The Question of Infant Baptism: Zwingli’s View

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“Children born of believing parents are children of God, like those who were born under the Old Testament, and consequently may receive baptism.

“Baptism under the New Testament is what circumcision was under the Old; consequently, baptism ought now to be administered to children, as circumcision was formerly.

“We cannot prove the custom of re-baptizing either by examples, texts, or arguments drawn from Scripture; and those who are re-baptized crucify Jesus Christ afresh.” (from here)

From here:

“…There were infants also under the cloud, yet no individual mention is made of them.  All crossed the sea.  Yet the infants could not have crossed.  Therefore they crossed who did not, but were borne (carried) by those who did. …All were baptized unto Moses…therefore, not only adults, but infants also, were baptized unto Moses.  For if they who were infants at the crossing of the Red Sea were not baptized, the apostle did not speak correctly in saying: All were baptized unto Moses, for they were, as I have just said, the fathers of their posterity.”

“The Hebrew children were all baptized in the cloud and in the sea, just as are ours.  Paul, in the passage cited, tends in no other direction than to prove that they are as much initiated by our sacraments as we ourselves.  It follows therefore, first, that in Paul’s time it was the custom of the apostles to baptize infants; second, if anyone contradicts it he vitiates the opinion of Paul.”

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5 Replies to “The Question of Infant Baptism: Zwingli’s View”

  1. zwingli was in fact a life long supporter of infant baptism. as the quote suggests, he saw baptism as a sign of the covenant and nothing more.

    since it didn’t dispense grace, its significance as a ‘sign’ of belonging to the church was just so much external dressing.

    his problem with the rebaptizers was precisely at the point where they EMPHASIZED the importance of baptism as almost a work rather than a sign of grace.

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