Friday, May 02, 2014

The Word "Baptism" in Gothic

My baptistic friends (or any of my friends that think that only immersion is baptism) will be glad to know that in the Gothic Bible, one of the words that is translated, rather than transliterated, is the word we transliterate "baptism." In "The Goths of the Fourth Century," Heather et al. provide the following item:
βαπτίζειν/ -ίσμα/ -ίστής (baptizare/-isma/-ista): daupyan, daupeins, daupyands (sc. John the Baptist); cf. ufdaupyan, 'dip', diups, 'deep'; Ger. taufen.
It's not a matter of earth-shattering significance, but it is interesting as a minor lexical note to observe that the fourth-century Greek/Latin/Goth speaker Ulfila (see earlier discussion here - and here) evidently understood "baptism" narrowly as "dip" as opposed to more broadly as "wash" or the like.


No comments: