JUDAIC BAPTISM is not intended as a theological argument about baptism, it is a philosophical presentation of evidence for the meaning of the Greek word for baptism in Jewish and Patristic literature. First, Dale examines the word in the Jewish writers Josephus, Philo, and Jesus the son of Sirach. Next he explores the Patristic writers of the Old Testament, the Apocrypha authors, Jewish baptisms in the New Testament, and Josephus on Judaic and Johannic baptisms. Lastly, Dr. Dale offers his own conclusions, based upon usage. This book does not treat the issue of infant baptism (paedobaptism).
An academic inquiry into the meaning of baptizo in Jewish and patristic writers.
Recently, Dr. Countess presented a lecture to our theology students on Dales Magnum Opus. It was received and stimulating. Such philological studies are essential for serious discussion of the baptism controversy, shedding light on an often obscured area.
Judaic Baptism is a volume calculated to utterly shatter the widespread unfounded contemporary mythology surrounding the meaning and usage of the original Greek words underlying our English word baptism. Dale writes in a clear and refreshingly irenic spirit in this volume which will delight and inform scholar, student, and layman alike.
One of the major merits of Judaic Baptism is its non-threatening approach. Baptists will not find themselves condemned for their traditional dipping. And others will not find support for a dogmatic insistence upon a pouring or a sprinkling. Dale has, rather, provided insights into the study of words in their contexts. Pet theories will have to stand on the sidelines.
Greek may not be the language of heaven, though I have sometimes argued that it is, However, a knowledge of ancient Greek is absolutely essential to any proper understanding of the teachings and practices of every branch of the Christian church. Dr. Dales book, Judaic Baptism, may well be the most exhaustive treatment ever on one word. Its reprinting is a welcome reminder of the complexity of determining the precise meaning of any word in the Bible and other ancient literary documents, as well as the necessity for tolerance. Dr. Countess hope, expressed in his Introduction, is that this renewal of interest in word and book should encourage a more thorough study of Greek among our spiritual leaders at every level---- especially pastors.
Out of print for sixty years, this new release is volume two of a projected five volume set. It is a philological work, perhaps the most extensive ever directed by one writer to a pair of words in any language. It is a joint effort by Bolchazy-Carducci, Loewe Belfort Projects, Inc. and Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company. Students of Latin, Greek, religion, history, and philosophy will find this volume a rich reference source in content and method. The presentation is also non-sectarian and non-threatening to those who may disagree with the results, and the Introduction provides a practical and useful overview of the entire set.
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