Spiegel der Taufe, Ein
Ein Spiegel der Taufe, written by Henry Funck, a Mennonite bishop in the Franconia congregation, and printed by Christopher Saur at Germantown in 1744, was a small-format 94-page book intended to show that pouring is the Scriptural mode of baptism. Evidently the Mennonites of this area were under pressure from the aggressive Tunkers (Church of the Brethren) who insisted that immersion was the only valid mode of baptism. The full title of the book is Ein Spiegel der Tauffe mit Geist, mit Wasser und mit Blut. Verfasset in neun Theile, Auffs Neue aufgesetzt und ausgezogen aus dem Heiligen Fundament-Buch, des Neuen und Alten Testaments, der Canonischen Bücher. I. Epist. Joh. V. 8. Saur, being a Tunker immersionist, refused to put his imprint on the title page. Only one complete copy has survived, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania library in Philadelphia, and a defective copy in Mennonite Historical Library (Goshen, IN).
The author argues from I John 5:8 that Spirit baptism, water baptism, and baptism by blood are one, and must be symbolically identical. Since the baptism of the Holy Spirit was by pouring, and since baptism by blood means going under the blood (by pouring; Jesus poured out His lifeblood for our salvation), hence water baptism must also be by pouring. Other arguments are adduced, such as that the Levitical washings under the Old Covenant were sprinklings. Sprinkling is also acceptable as a mode of baptism; it is certainly not immersion. Funck attributes the error of immersion to too much dependence upon history and the writings of the church fathers, rather than relying exclusively upon the Scriptures. There is other useful material in the book besides the arguments against immersion and for pouring which are sometimes strong and sometimes weak. The author's insistence upon the necessity and value of water baptism in obeying the commandment of Christ suggests that he also had the Quakers in mind who reject water baptism altogether. The book was reprinted four times in German (1834, 1850, 1853, 1861) and three times in English (1851, 1853, 1890) under the title A Mirror of Baptism with Spirit, with Water, and with Blood. Drawn up in nine parts. Drawn out and enlarged anew out of the Holy Foundation Book, The New and Old Testament, and the Canonical Books. 1. Epis. John V, 8. It evidently served a continuing need, due largely to constant pressure of Brethren teaching. The Brethren won a considerable number of Mennonites to their group in Eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, where their congregations were often neighbors to Mennonite congregations.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 594. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
To cite this page:
MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Spiegel der Taufe, Ein." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/spiegel_der_taufe_ein.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1959). Spiegel der Taufe, Ein. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/spiegel_der_taufe_ein.