Protestantism laid the foundation for forming Protestant Churches such as the Baptist Church. Thus, it should not come as a surprise if there are many similarities between Protestantism and Baptism. However, scholars are trying to establish whether the two differ in the Baptist vs. Protestant debate.
Protestantism is a movement, while Baptists is one of the major branches of Protestantism. The Protestant movement was started in 1517 by Martin Luther and other reformers (John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and more), citing growing abuses, errors, and discrepancies with the Catholic Church. John Smyth founded the Baptist Church. The Church was against infant baptism because infants could not make a conscious profession of faith a critical part of the baptism rite.
What is the difference between Protestant and Baptist? What are the similarities between Protestant and Baptist? What is the comparison between Protestant and Baptist beliefs and practices? Which came first, Protestant and Baptist? Keep reading to learn more!
What is the difference between Protestant and Baptist?
Protestantism differs from Baptists in several ways. The table below shows the differences between the protestant movement and the Baptist Church.
|Belief, value, or practice||Protestant||Baptist|
|Name||The name Protestant comes from the English term ‘Protest,’ which means to disapprove or object. The term protest is derived from the Latin word Protestari which means to testify or declare publicly. Founders of the Protestant movement objected to some practices and doctrines taught in the Catholic Church.||The name Baptist comes from the English term Baptism, derived from the Greek word váptisma, a purification rite in many religions worldwide. The Baptist Church got this name because they differentiated themselves from the other churches through their practice of believer’s baptism.|
|Origin||The Protestant movement originated in Wittenberg, Germany, and was started by Martin Luther, a German monk, and reformist, in 1517.||The Baptist Church originated in Amsterdam, Dutch Republic, and was started by John Smyth around 1609.|
|Early influencers||Martin Luther (Germany), Ulrich Zwingli (Switzerland), and John Calvin (France).||John Smyth (Dutch Republic) and Roger Williams (Northern American colonies).|
|Significant writings other than the Bible||The sermons and writings of John Calvin’s The Institute of the Christian Religion, Martin Luther (mainly the 95 Theses), and many more.||Written Church covenants, The New Hampshire State Baptist Convention, and The London Confession of Faith.|
|Baptism||Protestants do not always agree on who should or should not be baptized. Some practice infant and adult baptism, while others, like the Baptist Church, only practice adult or believer’s baptism.||The Baptist Church rejects infant baptism. They practice believer’s baptism. They believe that a child should not be baptized because they cannot make a conscious profession of faith which is a crucial element of the baptism rite.|
|Membership||The Protestant movement has about 800 million to 1 billion adherents worldwide.||The Baptist Church has about 51 million adherents worldwide.|
|Church organization||Protestant churches are either Presbyterian, congregational, or Episcopalian.||Baptist churches are congregational. The decision-making power of the Baptist churches lies in the congregation.|
|Mode of baptism||In Protestantism, baptism is by complete immersion, effusion, or aspersion. Immersion baptism involves immersing the person being baptized in water completely. Effusion involves pouring water on the person being baptized. Lastly, aspersion involves the sprinkling of water on the person being baptized.||In Baptist churches, baptism is by complete immersion. They believe that immersion is the only correct way of baptizing a believer.|
What are the similarities between Protestant and Baptist?
There are more similarities than differences between Protestantism and Baptists. This is so because the Baptist Church is part of the Protestant movement. The table below shows the main similarities between Protestantism and the Baptist Church.
|Beliefs, values, and practices||Protestant||Baptist|
|Nature of God||Protestants believe that God is a triune Being. He exists in three forms; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Spirit).||Baptists also believe that God exists in three forms; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.|
|Jesus||Protestants believe that Jesus is the second person in the triune nature of God. The Holy Spirit conceived him; His mother was a virgin when He was conceived; He lived a sinless life here on earth; He was crucified; He died for the atonement of man’s sins. Rose, on the 3rd day and ascended into Heaven.||Baptists also believe that Jesus is the second Being in the triune nature of God.|
|The doctrine of sola fide||Protestants believe in the doctrine of sola fide. This is the belief that justification/salvation is through faith alone in Christ.||Baptists also believe in the doctrine of sola fide. This is the belief that justification/salvation is through faith alone in Christ.|
|Doctrine of sola scriptura||Protestants believe in the doctrine of sola scriptura. This doctrine states that the Bible/Holy Scripture is the sole unquestionable source of authority for Christian faith and practice.||Baptists also firmly believe that the Bible is the sole source of authority on all matters of faith and church practice.|
|Ordinances (sacraments)||Protestants recognize only 2 ordinances; the Holy Communion and Baptism.||Baptists also recognize two ordinances; the Holy Communion and Baptism. However, as I mentioned, Baptist churches reject infant baptism.|
|Theology||Protestant churches are Arminian, Calvinist, Evangelical, or Pentecostal.||Baptist churches can either be Arminian or Calvinist.|
|Bible||Protestants use the Hebrew Bible. This Bible contains 66 texts; it does not include the 7 deuterocanonical books in the Catholic Bible.||Baptist churches use the Hebrew Bible (NIV). This Bible only contains 66 books; 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.|
|The doctrine of papal supremacy||Protestants reject the doctrine of papal supremacy, which states that the Catholic Pope is the universal leader of all churches.||Baptists also reject the doctrine of papal supremacy. They do not accept that the Pope is the universal leader of all churches worldwide.|
|Purgatory||Protestants reject the doctrine of purgatory. They do not believe in a place between Heaven and earth where believers will go to be cleansed before going to Heaven.||Baptists also reject the doctrine of purgatory.|
|The second coming of the Messiah (Christ)||Protestants believe in the 2nd coming of the Messiah to judge the living and the dead.||Baptists also believe that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead.|
|Heaven||Protestants believe in the doctrine of Heaven. They say it is where those who have faith and believe in Christ will go after the end of times.||Baptists also believe that Heaven exists and is where all righteous people will go after the end of times.|
|Hell||Protestants believe in the doctrine of hell and describe it as a place where all wicked people will be sent after judgment day.||Baptists also believe that hell exists and is where sinners will go after judgment day.|
|View of the end of times||Protestant churches are millennial, postmillennial, or premillennial.||Baptists are a millennial. However, there is a small group of Baptist believers who are postmillennial.|
What is the comparison between Protestant and Baptist beliefs and practices?
Protestants and Baptists have similar beliefs and practices. Both belief in the doctrine of sola fide. This is the belief that justification/salvation is through faith alone in Christ. They believe in the doctrine of sola scriptura. This doctrine states that the Bible/Holy Scriptures are the sole unquestionable source of authority for the Christian faith and practice. They believe in God’s triune nature: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Ghost (Spirit). They also believe that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead.
Similar practices between Protestants and Baptists include recognizing and observing two ordinances or sacraments. Both observe the ordinances of baptism and the Holy Communion.
The major difference between Protestantism and Baptist lies in the mode of baptism practiced. In Protestantism, baptism is by complete immersion, effusion, or aspersion. Baptists practice complete immersion. Also, most Protestants practice infant baptism, while the Baptist Church rejects the practice.
Which came first between, Protestant and Baptist?
Protestantism came before Baptists. The Protestant movement started in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of a Catholic cathedral in Wittenberg, Germany, on the Eve of All Saints Day. The Reformation was started in objection to abuses, errors, and discrepancies within the Catholic Church. Baptist is a branch of Protestantism, and the first Baptist Church was established around 1609 in Amsterdam by John Smyth.
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