Question / Comment - Was the Red Sea 'baptism' full immersion?

I read your article on the baptism of Israel at the Red Sea.

 

I have a question.

 

Isn't a baptism a full immersion?

 

How can we understand that the Israelites were fully immersed?

 

Or were they sprinkled by the torrent of wall of sea?

 

Jesus was fully immersed by John.

 

Thank you for any help you can give.

 

JPN Reply:

Hi,

the Bible speaks about 'baptism' in some different ways. The article that I wrote wasn't about water baptism but our spiritual baptism into Christ. And in particular the outworking of that in our lives through the difficulties and trying times we experience. Spiritual baptism occurs the moment we are saved. It is a baptism which identifies us with the death and resurection of Jesus Christ. In fact when you see the word 'baptism' think 'identified with' or 'union with'. Water baptism is an outward act that we do which pictures what HAS ALREADY HAPPENED in our spiritual baptism.

Dr. Kenneth Wuest states:

The Greek word for 'baptism' speak of the introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something else, so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition.


Our spiritual baptism is stated in a few verses. Notably:
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body

So when Paul talks about the Israelites being baptised into Moses through the Red Sea it is saying that they were united and identified with Moses as they went down into the place of death and came out into new life. It isn't talking about water baptism. The Believers Bible Commentary says about 1 Cor 10:2

10:2 Not only that, but all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. To be baptized into Moses means to be identified with him and to acknowledge his leadership. As Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt toward the Promised Land, all the nation of Israel pledged allegiance to Moses at first and recognized him as the divinely appointed savior. It has been suggested that the expression "under the cloud" refers to that which identified them with God, and the expression "through the sea" describes that which separated them from Egypt.

In terms of water baptism, which again is an outward symbol of our spiritual baptism, yes, the examples given in the New Testament are of full immersion and we should follow that.

Hope this helps.