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324 Studia Biblica et

by S. R. Driver
324 Studia Biblica et Ecclesiastica. century, a font of the same shape is referred to as standing on the right hand of the nave near the altar. In 1874, however, he excavated one of the adjoining buildings, and there discovered  a basin in the form of a drawn out cross with three ( four in the diagram)  steps at each end ( Fig. 52). It seems to have been used later for burial purposes, and fragments of an altar and a sar-cophagus ornamented with fairly Fig. 52, good classical decoration were found near, pointing to a date in the fourth century. This seems to have been the same font as that which he discovered in 1845, but it had been broken in the meanwhile. The actual basin is oblong, with extensions at either end for the steps. The depth is 2 1/ 2 feet and the length 6 feet (? with-out the extensions), the breadth is not stated. The draw- hole is marked in the plan. Dr. Sepp considers this to be the original font, and, after describing it as probably the oldest basin for  immersion that exists, adds that from its slight depth it could not have served for adults, and therefore proves that infant baptism was practised from earliest times! He does not suggest where the adults could have been baptized, or the purpose of the steps if the font was only used for infants. Dr. Sepp also describes a spring in a rock chamber with a yard depth of water ( ellenhoch), which he identifies with the source of the fountain in the atrium of which Eusebius speaks. The baptistery occupies a similar position in the description of a church given in ch. 19 of the  Testament of our Lord, a Church Order dating in its present form probably from the fourth century, but based upon an earlier work. No descrip-tion of the font, however, is given. Intra atrium sit aedes baptisterii habens longitudinem viginti et unius cubitorum, ad praefigurandum numerum completum Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index

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324 Studia Biblica et Ecclesiastica. century, a font of the same shape is referred to as standing on the right hand of the nave near the altar. In 1874, however, he excavated one of the adjoining buildings, and there discovered ' a basin in the form of a drawn out cross with three' ( four in the diagram) ' steps at each end' ( Fig. 52). It seems to have been used later for burial purposes, and fragments of an altar and a sar-cophagus ornamented with fairly Fig. 52, good classical decoration were found near, pointing to a date in the fourth century. This seems to have been the same font as that which he discovered in 1845, but it had been broken in the meanwhile. The actual basin is oblong, with extensions at either end for the steps. The depth is 2 1/ 2 feet and the length 6 feet (? with-out the extensions), the breadth is not stated. The draw- hole is marked in the plan. Dr. Sepp considers this to be the original font, and, after describing it as probably the oldest basin for ' immersion' that exists, adds that from its slight depth it could not have served for adults, and therefore proves that infant baptism was practised from earliest times! He does not suggest where the adults could have been baptized, or the purpose of the steps if the font was only used for infants. Dr. Sepp also describes a spring in a rock chamber with a yard depth of water ( ellenhoch), which he identifies with the source of the fountain in the atrium of which Eusebius speaks. The baptistery occupies a similar position in the description of a church given in ch. 19 of the ' Testament of our Lord,' a Church Order dating in its present form probably from the fourth century, but based upon an earlier work. No descrip-tion of the font, however, is given. Intra atrium sit aedes baptisterii habens longitudinem viginti et unius cubitorum, ad praefigurandum numerum completum << Chapter >> Home | TOC | Index
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