'Confessing God from a Good Conscience': 1 Peter 3:21 and Early Christian Baptismal Theology

Journal article


Crawford, Matthew Roy 2016. 'Confessing God from a Good Conscience': 1 Peter 3:21 and Early Christian Baptismal Theology. Journal of Theological Studies. 67, pp. 23 - 37. https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/flw085
AuthorsCrawford, Matthew Roy
Abstract

1 Peter 3:21 has been called ‘the nearest approach to a definition of 'baptism that the NT affords’, yet the key phrase συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα εἰς θεόν is notoriously ambiguous and thus open to divergent interpretations. This article considers under-utilized comparative material from the early Christian tradition to shed light on the passage. Five sources are investigated: the early baptismal catechesis known as the Two Ways tradition; the interpretations of the verse put forward by Basil of Caesarea, ps.-Didymus the Blind, and Cyril of Alexandria; and finally the translation of the verse in the Syriac Peshitta version. Several of these texts associate the ἐπερώτημα of 1 Peter with the ὁμολογία of the baptizand, a conjunction of terms that, as has long been noted, also occurs in legal contracts in the papyri. Moreover, the evidence of these early sources supports a subjective reading of the genitive in the Petrine verse, and also demonstrates some diversity with respect to the content of the ‘pledge’, with some authors highlighting moral commitment and others emphasizing correct belief. Hence, the view of baptism as a formal contract with subsequent binding force on the parties involved remains constant from 1 Peter through these later sources, and represents 1 Peter’s contribution to early Christian baptismal theology.

Year2016
JournalJournal of Theological Studies
Journal citation67, pp. 23 - 37
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN0022-5185
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/flw085
Page range23 - 37
Research GroupInstitute for Religion and Critical Inquiry
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Permalink -

https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/897xz/-confessing-god-from-a-good-conscience-1-peter-3-21-and-early-christian-baptismal-theology

Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 0
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Cyril of Alexandria’s Contra Iulianum: Imperial politics, and Alexandrian Philosophy (c. 416–428)
Crawford, Matthew R. 2020. Cyril of Alexandria’s Contra Iulianum: Imperial politics, and Alexandrian Philosophy (c. 416–428). in: E. Anagnostou-Laoutides and K. Parry (ed.) Eastern Christianity and Late Antique Philosophy United Kingdom: Brill. pp. 110 - 132
The Eusebian Canon Tables: Ordering textual knowledge in Late Antiquity
Crawford, Matthew R. 2019. The Eusebian Canon Tables: Ordering textual knowledge in Late Antiquity. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
The Eusebian Canon Tables as a corpus - Organizing paratext within the multiple-text manuscript of the Fourfold Gospel
Crawford, Matthew 2019. The Eusebian Canon Tables as a corpus - Organizing paratext within the multiple-text manuscript of the Fourfold Gospel. in: A. Bassi, M. Friedrich and M. Maniaci (ed.) The Emergence of Multiple-Text Manuscripts Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. pp. 107 - 124
Rejection at Nazareth in the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke - and Tatian
Crawford, Matthew Roy 2018. Rejection at Nazareth in the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke - and Tatian. in: F. Watson and S. Parkhouse (ed.) Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/Non-Canonical Divide United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 97 - 124
A new witness to the 'Western' ordering of the gospels: GA 073 + 084
Crawford, Matthew 2018. A new witness to the 'Western' ordering of the gospels: GA 073 + 084. Journal of Theological Studies. 69 (2), pp. 477 - 483. https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/fly067
Ephrem, commentary on the Gospel 1.2-1.8
Crawford, Matthew 2017. Ephrem, commentary on the Gospel 1.2-1.8. in: A. Radde-Gallwitz (ed.) The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings: Volume 1 God United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. pp. 224 - 228
Cyril of Alexandria, five tomes against Nestorius 4.1-4.2
Crawford, Matthew R. 2017. Cyril of Alexandria, five tomes against Nestorius 4.1-4.2. in: A. Radde-Gallwitz (ed.) The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings: Volume 1 God United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. pp. 328 - 338
The origins of Pauline Theology: Paratexts and Priscillian of Avila's Canons on the Letters of the Apostle Paul
Lang, T. J. and Crawford, Matthew 2017. The origins of Pauline Theology: Paratexts and Priscillian of Avila's Canons on the Letters of the Apostle Paul. New Testament Studies. 63 (1), pp. 125 - 145. https://doi.org/10.1017/S002868851600031X
White matter predicts functional connectivity in premanifest Huntington's disease
McColgan, Peter, Gregory, Sarah, Razi, Adeel, Seunarine, Kiran K., Gargouri, Fatma, Durr, Alexandra, Roos, Raymund A. C., Leavitt, Blair R., Scahill, Rachael I., Clark, Chris A., Tabrizi, Sarah J., Rees, Geraint, Coleman, Allison J., Decolongon, J., Fan, M., Petkau, T., Jauffret, Céline, Justo, Damian, Lehericy, S., ... Johnson, H. 2017. White matter predicts functional connectivity in premanifest Huntington's disease. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. 4 (2), pp. 106 - 118. https://doi.org/10.1002/acn3.384
Scholarly practices: The Eusebian canon tables in the Hiberno-Latin tradition
Crawford, Matthew Roy 2017. Scholarly practices: The Eusebian canon tables in the Hiberno-Latin tradition. in: G.E.M. Gasper, F. Watson and M.R. Crawford (ed.) Producing Christian Culture: Medieval Exegesis and its Interpretative Genres United Kingdom: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 65 - 88
The Diatessaron, Canonical or Non-Canonical? Rereading the Dura Fragment
Crawford, Matthew Roy 2016. The Diatessaron, Canonical or Non-Canonical? Rereading the Dura Fragment. New Testament Studies. 62 (2), pp. 253 - 277. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0028688515000478
Kavwv and Scripture according to the Letter of Peter to James
Crawford, Matthew Roy 2016. Kavwv and Scripture according to the Letter of Peter to James. Zeitschrift fur Antikes Christentum. 20 (2), pp. 260 - 275. https://doi.org/10.1515/zac-2016-0032
Resolving Genealogical Ambiguity: Eusebius and (ps-) Ephrem on Luke 1.36
Crawford, Matthew Roy 2016. Resolving Genealogical Ambiguity: Eusebius and (ps-) Ephrem on Luke 1.36. Aramaic Studies. 14, pp. 83 - 97. https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-01402005
The Problemata of Tatian: Recovering the Fragments of a Second-Century Christian Intellectual
Crawford, Matthew 2016. The Problemata of Tatian: Recovering the Fragments of a Second-Century Christian Intellectual. Journal of Theological Studies. 67 (2), pp. 542 - 575. https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/flw171
Reading the Diatessaron with Ephrem: The Word and the Light, the Voice and the Star
Crawford, Matthew R. 2015. Reading the Diatessaron with Ephrem: The Word and the Light, the Voice and the Star. Vigiliae Christianae: a review of early Christian life and languages. 69 (1), pp. 70 - 95. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700720-12341191
The Fourfold Gospel in the Writings of Ephrem the Syrian
Crawford, Matthew R. 2015. The Fourfold Gospel in the Writings of Ephrem the Syrian. Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies. 18 (1), pp. 9 - 51.
"Reordering the Confusion": Tatian, the Second Sophistic, and the so-called Diatessaron
Crawford, Matthew 2015. "Reordering the Confusion": Tatian, the Second Sophistic, and the so-called Diatessaron. Zeitschrift fuer Antikes Christentum. 19 (2), pp. 209 - 236. https://doi.org/10.1515/zac-2015-0018
Detection of motor changes in huntington's disease using dynamic causal modeling
Minkova, Lora, Scheller, Elisa, Peter, Jessica, Abdulkadir, Ahmed, Kaller, Christoph P., Roos, Raymund A. C., Dürr, Alexandra, Leavitt, Blair R., Tabrizi, Sarah J., Kloppel, Stefan, Coleman, Allison J., Decolongon, J., Fan, M., Koren, T., Jauffret, Céline, Justo, Damian, Lehericy, Stephane, Nigaud, Kevin, Valabrègue, Romain, ... Mills, J. 2015. Detection of motor changes in huntington's disease using dynamic causal modeling. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 9, pp. 1 - 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00634
Compensation in preclinical Huntington's disease: Evidence from the track-on hd study
Kloppel, Stefan, Gregory, Sarah, Scheller, Elisa, Minkova, Lora, Razi, Adeel, Durr, Alexandra, Roos, Raymund A. C., Leavitt, Blair R., Papoutsi, Marina, Landwehrmeyer, G. Bernhard, Reilmann, Ralf, Borowsky, Beth, Johnson, Hans, Mills, James A., Owen, Gail N., Stout, Julie C., Scahill, Rachael I., Long, Jeffrey D., Rees, Geraint, ... Orth, M. 2015. Compensation in preclinical Huntington's disease: Evidence from the track-on hd study. EBioMedicine. 2 (10), pp. 1420 - 1429. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.08.002
Neuropsychiatry and white matter microstructure in Huntington's Disease
Gregory, Sarah L., Scahill, Rachael I., Seunarine, Kiran K., Stopford, Cheryl, Zhang, Hui, Zhang, Jiaying, Orth, Michael, Dürr, Alexandra, Roos, Raymund A. C., Langbehn, Douglas R., Long, Jeffrey D., Johnson, Hans, Rees, Geraint, Tabrizi, Sarah J., Craufurd, David I. O., Campbell, C., Campbell, Melissa, Labuschagne, Izelle, Milchman, C., ... Campbell, C. 2015. Neuropsychiatry and white matter microstructure in Huntington's Disease. Journal of Huntington's Disease. 4 (3), pp. 239 - 249. https://doi.org/10.3233/JHD-150160
Ammonius of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea and the Origins of Gospels Scholarship
Crawford, Matthew 2015. Ammonius of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea and the Origins of Gospels Scholarship. New Testament Studies. 61 (1), pp. 1 - 29. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0028688514000216
Cyril of Alexandria's Trinitarian Theology of Scripture
Crawford, Matthew R. A. Louth and G. Clarke (ed.) 2014. Cyril of Alexandria's Trinitarian Theology of Scripture. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
The preface and subject matter of Cyril of Alexandria's de Adoratione
Crawford, Matthew R. 2013. The preface and subject matter of Cyril of Alexandria's de Adoratione. Journal of Theological Studies. 64 (1), pp. 154 - 167. https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/flt031
Scripture as 'one book': Origen, Jerome, and Cyril of Alexandria on Isaiah 29:11
Crawford, Matthew R. 2013. Scripture as 'one book': Origen, Jerome, and Cyril of Alexandria on Isaiah 29:11. Journal of Theological Studies. 64 (1), pp. 137 - 153. https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/fls175
Diatessaron, a Misnomer? Evidence from Ephrem's Commentary
Crawford, Matthew R. 2013. Diatessaron, a Misnomer? Evidence from Ephrem's Commentary. Early Christianity. 4 (3), pp. 362 - 385. https://doi.org/10.1628/186870313X13744931257520
On the Diversity and Influence of the Eusebian Alliance: The case of Theodore of Heraclea
Crawford, Matthew R. 2013. On the Diversity and Influence of the Eusebian Alliance: The case of Theodore of Heraclea. Journal of Ecclesiastical History. 64 (2), pp. 227 - 257. https://doi.org/10.1017/S002204691200365X
An inauthentic Georgian epistle attributed to Cyril of Alexandria
Jashi, Zurab and Crawford, Matthew 2013. An inauthentic Georgian epistle attributed to Cyril of Alexandria. Museon. 126 (2017-04-03), pp. 369 - 378. https://doi.org/10.2143/MUS.126.3.3005393
Assessing the Authenticity of the Greek Fragments on Psalm 22 (LXX) Attributed to Cyril of Alexandria
Crawford, Matthew R. 2013. Assessing the Authenticity of the Greek Fragments on Psalm 22 (LXX) Attributed to Cyril of Alexandria. Studia Patristica. 68 (16), pp. 95 - 100.
The Triumph of Pro-nicene Theology over Anti-Monarchian Exegesis: Cyril of Alexandria and Theodore of Heraclea on John 14.10-11
Crawford, Matthew R. 2013. The Triumph of Pro-nicene Theology over Anti-Monarchian Exegesis: Cyril of Alexandria and Theodore of Heraclea on John 14.10-11. Journal of Early Christian Studies. 21 (4), pp. 537 - 567. https://doi.org/10.1353/earl.2013.0047