Bible Studies/baptism

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Question
In John 4:1-2 it says that the disciples of our Lord were baptizing people. What was the meaning of this baptism and how is it different from the baptisms they performed after the resurrection?

Answer
Hopefully, Al, my comments may help to clarify your very perceptive question:
To understand the situation, also recall John 3:22-30, especially verse 22: Jesus ... baptized.  
John 4:1-2 clarifies 3:22 by explaining that Jesus did not personally baptize but some disciples did.
As you recognized, the command to Christian baptism comes after the resurrection.  
So, baptism during the public life of Jesus cannot be equivalent to the baptism of the Baptist and is not connected with Christian baptism.  
For the evangelist, this baptism by disciples during the early public-life of Jesus:
[1]is not Christ's baptism of the Spirit [see John 7:38-39],
[2] was not the Baptist's mere baptism of repenance,
[3] clarifies the concern of the Baptist's disciples.
There is no reason to think that the evangelist invented the issue.
Probably, some of Jesus' followers [former disciples of the Baptist] used a baptism [as did the Baptist] in order to gain new followers for Jesus -- a baptism of repentance admitting one to be a follower of Jesus.
Jesus began His mission to the people after the imprisonment of John [Mark 1:14].

If you wish further thoughts, please feel free to write again.
Al, best wishes to you and yours.  

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Edward Bode

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A scholar of Jewish and Christian scripture (biblical studies), I hold graduate degrees from three universities in Rome [Italy]: Pontifical Gregorian University, Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the University of St. Thomas. I also have a master's degree in English. My special interests are the gospels of the New Testament and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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I have taught at three universities and two colleges. My published works include one book, several articles in scholarly journals, and numerous book reviews.

I hold a doctorate in sacred theology from the University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy; a license in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome; a license in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.Additionally, I earned a master's degree in English from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., and a bachelor of journalism from the same university.

I have been a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America for 40 years. I am a former member of Society of Biblical Literature.I have spoken on academic topics to local, national, and international groups.

Education/Credentials
I hold graduate degrees from three universities in Rome [Italy]: Pontifical Gregorian University, Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the University of St. Thomas. I also have a master's degree in English.

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