“All Were Baptized” -- By: Ronald E. Cottle

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 17:2 (Spring 1974)
Article: “All Were Baptized”
Author: Ronald E. Cottle

“All Were Baptized”

Ronald E. Cottle

Pasadena City College, Pasadena, California 91106

The present study attempts to probe the meaning of 1 Cor. 12:13 and review critically its treatment by scholars from Riggs to Dunn and Baker to Bruner including others at various points in between. In order to place the passage in its proper perspective, it must be examined in light of its larger context within the first letter to the Corinthians. It is generally agreed that in the chapters between Paul’s discussion of Christian Freedom (8:111:1) and his essay on the resurrection (15:158) he devotes his attention to matters concerning church worship. Following an interesting section on the veiling of women in church (11:2–16) and a lengthy discourse on the Lord’s Supper (11:17–34), the Apostle moves to a consideration of what he calls pneumatikon or “spirituals” (“spiritual gifts” is the usual rendering) in 12:114:40.

Chapter 12:131a makes the point that there are many (various) spirituals, including both charismaton, energematon, and diakonion, but all of them have their source and purpose in the one spirit (pneuma). After a brief introduction which recognizes the agency of the Spirit (vss 1–3), Paul launches upon his claim of “variety in unity and unity in variety” in that ideal Christian worship which is truly spiritual (pneumatikon) and as a result “decent and in order” (14:40). He states in 12:4 that there are various charismata (diareseis charismaton) and goes on to enumerate the nine so-called “gifts of the Spirit” as “manifestations of the Spirit for the common good” (vss. 7–10). He concludes by affirming in vs 11 that “all these are inspired by the one and the same Spirit.” Hence “variety in unity and unity in variety,” a message the division-ridden Corinthians needed to hear is sounded strongly.

Paul then (in 12:12–27) works back fr...

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