Why Jesus Was Baptized: Studies in Mark, Pt. 90

Here is the audio (pre-recorded) version of the paper that I gave at SCJ today. The title, which partially shares this post's title, is "Why Jesus Was Baptized: Immersed in Mark's Story & Culture". You will note that my view in this paper/lecture is quite different than the view that I offered in Study #10 of my "Studies in Mark" series. Anyway, give it a listen (or click the link below to download the mp3) and let me know your thoughts.

Why Jesus Was Baptized: Immersed in Mark's Story & Culture


  1. I haven't got the flash thingy on my computer so I can't hear you. I think Jesus became aware of his mission through being baptised by John.

  2. Steph, if you want to listen, you can download the mp3 file here and give it a listen:

    Why Jesus Was Baptized_Immersed in Marks Story and CultureYou will find that I take a dif. view than you but if you get the time, give it a go and let me know your thoughts.

  3. scroll down and click the "download for free with filefactory basic" link.

  4. I was just able to download it and it is very interesting! It kind of reminds me of what we say in a Baptist church: baptism doesn't save you, it is just a public declaration :) Just a question: could Josephus, because of his apologetic agenda, be downplaying John's baptism? Making an apocalyptic prophet, possibly enacting a new exodus (in the wilderness and at the Jordan River) and doing a rite offering forgiveness apart from the temple cult, less controversial? Jesus also offends when he offers eschatological forgiveness outside the temple (Mark 2:5-12)?

  5. Mike,
    Glad you listend and found it interesting. I would caution against the comparison with the baptist church though. The reason I say that is because in my paper (and I made this very clear in my footnotes, which, of course, I didn't read and you couldn't see/hear), I made a very clear distinction between John's baptizing campaign and Paul's "Christian" view of baptism. The baptism that you're speaking of is Pauline baptism, which is totally different from John's view and efforts (see Acts 18 even).

    Finally, I don't think Josephus was downplaying John's baptism at all. In the narrative of Mark, especially from the ch. 1 at the baptismal scene (and even before), both John and Jesus are constantly depicted as offending the officials and their structures. Anyway, just my two cents.

    Thanks for sharing yours!

  6. Hey Michael, I only made the Baptist comparison tongue-in-cheek, but I agree with you about not confusing John and Paul's baptism (especially with Paul's whole baptism = death & resurrection). Anyways, it was a great paper and made me think.

  7. Mike...I guess the "t-i-c" part went over my head...my bad. I replied as I did because even at the conference last weekend, I felt like that distinction was not being made/grasped by people. I am keenly aware of that baptist view (I used to be a SBapt) and wholly disagree with it because it tries to read Xian baptism through the lens of both John's efforts and Paul's...but as we agree, to do so is a mistake. Paul himself would agree to, as he does in Acts 18. Thanks man!