This author said that the saving waters at the time of Noah prefigured baptism. However, now they had been saved through this baptism that was not a mere removal of dirt from the body, but an appeal to God. They had been saved through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has gone to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father with all the heavenly spirits. Have you been saved through baptism?
Baptism (1 Pet 3:21)
Which this event
Now saves you.
This is not
A removal of dirt
From the body,
But an appeal
From a good conscience,
Through the resurrection
Of Jesus Christ.”
ὃ καὶ ὑμᾶς ἀντίτυπον νῦν σῴζει βάπτισμα, οὐ σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου ἀλλὰ συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς Θεόν, δι’ ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
This author said, “Baptism (βάπτισμα), which this event (ὃ καὶ) prefigured (ἀντίτυπον), now (νῦν) saves (σῴζει) you (ὑμᾶς). This is not (οὐ) a removal (ἀπόθεσις) of dirt (ῥύπου) from the body (σαρκὸς), but (ἀλλὰ) an appeal (ἐπερώτημα) to God (εἰς Θεόν) from a good conscience (συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς), through the resurrection (δι’ ἀναστάσεως) of Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ).” Only this author, 1 Peter, among all the canonical NT works used these words, ἀπόθεσις, that means a putting away, putting off, or removal, and the word ῥύπου, that means filth, filthiness, dirt, or squalor, as well as the word ἐπερώτημα, that means an inquiry, a demand, a request, an appeal, a profession, or pledge. This author used a lot of unique words to try and explain the connection between the flood at the time of Noah and the current baptism of these Jewish Christians. The Noah event prefigured baptism. Thus, Jesus Christ now saves us through baptism. However, it is not the mere removal of dirt or filthiness from their body, but a good conscience appeal to God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism was no longer just for the forgiveness of sins as with John the Baptist. Now Christian baptism was a demand to put on the resurrection of Christ with a good conscience. What do you believe about baptism?
Baptism (chapter 6)
Paul then asked if we should sin so that grace would be more abundant? Of course, Paul said no that we had died to sin. Why would we want to live in sin again? Baptism had destroyed sin and gave grace. We have died to sin because we were baptized in Jesus Christ. Our sinful life has died in baptism, so that we could walk in a new life, in the glory of the Father with the resurrected Lord. Have you been baptized?
They did not know (Lk 20:7-20:7)
That they did not know
Where it came from.”
καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν μὴ εἰδέναι πόθεν.
Luke indicated that the Jewish Jerusalem religious leaders answered (καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν) that they did not know where (μὴ εἰδέναι πόθεν) the baptism of John the Baptist came from. This same response to Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:27, and Mark, chapter 11:33, almost word for word to each other. Mark said that the chief priests, the Scribes, and the elders responded to Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ). They said that they did not know (λέγουσιν Οὐκ οἴδαμεν) the value, origins, or power of the baptism of John the Baptist. Matthew said that the chief priests and elders responded to Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶπαν) that they did not know (Οὐκ οἴδαμεν) the origins or power of the baptism of John the Baptist. This non-response was better than an aggravating response. Have you ever pleaded ignorance when you were too embarrassed to answer a question?
John was a prophet (Lk 20:6-20:6)
“But if we say.
‘Of human origin,
All the people
Will stone us.
They are convinced
Was a prophet.’”
ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων, ὁ λαὸς ἅπας καταλιθάσει ἡμᾶς· πεπεισμένος γάρ ἐστιν Ἰωάνην προφήτην εἶναι.
Luke indicated that the Jerusalem Jewish leaders thought that if they said the baptism of John was of human origin (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), all the people would stone them (ὁ λαὸς ἅπας καταλιθάσει ἡμᾶς), because the people were convinced or persuaded (πεπεισμένος) that John was a prophet (γάρ ἐστιν Ἰωάνην προφήτην εἶναι). Once again, this is a unique Luke usage of the term καταλιθάσει, to cast stones, stone down, stone to death, or overwhelm with stones, that is not found elsewhere in the Greek biblical literature. This question about the value of the baptism of John the Baptist can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:26, and Mark, chapter 11:32, almost word for word. Mark said that these Jewish Jerusalem leaders did not want to say that this baptism of John was from human origins, man-made (ἀλλὰ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων). They were afraid of the crowds of people (ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν ὄχλον), since they all regarded John the Baptist as a true prophet (ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάνην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν). Matthew indicated that if these leaders said that this baptism of John was from human origins (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), they were afraid of the crowds of people (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον), since they all regarded John the Baptist as a prophet (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον). There was no mention of being stoned in Mark and Matthew, only in Luke. Nevertheless, these leaders were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Have you ever been unable to answer a question?
Pharisees and lawyers rejected John (Lk 7:30-7:30)
To be baptized
And the lawyers
οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ νομικοὶ τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἠθέτησαν εἰς ἑαυτούς, μὴ βαπτισθέντες ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ.
Luke uniquely said that the Pharisees (οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι) and the lawyers (καὶ οἱ νομικοὶ) refused to be baptized by John the Baptist (μὴ βαπτισθέντες ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ). Thus, only they had rejected God’s purpose for themselves (τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἠθέτησαν εἰς ἑαυτούς). In other words, the Pharisees and the other followers of the law had rejected John and his baptism. Thus, they had rejected God’s plan for themselves. None of the other gospel writers mentioned this. Clearly, this was an anti-Pharisee statement. What group of people are you against?
The Holy Spirit and Jesus (Lk 3:22-3:22)
“The Holy Spirit
Descended upon Jesus
In a bodily form,
Like a dove.”
καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ’ αὐτόν,
The role of the Holy Spirit after the baptism of Jesus was very important. Matthew, chapter 3:16, Mark, chapter 1:10, and John, chapter 1:32, are almost the same as here. Luke said that the Holy Spirit (τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) descended (καὶ καταβῆναι) upon Jesus (ἐπ’ αὐτόν) in a bodily form (σωματικῷ εἴδει), like a dove (ὡς περιστερὰν). John did not mention a dove, but he said that John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend and remain on Jesus. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus saw the Holy Spirit as a dove descend on him. This all took place after the baptism itself. Just as the dove after the great flood in Genesis, chapter 8:8-12, heralded a new age, so too Jesus would preach the good news in this new age. With his prophetic vocation, Jesus had the power to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising. The later concept of the anointing of Jesus with the Spirit referred to this action of the dove, after his baptism in the Jordan River. There was a clear distinction between the baptism of Jesus himself, and the specific dove bestowal of the Spirit that followed. Despite the fact that there was no indication of any real anointing in any of these baptismal accounts of Jesus, the coming of the Spirit, in the form of a dove, was considered a symbolic anointing of Jesus within the Judaic prophetic line. This incident functioned as the basis for an understanding of Jesus’ metaphorical anointing to become “the anointed one,” “Christ.” This symbolic metaphorical anointing action gathered many of the Hebrew bible strands of a messianic king, a sacerdotal high priest, a servant, and a prophet into this one event. Within this process, the messianic time began with a pre-figuration of what was going to take place at the later Pentecost event, when the fullness of the Spirit came to all the followers of Jesus.
Jesus praying (Lk 3:21-3:21)
“When Jesus also
Had been baptized,
He was praying.
Heaven was opened.”
καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανὸν,
The four gospel stories show what happened to Jesus after he had been baptized. Matthew, chapter 3:16, and Mark, chapter 1:10, are almost the same as here. John, chapter 1:32, had John the Baptist explaining what was happening, but there was no mention of heaven opening or Jesus at prayer. Luke said that when Jesus had been baptized (καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος), just as he was coming up out of the water, he was praying (καὶ προσευχομένου). Heaven was opened (ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανὸν). There is no mention of Jesus seeing the heavens open as Mark indicated. The idea of heaven opening up or breaking open was also found among the major Israelite prophets Isaiah, chapter 63:19, and Ezekiel, chapter 1:1. All this happened as Jesus came up from the water, not during the baptism itself. The idea of Jesus praying was unique to Luke and one of his favorite themes. However, Luke did not have a description of John the Baptist, nor any discussion of whether John should baptize Jesus, as in Mark and Matthew.
Preaching a baptism of repentance (Lk 3:3-3:3)
Into all the region
Around the Jordan River.
He was proclaiming
For the forgiveness
καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν,
This section of Luke is very similar to all the other 4 gospel stories. Luke explicitly said that John went into all the region around the Jordan River (καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου). Mark, chapter 1:4, had the simple statement that John the Baptizer, appeared in the wilderness or desert, without mentioning the Jordan River. However, Luke was actually closer to Mark, since he used the exact same words about John’s preaching. He indicated that John was proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν). Matthew, chapter 3:2, said that the preaching message of John was very simple. They should repent, turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit. The equivalent about repentance, metanoia, or the change of heart can also be found in both Mark and Luke. Matthew had John say that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, coming near. The other canonical gospel writers did not use this term “kingdom of heaven.” John, chapter l:19-29, had a long dialogue with John and the priests and Levites about what he was doing. How and what John did before or after this preaching in the wilderness did not matter. He was there proclaiming a baptism of repentance, a life change, or a metanoia, to have sins or faults forgiven or wiped away.
Believe or be condemned (Mk 16:16-16:16)
“The one who believes
And is baptized
Will be saved.
But the one
Who does not believe
Will be condemned!”
ὁ πιστεύσας καὶ βαπτισθεὶς σωθήσεται, ὁ δὲ ἀπιστήσας κατακριθήσεται.
This longer addition of Mark, is like the addition in Matthew, chapter 28:19-20. Once again, there was an emphasis on baptism that was not mentioned prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus. This Mark addition said that the one who believed (ὁ πιστεύσας) and was baptized (καὶ βαπτισθεὶς) would be saved (σωθήσεται). However, anyone who did not believe (ὁ δὲ ἀπιστήσας) would be condemned (κατακριθήσεται). Thus, this recommendation also brought a condemnation. Belief and baptism were important.