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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents an overview of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the Pauline Epistles. After some orientating remarks, brief consideration is given to the question of the proper background of Paul’s interpretation of the sacraments, and in particular to the debate about whether the mystery cults are the proper milieu in which to locate Paul’s ideas about baptism. The chapter goes on to discuss the discrete themes and texts concerning the Lord’s Supper and baptism in the Pauline letters, before drawing some general conclusions about the nature of Paul’s sacramental theology. Both the Lord’s Supper and baptism are eschatological phenomena that signal, and in some sense usher in, the new age, and are ultimately expressions of Paul’s participationist soteriology.

Keywords: baptism, Lord’s Supper, Pauline Epistles, mystery cults, sacraments, 1 Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, Colossians, Ephesians, Titus

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