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Bibil Identifier bibil:223405
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Baptism in the New Testament and Its Cultural Milieu: A Response to Everett Ferguson, Baptism in the Early Church
Author Holladay, Carl R.
Journal Journal of Early Christian Studies (Volume: 20, Issue: 3)
Reviewed book Baptism in the Early Church
Response article Response to Contributors
Year (Publication) 2012
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2012
Year (Copyright) 2012
Year (Reference) 2012
Language English
Pages 343-369 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This review focuses on the first 200 pages of Everett Ferguson's Baptism in the Early Church: Part 1, "Antecedents to Christian Baptism," and Part 2, "Baptism in the New Testament." One critical question raised by Ferguson's treatment is how historical and theological (doctrinal) perspectives should be related to each other. While Ferguson recognizes the pivotal role of the baptism John preached and administered, this essay further emphasizes John's originality. Jesus' baptism by John posed a problem for early Christians. Was it a unique event, an example for Jesus' disciples to emulate, or a problem that had to be explained? The four gospels tend to portray Jesus' baptism as sui generis, although Matthew portrays it as an exemplum for early Christians to follow. Ferguson's treatment of Pauline texts relating to baptism underplays the significance of the "mystical" and corporate dimensions of his baptismal theology, especially as it relates to en Christō. Greater nuance is needed to differentiate Paul's understanding of the baptismal benefit of "death to sin" as opposed to "forgiveness of sins." In Ferguson's treatment of baptism in Acts, his effort to distinguish sharply between "baptism in the Holy Spirit," i.e. dramatic outpourings of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2, 10-11, 8.17-18, and 19.6), and other believers' reception of the Holy Spirit poses some difficulties. Rather than separating the treatment of baptism in Luke and Acts, some dimensions of Luke's baptismal theology can be seen more clearly by observing how literary thematic connections, e.g., between John the Baptist and Jesus, are developed in the two-volume work.
DOI 10.1353/earl.2012.0020
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Baptism
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Religious Parties and Movements : Baptist Movements : John the Baptist
Thesaurus BiBIL : New Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Paul
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the New Testament : Gospels : Synoptic Gospels : Gospel of Luke : Work of Luke
Genres Review Article
Last modification 2017-10-27