"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John would have hindered him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? But Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffereth him. And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:13-17 ASV
<p>Illustration of John baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River. Three men watch from the shore. A beam of light descends upon Jesus.

Baptism of Jesus by John

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John would have…

"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in the Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens rent asunder, and the Spirit as a dove descending upon him: And a voice came out of the heavens, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased." Mark 1:9-11 ASV
<p>Illustration of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Jesus stands, shin-deep in the river water, arms crossed on his chest and head bowed. John stands on the river bank with a staff in his left hand. With his right hand, he pours a bowl of water on Jesus head. A dove emerges from the parted clouds overhead.

The Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River

"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John…

"And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16-17 ASV
<p>Illustration of Jesus kneeling next to John the Baptist. A ray of light, the spirit of God, descends from a dove onto Jesus' head. There is a cloud behind the dove. John the Baptist, dressed in animal skins and holding a staff with a banner that reads "Agnus", is standing next to Jesus.

The Spirit of God Descends on Jesus When He is Baptized by John the Baptist

"And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened…

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Claverly in England.

Baptismal Font at Claverly

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Claverly in England.

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Eastdown in England. It is made of stone and wood.

Baptismal Font at Eastdown

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Eastdown in England. It is made of stone and wood.

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Keysoe, c. 1200.

Baptismal Font at Keysoe

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Keysoe, c. 1200.

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Lydbury North in England.

Baptismal Font at Lydbury North

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Lydbury North in England.

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Smithfield, London, England.

Baptismal Font at Smithfield

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Smithfield, London, England.

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Tidenham, near Chepstow, in England.

Baptismal Font at Tidenham

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Tidenham, near Chepstow, in England.

This illustration shows the baptismal font at the Winchester Cathedral in England.

Baptismal Font at Winchester Cathedral

This illustration shows the baptismal font at the Winchester Cathedral in England.

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Wistanstow in England.

Baptismal Font at Wistanstow

This illustration shows the baptismal font at Wistanstow in England.

"A name given sometimes to a seperate building, sometimes to the portion of the church itself in which the ceremony of baptism was performed. In the latter case, the Baptistery was merely the enclosure containing the font, to be seen in most English churches. According to the earlier arrangements of the Christian Church, however, the Baptistery seems usually to have been a building standing detached from, though in the immediate vicinity of the church to which it appertained." &mdash; Chambers' Encyclopedia, 1875

Baptistery

"A name given sometimes to a seperate building, sometimes to the portion of the church itself in which…

"And she, being put forward by her mother, saith, Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist. And the king was grieved; but for the sake of his oaths, and of them that sat at meat with him, he commanded it to be given; and he sent and beheaded John in the prison." Matthew 14:8-10 ASV
<p>Illustration of John the Baptist, having just been unshackled, kneeling in prayer while a soldier waits to behead him with an axe. . A shaft of light beams down on John. Salome can be seen just outside the archway with a platter in her hands.

John the Baptist Prays in Prison Just Before His Beheading

"And she, being put forward by her mother, saith, Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.…

Charlemagne Inflicting Baptism upon the Saxons.

Charlemagne

Charlemagne Inflicting Baptism upon the Saxons.

Illustration of King Clovis kneeling before Saint Remigius. Clovis' wife, Clotilde, kneels next to him. Remigius, dressed in robes, is baptizing Clovis. Several members of Clovis' court stand behind him. Monks and other clergy as well as two altar boys with incense stand around and behind Remigius.

Clovis, King of the Franks, is Baptized by Saint Remigius

Illustration of King Clovis kneeling before Saint Remigius. Clovis' wife, Clotilde, kneels next to him.…

"A Font is the vessel which contains the water for the purpose of baptism. Fonts were required to be covered and locked; originally their covers were simply flat, movable lids, but they were subsequently very highly ornamented."&mdash;(Charles Leonard-Stuart, 1911)

Baptismal Font

"A Font is the vessel which contains the water for the purpose of baptism. Fonts were required to be…

"Font, Cathedral of Langres, France; end of 13th century. A repository for the water used in baptism; now, specifically, a basin, usually of marble or other fine stone, permanently fixed within a church, to contain the water for baptism by sprinkling or immersion: distinctively called a baptismal font." -Whitney, 1911

Baptismal Font

"Font, Cathedral of Langres, France; end of 13th century. A repository for the water used in baptism;…

"And in those days cometh John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 3:1-2 ASV
<p>Illustration of John the Baptist, sitting on a rock under a tree, left hand raised and right hand holding a staff. He is preaching to the multitudes. Men, women, and children sit and stand around him. The Sadducees and Pharisees, identifiable by their robes, can be seen in the background (left).

John the Baptist Preaches in the Wilderness

"And in those days cometh John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, saying, Repent ye;…

"So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?" John 13:12 ASV
<p>Illustration of Jesus, kneeling at his disciples' feet, washing them over a basin. The disciples hands are open in a questioning gesture. Other disciples sit at the banquet table and watch the scene. Judas looms in the shadows in the background. Arched windows and drapery decorate the room.

Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet to Show the Importance of Baptism and Penance

"So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and sat down again, he said unto them, Know…

Saint Paul and Saint Peter in prison, one seated, both bound in chains. One man has a book on his lap. Five prisoners come before the two apostles, kneeling or holding their arms out to them. A small fountain erupts from the floor when Peter prays. The prisoners are able to be baptized in the fountain.

Paul and Peter in Prison, Baptizing Other Prisoners

Saint Paul and Saint Peter in prison, one seated, both bound in chains. One man has a book on his lap.…

"Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: for as yet it was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit." Acts 8:14-17 ASV
<p>Illustration of the apostles, Peter and John, laying their hands on the heads of three converts who are receiving the Holy Spirit. Peter has a full beard and John is bare-faced and young. A glowing dove descends from the air in between the two disciples' heads. A wine goblet sits on a table in the background. There is an arched doorway (right).

Peter and John Lay Their Hands on Baptized Converts

"Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they…

"And when there had been much questioning, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Brethren, ye know that a good while ago God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, who knoweth the heart, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did unto us; and he made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why make ye trial of God, that ye should put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in like manner as they." Acts 15:7-11 ASV
<p>Illustration of Peter, standing before the rest of the apostles, explaining to them that Jesus made no distinction between Jew and Gentile and that all should be saved by their belief and not by their adherence to the old law. The apostles and the ancients at the council decided that circumcision would no longer be required.

Peter and the Apostles Decide Not to Impose Circumcision on Christians

"And when there had been much questioning, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Brethren, ye know that…

"And as they went on the way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch saith, Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him." Acts 8:36-38 ASV
<p>Illustration of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch standing by a body of water. Philip is gesturing towards the heavens and the eunuch's hands are clasped in a gesture of worship. The eunuch's chariot and caravan can be seen in the background. A grove of trees stands behind the two men.

Philip Prepares to Baptize the Ethiopian Eunuch

"And as they went on the way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch saith, Behold, here is…

"And he arose and went: and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship; and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah." Acts 8:27-28 ASV
<p>Illustration of the apostle Philip, sitting in a chariot with an Ethiopian treasurer, teaching him about the gospel. Philip's head has a halo behind it. The Ethiopian holds a book in his lap. The chariot is being drawn by two horses and led by a young man, standing in a river.

Philip Speaks with an Ethiopian Eunuch in His Chariot

"And he arose and went: and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen…