February 26, Corinthians
I hope your reading is going well!
I had one of those fun, “Ahh-ha”moments this week while reading 1 Corinthians 15:29, so I thought I would share it.
29 “otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead did not rise at all?”
That verse has always perplexed me! What does it mean to be baptized for the dead?????🤔
I thought I would look to some commentaries to see what scholars had to say. I am so glad I did! The verse makes perfect sense to me now! 🤓
The key is context, context, context!
The commentary that helped me the most in my understanding was one that pointed to Matthew 20:22 to understand what type of baptism is being referred to here.
Remember when the mother of James and John wants her boys to sit on either side of Jesus when he comes into his kingdom? Listen to what Jesus says to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” Then Jesus says that indeed, they will be baptized with the baptism that Jesus experienced, which was affliction, suffering and martyrdom!! 😳
That is the baptism Paul was speaking of to the Corinthians.
We know that because of the context that followed in verse 30, “And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? I affirm, by the boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus, our Lord, I die daily.” He goes on to talk of ways he had suffered and asked, why? (He has a much more exhaustive list of his sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11.)
Why would he put himself in dangerous positions if his converts weren’t going to raise after they died.
Some believers in the Corinthian church had died, who knows from what, old age, sickness? Your guess is as good as mine, but the bottom line is that those still living in the Corinthian church were doubting what happened to those souls who had passed on. Paul is emphatically saying, yes, they will be raised! (Verse 23) Christ was raised first and then believers will do the same. Now for verse 29, what would have been the point of the evangelist to have suffered persecution, trials and martyrdom (baptized like Jesus had been) for those people who believed, but are now dead, if they don’t rise?
In context, Paul is making the point that evangelists are willing to suffer and even die a martyr’s death in order to share the Gospel because of their absolute certainty that there is definitely a resurrection of the dead.
Doesn’t that make perfect sense!!!! I love those ahh-ha moments!!! ☺️
Verse 29 is perfectly clear to me now!! 😃