Immersion For The Dead


„Otherwise what will they do who are being immersed for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are people immersed for them? Why are we in danger every hour?” – 1 Corinthians 15:29-30.

Word 5228 means:


  • • 5228 hypér (preposition) – actually, beyond (above); (figuratively) extending benefits (help) that go beyond the current situation,
    • is best translated as „for the better (benefit)”, i.e. focusing on benefits. M. Vincent, something like „in the interest of truth…concerning.” J. B. Lightfoot (in Gal 1:4)… notes that hyper has a „sense of interest”.
    • naturally expresses the granting of benefits, i.e. in the name of „improvement” (improvement, extension of benefits).
    • over, above, beyond, across, in place of, instead of, because of, on behalf of, beyond,
    • Basic preposition; „over”, i.e. (with the genitive case) of place, above, beyond, across or causally, instead of, above, on behalf of, for, over, on account of, instead of, than.

The Apostle Paul focuses on explaining the topic of waking of the dead, or resurrection. To convince people of the correctness of this teaching, he gives the example of people who immerse themselves for the dead.
Does he give the example of people immersing themselves in the name of the dead from other faiths, non-believers, or is it an example of the Judeans who were immersed in the name of Yeshu but still had their old beliefs?
Perhaps their old faith came from the
sadducees who did not believe in resurrection – Acts 23:8?

We will not resolve this issue, however, would Paul use the example of pagans and false religions to convince him of the teaching of the resurrection from the dead?
If we wanted to convince people to give up idolatry, would we use the example: „Jehovah’s Witnesses do not pray to images and that is right”?
Such a comparison to a false religion would be risky because we could convince someone to follow it.

How can you convince someone of the truth by giving an example of false belief?
Therefore, it seems that Paul was talking about the Judeans immersing themselves for the dead. He did not condemn this practice, but apart from this example, we have no repeated teaching in the New Testament about immersion in the name or for the dead.
Therefore, let us consider what is the meaning of immersing for the dead?
Can the dead benefit from this act, how could it help them?
Let’s see some examples.

Prayer for the dead

Christ’s prayer for the deceased:

„So they removed the stone. Then Yeshu raised His eyes and said, „Father, I thank You that You heard Me. I know that You always hear Me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so that they may believe you sent Me.” After He said this, He shouted with a loud voice, „Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Yeshu said to them, „Unwrap him and let him go.” – John 11:41-44.

The Apostle Peter’s prayer for the deceased:

„In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which is translated Dorcas). She was always doing good works and acts of charity. About that time she became sick and died. After washing her, they placed her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples heard that Peter was there and sent two men to him who urged him, “Don’t delay in coming with us.” Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they led him to the room upstairs. And all the widows approached him, weeping and showing him the robes and clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter sent them all out of the room. He knelt down, prayed, and turning toward the body said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her stand up. He called the saints and widows and presented her alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.” – Acts 9:36-42.

Christ and the apostle Peter prayed for the dead. This is a Biblical fact.
If you, the reader, would like to pray for a deceased person, you should consider the purpose of the prayer. Lord Yeshu and the apostle Peter prayed to God for healing and for bringing dead people back to life. Notice that they did NOT pray to the dead, nor did they ask anything from the dead people.
The Bible verses show that we can ONLY pray to God the Father and God Yeshu.
You can immerse yourself for a person so that they may be saved, when mom, dad or another loved one dies. We decide that we will immerse ourselves for them so that they may be saved.

Does this step make sense?
Each person has free will and decides for himself whether he is on the side of the true God or is looking for
Biblical truth.
There are different cases of people’s lives. Some rejected God consciously, but some died not knowing the truth because: they were too young, their environment forbade them – it had a bad impact on their consciousness, they were sick, etc.
God is just, so we don’t have to worry about these people. They always have a chance for salvation.

For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead (3498), so that, although they might be judged in the flesh according to human standards, they might live in the spirit (4151) according to God’s standards.” – 1 Peter 4:6

How can the Good News be preached to the dead?
Many people may not have known the truth while living on earth. They were too young, the environment in which they lived did not allow it, they had died earlier. There may be many reasons for this.
For these reasons, they have a chance for salvation if they only accept the good news that is preached to them.
After the body dies, the spirit and soul continue to live. In such a state, the good news can be preached to them.
When spiritual figures proclaim the Good News to
them, they will decide about their lives.
Leave the dead…

Then he said to another, „Follow me.” Lord,” he said, „first let me go bury my father. „But He told him, „Let the dead (3498) bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:59-60.

The man wanted to bury his father. Go to his grave, pray for him.
What does Christ say to this?
Leave your dead father’s body and let others bury it.
The spirit and soul are under the control of spiritual figures. If the deceased father did not know the true Christ and did not believe, the Good News will be preached to him according to 1 Peter 4:6.
A much more important matter was and is to spread information about the Kingdom of God, to fight for living people.

Christ gives us information: the dead are taken care of by spiritual figures, the living are taken care of by human figures with the help of the Holy Spirit.

What are our immersions?
1 – Immersion in the religion into which we were forcefully thrown by our parents.
2 – John’s Immersion.
The Judeans who believed in the truth of the Bible were first immersed by John. When Christ came, they had to immerse themselves once again in the correct name of Yeshu.
3 – The most important immersion in the name of Yeshu:

“But when they believed Philip, as he proclaimed the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Yeshu Christ, both men and women were immersed.” – Acts 8:12

“If you confess with your mouth, “Yeshu is Lord,”and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

4 – Immersion for the dead.
The Apostle Paul did not criticize this type of immersion. However, we have no confirmation that it was used by the apostles.


Author: Robert Brzoza

Translator: Hubert Brzoza

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