Did John the Baptist Really Baptize Jesus?
Here's an interesting blog at Neil Godfrey's Vridar: Why many historical Jesus Scholars NEED John to Baptize Jesus
"In his chapter “Bird-watching at the Baptism of Jesus: Early Christian Mythmaking in Mark 1:9-11″ in Reimagining Christian Origins Vaage writes:
"That the historical Jesus was baptized by the historical John is still taken by many scholars to be simply a historical fact: as sure an assumption as any can be on the basis of the canonical Gospel narratives. The reasons for this assumption, however, and furthermore its presumed importance (primarily for characterization of the historical Jesus) are essentially theological . . . . (p. 281)
"That such theological difficulties attest therefore the likely historicity of Jesus’ baptism by John, is, however, hardly an obvious conclusion, especially if and when the only independent source for the early Christian recollection of Jesus’ baptism by John (for the forgiveness of sins) should prove to be the Gospel of Mark. (p. 281)"
"Thus, the event of Jesus baptism by John lacks “multiple attestation” in the canonical Gospels or in any other text of the New Testament.
The abiding scholarly conviction that the historical Jesus was baptized by the historical John depends wholly and solely on the assumption that what we now read in Mark 1:9-11 (and parallels) and, specifically, v. 9 is necessarily “historical” in some sense, even though, again, the reasons for this assumption have been primarily “theological” and not conventionally “historical” in nature. (p. 282)
A commenter explains: Luke 3:20-21
has John IN PRISON when Jesus is baptized.
"Vaage’s chapter offers an alternative, and I think more justifiable, understanding of the reason we read of the baptism of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark.
He argues the author of this gospel most likely invented the scene for the specific purpose of furthering advancing his unique theological agenda. This means examining how the baptism scene fits “into the narrative design of the Gospel as a whole”.
That will be the subject of my next post on Vaage’s chapter."
There's a 20 page chapter entitled "Anup the Baptizer" in Christ in Egypt
(page 233) explaining the significance of baptism in Egypt and elsewhere. It's the best explanation of where this mythical motif concept was 'borrowed' from and why. Most are so narrowly focused on the bible that they rarely look outside the bible for a pre-Christian origin for these mythical motifs.
"Along with the concept of holy, living water in Egyptian religion comes its use for purification in actual baptism, with immersion into water or sprinkling of water. Concerning Egyptian baptism, Bonwick relates:
"The baptism in Egypt is known by the hieroglyphic terms of “water of purification.” In Egypt…the water so used in immersion absolutely cleansed the soul, and the person was said to be regenerated. The water itself was holy, and the place was known, as afterwards by the eastern Christians, by the name of holy bath. The early Christians called it being “brought anew into the world.” The ancients always gave a new name at Baptism, which custom was afterwards followed by moderns. The Mithraic font for the baptism of ancient Persians is regarded as of Egyptian origin."3
We have already seen abundantly this ritual of purification in water within the Egyptian religion, in which the deceased becomes revivified, a cleansing equivalent to Christian baptism. Indeed, one definition of “baptism” is a “ceremony, trial, or experience by which one is initiated, purified, or given a name.”4 As do Christians during baptism, the deceased/Osiris frequently received a new name, depicted in the texts as speaking from the perspective of many deities, as demonstrated. Since “baptism,” which comes from the Greek word baptizo, is called “purification by water” in the Egyptian, the word for “baptizer” or “baptist” would be “purifier.”"
- CIE page 244