Would men include boys in the New Testament?
"Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation
under heaven" - Acts 2:5, NASB
Men translates Aner (Strong G435) which means Male according to Greek lexicons.
"So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day
there were added about three thousand souls." - Acts 2:41 NASB
The Bible was written in a world, then dominated by men, women however should not be excluded , the NET and other translations render Acts 2:5 as follows: "Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven residing in Jerusalem." The NASB is a literal translation.
The answer to your question is to be found in the verse you quoted: "those who had received his word were baptized." Young children are not able to "received his word,"hence are not capable of grasping the basic commandments of God's Word and thus dedicate themselves. The answer is -No .Therefore the question that arises is.
Should babies, young boys and girls be baptized?
To help understand baptism, we will look into the scriptures at some examples of baptism, the baptism of Apollos, a zealous man, the Ethiopian eunuch a devout Jewish proselyte, and Cornelius the first gentile to be baptized.
Apollos was well versed in the scriptures.
Apollos was a Jewish Christian well versed in the scriptures, when in Corinth Paul met him and some disciples who were only baptized in the baptism of John, when they heard about Jesus, they were baptized again in the name of the Lord Jesus.( Acts 19:1-7 NASB)
The Ethiopian Eunuch, Philip preached to him.
The Ethiopian eunuch was devout Jewish proselyte, who had a good knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures, after Philip explained to him the fulfillment of the scriptures in Christ, accepted it, and then asked to be baptized.
Acts 8:34-37 (NASB)
34 "!The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom
does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” 35 Then
Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached
Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water;
and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being
baptized?” 37 And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart,
you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is
the Son of God.”
Cornelius , was a devout, God fearing man.
" He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people and prayed to God regularly.(Acts 10:2 NET)
Recommend reading Acts chapter 10
Peter explained to Cornelius that : " in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is welcomed before him." (Acts 10:35 NASB) and that everyone that exercises faith in Jesus receives forgiveness of his sins : " About him all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”(Acts 10:43)
The three thousand that were baptized, were devout Jews and proselytes from all nations , mature people that evidently had excellent knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures and were thus able to understand the will of God and so took the decision to get baptized. Apollos and the Ethiopian eunuch were also devout Jewish proselytes , Cornelius feared God and exercise faith in Jesus.
Baptism for all must be in harmony with the scriptures ,otherwise it is not acceptable to God,
Faith from hearing.
Paul says that faith comes from hearing-children do not understand let alone have faith
Romans 10:16-17 (NASB)
16 "However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says,
“Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing,
and hearing by the word of Christ."
Preached to and understand the gospel.
Jesus said to his disciples :“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation-babies and children cannot be preached to.
Mark 16:15-17 (NASB)
15 "And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel
to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be
saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 These signs
will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out
demons, they will speak with new tongues."
Taught by God.
Jesus said that no one come to me unless taught by God. Children cannot be taught by God.
John 6:44-45 (NASB)
44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and
I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets,
‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and
learned from the Father, comes to Me."
Repent and then be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.
Children should not be baptized , until they are not old enough to understand repentance as required by God in his Word the "Bible" ,and choose to do so of their own free will.
Acts 2:38 (NASB)
38 "Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the
name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
It is an individual decision.
To be baptized is an individual commitment that a person makes when he/she repents and then gets baptized . The Ethiopian eunuch said to Philip:“I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” This is and individual choice that a child cannot make make.
Acts 8:37 (NASB)
37 And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
In view of the above that ," faith comes from hearing," "must be preached to and understand the gospel," and "repentance for the forgiveness of sins," such things infants and young children cannot do . I personally believe that most children are mature enough to make this commitment at the age of about fourteen.
Therefore , Christian baptism requires for all people, young and old to know and understand the basic requirements of God's Word at the time of their baptism, and so are able to obey them after baptism. God wants people to worship him in a way that is acceptable to him, love him and do his will , as Jesus did,
Some believe that children are lost if they are not baptized, is this so? Paul wrote that the unbelieving member is holy and so are the children by virtue of the merit of the believing Christian member of the family, husband or wife. That is another reason why baby baptism is not necessary. If the child dies before is old enough to make dedication to God,believing parents are assured by Paul's words that their child is holy and will be resurrected from the dead.
1 Corinthians 7:14 (ESV)
14 "For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and
the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise
your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy."
28 "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are
in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who
did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the
evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."