Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Jesus as Baptizer

After years of totally missing out, I discovered an interesting fact today: along with John the Baptist, Jesus also baptized folks in the early part of his ministry. Go to John 3:22 and you'll see it for yourself: "After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing." It's an amazing thing, and gives me so much more to consider in terms of the significance of the rite of baptism than I thought was already there.

And it's all part of an amazing book I'm reading now: The Jesus Dynasty, by Dr. James Tabor of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. If you enjoy archaeological history and books that take a deeper look (even deeper than we get on Sunday mornings) at what actually happened in Biblical times, it's a good read. It's one of many good ones that have come out in recent years in this newest phase of the quest for the historical Jesus, and I would commend it to everyone.

1 comment:

Lewis Greer said...

Nice post, Matt. I'll have to take a look at The Jesus Dynasty. Sounds very interesting! I'd be most curious as to what Dr. Tabor says about John 4.1-2, verses in the light of which most scholars have understood John 3.22 to mean that Jesus was leading in the baptism but not physically baptizing folks.

In any event, good for you for thinking about this important topic. To add to that, I believe you will find that there is not a single conversion reported in the entire book of Acts that does not include baptism!

-Lewis