BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD IN 1 CORINTHIANS 15:29: A CONTEXTUAL EVALUATION

Gambo Dauda Daniel (PhD), Kingsley C. Anonaba (PhD), Oluseun Abel Akinpelu, Abiodun Fatai Adeoti

Abstract


This study explored the hapaxlegomenon and yet an enigmatic passage in the Holy Writ on Baptism for the dead. The various interpretative approaches employed in the debates (metaphorical, literal, word emendation, and interpolative), have further engendered confusion in relation to the place of the text and practice among some contemporary Christians. The work further interrogated 1 Corinthians 15:29 as it relates to ‘baptism for the dead’ and its interpretative approaches in scholarship with the view to identifying the contextual meaning of the lexical items: (ὑπέρ (huper), νεκρῶν (nekron), βαπτίζομενοι (baptizomenoi), Ποιήσουσιν (poiesousin), Επεὶ (epei) and βαπτιζονται (baptizontai) within their semantic range. The findings revealed that the most plausible translation of the wordὑπέρ (huper) in the passage should be “for” as against “above,” since the wordνεκρῶν (nekron) that modifies it is in the genitive case and not the accusative case. The study established that the expression οἱβαπτίζομενοι (hoibaptizomenoi) in 1Corinthians 15:29 is used in the metaphorical sense to allude to the experiences of torment and hardship Paul and his associates underwent for the sake of saving the spiritually dead persons (unbelievers) who they daily labored for their salvation.


Keywords


Baptism for the Dead, 1 Corinthians 15:29, Unbelievers, Salvation.

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References


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