Worship and Devotional Life - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Christian Initiation

Early Christian Baptism

The earliest accounts of Christian baptism focus on the confession of Jesus as Lord, usually in response to preaching, and on the ritual washing. The earliest church order, Didache (before CE 100), describes that washing, following extended catechesis, as preferably accomplished by immersion in running water, but it allows for water to be poured over the initiate three times. In either case, the baptism is to be performed "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." It is uncertain whether such references to the anointing and sealing of Christians as that in 2 Corinthians 1:21 refer to an actual anointing with oil in first-century initiatory ritual, but such anointings do appear in the course of the second century. In Syria an anointing prior to the water bath was called rushma ("mark") and has been interpreted as a Christian surrogate...

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This section contains 6,578 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Worship and Devotional Life Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Worship and Devotional Life from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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