Nick Hill Religion 4/7/00 A Sacred Bath, Baptism For hundreds of years baptism has been a large part of many different religions. Although throughout history, and throughout many religions, the practice might have differed, but the meaning and the symbolism has remained relatively the same. The word baptism came from the Greek noun baptiona, meaning, the dipping or washing. Less commonly used, baptiomos, stemmed from the verb baptw, meaning, to dip or immerse. This act of washing or immersion started with the Greeks and was later practiced by other religions. Religions such as those in the Pagan world, the Attis and Mathra cults, the Arians, the Babylonians, Egyptian cults, the cult of Cybele, the Mithraic cult, and Christian religions practiced what can be refereed to as the sacred bath, the enlightenment, or the rebirth. Many of the pre-Christian religions understood cleansing and verification in a magical sense, rather than in a moral, or spiritual sense. As baptism evolved through the centuries, it went through many changes and through many different interpretations of how baptism should take place and when in a lifetime the baptism should take place. One thing remains the same though, baptism is a sacred act and has been practiced throughout time. Baptism received its beginning in the Greek world. That thought of immorality associated with baptism was what created this practice. We have proof of baptism through records of old. According to the Cretan funeral tablets, baptism was associated with the spring of Mnemasyne (memory) (Eliade 59). A bath in the sanctuary of Traphomias procured for the initiate a blessed immorality even while in the world. Also in the Greek world there was a bath in the sea in which the initiations rites of the great Eleusinian mysteries began was simply a physical purification, and it was accompanied by the sacrifice of a piglet (Eliade 59). The Greek world prac…

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