In this section, we shall refer to Strongs Exhaustive Concordance, Complete and Unabridged, Compact Edition, by James H. Strong, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, concordance pp. 97, 971, Greek lexicon pp. 18, 63.
The numbers used here are standard Strong's numbers.
The original Greek word for the noun "baptism"
908 βαπτισμα baptisma; from 907; baptism
The original Greek word for the verbs "baptize,"
"baptizeth," and "baptizing" is:
907 βαπτιζω baptizo; from a derivative of 911; to make whelmed (i.e., fully wet).
Each of these two words, "baptisma" and
"baptizo" are derived from the following word:
911 βαπτω bapto; a primary verb; to whelm, i.e., cover wholly with a fluid.
So, according to the original Greek text of the New Testament, to "baptize" means to "immerse" (i.e., to "dunk").
In spite of what this word means, there are many groups who either sprinkle or pour when they "baptize." This is simply incorrect. Just as the English verbs "immerse" and "sprinkle" mean two different things, so too the Greek verbs "baptizo" (baptize) and "rhantizo" (sprinkle) also mean two different things.
The Greek word for "sprinkle," "sprinkled,"
or "sprinkling" (as used, for example in
Hebrews 9:13,19,21) is:
4472 ραντιζω rhantizo; from a derivation of "rhaino;" to render besprinkled.
That is, when you sprinkle a plant with Miracle Grow, that plant has been rendered besprinkled, or, that plant has been "rhantized."
There is no character in the Bible called "John the Rhantist," and Christ was not "rhantized" by John at Matthew 3:13-17. There is, however, a man called "John the Baptist." When John baptized, he immersed people under water (by the definition of the word "baptize").
MATTHEW 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
We should note that after Jesus was baptized, that He "went up...out of the water." This is necessitated by the nature of water baptism itself: if someone is "dunked" under water (immersed), he must first go into the water. We should also note that when Jesus was baptized (part of "fulfilling all righteousness"), He was baptized in water (cf. Matthew 3:16).
In our English Bibles, whenever we see the word "baptize" (as a verb), "baptism" (as a noun), etc., it means "to immerse" (as a verb), or "the immersion of" (as a noun), whether it be talking about John the Baptist, or anyone else.