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Baptism of the dead?

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by AMM, May 21, 2018.

  1. AMM

    AMM A Beggar Supporter

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    How do the Orthodox and the church fathers understand Paul's comments about baptism on behalf of the dead?

    "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?" 1 Corinthians 15:29
     
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  2. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Tertullian isn’t a saint, so take this for what it’s worth :)

    And from St John Chrysostom: NPNF1-12. Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

     
  3. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    Here is my understanding of that passage.

    The thing explains itself within Paul's doctrine as a whole.

    In other words, based on what Paul has said on a thing throughout his writings, not based on just a word, or a passage, or a few passages, or one context - rather, on all that he has said on one thing or another.

    Because together, they comprise "the FORM of sound words."

    The key then, is to...

    2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

    What was Paul addressing both before and prior to that passage?

    1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

    He was addressing the false assertion that there is no resurrection of the dead - because Christ Himself had not risen from "the dead."

    Because Christ Himself had remained part of "the dead."

    Paul then returns to where he left off at, in verse 14, in the following...

    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?

    Note...

    15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

    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?

    Christ is "the dead" that Paul is talking about that in...

    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?

    And Paul is the one that Paul is describing having been "baptized for" said "dead."

    In what sense?

    He tells us what that sense is. Here and elsewhere in his writings.

    Paul is the one baptized for said dead.

    15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our LORD, I die daily.

    Again, in what sense?

    Acts 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

    Come again?

    Acts 25:11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

    That is who Paul was in his commitment to the Lord - "even unto death."

    Because he believed that Christ had indeed risen from the dead, and had his back, so to speak, come what may "whatever my lot in life..."

    Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

    Thus, 1 Corinthians...

    15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

    In other words, this here...

    Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

    Which is the opposite of this here...

    "...if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die."

    And that defeatist attitude there, is the opposite of this victorious one here...

    Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    And that was being called into question, and Paul was not having any of it.

    Why?

    So profound had been his "Not to worry" given his sense of his identification with the Lord in His death and resurrection WITH Him.

    A bit more on this "baptized for" the Lord, with Him in His Resurrection...

    2 Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

    4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    Amen, brother! Preach it!

    You've heard the directive "Dare to be a Daniel"?

    Well, that'd be for an Israelite, lol

    Paul was saying "follow me - even as I -follow Christ - dare to be - a Paul - "even unto death!"

    His greatest co-laborers were of the same nobility...

    Philippians 2:25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 2:26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 2:27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 2:28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 2:30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

    What was it they had latched onto as to the Lord's Resurrection?

    That "faith is the victory that overcomes the world."

    Because Romans 5: 6-8...
     
  4. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    he asked how the Orthodox and the Fathers understood that passage...
     
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  5. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    I saw that, but I thought I'd share that.

    No offense intended.

    Rom. 5:6-8.
     
  6. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    no worries, it has just been one of those days where I guess a full moon has been out and in other threads, folks have been breaking our rules.
     
  7. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    Again, no offense intended, please feel free to have the post removed.

    Sincerely,

    Rom. 14: 5 - in memory of Rom. 5:6-8 - in each our stead.
     
  8. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    nah, you are good, sorry if I came across as blunt.
     
  9. Toolbelt

    Toolbelt Active Member

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    Maybe the reference is to Christ. Christ was put to death and defeated it.
     
  10. Christman811

    Christman811 Member

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    In our Church, we do not accept any individual's interpretation unless they agree with the Fathers and Teachers of the Church.

    If you offer your interpretation and it disagrees with Orthodox teachings, then what you have offered us is not a gift but rather the opposite.

    Please, be respectful of our beliefs and the site rules since you are posting in the Orthodox section of the forums.

    You have gone through extensive trouble to post your perspective on this passage. Thank you for your efforts, but with all due respect, may it be anathema if it disagrees with Orthodox teachings and the Fathers.
     
  11. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

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    I barely post on Christian Forums, which can result in one's momentarily forgetting the rules by the time one posts again.

    And I have asked that the post be removed if it offended.

    But now that you brought the thread back to its original question, what is Orthodox teachings and the Fathers on what that passage is talking about?

    Thanks, and again, feel free to have the offending post removed, believe me, I can weather that kind of thing very easily.

    Why?

    Because Romans 5:6-8 - in each our stead!
     
  12. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Welcome to TAW. :)

    We do welcome you in fellowship. I'm way behind in reading the forum today, but it has indeed been "one of those days". My apologies if any attempts to head off more of the same came across as blunt. And thank you for offering to share what you have. :)

    God be with you. :)
     
  13. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    I don't have the quotes on hand, but that passage used to confuse me so I did make it a point to find out what Orthodoxy would say.

    It was apparently just part of St. Paul making his overall point in belief of a resurrection. He did so (in part) by referring to a heretical idea that some were baptized on behalf of dead people, demonstrating their belief in the resurrection.

    I was told that was the main significance. At any rate, we have never taught or advocated baptism for the dead. :)
     
  14. icxn

    icxn Bραδύγλωσσος αἰπόλος μαθητεύων κνίζειν συκάμινα

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    St. John Chrysostom (see above), St. Maximus the Confessor (Quaestiones et dubia) and St. John Damascene (Commentarii in epistulas Pauli) agree that it refers to our bodies. If our bodies were destined for death and corruption, there would have been no reason to baptize them.

    What you said is not entirely wrong either, that if Christ was not raised from the dead why are we being baptized in His name, except it doesn't fit this particular passage. In the Greek the word dead is in plural so it can't refer to Him.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  15. AMM

    AMM A Beggar Supporter

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    So, in short, it seems like the general consensus is not an advocacy for baptizing on behalf of those who have died before us (i.e. like the Mormons) but rather, Paul is using the incorrect practices of one group of Christians to defend the more important doctrine: the resurrection of the dead.

    Is that right?
     
  16. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Pretty much so.
     
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  17. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    :oldthumbsup:
     
  18. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    looks good to my eyes.
     
  19. Toolbelt

    Toolbelt Active Member

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    So, let me get this straight. There were Potestants back then?
     
  20. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Most Protestants don’t agree with baptism of the dead (I am not aware of any that do that, assuming Mormons aren’t included in the Protestant category). The Protestant reformation developed from the RCC. So no. There always have been heresies though throughout the ages, including Marcion.
     
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