Martin Luther lived from 1483 – 1546 and John Calvin from 1509 – 1564. Both thse men wrote about the importance of infant baptism which can be read in The Large Catechism by Martin Luther & Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

Was there a period in the history when all who believed in Christ allowed infant baptism? If it is true who or which sect started/revived "only credo baptism" procedure?

  • I think anabaptists showed up pretty early...and there were always rogue Christians throughout history who would change up the standard baptism procedures. So it depends how you define "protestant." Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 2:43
  • Ok, I wrote protestant because I thought there were only Catholics ( with the pope ) and Protestants ( with Luther ). What I want to know is "Was there any period in history when all who beleived in Christ did only infant baptism?" Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 5:04
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    Your comment question is different from your OP question. Believe Justin Martyr c150ad taught credobaptism.
    – SLM
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 5:24
  • Edited. Is that wording fine? Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 9:03
  • 3
    Are you asking if there was a time when all had ONLY infant baptism? That would mean that there was no adult baptism at all. Or do you simply mean when all places, sects or denominations practiced infant baptism. I don't think there has ever been a place or time that ONLY allowed infant baptism, although adult baptism may have been rare. Always an adult convert, or a persom who had not been baptised as an infant, would have been allowed to be baptised as an adult.
    – davidlol
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 12:29

2 Answers 2


Believer's baptism (aka. credo-baptism) was revived by the Anabaptists on January 21, 1525, when Conrad Grebel baptized George Blaurock. These Anabaptists believed that only believer's baptism was legitimate and effective. There is no agreement on when believer's baptism ceased to be practiced in early Christianity. It continued to be widespread through at least the 4th century. Between early Christianity and the Anabaptists, virtually all Christians practiced infant baptism.

There have been efforts by Baptist and Anabaptist historians to draw connections between Anabaptists and earlier pre-Reformation groups. These connections are generally based on sociological and spiritual similarities, not direct influence or succession. One form of this historiography is Baptist successionism, which claims an unbroken chain of groups who were adhered to Anabaptist-like faith and practice in the face of an evil/wayward dominant Catholic majority. This narrative has been spread especially by the influential Anabaptist Martyrs Mirror (1660) and the Plymouth Brethren The Pilgrim Church (1931). Many such works are historically dubious and are prone to the confirmation bias of finding what they are looking for.

It is difficult to prove the negative claim that no one practiced adult baptism in a given era. However, if you want to find an era without believer's baptism, I'd read one of those and look for the time when they have the weakest case in demonstrating their claimed predecessors practiced believer's baptism.

As a side note, I would presume that practitioners of infant baptism in most eras baptized adult converts.


The short answer is no. Infant baptism wasn't made "traditional" until the Catholic church said it was in the 3rd century.

  • The article you linked cites 2nd century Christian writers referring to infant baptism during and prior to their times. Also their is no mention of the "Catholic church" in the section of the article you link.
    – guest37
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 4:10

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