Verse List: Baptisms in the Bible
It is a common mistake to think that water baptism is the only baptism in the Bible. Every time the word “baptism” is mentioned people wrongly assume water. The Bible mentions many baptisms, and many of them are dry including the one and only baptism required for being a member of the body of Christ.
“…One Lord, one faith, one baptism,…” – Eph 4:5
This one baptism is our baptism into Christ by the Spirit (1 Cor 12:13). This is the one baptism taught by the apostle Paul, and the only one that accompanies salvation in this dispensation (1 Cor 12:13; Rom 6:3; Gal 3:27; Col 2:12)
Here is the list of distinct baptisms in the Bible. Only the ones in blue are wet. Can you find the common thread among the baptisms that include water?
- Noah’s type baptism
Peter mentions that eight people were saved by water in an ark as a type of a future baptism. Water is present, but the people are dry.(Gen 6:13; 1 Peter 3:20-21)
- Baptism unto Moses
Paul presents Israel’s baptism unto Moses “in the cloud and in the sea”. Water is present, but the people are dry. (1 Cor 10:1-2; Exo 14:29)
- Israel’s ceremonial cleansings
These cleansing rituals were required under the Mosaic Law for the cleansing of the people. (Num 19:13; Lev 11:25; Exo 19:14; Exo 30:17-21; Heb 9:10)
- Levitical priesthood baptisms
These washings were required in order to become a priest under the Law of Moses.
(Exo 29:4; Lev 8:6; Num 8:7)
- Traditional Jewish baptisms
These baptisms were not mandated under the Law but were part of Jewish tradition.
(Mt 15:1-2; Mk 7:1-9; Lk 11:38)
- John’s baptism
John came to Israel baptizing with water for the remission of sins so that they could enter the promised kingdom to Israel and identify their Messiah. (Mt 3:5-6; Mk 1:4; Lk 3:3; Jn 1:31; Lk 7:29; Acts 10:37)
- Jesus’ baptism by John
Jesus, who knew no sin, was baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness under the law. (Mat 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-10)
- Baptism with fire
Jesus would baptize the nation with fire as they went through the tribulation. This trial baptism would damn the unfaithful to hell. (Isa 4:4; Mal 3:2-3; Mt 3:11; Lk 3:16)
- Jesus’ baptism unto death
Jesus’ second baptism which he accomplished at the cross where he was identified with the sins of Israel and the world. (Mt 20:22-23; Mk 10:38-39; Luke 12:50)
- Pentecostal water baptism
Peter’s presentation of water baptism for the remission of sins in the name of Jesus. This was John’s baptism plus the name of Jesus.(Acts 2:38; Mk 16:16; Mt 28:19; Acts 22:16; Eze 36:25)
- Pentecostal Spirit baptism
This is the baptism with the Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ from heaven poured out upon the believing remnant of Israel with signs and powers following. (Isa 44:3; Mt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 24:49; Acts 2:17-18, 38; Acts 8:15-17; Acts 11:16)
- Gentile baptism of Cornelius
Cornelius was baptized with the Holy Spirit as a sign to Peter. Peter subsequently baptizes Cornelius and the other Spirit-filled Gentiles with water in a different order but for the same reason as Pentecost. (Acts 10:45-48)
- Baptism for the dead
This baptism is debated heavily and is most likely synonymous with one of the other baptisms. If this is true, “for the dead” would signify the circumstance under which those believers were baptized. (1 Cor 15:29)
- Baptism into Christ
The only baptism taught by Paul which identifies the believer with Christ, his death, and resurrection. This baptism is performed by the Spirit and does not include water.
(1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:5; Col 2:12; Gal 3:27; Rom 6:3-4)