for The Dead?
©1996 Institute for
Religious Research. All rights reserved.
The view that deceased human beings can hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ in
the spirit world, and through proxy baptism performed for them on earth, attain eternal
life in the presence of God, is one of the distinctive doctrines of Mormonism that
separates it from historic, Biblical Christianity. The question of whether or not this
practice has a basis in the Bible and was practiced by the early church is the subject of
An overview of the differences between Mormon and historic Christian teaching on the
subject of salvation for the dead is presented in a companion article Does
the Bible Teach Salvation for the Dead? It surveys the Biblical
grounds offered by the LDS church for its teaching that the gospel of Jesus Christ is
preached in the spirit world, especially 1 Peter 3:19-20 and 4:6. It concludes that the
official LDS interpretation of this Bible passage, found in Doctrine and Covenants 138, is
based on flawed exegesis, and further, that the doctrine of salvation for the dead is
incompatible with the general Biblical teaching that our eternal destiny is fixed at
This article now focuses specifically on the related practice of
baptism for the dead. The question we ask is, does it have a basis in the Bible?
this Mormon temple rite originally established by Jesus and taught and
practiced by his apostles, as the Mormon Church claims? (see close-up
photo below of the placard in front of the model temple baptismal font
at the Church’s Salt Lake City, Utah Temple Square Visitors Center,
which includes this statement: "To give everyone the opportunity for
baptism, the Savior established a sacred ordinance which the apostle
Paul referred to as 'baptism for the dead' [1 Corinthians 15:29].
Although this ordinance was lost for centuries after the death of the
original apostles, it has been restored in our time by the Savior
The premise of the article is that if baptism for the dead is truly a Christian rite,
it must have an organic, historical connection to the earthly ministry of Jesus and his
first century apostles.1
Baptismal Font in the Mormon Visitors Center
at Temple Square,
Salt Lake City, Utah
Placard explaining the
temple baptismal font above.
The second paragraph includes this caption: "... to
give everyone an opportunity for baptism, the Savior
established a sacred ordinance which the apostle Paul
referred to as 'baptism for the dead' (1 Corinthians 15:29)."
(click here to see an
enlargement of this image)
Although the Book of Mormon is described as containing the
fullness of the everlasting gospel (Doctrine and Covenants 27:5), and although
baptism for the dead is a central teaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, according to the
LDS church, the Book of Mormon contains no reference whatever to the practice, either
direct or indirect. This can easily be verified by checking under Baptism for the
Dead in the LDS churchs Topical Guide to the Scriptures or the Index to
the Triple Combination the only references given there are from four
sections of the Doctrine and Covenants (124,127,128,1382 ). This point
can also be verified by looking in the Index provided at the back of the Book of Mormon;
it has no entry for baptism for the dead.
Thus, there is no evidence that the people described in the Book of Mormon practiced,
or knew of, baptism for the dead. In fact, Book of Mormon teaching seems to clearly
preclude the practice on several counts; the evidence on this point is
considered later in the article.
A Single Verse
The silence of the Book of Mormon on baptism for the dead is an important fact, for it
means that a single verse in the Bible 1 Corinthians 15:29 constitutes its
sole mention in ancient Christian Scripture. This is acknowledged by the Encyclopedia
of Mormonism (a 1992 work published under the supervision of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles of the LDS church3
) He [Paul] refers to a practice of vicarious baptism, a
practice for which we have no other evidence in the Pauline or other New Testament or
early Christian writings.4
1 Corinthians 15:29 reads: 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 used here
The first thing to notice about this verse is that baptism for the dead is only mentioned,
it is not actually taught. Given the scanty nature of the evidence, it is
especially important to follow sound principles of Scriptural interpretation in seeking to
understand this verse. Two basic principles relevant to this task are: (1) do not read a
verse in isolation, but carefully consider it in its context, and (2) use clear,
unambiguous Scriptural passages to interpret what is obscure or less clear, not the other
A superficial reading of 1 Corinthians 15:29 in isolation from its context may suggest
support for baptism for the dead. However, a careful study of the verse in its context and
in the light of other relevant Biblical passages, shows that this support it is anything
Following the principles described above, we should ask several diagnostic questions:
(1) Is there anything earlier in 1 Corinthians (the broader context) that throws light on
the mention of baptism for the dead in 15:29? (2) What is the theme and line of argument
in the verses leading up to mention of the rite (the immediate context)? (3) How does its
mention verse 29 fit into this line of argument? (4) What about the teaching on baptism in
other epistles of Paul and elsewhere in the New Testament (Biblical theology) is
the view that the apostle is here giving approval to baptism for the dead consistent with
that teaching, and with that of Jesus and the other New Testament writers?
Questions such as these will help us arrive at an accurate interpretation of verse 29,
and avoid the pitfall of reading into it our own preconceived ideas.
The broader context. There are three other references to baptism in 1
Corinthians 1:14-17, 10:2, and 12:13. In 1:14-17 Paul raises the subject of baptism
in the context of expressing his concern about contention and party factions among the
Christians at Corinth:
I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say
that I baptized in my own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I
know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach
the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none
By his words, Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel, Paul
is reminding the Corinthians that it is the message of Christs death for our sins
(received in heartfelt faith) that can regenerate and transform the inner person, not the
external rite of baptism, important though it is as an outward sign of faith and
obedience. The fact that the Corinthians Christians needed this reminder indicates that
they over-rated the importance of baptism, and that the apostle felt the need to steer
them back to a correct, balanced understanding of its significance.
Then in 10:2 the apostle uses the word baptized in describing the
Israelites crossing of the Red Sea: all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud
and in the sea. Though this is a figurative use of the term, Paul uses it to build
on his earlier reminder of the priority of faith and inner regeneration over baptism
(1:14-17). To the Corinthians with their inflated view of baptism, he makes the point that
though all the Israelites who came out of Egypt were figuratively baptized,
they were not thereby insured of Gods favor: But with many of them God was not
well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness (10:5).
Finally, in 12:13 Paul mentions baptism as an argument for Christian unity: For
by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body. Here again, it is not the rite of
baptism itself that is critical, but the reality of union with Christ which baptism
pictures (Romans 6:3-4), wrought not by water but by the Spirit.
The Corinthians inflated view of baptism holds an important clue to the meaning
of 1 Corinthians 15:29. For as we shall see, baptism for the dead is linked by the apostle
to an errant group within the Corinthian church, whose false teaching the entire fifteenth
chapter of 1 Corinthians including verse 29 aims to correct.
The immediate context. The best way to understand any single verse in
Scripture is to examine the verses surrounding it. And when we read 1 Corinthians 15:29 in
its context, it is clear that resurrection, not baptism, is the single, dominating theme
throughout chapter 15.
In verses 1-11, Paul declares that Christ, after he died for our
sins, was raised from the dead, a fact amply attested by above 500 witnesses,
most of whom he says are still alive as he writes.
Then in verses 12-49 the apostle marshals a series of arguments for the importance and
reasonableness of the doctrine of the resurrection of the body. Here, the modern reader
needs to keep in mind that the Hebrew-Christian doctrine of the resurrection, which we
take for granted, was considered foolishness in ancient Greek culture (and of course
Corinth was a Greek city).5
What is important to see is that Pauls mention of baptism for the dead in verse 29
is one of this series of arguments introduced to serve his purpose of defending the
reasonableness of resurrection.
The real question to ask then is, who is it at Corinth that is practicing baptism
for the dead, and do they and the practice have the apostles approval?
Some Among You
Pauls blunt rhetorical question in verse 12 expresses the burden of the chapter:
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that
there is no resurrection of the dead? An important thing to notice is that the
entire series of arguments in verses 13-49 is specifically aimed at refuting these false
teachers within the Corinthian congregation (some among you) who are
openly denying the resurrection. The following outline gives an overview of the passage:
1. If there is no resurrection, Christ is not risen (vv. 13,16)
2. Our preaching is vain, we are yet in our sins (vv. 14,17)
3. We are false witnesses (v. 15)
4. The dead in Christ are perished (v. 18)
5. Christians are of all people most miserable (v. 19)
6. As death came by one man (Adam) upon all who descended from him, so resurrection to
life is brought by one man (Christ) to all who belong to Him (vv. 20-22)
7. The order of resurrection: Christ first, then those who are Christs at His
return (vv. 23-28)
8. The false teachers who deny the resurrection are inconsistent when they baptize for
the dead, for the practice is based on the hope of resurrection (v. 29)
9. Why suffer abuse for the gospel if there is no resurrection? (vv. 30-34)
10. Resurrection analogous to a seed, which through death brings forth more abundant
life (vv. 35-38)
11. The nature of the resurrection body is different from the mortal body, as the flesh
of humans, mammals, and fish are different from each other (v. 39)
12. The resurrection body is of greater glory than the mortal body, as the sun is of
greater glory than moon (vv. 40-41)
13. Various contrasts between the resurrection body and our mortal
bodies (vv. 42-49)
Verse 29 takes the form of another rhetorical question: Else what shall they do
which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Here the Paul points
up the fact that since it is the human body that is baptized, those who perform
such a rite in proxy for a deceased person must do so because they have the hope of future
resurrection for that person. Thus, the primary function of the verse is as yet another
argument in support of resurrection. 6
Did Paul Endorse The Practice?
The fact that Pauls mention of baptism for the dead is not an endorsement is
signaled by the impersonal manner in which he refers to the practitioners: Else what
shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why
then are they baptized for the dead? If the rite was a legitimate part of
apostolic teaching, we might have expected the apostle to say what shall you
do . . . or what shall we do . . .7
It is clear from Romans 9:1-3 and 10:1-4 that Paul was acutely conscious that many
among his own Jewish kinsmen were outside the gospel fold. He speaks of having great
heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart for his Hebrew brethren (9:2), and
declares that my hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they
might be saved (10:1). Certainly there would have been some from the apostles
own extended family who had gone to their graves unbaptized. If Paul taught baptism for
the dead, it is inexplicable that he would exclude himself from those who practiced the
rite, as he surely does when he writes, what shall they do which are
baptized for the dead . . .
Notice too that in verses 30-32 the apostle immediately contrasts the fringe group
practicing baptism for the dead with himself and the broader Christian community:
And why stand we in jeopardy every hour . . . what advantageth it me
if the dead rise not. Indeed, the impersonal they contrasts markedly
with Pauls practice throughout 1 Corinthians 15, where he consistently addresses his
readers as you (vv. 1,2,3,11,12,14,17,31,34,36,51,58), or, (including himself)
we or us (vv. 3,15,19,30,32,49,51,52).
Who Are They?
If we ask who the they in verse 29 refers to, the context clearly points us
back to verse 12. It is those within the Corinthian congregation who are denying the
resurrection, and whom the entire passage is written to refute. Then the biting aspect of
Pauls argument becomes clear. These false teachers are inconsistent: they deny
the resurrection, yet engage in a practice baptism for the dead
which is based on the hope of resurrection.
This is exactly the understanding of the text held by the early
Christian writer Tertullian. Writing about A.D. 180, he makes this
comment on 1 Corinthians 15:29 His [Pauls] only aim in alluding to it
was that he might all the more firmly insist upon the resurrection of the body, in
proportion as they who were vainly baptized for the dead resorted to the practice from
their belief of such a resurrection. 8
Ironically, the Encyclopedia of Mormonism espouses this same interpretation of
the verse: . . . Paul clearly refers to a distinct group within the Church, a
group that he accuses of inconsistency between ritual and doctrine.9
Thus, far from endorsing the baptism for the dead, Paul associates it with a group whom
he has already identified as being in deep spiritual error.
Why Didnt Paul Refute The Practice?
But would the apostle Paul use a practice of which he disapproved (baptism for the
dead) to support something he wanted to affirm (resurrection)? On thoughtful study, this
objection proves to have much less basis than first meets the eye. There are at least four
grounds for answering yes to this question, and for explaining why the apostle
does not stop to refute the practice of baptism for the dead.
First, Paul has already associated the rite with false teachers. So
in this sense, it has no positive standing and needed no special refutation.
Second, history has amply vindicated the apostle Pauls
inspired judgment. The practice of baptism for the dead in fact never became widespread,
which even the Encyclopedia of Mormonism acknowledges, as noted earlier. Only a few
isolated sects have practiced it, including the heretical Marcionite sect in the second
century, and the Ephrata Society, a Christian occult group in Pennsylvania in the 1700s.10 These two
groups have little in common with each other, and even less with Mormon teaching, 11 so the claim that
baptism for the dead was part of original Christianity that was lost, lacks any historical
or logical basis.
Third, Pauls statement at the beginning of 1 Corinthians,
noted earlier Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel
(1:16) is a reminder that baptism does not have the same indispensable importance
that faith in Christ has. This is an indirect slap at the logic of baptism for the dead,
which implies that baptism is indispensable for resurrection to eternal life.
Fourth, Paul does elsewhere use something with which he disagrees to make a theological
point. In 1 Corinthians 8:10 the apostle refers to eating meat in an idols temple
without showing it to be wrong in itself; however, that he believed it is wrong is clear
from what he says later in 1 Corinthians 10:21ff.12
Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation?
The premise of baptism for the dead is the absolute necessity of water baptism for
forgiveness of sins and eternal life. However, recall the words of the apostle Paul cited
earlier Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel (1
Corinthians 1:16). This statement surely implies that baptism does not have equal
importance with faith in Christ.
The New Testament certainly teaches that baptism is an important step of obedience for
Christians, but it does not teach its absolute necessity for forgiveness of sins and
John 3:5. This is one of the passages which the LDS church points to as teaching
the absolute necessity of water baptism. There Jesus says to the Jewish religious leader
Nicodemas, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
We would agree that the words born of water probably refer to baptism. The
context of the Gospels point us to the ministry of John the Baptist, who called people to
prepare for the coming of Jesus the Messiah by the outward, public act of water baptism
signifying an inner, heartfelt attitude of repentance. Thus we read in Matthew 3:5-6,
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and the region around about Jordan,
and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
It is notable that according to Luke 7:29-30, the Pharisees (the
strict religious party of which Nicodemas was a member), refused Johns baptism.
Thus, to the Pharisee Nicodemas, Jesus words except a man be born of
water and the Spirit, emphasize that repentance and new birth go hand in hand, as
the only way of gaining eternal life.
Yet notice that when Jesus restates his message in the next verse, he says, That
which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit
(John 3:6). Notably he does not say, That which is born of water and the
Repentance a true acknowledgment of ones deep spiritual need
before a holy God will normally be followed by the outward sign of water baptism
(though we can think of some extreme cases where it is not, such as that of the thief on
the cross Luke 23:42-43). But it is the inner attitude of repentance, not the
outward rite of baptism, that is essential.
Acts 2:38. This is another verse which the LDS church points
to as teaching the absolute requirement of water baptism. It reads, Repent, and be
baptized for the remission of your sins. Several things should be noted here. First,
as we saw in considering John 3:5, baptism is an outward, public testimony to the inner
decision of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Thus, it is the inner reality that is
strictly essential. In this regard, notice that in Acts 3:19 Peter says, Repent,
therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out baptism is not
mentioned. As one commentator has noted of Acts 2:38, it would be a mistake to link
the words unto the remission of your sins with the command to be baptized to
the exclusion of the prior command Repent ye.14
Second, in Acts 10:43 Peter says to the non-Christian Cornelius and his household,
whoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter is still
preaching, the Holy Spirit is poured out on this group. That this must mean they were born
of the Spirit as they responded in simple faith to the preaching of the gospel is
confirmed by Peter words in Acts 11:16-18. Only afterward, when the reality of
Gods work of salvation in their hearts has already been confirmed, are they
baptized. (Compare the sequence in Ephesians 1:13 of hearing the gospel, responding in
faith, and receiving the Holy Spirit.)
Third, the New Testament presents baptism as the virtual equivalent of the Old
Testament rite of circumcision (Colossians 2:12-13), and it states explicitly that
circumcision did not have saving value. If we follow the logic of this biblical parallel,
it sheds a great deal of light on the question of the absolute necessity of the external
rite of water baptism. For example, in Romans 2:28-29, the apostle Paul declares:
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which
is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly and circumcision
is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of
men, but of God.
Then in Romans 4:10-11 the he makes the point that Abraham was declared righteous
through faith before he was circumcised, so that circumcision was not strictly
necessary for his salvation: And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the
righteousness of the faith which he had being yet uncircumcized. And finally,
in Galatians 6:15 the apostle says that it is a changed heart (the new birth), not an
outward rite that saves: Neither circumcision counts for anything, nor
uncircumcision, but a new creation.
Since baptism and circumcision are near equivalents, as signs of the Old and New
Covenants, respectively, it follows that one could say in the same sense, baptism
counts for nothing, except as an outward sign of the inward reality of repentance
and faith in Jesus Christ alone.
It goes beyond Biblical teaching to say that baptism is an absolute necessity, in the
sense of having saving value. To teach this is to wrongly place a religious institution
and its rituals between God and the believer, and to attribute saving value to the outward
ritual of baptism, rather than to the inward reality of repentance and faith, which it
Having now surveyed the Biblical evidence put forth in support of baptism for the dead,
we believe it is clear that there is no organic, historical connection between this
practice the early church. This being the case, baptism for the dead can not accurately be
called a Christian practice.
However, there is one additional bit of evidence against baptism for the dead: it is
unsupported even by the Book of Mormon.
Conflicts With Book Mormon Teaching
It was noted at the beginning of the article that the Book of Mormon is completely
silent about baptism for the dead. However, there is also positive evidence from the Book
of Mormon against the practice on at least two counts: (1) it teaches that those who die
without hearing the gospel (the primary candidates for baptism for the dead) are alive in
Christ, and therefore do not need baptism, and (2) it teaches that baptism is specifically
a covenant for this mortal life, so that it would be completely meaningless to
baptize for the dead.
On the first point, notice that Moroni 8:22 explicitly declares
that the state of those who die without a knowledge of the gospel is like that of children
who die in infancy:
For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also they that are
without the law. For the power of the redemption cometh on all them that have no law;
wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent;
and unto such baptism availeth nothing.
Therefore, on the same grounds by which the Book of Mormon rejects infant baptism,15 baptism
for the those who die in ignorance of the gospel would have to be rejected.
The next verse goes even further, specifically condemning baptism for these two classes
of individuals as vain and a mockery: But it is mockery before God, denying
the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead
works (Moroni 8:23).
Baptism for the dead also conflicts with the Book of Mormon teaching that baptism is a
covenant for mortal life. Mosiah 18:13 states, And when he had said these
words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he said, Helam, I baptize thee, having
authority from Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to
serve him until you are dead, as to the mortal body.
According to these Book of Mormon passages, those who die in ignorance of gospel do not
need baptism, and further, since it is a covenant for mortality, it could have no
relevance to those in the spirit world.
Taken together with the silence of the Book of Mormon on baptism for the dead, these
positive objections from its teaching on baptism constitute a serious contradiction
between Latter-day scripture and practice.
Some Things Hard To Be Understood
We do not claim that Pauls argument in 1 Corinthians 15:29 is easy to understand.
Already in his own day, his contemporary Peter acknowledged that in the epistles of
our beloved brother Paul there are some things hard to be
understood (2 Peter 3:15-16). Nevertheless, we do believe that the careful and
prayerful student of Scripture will be led by the clear preponderance of evidence to
conclude that the apostle Paul does not in this verse give or imply his approval for
baptism for the dead.
What is abundantly clear in Pauls epistles and throughout the Bible is the fact
that we cannot save ourselves. Nor does any religious institution or ritual have the power
to save us. Like an insurance policy from a bogus company, these institutions and rituals
may give some assurance in life, but those who trust in them are bound to be bitterly
disappointed when the day of reckoning comes. It is in the power of God alone, and in His
rich mercy and grace in Christ, that we can have hope that will not disappoint.
Luke P. Wilson
1 According to Robert J. Matthews, professor of ancient
scripture at Brigham Young University, writing in the LDS churchs publication the Ensign
(I Have a Question, September 1981, p. 16), Joseph Smith obtained the
doctrine of salvation for the dead by revelation and not from the printed pages of the
Bible. Matthews explains that this is true of Mormon doctrine in general: the
Bible was not the source of the doctrines the Prophet Joseph Smith taught. Rather, the
Bible, so far as it is translated correctly, is tangible evidence that the doctrines he
received by revelation were the same as those the ancient prophets obtained by
Consider the implications of this statement: the Bible can be used to support
Latter-day revelation, but not to critique it. But this then means that the
distinctive doctrines of Mormonism have no organic, historical connection to the earthly
ministry of Jesus Christ and his apostles. It is this disturbing fact which undermines
the LDS churchs claim to preach the restored gospel.
Return to article.
2 The 1977
edition of the Topical Guide to the Scriptures does not list Doctrine and
Covenants 138:33 under its entry for baptism for the dead, though the practice
is explicitly mentioned there: These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin,
and vicarious baptism for the remission of sins . . .
Return to article.
Neal A. Maxwell and Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve worked closely
with the committee that prepared it, according to an article in the Ensign (March
1992, p. 79), a monthly magazine published by the LDS church. The article heralded the Encyclopedia
of Mormonism as a landmark reference work.
Return to article.
4 Baptism for the Dead - Ancient Sources,
in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1:97.
Return to article.
is illustrated by the story in Acts 17:18-34, where Paul is preaching to the
philosophers in the Greek city of Athens. His audience listens attentively until he
mentions the resurrection of Christ: And when they heard of the resurrection of
the dead, some mocked . . . (Acts 17:32). It was a common view of many Greek
philosophers that the body was the prison-house of the soul. It was thought that death
would bring the souls release from the enslaving passions and evil impulses of the
body. In this view resurrection was unthinkable, and in any case quite undesirable. In the
words of a prominent contemporary New Testament scholar, Whether they were
sophisticated intellectuals or simple artisans, Greeks had one feature in common:
resurrection was totally foreign to their worldview. Murray J. Harris, From
Grave to Glory: Resurrection in the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Academie
Books/Zondervan, 1990), 41.
6 This is precisely how Ambrose (A.D. 339-397), the bishop of Milan, understood 1
Corinthians 15:29. He wrote, [Paul] wishes to show how fixed and firm is the
resurrection of the dead, by giving the example of those who were so sure of the future
resurrection that they would even baptize for the dead who died before they could be
baptized . . . . This example is not an approbation of what they did but merely shows
their firm faith in the resurrection . . . By saying why do we stand in
jeopardy? he is making a distinction of persons which shows that those who were
baptized for the dead were not catholics. Note that the Roman Catholic church did
not exist at this time. By catholic, Ambrose simply means the orthodox or
universal church. Ambrose, Commentary on 1 Corinthians, as cited by Bernard M. Foschini, Those
Who Are Baptized for the Dead - 1 Cor. 15:29 (Wecester, Mass., Heffernan Press, 1951),
p. 32. By "catholic," Ambrose means simply the orthodox or universal church. The
Roman Catholic church did not exist until centuries later.
Return to article.
7 In an Ensign
article on baptism for the dead (I Have a Question, August 1987, p. 19), it
appears that Robert L. Millet tried to shade this point by restating 1 Corinthians 15:29
and changing the pronoun they to we.
Return to article.
The Five Books Against Marcion, V,10 in The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand
Rapids: Eerdmans, no date), 3:449.
9 Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1:97. This is
also the view of many other New Testament scholars, including G. R. Beasley-Murray, Baptism
in the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), p. 190-91, Leon Morris, The
First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (London: Tyndale Press, 1958), p. 219, and
James A. Walther, 1 Corinthians - Anchor Bible, vol. 32 (Garden City, New York:
Doubleday & Co., 1976), p. 337.
Return to article.
the 18th century Pennsylvania group, see Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn, Mormonism
and the Magic World View (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1987), p. 181.
Return to article.
believed the body and material world are evil, and were created by the god of the Old
Testament, who is an inferior being. He was excommunicated in A.D. 144 for these heresies.
The Ephrata community practiced celibacy and Sabbath worship. See The New International
Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974,1978),
Return to article.
14 F. F. Bruce,
Commentary on the Book of Acts (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1954), p.
Return to article.
writer Gregory A. Prince wonders at the coincidence that the book of Moroni, which
contains this sole Book of Mormon reference to infant baptism, was produced in 1829, one
year after the death at birth of Joseph and Emmas firstborn child in 1828. Power
From on High (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995), p. 85.
Return to article.