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  • What are your thoughts on this confusing verse?

    1 Cor 15:29

    29 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?
    NASU


    The context is the resurrection of the dead. Paul is making a point that the dead will rise again. Then he throws this verse in there. What do you guys make of it?
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  • #2
    Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
    1 Cor 15:29

    29 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?
    NASU


    The context is the resurrection of the dead. Paul is making a point that the dead will rise again. Then he throws this verse in there. What do you guys make of it?
    I've been taught that Paul was addressing those who WERE doing that (in Corinth) - basically debunking the practice or nullifying it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sold Out View Post
      I've been taught that Paul was addressing those who WERE doing that (in Corinth) - basically debunking the practice or nullifying it.
      How do we get that from the context? Where did he debunk it in this passage?
      Matt 9:13
      13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
      NASU

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
        1 Cor 15:29

        29 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?
        NASU


        The context is the resurrection of the dead. Paul is making a point that the dead will rise again. Then he throws this verse in there. What do you guys make of it?
        It seems to me that Paul is using a belief that they practiced to argue for the resurrection of the dead.

        In other words, Paul is saying, "Look, you guys believe that you can be baptized for a person who is already dead. Why would you do this if you don't believe there will be a resurrection? It would be pointless."

        He's not supporting the idea of baptism for the dead, but rather using their own beliefs to show them that they believe in the resurrection to come.

        The old commentator Albert Barnes has a good discussion of this in his commentary on the New Testament:

        Albert Barnes
        1Co 15:29 -
        Else what shall they do ... - The apostle here resumes the argument for the resurrection which was interrupted at 1Co_15:19. He goes on to state further consequences which must follow from the denial of this doctrine, and thence infers that the doctrine must be true. There is, perhaps, no passage of the New Testament in respect to which there has been a greater variety of interpretation than this; and the views of expositors now by no means harmonize in regard to its meaning. It is possible that Paul may here refer to some practice or custom which existed in his time respecting baptism, the knowledge of which is now lost. The various opinions which have been entertained in regard to this passage, together with an examination of them, may be seen in Pool’s Synopsis, Rosenmuller, and Bloomfield. It may be not useless just to refer to some of them, that the perplexity of commentators may be seen:
        (1) It has been held by some that by “the dead” here is meant the Messiah who was put to death, the plural being used for the singular, meaning “the dead one.”
        (2) by others, that the word “baptized” here is taken in the sense of washing, cleansing, purifying, as in Mat_8:4; Heb_9:10; and that the sense is, that the dead were carefully washed and purified when buried, with the hope of the resurrection, and, as it were, preparatory to that.
        (3) by others, that to be “baptized for the dead” means to be baptized as dead, being baptized into Christ, and buried with him in baptism, and that by their immersion they were regarded as dead.
        (4) by others, that the apostle refers to a custom of vicarious baptism, or being baptized for those who were dead, referring to the practice of having some person baptized in the place of one who had died without baptism. This was the opinion of Grotius, Michaelis, Tertullian, and Ambrose. Such was the estimate which was formed, it is supposed, of the importance of baptism, that when one had died without being baptized, some other person was baptized over his dead body in his place. That this custom prevailed in the church after the time of Paul, has been abundantly proved by Grotius, and is generally admitted. But the objections to this interpretation are obvious:
        (a) There is no evidence that such a custom prevailed in the time of Paul.
        (b) It cannot be believed that Paul would give countenance to a custom so senseless and so contrary to the Scripture, or that he would make it the foundation of a solemn argument.
        (c) It does not accord with the strain and purpose of his argument. If this custom had been referred to, his design would have led him to say, “What will become of them for whom others have been baptized? Are we to believe that they have perished?”
        (d) It is far more probable that the custom referred to in this opinion arose from an erroneous interpretation of this passage of Scripture, than that it existed in the time of Paul.
        (5) there remain two other opinions, both of which are plausible, and one of which is probably the true one. One is, that the word baptized is used here as it is in Mat_20:22-23; Mar_10:39; Luk_12:50, in the sense of being overwhelmed with calamities, trials, and sufferings; and as meaning that the apostles and others were subjected to great trials on account of the dead, that is, in the hope of the resurrection; or with the expectation that the dead would rise. This is the opinion of Lightfoot, Rosenmuller, Pearce, Homberg, Krause, and of Prof. Robinson (see the Lexicon article Βαπτίζω Baptizō), and has much that is plausible. That the word is thus used to denote a deep sinking into calamities, there can be no doubt. And that the apostles and early Christians subjected themselves, or were subjected to great and overwhelming calamities on account of the hope of the resurrection, is equally clear. This interpretation, also, agrees with the general tenor of the argument; and is an argument for the resurrection. And it implies that this was the full and constant belief of all who endured these trials, that there would be a resurrection of the dead. The argument would be, that they should be slow to adopt an opinion which would imply that all their sufferings were endured for nothing, and that God had supported them in this in vain; that God had plunged them into all these sorrows, and had sustained them in them only to disappoint them. That this view is plausible, and that it suits the strain of remark in the following verses, is evident. But there are objections to it:
        (a) It is not the usual and natural meaning of the word “baptize.”
        (b) A metaphorical use of a word should not be resorted to unless necessary.
        (c) The literal meaning of the word here will as well meet the design of the apostle as the metaphorical.
        (d) This interpretation does not relieve us from any of the difficulties in regard to the phrase “for the dead;” and,
        (e) It is altogether more natural to suppose that the apostle would derive his argument from the baptism of all who were Christians, than from the figurative baptism of a few who went into the perils of martyrdom - The other opinion, therefore, is, that the apostle here refers to baptism as administered to all believers.
        This is the most correct opinion; is the most simple, and best meets the design of the argument. According to this, it means that they had been baptized with the hope and expectation of a resurrection of the dead. They had received this as one of the leading doctrines of the gospel when they were baptized. It was a part of their full and firm belief that the dead would rise. The argument according to this interpretation is, that this was an essential article of the faith of a Christian; that it was embraced by all; that it constituted a part of their very profession; and that for anyone to deny it was to deny that which entered into the very foundation of the Christian faith.
        If they embraced a different doctrine, if they denied the doctrine of the resurrection, they struck a blow at the very nature of Christianity, and dashed all the hopes which had been cherished and expressed at their baptism. And what could they do? What would become of them! What would be the destiny of all who were thus baptized? Was it to be believed that all their hopes at baptism were vain and that they would all perish? As such a belief could not be entertained, the apostle infers that, if they held to Christianity at all, they must hold to this doctrine as a part of their very profession. According to this view, the phrase “for the dead” means, with reference to the dead; with direct allusion to the condition of the dead, and their hopes; with a belief that the dead will rise. It is evident that the passage is elliptical, and this seems to be as probable as any interpretation which has been suggested. Mr. Locke says, frankly, “What this baptizing for the dead was, I know not; but it seems, by the following verses, to be something wherein they exposed themselves to the danger of death.” Tyndal translates it, “over the dead.” Doddridge renders it, “in the room of the dead, who are just fallen in the cause of Christ, but are yet supported by a succession of new converts, who immediately offer themselves to fill up their places, as ranks of soldiers that advance to the combat in the room of their companions who have just been slain in their sight.”


        God bless!


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        Comment


        • #5
          These are the notes from my study bible:

          b. Note There existed among some of the Jewish believers at Corinth a superstitious practice of baptizing a living person in the place of some convert who had died before that rite had been administered to him. Though Paul did not endorse the practice, he pointed out the meaningless of it if there was no resurrection.

          Comment


          • #6
            I never understood this statement by Paul until I witnessed an incident that relates to this.

            I have a cousin who believed in Jesus and was very knowledgeable in the Bible. Yet, he didn't believe in the literal act of water baptism. He was convinced that accepting Jesus was a spiritual matter and "if your heart was changed, you were in a saved state." (I'm certainly not arguing this issue here).

            However, my cousin later took the action (act of faith) and was immersed in water. His reason was that his son, daughter, and granddaughter were wanting to become Christians and they did believe in literal baptism. So in essence,he was being baptized for the spiritual dead.
            ___________________________________________
            I'm just a nobody telling everybody about somebody who can save anybody

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
              1 Cor 15:29

              29 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?
              NASU

              The context is the resurrection of the dead. Paul is making a point that the dead will rise again. Then he throws this verse in there. What do you guys make of it?
              Greetings Brother Mark,

              1Co 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?
              1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
              1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
              1Co 15:15 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.
              1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
              1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
              1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
              1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

              Paul spent much time explaining how Christ has indeed arisen from the dead, because some doubted and even denied that Christ has been resurrected from the dead. Those who come immediately to mind are the Sadducees who denied there is any resurrection (Lu 20:27). Paul argues that if there is no resurrection, then Christ is not resurrected, and neither will we be resurrected. Paul sums up this thought saying, "we are of all men most miserable."

              1Co 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?

              Ro 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

              Why are we baptized into Christ's death, if the dead rise not at all? Paul's argument is this, it makes no sense to be baptized into Christ, who is dead, if the dead do not rise at all, why bother, what good will it do?

              1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

              But Christ is risen from the dead, and we who are baptized into Christ are baptized into His death, therefore buried with Him by baptism into death, that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too are raised up to newness of life.

              Ro 6:4 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.

              Many Blessings,
              RW

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                Greetings Brother Mark,

                1Co 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?
                1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
                1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
                1Co 15:15 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.
                1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
                1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
                1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
                1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

                Paul spent much time explaining how Christ has indeed arisen from the dead, because some doubted and even denied that Christ has been resurrected from the dead. Those who come immediately to mind are the Sadducees who denied there is any resurrection (Lu 20:27). Paul argues that if there is no resurrection, then Christ is not resurrected, and neither will we be resurrected. Paul sums up this thought saying, "we are of all men most miserable."

                1Co 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?

                Ro 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

                Why are we baptized into Christ's death, if the dead rise not at all? Paul's argument is this, it makes no sense to be baptized into Christ, who is dead, if the dead do not rise at all, why bother, what good will it do?

                1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

                But Christ is risen from the dead, and we who are baptized into Christ are baptized into His death, therefore buried with Him by baptism into death, that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too are raised up to newness of life.

                Ro 6:4 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.

                Many Blessings,
                RW
                Good thoughts, Roger. The only problem with this view is that the word translated "dead" in 1 Cor. 15:29 is plural, not singular, making it very doubtful that Christ is the "dead" that they are baptized "for."


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                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Matt14 View Post
                  Good thoughts, Roger. The only problem with this view is that the word translated "dead" in 1 Cor. 15:29 is plural, not singular, making it very doubtful that Christ is the "dead" that they are baptized "for."
                  Greetings Matt14,

                  You'll have to show me how you have arrived at this conclusion. The Greek word 'dead' is translated from is nekros which means - from an apparently primary nekus (a corpse); dead (literally or figuratively; also as noun):--dead.

                  Nekros then simply means dead; or absense of life, where the primary nekus a corpse. There are several verses in Scripture where we find the same Greek word nekros with very clear reference to a singular dead. Here is one.

                  Mt 14:2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

                  Many Blessings,
                  RW

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                    Greetings Matt14,

                    You'll have to show me how you have arrived at this conclusion. The Greek word 'dead' is translated from is nekros which means - from an apparently primary nekus (a corpse); dead (literally or figuratively; also as noun):--dead.

                    Nekros then simply means dead; or absense of life, where the primary nekus a corpse. There are several verses in Scripture where we find the same Greek word nekros with very clear reference to a singular dead. Here is one.

                    Mt 14:2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

                    Many Blessings,
                    RW
                    Hi Roger,

                    Here is the Greek breakdown of the passage:


                    1Co 15:29 επει1893 CONJ τι5101 I-ASN ποιησουσιν4160 V-FAI-3P οι3588 T-NPM βαπτιζομενοι907 V-PPP-NPM υπερ5228 PREP των3588 T-GPM νεκρων3498 A-GPM ει1487 COND ολως3654 ADV νεκροι3498 A-NPM ουκ3756 PRT-N εγειρονται1453 V-PPI-3P τι5101 I-ASN και2532 CONJ βαπτιζονται907 V-PPI-3P υπερ5228 PREP των3588 T-GPM νεκρων3498 A-GPM


                    Nekros is indeed a singular form, but the word here (nekron) is in the genetive case, and is plural and masculine. That's what the GPM beside the word stands for: Genetive, Plural, Masculine.

                    Because of this, the New American Standard Bible translates the passage in this way:

                    1Co 15:29 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?

                    The newer English Standard Version has this translation:

                    1Co 15:29 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?

                    Hope this helps explain what I meant. God bless!


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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Matt14 View Post
                      Hi Roger,
                      Here is the Greek breakdown of the passage:

                      1Co 15:29 επει1893 CONJ τι5101 I-ASN ποιησουσιν4160 V-FAI-3P οι3588 T-NPM βαπτιζομενοι907 V-PPP-NPM υπερ5228 PREP των3588 T-GPM νεκρων3498 A-GPM ει1487 COND ολως3654 ADV νεκροι3498 A-NPM ουκ3756 PRT-N εγειρονται1453 V-PPI-3P τι5101 I-ASN και2532 CONJ βαπτιζονται907 V-PPI-3P υπερ5228 PREP των3588 T-GPM νεκρων3498 A-GPM

                      Nekros is indeed a singular form, but the word here (nekron) is in the genetive case, and is plural and masculine. That's what the GPM beside the word stands for: Genetive, Plural, Masculine.

                      Because of this, the New American Standard Bible translates the passage in this way:

                      1Co 15:29 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?

                      If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for any dead man?

                      The newer English Standard Version has this translation:

                      1Co 15:29 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?

                      If there is no resurrection from the dead, then why be baptized on behalf of any dead man?

                      Hope this helps explain what I meant. God bless!
                      Hi Matt14,

                      Thanks for the brief lesson of the Greek. Perhaps I am plain daft, but I still don't see how this makes the conclusions I've drawn improbable? Let's read the passage in one more translation - The Concordant Version

                      Else what shall they be doing who are being baptized for the sake of the dead? if the dead actually are not being roused, why are they being baptized also for their sake?

                      Another way to ask: Why are you being baptized for the sake of the dead (Christ), if the dead (Christ) are not actually raised to life from the dead? If you doubt the resurrection of Christ, then it makes no sense that you would be baptized for the sake of any dead man.

                      Many Blessings,
                      RW

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "the dead"

                        "the dead"=ek ton nekron see explanation in bold below


                        "DEAD" AND "THE DEAD".

                        The word nekros (Noun and Adjective) has different meanings, according as it is used in different connections:--

                        1. With the Article (hoi nekroi) it denotes dead bodies, or corpses or carcasses in the grave, apart from the personality they once had. This is the O.T. idiom also. See Sept. Gen. 23:3, 4, 6, 8. Deut. 18:11; 28:26. Jer. 7:33; 9:22; 19:7. Ezek. 37:9. See notes on Matt. 22:31. 1Cor. 15:35.

                        2. Without the Article (nekroi) it denotes the persons who were once alive but who are now alive no longer : i.e. dead persons as distinct from dead bodies. Cp. Deut. 14:1. Judg. 4:22. Lam. 3:6. And see notes on Matt. 22:32. Acts 26:23. 1Cor. 15:12, 13, 15, 16. Heb. 13:20, &c.

                        3. With a Preposition, but without the Article, which may be latent in the Preposition (ek nekron), it denotes out from among dead people. See notes on Mark 9:9, 10. Luke 16:30, 31. Acts 10:41. Rom. 6:13; 10:7, 9; 11:15. 1Cor. 15:12-20. Heb. 11:19.

                        4. With a Preposition, and with the Article; e.g. 'ek ton nekron, it denotes emphatically out from among the dead bodies, or corpses. Cp. Eph. 5:14. Col. 1:18; 2:12.

                        5. The bearing of this on 1Pet. 4:6 will be better seen if we note that we have nekroi (See No. 2 above), meaning people who were then dead, but who had had the Gospel preached. (Ap. 121. 4) to them while they were alive; and this is confirmed by the Gr. Particle, men ( = although) in the next clause, which is ignored both by the A.V. and R.V. The verse reads thus : "For to this end to those who are (now) dead was the Gospel preached, that though they might be judged in the flesh according to [the will of] men (*), yet they might live [again, in resurrection], according to [the will of] God, as regards [the] spirit"; i.e. in spiritual bodies, spoken of in 1Cor. 15:44, 45.

                        6. To this end -- to give those to whom the apostle wrote this hope -- the Gospel was preached to them, as described in 1Pet. 1:12, 25. The hope of glory was thus set over against their sufferings (1Pet. 1:11; 4:13).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                          Hi Matt14,

                          Thanks for the brief lesson of the Greek. Perhaps I am plain daft, but I still don't see how this makes the conclusions I've drawn improbable? Let's read the passage in one more translation - The Concordant Version

                          Else what shall they be doing who are being baptized for the sake of the dead? if the dead actually are not being roused, why are they being baptized also for their sake?

                          Another way to ask: Why are you being baptized for the sake of the dead (Christ), if the dead (Christ) are not actually raised to life from the dead? If you doubt the resurrection of Christ, then it makes no sense that you would be baptized for the sake of any dead man.

                          Many Blessings,
                          RW
                          I was just pointing out that the "dead" cannot refer to Christ, because "dead" here is plural. I'm not really trying to disprove your conclusions, just pointing out that the Greek does not seem to refer to Christ as "the dead."

                          Thanks, and God bless!


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                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Teke View Post
                            "the dead"=ek ton nekron see explanation in bold below


                            "DEAD" AND "THE DEAD".

                            The word nekros (Noun and Adjective) has different meanings, according as it is used in different connections:--

                            1. With the Article (hoi nekroi) it denotes dead bodies, or corpses or carcasses in the grave, apart from the personality they once had. This is the O.T. idiom also. See Sept. Gen. 23:3, 4, 6, 8. Deut. 18:11; 28:26. Jer. 7:33; 9:22; 19:7. Ezek. 37:9. See notes on Matt. 22:31. 1Cor. 15:35.

                            2. Without the Article (nekroi) it denotes the persons who were once alive but who are now alive no longer : i.e. dead persons as distinct from dead bodies. Cp. Deut. 14:1. Judg. 4:22. Lam. 3:6. And see notes on Matt. 22:32. Acts 26:23. 1Cor. 15:12, 13, 15, 16. Heb. 13:20, &c.

                            3. With a Preposition, but without the Article, which may be latent in the Preposition (ek nekron), it denotes out from among dead people. See notes on Mark 9:9, 10. Luke 16:30, 31. Acts 10:41. Rom. 6:13; 10:7, 9; 11:15. 1Cor. 15:12-20. Heb. 11:19.

                            4. With a Preposition, and with the Article; e.g. 'ek ton nekron, it denotes emphatically out from among the dead bodies, or corpses. Cp. Eph. 5:14. Col. 1:18; 2:12.

                            5. The bearing of this on 1Pet. 4:6 will be better seen if we note that we have nekroi (See No. 2 above), meaning people who were then dead, but who had had the Gospel preached. (Ap. 121. 4) to them while they were alive; and this is confirmed by the Gr. Particle, men ( = although) in the next clause, which is ignored both by the A.V. and R.V. The verse reads thus : "For to this end to those who are (now) dead was the Gospel preached, that though they might be judged in the flesh according to [the will of] men (*), yet they might live [again, in resurrection], according to [the will of] God, as regards [the] spirit"; i.e. in spiritual bodies, spoken of in 1Cor. 15:44, 45.

                            6. To this end -- to give those to whom the apostle wrote this hope -- the Gospel was preached to them, as described in 1Pet. 1:12, 25. The hope of glory was thus set over against their sufferings (1Pet. 1:11; 4:13).
                            This is from http://www.biblestudysite.com/139.htm


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                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Matt14 View Post
                              Mine came from here, http://www.levendwater.org/companion/append139.html
                              It is an appendix of the KJV Companion Bible (of which I have a copy). It is not copyrighted. Thought it would explain itself.

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