Baptizo: The Meaning of Baptism
By James W. Dale
In the 19th century, Dr. James W. Dale, a Presbyterian minister, embarked on a scholarly project that proved to be the most exhaustive study ever undertaken on the word "baptism." Aiming at a contextual understanding of the word, Dr. Dale meticulously examined its use in a wide range of historical documents, and his analysis is a masterpiece of lexicographical scholarship.
Dr. Dale published his findings in four volumes, and for the first time in many years all four of these distinguished texts are available, offering a valuable resource for students and scholars of language, religion, and history.
An analysis of the use of the word in classical Greek literature.
James Wilkinson Dale (1812—1881) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1831. He studied theology at Andover and Princeton. Dale was a pastor and missionary; he retired in 1876, when he devoted himself to studying literature. His sermons were often published in newspapers. Dale is best known for his writings on baptism, which began as a private study. He carefully examined the Scriptures and early church writings to determine their teachings regarding baptism; the results of this study formed the foundation for several volumes on baptism.
Comments and Reviews
Greek may not be the language of heaven, though I have sometimes argued that it is. However, a knowledge of ancient Greek is absolutely essential to any proper understanding of the teachings and practices of every branch of the Christian church. Dr. Dale's book, Judaic Baptism, may well be the most exhaustive treatment ever on one word. Its reprinting is a welcome reminder of the complexity of determining the precise meaning of any word in the Bible and other ancient literary documents, as well as the necessity for tolerance. Dr. Countess' hope, expressed in his Introduction, is that this renewal of interest in word and book should encourage a more thorough study of Greek among our spiritual leaders at every level—especially pastors.
— James W. Alexander, Ph.D.
Franklin Prof. Of Classics Emeritus University of Georgia
A must for the library. Highly recommended for pastors, teachers, Greek students, theologians, and researchers. Vital to refuting aberrant views concerning baptism... A classic that lives on!
— Critical Review
...for any serious student of baptism, these five volumes on baptizo should form an important part of a research bibliography.
— Wilbert M. Van Dyk
Calvin Theological Journal