Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries

Everett Ferguson's massive new study of baptism in the first five centuries of the church has now been published. Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries (Eerdmans, 2009; 912 pp; hardcover).

Here is Notre Dame's Maxwell Johnson on the book:
Everett Ferguson has accomplished here the next to impossible by presenting us with a single, detached, comprehensive, very well written, and easily readable study of baptism in the first five centuries of Christianity. No baptismal font remains unturned. No author or document, whether of greater or lesser significance, is left untreated. Liturgically and theologically, with attention to culture and archaeology, this is a truly remarkable study.
Here's the table of contents:
1. Introduction: Survey of Literature

Part 1: Antecedents to Christian Baptism

2. Washings for Purification in Greco-Roman Paganism
3. Words from the Bapt- Root in Classical and Hellenistic Greek
4. Jewish Washings, Baptismal Movements, and Proselyte Baptisms
5. John the Baptizer

Part 2: Baptism in the New Testament

6. Baptism of Jesus--1
7. Baptism of Jesus--2
8. Other References to Baptism in the Gospels
9. Baptism in the Pauline Epistles
10. The Acts of the Apostles
11. Baptism in the Rest of the New Testament and Summary

Part 3: The Second Century

12. Apostolic Fathers
13. Christian Pseudepigripha and Apocrypha
14. Apologists
15. The Pseudo-Clementines and Jewish Christianity
16. Jewish and Christian Baptisms
17. Marcionites, Those Called Gnostics, and Related Groups
18. Irenaeus
19. Clement of Alexandria

Part 4: The Third Century to Nicaea (325)

20. Writings Attributed to Hippolytus
21. Carthage: Tertullian
22. Carthage: Cyprian
23. Origin and Early Development of Infant Baptism
24. The Controversy over "Rebaptism" in the Third Century
25. Origen
26. Syria in the Third Century
27. Sources at the Turn to the Fourth Century

Part 5: The Fourth Century

28. Egypt in the Fourth Century
29. Jerusalem in the Fourth Century
30. Writers in Syriac in the Fourth Century: Aphrahat
31. Writers in Syriac in the Fourth Century: Ephraem the Syrian
32. The School of Antioch: Theodore of Mopsuestia
33. The School of Antioch: John Chrysostom--1
34. The School of Antioch: John Chrysostom--2
35. Miscellaneous Sources: Church Orders and "Eunomian" Baptisms
36. Cappadocia: Basil the Great
37. Cappadocia: Gregory of Naziansus
38. Cappadocia: Gregory of Nyssa
39. The Delay of Baptism: Sickbed Baptism, Believers' Baptism, and Infant Baptism
40. Milan: Ambrose
41. Other Northern Italians
42. Spain
43. Some Other Latin Authors

Part 6: The Fifth Century

44. Egypt: Cyril of Alexandria and the Coptic Rite
45. Writings and Writers in Syriac and Armenian
46. Greek-Speaking Syria
47. Baptism in the Messalian Controversy
48. Asia Minor and Constantinople
49. Ravenna and Rome
50. Gaul and North Africa: Gennadius of Marseilles, Some African Councils, and Quodvultdeus of Carthage
51. North Africa: Augustine of Hippo--1
52. North Africa: Augustine of Hippo--2

Part 7: Baptistries

53. Baptismal Fonts: East
54. Baptismal Fonts: West
55. Conclusions
I'll post more later about Professor Ferguson's conclusions on the origin and progress of infant baptism, as well as his historical judgment on the normal mode of baptism.