BAPTISM (băp'tĭzm). A term derived from the Greek baptisma (antecedent, baptizō); the etymological significance of the word often has been obscured by a lack of exegetical clarity and by forced interpretation. Its true meaning can be found only in its usage and its theological significance. Its antecedent meaning involves the Judaic usage in the [[Old Testament]] times and the practice of [[John the Baptist]]. Its incipient meaning lies in [[Jesus Christ|Christ]]’s baptism and his interpretation of it. Its formal meaning is to be found in its [[Apostle|apostolic]] interpretation, particularly by [[Paul]].