After looking at the word ὑπὲρ (ὑπέρ), I found that it is rendered in a couple of different ways. Clearly, here the translators have determined that it means "for" (on behalf of). But I'm very curious why they wouldn't follow the precedent they set in Matthew 10:24 when they rendered μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον as "disciple above his master" and δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον "servant above his lord."Ἐπεὶ τί ποιήσουσιν οἱ βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν εἰ ὅλως νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται τί καὶ βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν
Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
~1st Corinthians 15:29
Clearly the disparity between the two potential meanings is HUGE. Imagine if Matthew 10:24 had been interpreted as "The disciple is not for his master, nor the servant for his lord." ––Nonsense, right! That just would not be true.Οὐκ ἔστιν μαθητὴς ὑπὲρ τὸν διδάσκαλον οὐδὲ δοῦλος ὑπὲρ τὸν κύριον αὐτοῦ
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
Likewise, it seems clear to me that the baptism of a living person on behalf of a dead person is complete nonsense, just as much as it would be nonsense to say that a disciple is not for his master, etc. However, what makes perfect sense is "Else what shall they do which are baptized above the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized above the dead?" This would also produce the meaning that (in my opinion) better fits the surrounding context of 1st Corinthians 15, without injecting a completely random subject that is not found anywhere else in scripture whatsoever (baptism on behalf of the dead), which English versions currently do.
It seems obvious to me that the intention was to point out that, if "death" were not to be destroyed in the end, then what advantage have the baptized over and above the dead? Thus, if there were no resurrection (and it were not as Paul said in v26), if "death" were not to be destroyed in the end, then why do we deny our flesh and endure tribulations without yielding, etc. Why not just eat, drink and be merry? Ah, of course, because, death will be destroyed.ἔσχατος ἐχθρὸς καταργεῖται ὁ θάνατος
πάντα γὰρ ὑπέταξεν ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ὅταν δὲ εἴπῃ ὅτι πάντα ὑποτέτακται δῆλον ὅτι ἐκτὸς τοῦ ὑποτάξαντος αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα
ὅταν δὲ ὑποταγῇ αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα τότε καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς ὑποταγήσεται τῷ ὑποτάξαντι αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν
Ἐπεὶ τί ποιήσουσιν οἱ βαπτιζόμενοι ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν εἰ ὅλως νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται τί καὶ βαπτίζονται ὑπὲρ τῶν νεκρῶν
~1st Corinthians 15:26-29
Would you guys say that I've given this a fair assessment?τί καὶ ἡμεῖς κινδυνεύομεν πᾶσαν ὥραν
καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ἀποθνῄσκω νὴ τὴν ἡμετέραν καύχησιν ἣν ἔχω ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν
εἰ κατὰ ἄνθρωπον ἐθηριομάχησα ἐν Ἐφέσῳ τί μοι τὸ ὄφελος εἰ νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται Φάγωμεν καὶ πίωμεν αὔριον γὰρ ἀποθνῄσκομεν
~1st Corinthians 15:30-32