What is Baptism? Not to be confused with the Greek word, bapto. A clear example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words (bapto & baptize). Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be 'dipped' (bapto) into boiling water and then 'baptized' (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change. When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ. e.g. Mark 16:16 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” Christ is saying that mere intellectual agreement is not enough. There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle! Now if you tell people that I’m saying that to be baptized is to be pickled, you’d be right. It is just like that. It is not only a washing and cleansing, it is time for a permanent change.