Most modern Christian groups practice baptism. The ritual itself differs widely– some baptize by fully immersing an individual in water (even babies!), while others practice baptism by sprinkling water on the head (a practice called affusion). The faithful have also differed in terms of who should be baptized. Should only professing individuals be baptized? Children? And what does baptism actually signify?
Partisan thinkers will argue that their belief system, whatever that happens to be, goes back to the dawn of Christendom. However, even in its origins, Christianity was very diverse. For example: different Christian sects such as the Valentinians and the Sethians had diverse opinions on the matter (and often diverse opinions amongst themselves).
In this post, we’re going to explore baptism liturgy in the Sethian tradition as it’s described in the treatise, The Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit. As usual, it’s pulling from Meyer’s excellent translation; if you don’t have a copy, I encourage you to pick up your own. As we look at it, we’ll find a fascinating take on baptism that differs from almost all widely practiced modern perspectives!
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