Where did baptisms originate? It doesn't seem to be part of the Hebrew scriptures (the OT), so why did John the Baptist start baptising folks?
According to an encyclopedia on religions, it came from Persian Mithraism. That religion had many so similarities to the Christian religion that a bishop later said Satan inspired the Persians so it would cast doubt on the gospels! The book went on to say that if Constantine hadn't made Christianity the state religion, the world with be full of Mithraists today instead of Christians.
Sorry, no title, but i'll get it next Saturday on my foray to the library.
Patio, I recall reading where the pharaohs of Egypt appointed high priests to perform these rituals at the various temples. They were baptised in sacred pools symbolizing the waters of Nu(Cosmic Origin), washing away evil. Here is a site I ran across about origins you might be interested in looking at: http://home.earthlink.net/~pgwhacker/ChristianOrigins/
Thanks a lot for the information. I visited the site and am printing out the book recommendations. It's really right in the line that I'm reading in now. The real origins of some of the bible writings.