Matthew 3:6
Matthew 3:6 is the sixth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

. The verse occurs in the section introducing John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 with this verse describing his baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...


In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:
And were baptized of him in
Jordan, confessing their sins.

The World English Bible
World English Bible
The World English Bible is a public domain translation of the Bible that is currently in draft form. Work on the World English Bible began in 1997 and was known as the American Standard Version 1997...

 translates the passage as:
They were baptized by him in
the Jordan, confessing their sins.

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 3:6

The use of the word baptism
In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission , almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition...

 to describe what John is doing is controversial. Anabaptist
Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

s assert that the only proper translation for the Greek verb baptizmo is immerse. They thus practice baptisms where the entire body is immersed in water, rather than just a sprinkling of water as is done in most other Christian churches. Most non-Baptist scholars do agree that John the Baptist was probably immersing those that came to see him , but they disagree that this is the only valid form of baptism.

France notes that while in Luke and Mark John's baptisms have the power to forgive sins in Matthew they are merely confessed. France argues that in the Gospel of Matthew forgiveness of sins only becomes possible after Jesus' resurrection, a theology not held by the other synoptics. The wording of this verse gives no guidance to the Protestant/Catholic dispute over whether the act of baptism cleanses one of sins, or if it merely symbolizes that a person has already been cleansed by God. Similarly the verse is unclear on what role confession
This article is for the religious practice of confessing one's sins.Confession is the acknowledgment of sin or wrongs...

 plays in the process.

The origins of John's baptism ritual are much discussed amongst scholars. Hill notes that various forms of baptism were practiced throughout the Jewish world at this time, but that only those of John the Baptist and Qumran
Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank. It is located on a dry plateau about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalia...

 are eschatological. This has many scholars to propose a link between the Baptist and those who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

. There were still important difference between the baptisms of the Essenes
The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE which some scholars claim seceded from the Zadokite priests...

and that of John. In Qumran baptism was a part of a regular ritual for those already purified. In John and in Christianity it is a one time event with transformative powers.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.