So what IS baptism? Is it necessary? I have heard it said that baptism is simply a mikveh, but if that is the case then why was Yeshua baptized? He would have been following the law his entire life at the point that John baptized him and would not have needed a mikveh like a convert. So what are your thoughts?
the baptism of iokhanan was one with water and of repentance but the one Yeshua braught was one of fire and most of all Rukha dKodsha (ruach ha kodesh in hebrew) and the apostles understood it in no other way according to these verses;
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I . . . He will baptize you with rukha dKudsha and fire." (Matthew 3:11)
14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive rukha d kodsha; 16 for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of maran yeshua. (acts 8)
1 It happened that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper country, came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive rukha d kodsha when you believed?”
They said to him, “No, we haven’t even heard that there is rukha d kodsha.”
3 He said, “Into what then were you baptized?”
They said, “Into John’s baptism.”
4 Paul said, “John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the one who would come after him, that is, in Yeshua.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of maran Yeshua. 6 When Paul had laid his hands on them, rukha dkodsha came on them, and they spoke with other languages and prophesied.
(eventhough they had the water baptism of iochanan, this was the old baptism of repentance before Yeshua came but after Messiah the baptism of fire, without any water, began which came from the laying of hands --something that goes back to Moshe--)
here the Yeshua baptism is described;
15 As I began to speak, rukha dkodsha fell on them, even as on us at the beginning. 16 I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘iokhanan indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in rukha d kodsha.’ (acts 11)
3:14-15 And Yochanan spoke to him saying, “I have need to be immersed of you, and you come to me?” Then Yeshua answered and said to him, permit it now; for in this it is obligated for us to fulfill all righteousness.” He gave him leave, and immersed him. A similar account appeared in the Goodnews according to the Hebrews (see notes to Mt. 3:16-17 below).
This passage raises an obvious question. If Yochanan immersed unto the remission of sins (see Mt. 3:1; Mk. 1:4-5; Lk. 3:2-3, 7 & Acts 19:3-4) and Yeshua was without sin (Heb. 4:15) why should Yeshua be immersed for the remission of sins? A passage from the Goodnews according to the Hebrews quoted by the fourth century “Church Father” Jerome explores this issue:
In the Gospel according to the Hebrews,
which is written in the Chaldee and Syrian language,
but in Hebrew letters, and is used by the Nazarenes
to this day (I mean the Gospel according the Apostles,
or, as is generally maintained, the Gospel according to
Matthew, a copy of which is in the library at Caesarea,
Behold, the mother of our Lord
and His brothers said to him,
John the Baptist baptizes for the remission of sins;
let us go and be baptized by him.
But He said to them, what sin have
I committed that I should go and be baptized by him?
Unless perchance, the very words which I have said
Is [a sin of] ignorance.
(Jerome; Against Pelagius 3:2)
The concept of the “sin of ignorance” is found in the Torah (Lev. 4:2, 22, 27; 5:15-18; 22:14) and in Hebrews (Heb. 9:7). Messiah gave up certain qualities to become a man (Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 2:7, 9, 14) and this apparently included omniscience, In Luke we are told that Messiah “grew and filled with wisdom” (Lk. 2:40, 52) and as an adult he did not have all of the knowledge of the Father (Mk. 13:32). This raises the possibility that Yeshua could have sinned in ignorance (Heb. 4:15 makes it clear that he did not, but that he could have), which is the point, made in the Goodnews according to the Hebrews here.
Not that the phrase “a sin of” is in brackets, meaning that it was not in the Latin of Jerome’s quote but was added by the translator as implied. The text might also be seen as Yeshua challenging his brothers by saying “I claim not to have sinned… are you saying I am ignorant and I really have sinned? And if so just when and where did I sin?”
Is the baptism a symbol of (eventual, future) immersion in Ruach Ha-Qodesh ?
I've never though of physical baptism as being a necessary ritual, in Diaspora at least.
If I interpreted Serkan correctly, baptism could be a symbol for something that's going to occur in the future?
Being immersed in spirit would probably entail or necessitate forgiveness of sins.
The third chapter of John tells an interesting story about baptism or mikvah, if you prefer. The main points being that a Pharisee has come to Messiah Yahshua by night for instruction. Messiah tells Nicodemus a number of things about being 'born again' that Nicodemus doesn't understand. What Messiah says about the baptism of water is very revealing. But first let's look at His visitor's reaction. He doesn't understand about being 'born again' and asks how this can be accomplished. This is counted as strange by Messiah because it is something with which Nicodemus should be well familiar.
Semitic languages are often confusing to the Western mind because of how things are named. An example of this is the process by which a proselyte is converted into Judaism. In ancient times, the one who sought to convert would be taught the things that he needed to know so as not to offend. Then the student could attend synagogue and learn Torah with everyone else. The short version is that they would be taught and tested. They would take the circumcision of the flesh and undergo a final examination and immersion before a Bet Din. It was said that they were submerged as a gentile but when they emerged, they were 'born again' as a Jew. In general terms this process was often simply called 'the circumcision'.
As a 'teacher of Israel', Nicodemus knew what 'born again' meant. He would have been intimately familiar with 'the circumcision'. But he thought that because he was already a Jew that it did not apply to him. The following is what Messiah said to Nicodemus about the baptism and being 'born again':
Joh 3:5 Yahshua answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
As far as I can tell, and in a very basic sense, these two baptisms are very different. The baptism of water is a voluntary, physical act of submission and repentance by man. It isn't necessarily a one-time thing. Being men, we tend to need to repent often. We become 'unclean' often and for a variety of causes. The baptism of the Spirit is a voluntary, spiritual act; it is a gift given by Elohim through His Messiah. But this baptism of fire is different from the baptism by water, because Elohim does not repent of His gifts and calling. So the baptism of the Spirit need only happen once. However, in the words of Messiah, both are needed in order to enter His Kingdom. I hope this helps.
Hmmm. Good question.
If so, then could one not argue that one might have to get re-baptized in the name of Yeshua, if Yehoshua is inaccurate, of Yahushua, or Yahoshua, etc etc until the "correct" pitch and tonality is achieved ?
A ridicluous scenario, yes, but where is the line drawn?
Isn't Jesus just more of a mispronunciation, than some others?
To be fair, Yeshua is the name of the Messiah, in the books I consider canonical at least.
I hear lots of different interpretations of Yeshua: Yahushua, Yehawashi, YeweShua, Yahovsha, Jesus, Hezuz, etc etc - if we're going to be very strict about not interpreting at all, but simply repeating the Scripture, and if we're applying an argument of "Scriptural Accuracy" for pronunciation, then Yeshua seems to be the most accurate.
If one was baptized in the name of "Jesus" as a believing Christian, and then later became a Nasrani/Netzerim/Nazarene, should that person get re-baptized in the Name of Yehoshua?
I don't see the problem with repeated baptisms, it seems this was the norm in several ancient milieus, but my point was that the name used should either not be too concerned with pronunciation, or stick with what the Scriptures strictly say, if pronunciation is such an issue, which would be: Yeshua.
Personally, I've chosen to use this name when referring to the Messiah, though I have in the past thought of Yahushua as a "Royal" form of his name, and still speculate whether he might take this name as a secondary name eventually.
It's interesting that none of the Jews or Apostles in Scripture refer to him as Yahushua, though.