Abstract and Keywords
The Christian sacraments (or ordinances) of baptism and Eucharist are rooted in the Old Testament and in some of the later writings of the intertestamental period, writings that reflect this turbulent period when Israel’s historic faith came under threat. Baptism seems to have evolved, in part, from Israel’s ancient practice of ritual immersion for purity. The Eucharist draws upon the language of the Sinai Covenant, later ideas of atonement and martyrdom, and the distinctive eschatological perspective of the historical Jesus. Baptism and Eucharist cannot be fully understood and appreciated without a careful consideration of their Old Testament and intertestamental background.
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