The Baptismal River - Richard Davenport

What’s so special about Baptism?

In Baptism, you become the human God created you to be. In The Baptismal River, you will examine how God weaves themes of Baptism throughout the Old and New Testaments. Discover God’s deeper purpose for Baptism in this eight-unit study for groups or individuals!

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Baptism Was Always a Part of God’s Plan

Baptismal theology can be seen throughout Scripture. The Baptismal River explores God’s purpose for Baptism through events in the Old and New Testaments. Rev. Dr. Richard Davenport challenges readers to ask, “Do we really need Baptism? What makes it special?” By analyzing the flood, creation, Jesus’ Baptism, and other events in the Bible, readers will learn what it means to live a baptized life. 


What You Will Find in The Baptismal River

The Baptismal River contains a student guide and a leader guide. Each of the eight units contains instructions, Bible verses to guide your study, a hymn study connecting to the topic, and review questions. The Baptismal River will enrich your group’s understanding of baptismal theology and what it means to live as a baptized child of God. 



The Baptismal River asks . . .

  • What did Noah receive through the waters of the flood?
  • What does it mean to be made holy?
  • Why does Jesus need to be baptized?
  • According to Jesus, what is the role of the Spirit in Baptism?

Praise for The Baptismal River

Rev. Davenport’s study is a pleasant surprise. He develops the richness of Baptism from the Old Testament, integrating theological themes with the New Testament. He makes excellent use of Scripture, the Confessions, and theologians to answer relevant questions about Baptism. He provides congregationally appropriate rules for interpretation, exegesis, apologetics, typology, and polemics. While describing the fullness of Baptism, he integrates Christology, pneumatology, original sin, justification, sanctification, faith, the Lord’s Supper, and the Church. Davenport also relates Baptism’s gifts to liturgy, hymnody, church history, pastoral care, and home life. Including its helpful illustrations and analogies, The Baptismal River is a little gem.

—Rev. Tim Beck, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Milford, Ohio



“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God” (Psalm 46:4, ESV®). Seeing that river and returning to its renewing waters is the aim of Rev. Richard Davenport’s Bible study, The Baptismal River. Using especially Old Testament events that foreshadow the baptismal flood in Christ, the study provides the participant with all the gifts that God promises through Baptism, which “assuredly means forgiveness, but it also means quite a bit more.” Through The Baptismal River, the reader will be submerged in all the wonders of our life-giving Trinity that the baptismal flood delivers.

—Rev. Dr. Kent J. Burreson, professor of systematic theology, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

About the Author


Rev. Dr. Richard Davenport lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas, with his wife and son. He currently serves as pastor at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. He received his MDiv from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 2009 and his PhD in doctrinal theology, also from Concordia Seminary, in 2013, focusing on a Lutheran theology of hope. You can read more of his writing at

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