Immersion baptism (also known as baptism by immersion or, if the immersion is total, baptism by submersion) is a method of baptism that is distinguished from baptism by affusion (pouring) and by aspersion (sprinkling), sometimes without specifying whether the immersion is total or partial, but very commonly with the indication that the person baptized is immersed completely.”According to the rules of by far the largest portion of the Christian Church the water may be used in any one of three ways: immersion, where the recipient enters bodily into the water, and where, during the action, the head is plunged either once or three times beneath the surface; affusion, where water is poured upon the head of the recipient who stands either in water or on dry ground; and aspersion, where water is sprinkled on the head or on the face.1. Immersion It has frequently been argued that the word baptízein invariably means ‘to dip’ or ‘immerse’ and that therefore Christian baptism must have been performed originally by immersion only, and that the other two forms, infusion and aspersion, are invalid – that there can be no real baptism unless the method of immersion be used. But the word that invariably means ‘to dip’ is not baptízein but báptein; baptízein has a wider signification; and its use to denote the Jewish ceremonial of pouring water on the hands (Lk. 11:38; Mk. 7:4), as has already been said, shows that it is impossible to conclude from the word itself that immersion is the only valid method of performing the rite. … When immersion was used the head of the recipient was plunged thrice beneath the surface at the mention of each name of the trinity; when the mode was by affusion the same reference to the trinity was kept by pouring water thrice upon the head. The two usages that were recognized and prescribed by the beginning of the 2nd cent. may have been in use throughout the apostolic period, although definitive information is lacking.” T.M. Lindsay, Baptism. Reformed View, in Bromiley (ed.) ‘The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised’, volume 1, page 419 (1988; 2002) The term is also, though less commonly, applied exclusively to modes of baptism that involve only partial immersion (see Terminology, below)