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Book Details

Baptism and Cognition in Romans 6–8: Paul’s Ethics beyond ‘Indicative’ and ‘Imperative’ (by SAMULI SIIKAVIRTA)
2015. XIV, 214 pages. ISBN 978-3-16-154014-1.
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 407

Abstract

Baptism, for Paul, is a christological event that he also uses in his ethical argument. The discussion of the relationship between Paul’s theology and ethics has made use of the terms ‘indicative’ and ‘imperative’ since Wernle and Bultmann. As subsequent discussion has shown, these terms are problematic not only because of their rigidity and ambiguity. In this study, Samuli Siikavirta focuses on Romans 6–8, the key text for the interplay between Paul’s theological and ethical material. He brings the discussion back to what he sees as central to this interaction: baptism and its cognition. Both elements are examined in their Jewish and Stoic settings. Death to sin, slavery to God, holiness and the indwelling of the Spirit are all seen as integral parts of the baptismal state that is deeply christological rather than symbolical. Paul’s cognitive language is then viewed in light of his desire to remind his addressees of who and whose they are because of their baptism.