Baptism by fire and baptism of fire are two idioms that mean the same thing. Baptism by fire is more often used in the United States and baptism of fire is more often used in Britain. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the meaning of baptism by fire and baptism of fire, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.
Baptism by fire and baptism of fire describe something being experienced for the first time that is very difficult. Most often, enduring a baptism by fire means to be thrown into a situation with little or no preparation and surviving it through one’s wits and gumption. Previously, baptism by fire referred to experiencing battle for the first time or to endure martyrdom. The terms baptism by fire and baptism of fire are derived from the Bible, from the New Testament book of Matthew 3:11: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” The fire in this passage refers to the fire or inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
THROUGH a mix of chance and timing, Jack Page received a baptism by fire as he started his apprenticeship just as Debbie swept through Mackay. (The Daily Mercury)
Alex McLeish reckons the baptism of fire for Harry Redknapp at Villa Park on Sunday only serves as an opportunity for the new Birmingham City boss to win over Bluenoses that bit quicker. (The Birmingham Mail)