Was anyone in the Bible baptized twice?


By BibleAsk Team

Baptized Twice

The Bible speaks of a group of people who got baptized twice:

“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?

And they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized?

And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Acts 19:1-5

The above passage mentions the apostle Paul, who was preaching in Ephesus. There, he found 12 men who had been baptized by John the Baptist. These Ephesian disciples knew nothing of the baptism of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, and little of the faith in the Savior. So, upon receiving this new light, they were re-baptized. The Spirit came upon them as a provision for the great work that was to change Ephesus from a city wholly devoted to the goddess Artemis (Diana) into a place won for Christ.


The Bible doesn’t teach of frequent Rebaptisms. The forgiveness of sins that come into the Christian’s experience in his daily walk is granted by the grace of God through Christ (1 John 1:9; 2:1, 2) and shared by the ordinance of foot washing, which is sign of a washing away of sin (John 13:4–10). However, rebaptism should be conducted only in the following cases:

1-When a person receives more light.

(As shown in Acts 19:1-5).

2-If a person backslides then comes back to the Lord.

When a person abandons his Christian experience, then, repents and comes back to the Lord, he should be re-baptized to start a new life with the Lord. “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 also 19:4).

3-If a person is baptized in a non-biblical method.

Baptism by immersion is the only biblical method of baptism that adequately illustrates what baptism symbolizes—believers dying, being buried with Christ, and being raised to newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). If the method of baptism was sprinkling or pouring, then it does not match the definition of baptism for, the word baptize means “to submerge in water.”

“Jesus … was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water …” (Mark 1:9, 10). Jesus was baptized by immersion “in the Jordan.” John the Baptist always found a place to baptize where “there was much water” (John 3:23), so it would be deep enough. The Bible says we are called to follow Jesus’ example (1 Peter 2:21).

Also, the disciples baptized people by immersion. In the book of Acts, we read that “Both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away” (Acts 8:38, 39).

4-If a person is baptized as an infant.

No one should be baptized unless they:

  • learns of God’s truths
  • believes it
  • repents
  • experiences transformation.

No baby could qualify here.  An infant can’t possibly learn of God’s plan of redemption, believe in the Lord as a personal Savior nor repent of his sins. No person has a right to baptize a baby. To do so ignores God’s clear commands. Therefore, re-baptism for an adult, who has been baptized as an infant, in this case is necessary.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.