The feast of the baptism of Jesus is the second most ancient liturgical celebration and is among the major mysteries of Christ. The synoptics mention Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, and John's Gospel gives a report of it, indicating its importance.
The author isolates those themes (sinlessness, liturgical, cosmic, Trinitarian, messianic, divinization, orientation to a future Paradise, descent into Sheol/Hell, institution of the sacrament of baptism) with which the Church in the first centuries proclaimed and celebrated the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. Except for the Easter cycle, the feast of the baptism of Jesus is the most ancient liturgical celebration and is ranked among the major mysteries of Christ.
Drawing on Latin, Greek and Syrian sources, the author shows the Jordan event as the dominant paradigm of Christian baptism in the earliest centuries and its relation to growing interest in the Pauline death and resurrection themes in the fourth century. Still, the baptism of Jesus had a tenacious hold on sacramental imagination. Because it was widely looked upon as the institution of Christian baptism, this history has meaning for contemporary theology and liturgical celebration of Christian baptism.
Liturgists and systematic theologians teaching the sacraments will be particularly interested in this patristic, systematic work.
Chapters are: "The Beginning of the Gospel: The Scriptures," "Sinlessness and Liturgy," "An Article of the Creed and the Ordo of Salvation," "The Cosmic Baptism," "'Come to Me by My Road: Put on Poverty and Freedom' Asceticism," "The Lukan Variant and the Jordan as Birth Event," "The Jordan as Womb and the Great Fire/Light," "The Messianic Anointing of Jesus with the Spirit," "Taking the Robe of Glory from the Jordan Divinization," "The Cosmic Jordan and the Robe of Glory Eschatology," and "The Descent into the Jordan and the Descent into Hell," "Contemplation and Initiation Institution of Christian Baptism," "The Principle: Jesus' Baptism Constitutes our Baptism Institution," "Calvary Threatens the Dominance of Jordan Institution," and " The Threat of Sacramental Imagination and the Jordan's Tenacity Institution."
- Publisher: Michael Glazier Books (October 1996)
- ISBN-10: 0814653073
- ISBN-13: 9780814653074
- Language: English
- Paperback: 256 pages