1. Anne said:

    Wonderful, concise, and all you need to know about the teaching of the Catholic Church documented in the Bible. Thank you!

    January 26, 2016
  2. Patrick said:

    In my view one cannot be a Christian without having repented from one’s sins and without believing in Jesus. What I might be brought to accept is the idea that apart from the aforementioned necessary requirements for being a Christian baptism is another one, so that baptism TOGETHER WITH faith and repentance is a necessary requirement for being a Christian. In support of this view one could point to Mark 16:16 where it says that those who are baptized AND believe are saved. Interestingly, however it doesn’t say that those who are not baptized and don’t believe are condemned, but only those who do not believe, which can be interpreted as faith being more important than baptism.

    As for passages such as Romans 6:4 or 1 Peter 3:20-21 one should be aware that they are taken from letters which were written to specific addressees, the Christians in Rome around 60 AD in the former and the Christians in places that now belong to Turkey maybe at about the same time in the latter case. So, one cannot just interpret “you” as referring to “any baptized person”. This becomes clear when one asks with respect to every passage that contains “you” if what is written there really applies to all baptized people who have ever lived and will ever live.

    Paul and Peter seem to have proceeded on the assumption that the adressees of their respective letters were not only baptized, but believed in Jesus and had repented from their sins. A thought that very likely didn’t cross their minds was that what they wrote concerning their addressees could ever be applied to nominal Christians, who are baptized, but who don’t believe in Jesus and have not repented from their sins.

    As for John 3:6 it is far from clear that it refers to baptism. After all, in the passage about Jesus’s conversation with the Pharisee Nicodemus (John 3:1-21), from which this verse is taken, the word “baptism” never appears. What is more, in the verses John 3:15 and 3:16, which may regarded as Jesus’s explanation of his talk about being born from above Jesus refers to faith and not to baptism. Already in the prologue to John’s Gospel it says that it is those who BELIEVE IN THE NAME OF JESUS who are children of God born of God (John 1:12-13). Finally, in my view John 3:8 would be quite odd if it refers to baptized people.

    July 12, 2016

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