What is being “baptised for the dead"?
1 Corinthians 15:29
NLT - 29 If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again?
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1 Corinthians 15:29 is one of the most difficult Bible texts to interpret and explain. However, I do not believe Paul is saying that people are being baptized for the dead. In this text, Paul most likely is exploring the implication of rejecting Christ’s resurrection. Paul here argues that if there’s no resurrection from the dead, why is he risking his life for the gospel? (1 Cor 15:30). If there is no resurrection, why not eat and drink and enjoy present life? (1Cor 15:32). It's as if he's saying, "If there is no resurrection, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead?" Meaning that people baptized in the name of Jesus Christ are being baptized for a dead person, unless that person was resurrected.
1 Corinthians 15:29, "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" KJV This whole chapter is about resurrection. Baptism is a symbol of initiation into new life found in Christ. As in Adam, we all die physically. But in Christ, we rise like Him after death. This verse suffers from a mistranslation of the Greek word "huper/hyper." The word has several meanings. The verse correctly translated should read, "Else what shall they do which are baptized 'for the hope of' the dead if the dead not rise at all. Why are they then baptized 'for the hope of' the dead?" What is it that we hope when we are baptized? Our "hope" is that we rise In Him! Baptism incorporates believers into His body. He rose victorious over death. So will anyone who truly accepts Jesus Christ as Savior. He alone is our hope! 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: "Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein ye stand; By which ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the scriptures.." The verse has nothing to do with being baptized for a dead person!
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