Baptism

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    Bradshaw, Robert I.

     (113K)

    The Significance of the Baptism of Jesus For the Person of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels

    "No significant modern scholar would today endorse Bultmann’s statement that the Baptism of Jesus is simply a ‘faith-legend’, bringing out the significance of Jesus and 'providing a pattern for Christian baptism'. But the rejection of this view has not led to a consensus among scholars on the subject. Indeed, such is the complexity of the subject that it pierces right back to the fundamental presuppositions of scholars regarding his Person. G.R. Beasley-Murray notes that the Gospel passages (Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; Matt. 3:13-17) produce 'an element of perplexed embarrassment… in discussion.'"
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    Brown, Colin

     (153K)

    What Was John the Baptist Doing?

    "This paper acknowledges difficulties in making the accounts of John’s baptism in the Jordan fit the profile of traditional purificatory rites. At the same time it draws attention to problems in trying to assimilate John’s baptism to such rites. A counter-proposal is offered which suggests that the key to understanding John’s baptism lies in seeing the Jordan as the boundary and point of entry into the land promised by Yahweh to Israel. John was calling for a morally purified Israel that was fit to dwell in the holy land. In emulation of the original entry depicted in the Book of Joshua, John’s baptism called on Israelites to exit the land, and return across the Jordan under the leadership of John in order to repossess the land as a consecrated people. The crossing of the Jordan holds the key to what John was doing."
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    Capes, David B.

     (127K)

    Intertextual Echoes in the Matthean Baptismal Narrative

    "Matthew's story of Jesus' baptism provides evidence of an 'Immanuel' ('God with us') Christology. In particular the first evangelist redacts Mark's account and envisages Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet according to the order of Ezekiel. Moreover, the opening of the heavens and descent of the Spirit echo Isaiah 63-64 and portray Jesus as God's answer to the petition longing for his presence and redemption. The dove image appears to have two intertextual functions: (1) to construe Jesus' baptism as the end of judgment and the beginning of new creation through the recollection of Noah's deliverance, and (2) to signal Jesus' role as sufferer through a lesserknown image of the dove as a symbol for God’s suffering people."
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    Edwards, James R.

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    The Baptism of Jesus accordingn to the Gospel of Mark

    "In a mere fifty-three words in Greek, Mark relates the story of Jesus' baptism (Mark 1:9-11). The brevity of the story, however, is disproportionate to its significance for Markan Christology, for beneath this terse account lies a wealth of OT intertestamental imagery, drawn upon to indicate that in Jesus the inbreaking of the eschatological kingdom has arrived. The baptism functions as the cornerstone of Mark's Christological understanding--a stone that is not undressed, as we shall see."
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    Webb, Robert L.

     (473K)

    Jesus’ Baptism: Its Historicity and Implications

    "Based on an exploration of John’s baptism and ministry within the context of Second-Temple Judaism, the significance of Jesus’ baptism is explored: it is a significant turning point in Jesus’ life; Jesus is identifying with Israel’s need to repent, and he is in agreement with, John’s vision for a reconstituted Israel; since Jesus is a disciple of John, the beginning of his ministry involves baptizing within John’s movement. It is also important to understand Jesus’ later ministry along a trajectory that begins with Jesus’ association with John. This later ministry shows both continuity with and development beyond Jesus’ early involvement with John."