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Featured Baptism for the Dead

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by rlvaughn, Nov 30, 2019 at 5:53 PM.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    This has probably been discussed before, but I am thinking about this passage and wondering what some of you might think.
    Some believe that Paul meant a living Christian baptized in place of a dead Christian who never had been baptized (someone like the thief on the cross, for example). The Mormons have finessed this into a major doctrine and practice whereby they convert the dead by being baptized for them. (I am told this is one reason they are so obsessed with genealogy.)
    Some regard the words “the dead” is equivalent to or means “the resurrection of the dead” with baptism verifying belief in the doctrine of the resurrection.
    Some seem to think more on the line of a baptism of persecution, trial, and death.

    These are just a few ideas others have. What do you think?
     
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  2. Reformed

    Reformed Well-Known Member
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    From the Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible:

    ALFORD thinks there is an allusion to a practice at Corinth of baptizing a living person in behalf of a friend who died unbaptized; thus Paul, without giving the least sanction to the practice, uses an ad hominem argument from it against its practicers, some of whom, though using it, denied the resurrection: “What account can they give of their practice; why are they at the trouble of it, if the dead rise not?” [So Jesus used an ad hominem argument, Mt 12:27].
    Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 293). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

    Matthew Henry agrees with Alford's view; that Paul was using an ad hominem to make his point. I lean towards this view myself.
     
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  3. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    The Mormons took a reported temporary aberration and built a doctrine that is absurd. Mormonism is a snake pit and always has been. It was founded by criminals engaged in criminal activity and the criminal element is still strong in Utah, as polygamous fundamentalists in the rural areas have been linked to organized crime big time.

    I think that Sandra Tanner is the most knowledgeable living expert on Mormonism. Her website is Utah Lighthouse Ministry and she has an app Utah Lighthouse Ministry

    Also, the leading expert on Mormon polygamy is Doris Hanson, once profiled by the Baptist Press. Polygamy: What Love Is This?
     
  4. MartyF

    MartyF Active Member

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    Baptize means immersed with water. Baptize wouldn't always refer to the same ceremony which occurs after becoming a Christian.

    So, I see a couple perspectives. First the idea that this refers to Jewish washings regarding the dead.

    1 Corinthians 15:29 - Commentary & Verse Meaning - Bible

    Next, I see the following idea which actually seems a better fit.

    What does 1 Corinthians 15:29 mean?

    It's harder to see and requires some reading comprehension but I'll see if I can explain it.

    1 Corinthians 15:12-19

    Paul presents the problem of how people are saying resurrection of the dead does not occur. He first counters this by pointing out that the whole basis of Christianity is that Christ died and rose from the dead.

    1 Corinthians 15:21-28

    Paul sidetracks at this point and discusses details about the resurrection.

    1 Corinthians 15:29-32

    Paul now returns to discuss how the resurrection is clear to everyone. First, he discusses how people, not him or the Corinthians, but people baptize the dead. Next, he switches to discuss how we risk our lives. After that, he switches to how Paul himself risks his life. Finally, he jumps back to the Ephesians risking their lives to fight wild animals.

    The fact that he skips around four different times in this instance gives good reason to believe that he wasn't talking about Christians in 15:29.

    After listing numerous groups that believe in life after death, he points to how not believing in the resurrection results in hedonistic beliefs.

    1 Corinthians 15:29-32 seems to be the second argument for the resurrection that Paul makes.

    The first in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 is an argument based on the resurrection of Christ. The second in 1 Corinthians 15:29-32 argues that Christians and non-Christian believe in an afterlife and those that don't end up being hedonists.
     
    #4 MartyF, Nov 30, 2019 at 11:56 PM
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019 at 12:01 AM
  5. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Reading it with this understanding seems the most natural to me:

    If the dead are not raised, then Christ isn't raised. Why are you baptized in the name of a dead man?​

    But most eminent scholars take it to be a reference to some sort of proxy baptism, so there's probably something I'm missing.
     
  6. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    "The Dead" a collective noun.

    1 Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

    why are they then baptized for the dead?

    Why are Christians baptized for the dead - the act of baptism PICTURES death burial and resurrection.

    why not leave them underwater ?
     
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  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Think Paul was saying that since water baptizing is a symbol of Jesus death and resurrection for us, if He us not risen, why even baptise?
     
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  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    It is a continuation of the Apostle Paul's argument, ". . . Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. . . . Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? . . ." 1 Corinthians 15:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:29-30.

    Now with the understanding, ". . . Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. . . ." -- Romans 6:3-4, believers immersion is for Christ's death. Now if Christ is not risen, then He would be yet amoung the dead. And to be immersed, to be buried for Christ's death, would then to be immeresed on behalf of the dead!
     
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  9. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your quote:
    I also think that the answer is found, primarily, in the prior verses:

    " For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
    17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins.
    18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
    19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
    20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept."
    ( 1 Corinthians 15:16-20 ).

    I see the early believers, at Corinth in this case, being baptized in lieu of ( in place of, Latin = "in absentia" ) those believers who had gone before them.
    Those that died in Christ and in faith before being water baptized in His name, which included people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, the thief on the cross, etc., were being baptized through other believers standing in for them...
    Probably as a response to this passage:

    " And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. "
    ( Mark 16:15-16 )

    As well as this:

    Romans 6:3-4, as @37818 has offered above.

    Water baptism is a symbol of Christ's death, burial and resurrection.
    If Christ be not raised, then baptism represents nothing...
    If He was not raised from the dead, it becomes an empty act that represents a myth.

    But it is not a myth, as Christ died, rose again the third day ( 1 Corinthians 15:1-7 ), and sits at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for all of those who truly believe on Him ( Acts of the Apostles 7:55-56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 1:3 and several others ).

    He is risen, and we, as His sheep, are baptized to represent this fact. :)
     
    #9 Dave Gilbert, Dec 1, 2019 at 11:10 AM
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019 at 11:30 AM
  10. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Yet another example of a vague phrase being "interpreted" resulting in various views. The least speculative view, and the one I accept, is simply to continue to disciple potential converts, and to water baptize them based on their public declaration of belief in Christ. Over time, believers physically die, and thus the laborers in Christ's ministry diminish. But because of our ministry, we replenish those laborers with new converts, therefore we water baptize replacements for those who go into His rest.
     
  11. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    Please forgive me for my analysis, but I'm trying to understand how you're seeing the "vague phrase" in this passage.
    Here it is again:

    " Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" ( 1 Corinthians 15:29 ).

    Does this actually mean what it says, to you?
    That they were being baptized for those that are / were dead?

    Side note:
    Who replenishes ( Acts of the Apostles 2:47 ) those laborers with new converts?:Sneaky


    Back to what you've posted above:

    So, what I'm picking up here is that you see new converts being baptized for those believers that had gone on to the next life.
    In effect, being baptized for already-baptized believers who had died.

    I'm not sure I understand.
    Please clarify.
     
    #11 Dave Gilbert, Dec 2, 2019 at 8:36 PM
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019 at 8:56 PM
  12. Shoostie

    Shoostie Active Member

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    Rather than put people on the defensive by telling them their beliefs are wrong, Paul would use their belies to promote the Gospel. Paul does that very well in pointing out that if you baptize on behalf of the dead, then you must believe in a resurrection.

    Note:
    1) Christians are never instructed to baptize for the dead.
    2) We have no reason to believe Paul is ascribing this practice to Christians. He could be referring to practice among pagans.
     
  13. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Just read my post. Yes God and God alone makes new converts, I was referring to the help of planting, watering and cultivating.

    We should continue to disciple potential converts, and to water baptize them based on their public declaration of belief in Christ. Over time, believers physically die, and thus the laborers in Christ's ministry diminish. But because of our ministry, we help replenish those laborers with new converts, therefore we water baptize replacements for those who go into His rest.
     
  14. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    OK.
    Now please clarify how the passage says that they were baptized for the dead ( those are the words on the page ), and how your view agrees with the words.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  15. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    I'm not trying to put people on the defensive...

    What I want to know is, why don't people who look at the passage, not see that the Corinthians were being baptized for the dead, when that is what the words themselves actually say?

    Honestly, I don't see the difficulty.;)
    With respect, I'm not saying that believers are instructed anywhere to be baptized for the dead, nor to baptize anyone for the dead.
    As far as I know, this is the only passage that even introduces the practice of it.

    However, the passage clearly says that the Corinthians were being baptized for the dead.
    Again, how is this difficult to see?
     
    #15 Dave Gilbert, Dec 3, 2019 at 6:48 PM
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 7:23 PM
  16. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the comments thus far. Still trying to take them all in.
     
  17. Shoostie

    Shoostie Active Member

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    Why can't I see it? Maybe you're on drugs and are are hallucinating, so you see something I don't see?

    "Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?"

    I don't see "Corinthians are being baptized...". I don't see "You are being baptized..." I see "People...." What people? Paul doesn't say, with all due respect to your drug-addled brain. :)

    I'm making no assumptions that the Corinthian church was baptizing people on behalf of the dead, else Paul would have said, "You..." I believe Paul is making a reference to a pagan practice that he used to promote the belief in the resurrection.
     
  18. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    I see him addressing the Corinthians, here:
    " Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" ( 1 Corinthians 15:12 )
    Question:

    Why are you insulting me?
    I've done no such thing to you, sir.

    I only ask why you are in disagreement with what I've presented.;)
    However, how you treat people is between you and the Lord....
    I mean no insult to you, only a genuine curiosity about how you see the passage.

    May God bless you.
     
  19. Shoostie

    Shoostie Active Member

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    Yes, some Corinthians doubted the resurrection, that doesn't mean they were baptizing themselves on behalf of the dead. On the contrary, if they didn't believe in a resurrection, why would they baptize themselves on behalf of the dead?

    This has become all about you insisting the Bible says something it flat out doesn't say.

    1) You implied I'm too stupid to see what's not there.
    2) I explained why Paul mentioned baptism for the dead, and you disputed it without any valid cause.
     
  20. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    water baptism is a picture of death, burial and resurrection (coming up out of the water).

    Why bother baptizing bringing them up out of the water if Christ is one of the collective dead (singular - "the dead ones") and HE did not resurrect from the grave?
     
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