Cheo, Rhantizo, and Baptizo – Jess Whitlock

Jess Whitlock

Most careful Bible students believe in baptism. Baptism is authorized by Christ (Matt. 28:18-20). Baptism was taught by the apostles (Acts 2:38). Baptism is commanded of God (Acts 10:47-48). Yet, baptism remains one of the most controversial subjects of the New Testament. Many are confused about the manner, mode, and method of the one baptism (Eph. 4:4-6). There are varied views about baptism; i.e., immersion, pouring, sprinkling, and Holy Spirit baptism. The word of God still declares there is one baptism! Let us not add to the word of God, nor take from the Word of God (Rev. 22:18-19).

Let your fingers do the walkin’ and let the Bible do the talkin’. What does the Bible teach concerning baptism? New Testament baptism requires water (Acts 10:47). New Testament baptism requires going down into the water (Acts 8:38). New Testament baptism requires coming up out of the water (Acts 8:39). It is likened to a birth, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:4-5). The only thing accomplished in all of this for pouring or sprinkling is water!

Koine Greek words are available for the words; sprinkle and pour. Those words are never applied to the one baptism of the New Testament. Never! Cheo is the Greek for pour. Rhantizo is the Greek for sprinkle. Therefore, the pouring of water would be cheism! The sprinkling of water would be rantism! The Greek word for immersion is baptizo. That word is used almost 100 times in the Greek New Testament. Not one time is it ever rendered as the pouring or sprinkling of water. Not one time! Why not? Because the inspired writers of the New Testament had access to cheo and rhantizo. Pour is found: (John 2:15; Acts 2:17,18,33; Titus 3:6; Rev. 16: 1-4,8,10,12,17). Sprinkle is also used: (Heb. 9:13,19,21; 10:22; 1 John 1:9; Rev. 19:13). Those two words never apply to the one baptism (Eph. 4:4-6).

There was a debate conducted on the manner of baptism. A Gospel preacher defended the action of immersion as the requirement of the New Testament. The sectarian preacher argued according to the dictionary definition of “baptism” a secondary meaning was “to be sprinkled.” The Gospel preacher took the same dictionary and pointed out that a secondary meaning applied to “believe” is to “have an opinion.” A secondary meaning of the word for “saved” is to “be pickled.” He then observed that if we take the secondary meaning of English words and bind them on the Bible, we have Jesus Christ saying in Mark 16:16 that “He that has an opinion and is sprinkled shall be pickled!” ‘Nuff said!

New Testament baptism is an act of obedience to a direct command our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16). All that remains is to ask whether you will obey the teaching of Christ or disobey! The choice is yours.

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Author: Editor

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