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Troubled Waters
Rethinking the Theology of Baptism

By Ben Witherington III

Troubled Waters
Paperback, 153 pages $29.95
Published: 22nd July 2010
ISBN: 9781602581937
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Biblical Studies, All Religious Studies, All Theology, New Testament

Baptism has been a contested practice from the very beginning of the church. In this volume, Ben Witherington rethinks the theology of baptism and does so in constant conversation with the classic theological positions and central New Testament texts. By placing baptism in the context of the covenant, Witherington shows how advocates of both believer’s baptism and infant baptism have added some water to both their theology and practice of baptism


1          Getting Our Feet Wet            

The antecedents of Christian baptism outside the New Testament

2          John’s Baptism—Totally Immersed in His Work

Pre-Christian initiations in the New Testament and pre-sacramental texts

3          Parting the Waters

The beginnings of water baptism as a Christian rite—Acts

4          Trial by Water Ordeal

Paul and burial with Christ

5          Breaking the Waters of Birth

Water baptism in the Johannine literature?

6          Down in the Flood     

Baptism in Hebrews and I Peter

7          A Rite of Passage

A theology of water baptism in the New Testament

8          Postscript—Coming Up for Air

Where do we go from here?

"(Witherington) offers pastoral guidance and correctives for both baptismal practices so that the fuller goals for Christian baptism will be achieved."

—David A. deSilva, Trustees' Professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary

"Baptism debates flooded churches and seminaries a generation back and, without settling issues once and for all, the flood subsided. Standing now alone, with a peaceful olive branch in his hand, is Ben Witherington, asking Christians once again to go back both to those debates and to the Bible. Let's join him."

—Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University

"...careful, meticulous, and very well reasoned…"

—Jeff Borden, iCrucified 

Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary. His publications include Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the Theology of the Lord's Supper (2007), The Living Word of God: Rethinking the Theology of the Bible (2007), What's in the Word: Rethinking the Socio-Rhetorical Character of the New Testament (2009), and The Problem with Evangelical Theology: Testing the Exegetical Foundations of Calvinism, Dispensationalism, Wesleyanism, and Pentecostalism, Revised and Expanded Edition (2015).

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 153 pages
 9in x 6in

 Baylor University Press

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