Fire-Baptism The expression "baptize with fire" (Mt 3:11; Lu 3:16) is understood by most modern interpreters to be synonymous with baptism by the Holy Spirit, e.g. on 'the day of Pentecost (See Arthur, Tongue of Fire, passim, Lond. 1856, N. Y. 1857). Olsleausen (Comment. ad loc., Am. ed. i, 269) regards " fire" here is put in contrast with the opposite element " water," i.e. the spiritual as distinct from the material baptism. So also Alford (Greek Test. ad 10b. Matthew), who remarks that -"'to separate off Πν. Α᾿γ. as belonging to one set of persons, and 7s-pt as belonging to another, when both are united in ὑμᾶς, is harsh and confused." Yet so Origen early understood the passage, and in this Neander, De Wette, Meyer, and many other expositors coincide. Dr. Robinson observes that "the wheat are evidently those who receive Christ as the Messiah, and embrace his doctrines; these he will baptize with the Holy Ghost, i.e. he will impart to them spiritual gifts, the teachings and consolations of the Holy Spirit; while the chaff are as evidently those who reject-Christ and his doctrines, and live in sin; these he will baptize with fire unquenchable" (in Calmet, s.v. Baptism). There are monographs on this subject by Iken (Dissert. p.300-316) Mieg (Misc. Duisb. i, 205 sq., 602 sq.), Osiander (Tubingen, 1755), Schmid (Lips. 1706), Ribov (Gott. 1744), Zeibich (Ger. '1781) Compare SEE BAPTISM. WITH FIRE.'

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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