Hi William,
You seem to be very taken with Joachim Jeremias' book, but to put it mildly, I am not.

Fred Malone wrote:-
'...The real problem with the oikos formula is that itappeals to a cultural and socialogical concept not clearly specified in Scripture in order to justify infant baptism, while ignoring the immediate NT context that clearly rejects infant baptism,' These include:-

1. Joel's prophecy of the New Covenant repeated by Peter (Acts 2:21) that 'Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.'
2. The testimony of Jeremiah and Hebrews that only those who know the Lord are in the New Covenant.

3. John the Baptist's practice of baptizing only the penitent.

3. Our Lord's Great Commission: 'Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the Name of the Father etc.' How easy it would have been for our Lord to have added 'and their children' at the appropriate spot. It would have ended all the controversy at a stroke. But He didn't say it, and it's not for us to write it in.

With regard to Acts 16 and the Philippian jailor, it is clear that the Gospel was preached to the whole household (v32). It was the middle of the night. How likely is it that he would have woken up his infant children so that they could listen to something they couldn't understand? It is clear therefore that there were no infants in the house and that all those who heard were converted. That is the natural reading of the text. But let's suppose that only the jailor was converted, and the rest of his oikos were not. Things might have gone something like this:-

Because the Jailor was an old soldier, he and his wife were worshippers of the god, Mithras. The wife was very attatched to Mithraism and didn't want to leave it, but after the jailor had slapped her about for a while and blackened both her eyes, she submitted to be baptized. Their 5 year-old son and 7 year-old daughter were quite happy to join Daddy's new religion, though they really couldn't make out the difference between Jesus and Mithras, and they didn't really care. The 15 year-old son had recently become a follower of Epicureanism, and despised all supernatural religion. He flatly refused to be baptized, but after a considerable struggle, Silas and the Jailor managed to hold him down while Paul poured the water over him. The two house-slaves, an elderly married couple, were devotees of the goddess, Cybele. However, when it was put to them that their choice was being baptized or being sold to work down the salt mines, they consented to baptism without argument, secretly determining to carry on with their Cybele-worship in private.

The Jailor's eldest child was their 18 year-old son. He was an ardent Stoic. He was horrified at the idea of being a 'bond servant of Jesus Christ.' He regarded baptism as a badge of servitude. Faced with his father's inflexible demand, he recalled the famous Stoic dictum, 'Quis mori dedicit, servire non dedicit' ('He who had learned to die has learned not to be a slave'). He went out of the house and stabbed himself to death.

This may not be wholly accurate, but if oikos baptisms really went on, then something similar must have taken place. Is it the sort of thing you would recommend today?

Every blessing,

Last edited by grace2U; Sat May 08, 2004 12:06 PM.