1 Corinthians 15:29

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Zenas, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Zenas

    Zenas
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    “Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?” This has to be one of the most difficult verses in the Bible because it speaks rather clearly, yet it is contrary to everything else we read. Most commentaries I have read agree that this is referring to proxy baptism. Then they go on to say that telling about it does not mean Paul is endorsing it. True enough, but he did not condemn it either. Paul was using this to illustrate a point about the resurrection, but it doesn’t do anything to prove there is a resurrection. All it shows is that those people who practiced proxy baptism believed in the resurrection. So, I ask the esteemed members of the Baptist Board, just what are we to understand from this verse?
     
  2. quantumfaith

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    www.bible.org, offers this comment:

    "Many suggestions have been offered for the puzzling expression baptized for the dead. There are up to 200 different explanations for the passage; a summary is given by K. C. Thompson, I Corinthians 15,29 and Baptism for the Dead, Studia Evangelica 2.1 (TU 87), 647-59. The most likely interpretation is that some Corinthians had undergone baptism to bear witness to the faith of fellow believers who had died without experiencing that rite themselves. Pauls reference to the practice here is neither a recommendation nor a condemnation. He simply uses it as evidence from the lives of the Corinthians themselves to bolster his larger argument, begun in 15:12, that resurrection from the dead is a present reality in Christ and a future reality for them. Whatever they may have proclaimed, the Corinthians actions demonstrated that they had hope for a bodily resurrection."

    "Records of early Christianity record the practice. The Schenkenfelders were the first to repeat the practice in America. The modern theory is basically that baptism "of the water" and of the spirit is necessary to enter the kingdom of God, and that a just God provides the opportunity to all."
     
    #2 quantumfaith, Dec 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2010
  3. Tom Butler

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    I think I Cor 15:29 is the passage Mormons appeal to for their practice of being baptized for the dead.

    My father-in-law, a retired Baptist pastor, spent a lot of his ministry in Utah.

    He was bi-vocational. One day at work, a co-worker told him another co-worker was gone, and was doing "temple work" on his behalf, which included being baptized. Obviously, they considered him spiritually dead.
     
  4. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
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  5. Zenas

    Zenas
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    Good comments but it still leaves this practice hanging out there without condemnation, and it does nothing to bolster the reality of a resurrection. It only shows that the practitioners of proxy baptism believed in some kind of resurrection. However, I guess if this is a practice that was observed in Eleusis, where there was no Christian church at that time to our knowledge, there would be no reason for Paul to condemn it.

    Tom, your post suggests the LDS church does proxy baptism for living persons. I knew they did this for a lot of dead people but not for living. Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Zenas, I misunderstood my wife's comments, so I have to take back what I posted. She had related that her dad's co-worker was doing temple work on his behalf. Then she said the co-worker was going to be baptized. I thought the temple work for her dad included being baptized for him. When I read that back to my wife, she corrected me. The temple work included praying for her dad. The baptism was for somebody else, who was dead.

    Sorry for misleading anybody. I'll use my advanced age as an excuse.
     

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