People's Commentary (NT)
Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized. The baptism took place in the river Jordan, and was doubtless by immersion. Dr. Whitney, of the Church of England, on this passage, says: "The observation of the Greek Church is this, that he who ascended out of the water must first descend into it. Baptism is therefore to be performed, not by sprinkling, but by washing the body.' Dr. Schaff, the great Pedo-baptist scholars, says: "While the validity of baptism does not depend on the quantity or quality of water, or the mode of its application, yet immersion and emersion is the primitive and expressive mode to symbolize the idea of entire spiritual purification and renovation.' Dr. Schaff also says: "The Greek word "baptize" is derived from a root that means "to dip", "to immerse".' These views are endorsed by all the great Pedo-baptist scholars. Went up straightway out of the water. The Revised Version says "from the water", which is correct, as the preposition is "apo"; yet Mark uses "ek" in giving the same account (Mark 1:10), which the Revised Version correctly renders "out of". He went up, praying, as we learn from Luke 3:21. Lo, the heavens were opened unto him. The skies were parted, rolled back, so as to reveal, as it were, the throne of God. Spirit of God descending like a dove. In form, and not, as some suppose, in motion merely, which would convey no definite idea. It descended to anoint him to be Christ.
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