Are Anabaptists' re-baptisms really conditional baptisms? By "conditional baptism" I mean one whose formula is something like: "If you are not baptized, I baptize thee… etc."

In other words: Do Anabaptists really accept two valid baptisms per person, or are their re-baptisms conditional on whether the first one validly occurred or not?

If so, does this tradition continue among any of the traditions descended from Anabaptist roots?

  • Would this question be better if it was "Were the Anabaptists' re-baptisms really conditional baptisms?"
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 29, 2014 at 7:16
  • @curiousdannii I've suggested extending this to cover both the original Anabaptist and the current traditions derived from them. Hopefully that doesn't make for too broad a question.
    – Caleb
    Oct 29, 2014 at 7:30
  • @Caleb the question looks okay like it is. I don't know what the Anabaptists though but many current baptists baptisms' aren't conditional.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 29, 2014 at 7:34
  • 1
    What makes you think they were "conditional"? Have you heard this rumor before? As a (nearly) life-long Anabaptist myself, I've never heard of this concept.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 29, 2014 at 12:56
  • 2
    @Geremia: Anabaptists believe in a believer's baptism. This infant baptism is considered invalid, thus re-baptism only happens for those who were baptized as infants.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 29, 2014 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


No, they are not.

Present day Anabaptist baptisms are not phrased in any way conditionally. Nor are they considered 'rebaptisms'. Conditional baptism is used only when there is uncertainty about whether someone has been baptised before or not. This is extremely rare in Anabaptist circles, because in their view valid baptism can only be performed on someone of an age to understand it. A person almost always knows whether they have been baptised as an adult. (It's more common with a denomination that admits infant baptism, because someone might have been baptised when they are too young to remember).

  • Why are they called Anabaptists, then? Anabaptism means "a second baptism, re-baptism".
    – Geremia
    Aug 30, 2017 at 23:41
  • The name was given them by others. Aug 31, 2017 at 1:01
  • Why did they name them that?
    – Geremia
    Aug 31, 2017 at 14:59
  • I think that could be a separate question. Aug 31, 2017 at 15:44
  • I've posted the question here. thanks
    – Geremia
    Aug 31, 2017 at 15:49

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