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Document Details :

Title: Christian and Mandaean Perspectives on Baptism
Author(s): SAED, Hathem
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 56    Issue: 1-4   Date: 2004   
Pages: 319-347
DOI: 10.2143/JECS.56.1.578710

Abstract :
Water is essential to all forms of life. Perhaps this is why people throughout history have always tried to live where water is easily available and where rains come regularly and in abundance. Water is also a symbol of God and his power to cleanse our sins. Perhaps this is also why in so many religions the ritual of baptism is undertaken with the help of the blessed water. Amongst the key religions in which baptism takes a prominent place, two of the most important examples are Christianity and Mandaeism. This paper will offer a short comparative analysis of baptism in Christian and Mandaean religions and identify some of the different ways in which water is used in their distinct celebrations of God. Through this comparison, this paper will also try to offer some answers to the difficult question regarding the origin of Christian baptism and the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Finally, this study will consider the Mandaean understanding of the baptized person as a ‘Messiah King’ and its relation to Jesus’s baptism.