(Continued from Part 1)
Some of the best studies of the early Christian practice of baptism for the dead have come from Hugh Nibley and John A. Tvedtnes. Both of these LDS scholars have written extensively on the topic. I hope to analyze some of their excellent work and provide examples of the practice of baptism for the dead which have been discovered in many different apocryphal and pseudepigraphal texts.
The Shepherd of Hermas
The first text we’ll look at is called the Shepherd of Hermas (also called the Pastor of Hermas). This was a very popular work in early Christianity, and several early Christians considered it scripture with other New Testament texts, combining them into the same canon. It was written in Rome in the second century, and was written in Greek, though a Latin translation was also soon made. Two English translations are now available for reading online at Early Christian Writings, here, and here. If you’re up to it, you can also read the Greek directly. [Read more…]