Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Temple Aqueduct and Ritual Bath Excavated Opposite Temple Mount

Recent news from Israel tells us of a "Temple Aqueduct and Ritual Bath Excavated Opposite Temple Mount." This points to the ancient Jewish practice of ritual immersion known as Mikvah, which provides a historical background for the Christian practice of baptism (links are to Wikipedia articles). Some critics have mocked the presence of baptism in the Book of Mormon as horribly anachronistic, but the idea of pre-Christian baptism is more plausible than it used to be. Related rituals were in place before the time of Christ.

An interesting reference on baptism and its relation not only to Judaism but to Hinduism is "A Study on Baptism" by M.M. Ninan.


Anonymous said...

Amazing stuff.

Anonymous said...

I have a Jewish friend who verified that they performed what could be considered baptisms prior to the coming of Christ. He said that the person was completely immersed and also lifted their feet so that they were totally surrounded by water.

Kurt said...

Point of clarification:

The ritual Jewish immersion is called tevillah, or t'villah. It is performed in a mikvah.

The mikvah is comparable to the Christian baptismal font, and the tevillah is comparable to the act of baptising.

Anonymous said...

NPR covered a resurgence in one aspect of the ritual recently. Not necessarily relevant to BoM baptism, but its context that might interest.

Feminist Jews Revive Ritual Bath for Women