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By Stanley E. Porter, Anthony R. Cross

The query of the that means and importance of baptism is explored from a couple of varied views during this quantity. encouraged through the honoree of this quantity and his vital paintings at the topic, the participants strategy baptism from biblical, ancient, theological and sensible views. many of the essays reassess the well known biblical texts, feeling unfastened to probe their implications. Others tease out the results of the concept that of baptism in quite a few contexts, either historical and sleek. participants comprise Joel eco-friendly, Geoffrey Bromiley, Larry Kreitzer, John Nolland, Ramsey Michaels and J.D.G. Dunn.

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310. 28. On this second point, see esp. Wedderburn, 'Hellenistic Christian Traditions', p. 345, and The Soteriology of the Mysteries', pp. 57-62. 29. Dunn (Romans 1-8, p. 310) cites Vidman, Isis und Osiris, p. 15, but surely misunderstands Vidman's argument. Although Vidman does rightly suggest that 'Der Osiriskult verbeitete sich also nicht gleichzeitig mit dem Isiskult' (p. 15), Dunn has ignored the thrust of Vidman's point here. The very fact that Vidman, whose earlier Sylloge is the standard treatment of inscriptions relating to Isis and Sarapis, mentions the occasional independence of the Sarapis cult, points up that the usual situation saw Isis and Osiris/Sarapis spreading simultaneously.

5 2. Baptism in the Isis/Sarapis Cult The major sources of information with regard to the practices and theology of the Hellenistic Isis/Sarapis cult are Apuleius, Metamorphoses and seem to have been tempered in his later monograph on the subject (Baptism and Resurrection, pp. 162-63). 5. But cf. F. J. Brill, 1973], III, pp. 246-51), who raises an objection to even thinking of the Isis cult as a proper mystery cult until well into the Imperial age. His model of the Isis cult suggests that any 'mystery' that would have taken place was largely in the minds of non-initiates, and may in fact be largely blamed on the strangeness of the Egyptian myths, rather than their secretive nature: 'Les c6r6monies 6gyptiennes en 1'honneur d'Osiris ne sont en rien des mysteres, dans la mesure ou elles ne component ni public restreint, ni 6preuves initiatiques, ni aboutissement, pour les fideles, a un 6tat privilegie*; qu'elles aient eu aux yeux des Grecs un caractere myst6rieux est assez explicable, les mythes qu'elles illustrent et sur-tout les rites qui les caract6risent etant sans doute pour eux a peu pres incompre"hensible' (pp.

III. Self-Definition in the Greco-Roman World (London: SCM Press, 1982; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983), pp. C. Guthrie, The Greeks and their Gods (Boston: Beacon Press, 1954), pp. 318-21; and, for the Near Eastern form of the Orphic Zagreus myth, see Harrison, Prolegomena, pp. 492-94, and W. Burkert, The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence in the Early Archaic Age (trans. E. Pinder and W. Burkert; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992), pp. 94-96. 32. For the etymological identification of the participants in the orgiastic feast of the Orphic mysteries with the Titans, see Harrison, Prolegomena, pp.

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