not just among heretics, but even among those who are established in schism. For that reason, those who repent and are amended by the doctrine of the truth . . . should be aided only by spiritual baptism—that is, by the imposition of the bishop’s hands. Treatise on Re-Baptism (c. 257, W), 5.673.

What will you determine against the person who hears the Word . . . and has at once confessed and then been martyred before there was an opportunity for him to be baptized with water? . . . If you say that he has [eternally] perished, you will be opposed by the statement of the Lord, who says, “Whoever will confess me before men, I will confess him also before my Father who is in heaven.” . . . All of this is not meant to be taken too liberally—as if it could be stretched to such a point that any heretic whatever can confess the name of Christ even though he denies Christ Himself. Nor does it apply to the person who believes on another Christ. Treatise on Re-Baptism (c. 257, W), 5.673, 674.

Heretics who are already baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ must only be baptized with the Holy Spirit. . . . This is so even though, if they continue as they are, they cannot be saved, for they have not sought the Lord after the invocation of His name upon them.
Treatise on Re-Baptism (c. 257, W), 5.674.

In the most considerable councils of the bishops, I hear it has been decreed that those who come from heresy should first be trained in [orthodox] doctrine and then should be cleansed by baptism. Dionysius of Alexandria (c. 262, E), 6.102.

Those who have been baptized by heretics are not initiated. Rather, they are polluted. They do not receive the remission of sins—but the bond of impiety. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.456.

If a bishop or presbyter rebaptizes someone who has had true baptism—or does not baptize one who has been polluted by the ungodly [baptism]—let him be deprived. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.503.

© OTR 2023