Catholic Verses - 95 Bibles Passages That Confound Protestants?
BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD: THE MOST "UN-PROTESTANT" VERSE IN THE BIBLE
Pages 163-164: 1 Corinthians 15:29. St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), the great Catholic apologist and Doctor of the Church, exegeted this passage in the following way (which would be quite sufficient to make any Protestant very uneasy): This passage properly understood evidently shows that it was the custom of the primitive Church to watch, pray, fast, for the souls of the departed. For, firstly, in the Scriptures to be baptized is often taken for afflictions and penances; as in St. Luke chapter 12 (12:50) ... and in St. Mark chapter 10 (10:38-39) ... in which places our Lord calls pains and afflictions baptism. This, then, is the sense of that Scripture: if the dead rise not again, what is the use of mortifying and afflicting oneself, of praying and fasting for the dead? And indeed this sentence of St. Paul resembles that of 2 Maccabees 12:44: It is sperfluous and vain to pray for the dead if the dead rise not again (St. Francis de Sales, 368).
Note: Saint Paul was referring to pagans in Corinth and using them as an example.
1 Corinthians 15:29-30 Otherwise, what will they (pagans) do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they (pagans) baptized for the dead? And why do we (Christians) stand in jeopardy every hour?
Note: Ignoring the use of personal pronouns by Saint Paul, Catholic apologists are actually advocating Mormonism.
Page 164: The whole of chapter 15 deals with Jesus' Resurrection and the resurrection of his followers. St. Paul's point is that the Christian life of toil and suffering is pointless if there is no resurrection and if Jesus himself did not rise again (15:14, 17, 19), in which case we might as well be hedonists (15:32). After he makes his statement in 15:29, he proclaims in the next verse, "Why am I in peril every hour?"
Note: Saint Paul uses pagan practices and nature as examples to prove the resurrection in this chapter.
1 Corinthians 15:35-38 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.
Page 166: One of the basic mistakes was that everyone was assuming that St. Paul was referring to water baptism, when it is not necessary to do so simply by virtue of the word baptism, which has a few meanings in Scripture. Biblically, and in Catholicism, it is nonsensical to be water-baptized for someone else, because (for Catholics, Orthodox, and several species of Protestants such as Lutherans, Anglicans, Church of Christ, and so forth) it confers regeneration, and a dead person is either regenerate or not, beyond the help of the earthly sacraments. No "proxy baptism" will change that fact after they are dead. Even if one denies baptismal regeneration, "proxy baptism" makes no sense because the power and grace conferred by baptism apply only to the one receiving them.
Note: Saint Paul was referring to water baptism as pagans during this era used ceremonial bathing for initiation rites.
Apuleius, a 2nd-century Roman writer, described an initiation into the mysteries of Isis. The initiation was preceded by a normal bathing in the public baths and a ceremonial sprinkling by the priest of Isis, after which the candidate was given secret instructions in the temple of the goddess. The candidate then fasted for ten days from meat and wine, after which he was dressed in linen and led at night into the innermost part of the sanctuary, where the actual initiation, the details of which were secret, took place. On the next two days, dressed in the robes of his consecration, he participated in feasting. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Note: Catholic apologists have to change the meaning of the word "baptism" in order not to be advocating Mormonism.
Pages 166-167: What does make sense, though, is the "penitential" interpretation (expressed by St. Francis de Sales above, because that easily harmonizes with the parallel passage in Maccabees about prayer for the dead. The problem here is that Protestant theology has no place for such thought, and so it is ruled out from the outset. Thus, the text remains mysterious for Protestants because of, in this instance, the false preconception they bring to it. I opined that it would be better for Protestants simply to admit ignorance about the passage than to special plead in order to avoid at all costs a "Catholic" interpretation.
Note: Protestants and Jews who wrote 2 Maccabees do not consider it Scripture as it is a revised history book containing known heresies.
2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible, which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work. Unlike 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees was written in Koine Greek, probably in Alexandria, Egypt, c 124 BC. It presents a revised version of the historical events recounted in the first seven chapters of 1 Maccabees, adding material from the Pharisaic tradition, including prayer for the dead and a resurrection on Judgment Day. Catholics and Orthodox consider the work to be canonical and part of the Bible. Protestants and Jews reject most of the doctrinal innovations present in the work. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
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