Nazarene Space

Question for discussion:

Paul wrote in 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?"

What does this mean?

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My experience has been that a discussion forum where everyone agrees is a boring place where no one learns anything.  And no one here is infallible, especially James Trimm.  I have always said that our beliefs should be big enough to include all of the facts, open enough to be tested, and flexible enough to change.  I do appreciate respect, but everyone here should respect one another as well.  As Torah observant believers in Messiah, what unites us is greater than what divides us.  This is an ongoing work of TIKKUN (restoration) and we all need to work together. 

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Prov. 27:17)

We read in the Hebrew text of the Nazarene Creed of the Emissaries:

אני מאמין ברוח הקדש

I believe in the Ruach HaKodesh,

בקהל הקדש כללי בחבור הקדושים

in the set-apart general Assembly,

in the fellowship of the Kidushim (set-apart ones)

The Hebrew word for "fellowship" here is CHAVUR (Strong's 2249) from the root CHAVAR (Strong's 2266) meaning "to bind or join together".  This is also the root for the word CHAVER (Strong's 2270) "fellow, friend."

I am intentionally posting controversial issues to breathe life into this discussion board, so that we can discuss them and share with one another.

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!" (Ps. 133:1)

Shalom James, yes, it is good and pleasant for brothers to dwell together in unity, but as what Paul and the three pillars did do, they tested one another as to whether or not they had the same Gospel, which was according to the Scriptures that Moshe wrote.  It will be a wonderful day when we can do the same.  Understanding "baptism (for) the dead," according to what Moshe wrote in Numbers 19:19, is a start in the right direction in properly understanding The One True Gospel:

  Num 19:19 And the clean [person-Messiah Yeshua AND His Body] shall sprinkle upon the unclean [those defiled by the dead/death] on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he [the defiled person by the dead/death] shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water [baptism], and shall be clean at even.

Blessings in The Name, ImAHebrew

Dear IamHebrew,
Your last comment referencing Num 19:19 is fascinating. However, in my humble opinion, I think this would certainly apply if the passage said “because of the dead” instead of “for”. Also, we must remember that mikveh had 2 purposes: 1. Non-covenantal: To cleanse in preparation for Temple worship/service. 2. Covenantal: For a person converting to Judaism, it was necessary for a person to Mikveh to release all prior pagan affiliation and was considered in every aspect “born anew”. In fact all familial relations were also seen as wiped away. For example if a non Jew brother and sister converted and mikved, they would no longer be considered brother and sister. This of course caused concern in the Middle Ages as some were inclined to marry each other. The Rabbi’s determined technically yes they could marry but they discouraged it. Born anew should remind us of when Yeshua said “born again”. Anyway, I believe it was the covenantal mikveh to which Paul is speaking of since his whole argument is in favor of resurrection from the dead, as in romans 11 when Paul said of non believing israel coming to faith.

On the other hand, your comment made me ponder the 3rd day and the 7th day Mikveh in the cleansing aspect...
And this is just a crazy thought is all:
John came immersing on the 3rd day to prepare for Messiah’s arrival on the 4th day. And now we can be immersed when coming to faith but also when Messiah returns on the 7th day he will mikveh us and the Temple (millennial kingdom) to prepare for the 8th day (new heaven/earth) reflecting the red heifer sacrifice.
Anyway, great discussion!

Shalom Alejandro, I appreciate the feedback.  Your first opinion concerning "for" instead of "because of the dead," really shouldn't be a concern.  The Greek word used for "for" is G5228-huper and it means:

G5228   ‫ὑπέρ‬ (huper) Definition: over, beyond, fig. on behalf of, for the sake of, concerning

Most have been programmed to view this word to be used in a substitutional sense, but that is not how it should be used here in 1 Cor 15:29.  They were being baptized "over" or "concerning" the dead, BECAUSE they had come into contact with the dead, and that is why I translate it "because of the dead," or "on account of the dead," for that Greek word "huper." 

Here is a verse that uses "for" in translating "huper," and I don't think anyone would be thinking substitutionally or in a proxy sense here:

  Rom 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for (G5228-huper) his name:

This would be better understood if they had translated "huper" "on account of" or "because of" of His name, but the word "for," if not taken in a substitutional sense, does work.  Hopefully, that makes some sense.

Now, I will try to re-explain Paul's reasoning.  Paul knew that death is the ultimate defilement, and he also knew that the Law is Spiritual.  When Paul saw in the Law a process to where a person could be CLEANSED from the defilement caused by the dead,  he knew instinctively what that was a shadow or picture of...LIFE.  Life cleanses from death, and without the resurrection, there is no LIFE.  So when this CLEANSING process required baptism (a washing of both body and clothes), his reasoning was, WHY go through this process IF there is NO ultimate cleansing from death (the resurrection or LIFE).  WHY were THEY (the Jews) being baptized over, or on account of the dead, as the Law requires, IF there is no ultimate Spiritual cleansing from death, the resurrection/LIFE?

The 3rd and 7th day SPRINKLING is very important to this purification process, and I will submit to you that Yeshua had to rise the 3rd day so that the 3rd day SPRINKLING could be fulfilled.  There is a whole lot going on in this Ordinance Spiritually, and when the Jews consider this Ordinance, they realize it is something very special, and that even King Solomon, in all his wisdom, despaired over the "secret" meaning of this Ordinance.  You see, anyone involved with killing and burning the Red Heifer, and then in gathering up the Ashes of the Red Heifer, became defiled, but then once those Ashes were placed in a "sealed" vessel to where Living Water was added to those Ashes in the vessel, those Ashes became the means to PURIFY/CLEANSE anyone who had come into contact with the dead.  So the mystery for King Solomon was, how can something that caused defilement to those who were CLEAN, then be used to separate sinners FROM their sin and cleanse them from the defilement of death?  How can those Ashes BOTH defile and cleanse?

Got to go for now, keep asking your questions.  Blessings in The Name, ImAHebrew. 

Alejandro Escontrias said:

Dear IamHebrew,
Your last comment referencing Num 19:19 is fascinating. However, in my humble opinion, I think this would certainly apply if the passage said “because of the dead” instead of “for”. Also, we must remember that mikveh had 2 purposes: 1. Non-covenantal: To cleanse in preparation for Temple worship/service. 2. Covenantal: For a person converting to Judaism, it was necessary for a person to Mikveh to release all prior pagan affiliation and was considered in every aspect “born anew”. In fact all familial relations were also seen as wiped away. For example if a non Jew brother and sister converted and mikved, they would no longer be considered brother and sister. This of course caused concern in the Middle Ages as some were inclined to marry each other. The Rabbi’s determined technically yes they could marry but they discouraged it. Born anew should remind us of when Yeshua said “born again”. Anyway, I believe it was the covenantal mikveh to which Paul is speaking of since his whole argument is in favor of resurrection from the dead, as in romans 11 when Paul said of non believing israel coming to faith.

On the other hand, your comment made me ponder the 3rd day and the 7th day Mikveh in the cleansing aspect...
And this is just a crazy thought is all:
John came immersing on the 3rd day to prepare for Messiah’s arrival on the 4th day. And now we can be immersed when coming to faith but also when Messiah returns on the 7th day he will mikveh us and the Temple (millennial kingdom) to prepare for the 8th day (new heaven/earth) reflecting the red heifer sacrifice.
Anyway, great discussion!

Very interesting replies. Something to think about; never pondered this before.

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