Rethinking the Theology of Baptism
159 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- Published: July 2010
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?
...careful, meticulous, and very well reasoned…~Jeff Borden, iCrucified
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
[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