8/13/2008

Reading Colossians and asking once again "what the baptizo?"

What the baptizo are Greek speakers talking about? I remember how important the study of this word was to me over a decade ago when I was trying to work my way out of sacramental confusion. I was able to spend hours studying and praying for light on this word and the watery rite of baptism. I would say the Lord gave me enough understanding to abandon the sacramental confusion, but I have still wrestled with some awkward sounding passages that use this word. Reading Colossians has provoked further study. It boils down to this...

Baptizo has 2 closely related meanings:

Baptizo
1) immerse.
2)pass-through
("pass-through,often has the sense that "pass-away" or "pass-on" evokes in English for example "pass-through" to the dead, or "perish").

With the "pass-through" meaning I am trying to make an important note. "Baptizo," when contextualized in such a way as to mean "pass-through" communicates an idea which parallels what "pass-away" or "pass on" carry in modern English. In other words, "baptizo," with the sense of "pass-through" connotes "to perish".

I think maintaining this definition helps make sense of a literal reading of Colossians 2:10-12.

"And ya'll are in Him [Jesus] having been filled, who is the head of all rule and authority in whom also ya'll were circumcised with a circumcision not handwrought in the putting off of the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, co-buried with him in the pass-through, in whom also ya'll were co-raised through the faithful operation of God, raising him from [the] dead."

note: There is no confusing watery rite present in this reading of the passage. This reading of Colossians 2:10-12 is an educated proposition from a non-expert. If you are familiar with the lexical tools you may see how I arrived at this definition and this reading. I should explain the process more thoroughly and I am hoping for some critical feedback.

I think the 2 part definition I have given above fits all uses of the word and the "pass-through" part I am emphasizing may be especially helpful in reading Mark 10:38,39; Luke 12:50; Rom.6; 1Cor. 15; Gal.3; Col.2; and 1Peter 3.

I would also like to discuss how these passages stand in relation to "the immersion of John for all the people of Israel" as mentioned in Acts 13:24, and how that water immersion was participated in even by the disciples of Jesus especially as a Levitically inspired rite of repentance and corporate confession of uncleanness for those who would be the Israel of God. To be thorough, I would also like to discuss the gradual and intentional displacement of John's immersion in water for Israel with the immersion into the Spirit for the Remnant of the Lord as mentioned in Acts 1:5 and Acts 11:16.

1 comment:

  1. displacement of water baptism? wow!

    ReplyDelete