I listened to your lesson on Baptism (thank you, it helped me to better understand this aspect of our walk in Christ). However, I am not able to find any scriptural passages where it mentions that the apostles were baptized.  Scripture mentions they did baptize others. Can you help with this question please?
Thank you.

[Note:  The notes and audio mentioned above are here:   Class on Baptism ]


There is a good reason you cannot find any passages mentioning the baptism of the apostles. This is because there is no such passage. This is one of those interesting mysteries. In fact, there are really two mysteries. One is whether or not the apostles were baptized at all. Another mystery is why the conversion of the apostles is not even mentioned. Bottom line, the Bible does not tell us one way or another. I assume that if we needed to know God would have told us.

Since you asked, I am going to give you my opinion, but please bear in mind that this is simply my opinion, based on reasoning, but it is just an opinion. First of all, I think it is extremely likely that the apostles were baptized by Jesus early in his ministry. The reason I say this is that we have in John 4:2 that Jesus disciples were baptizing many. I am assuming here that the “disciples” doing the baptisms here include or are exclusively the apostles. It seems very unlikely that Jesus would have had his apostles baptize those who believed in him if they had not themselves been baptized. I would guess that most scholars would agree that the apostles were baptized by either John or Jesus.

I will also express my opinion about the conversion of the apostles. With this second opinion I am less certain. It is my opinion that most likely the apostles were “rebaptized” after the ascension of Jesus but before the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). I say this, in part, because we have precedent for rebaptism of those who were baptized before the death of Jesus and had therefore not received the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:4-7). Biblical evidence is that we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when we are baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38-41) but after the death of Jesus (John 16:7). Common sense (which is not proof, of course) says that the apostles who were baptizing people into Christ at Pentecost had themselves been baptized into Christ. Why do we not have these baptisms recorded? There are a lot of things not recorded in the Bible.

Let me provide a counter-argument to the opinion I just expressed that the apostles were baptized into Christ in order to receive the Holy Spirit before Pentecost. This counter-evidence is in John 20:21-23 where Jesus breathed on the apostles and they “received the Holy Spirit.” Does this mean that they did not need to be baptized? Possibly. This is why I said above that I am not super confident about my opinion that the apostles were rebaptized after Jesus ascended to heaven.

I hope this helps.

John Oakes

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