Comments on 1 Corinthians

I decided to start a thread.  One passage which has always
bothered me in St. Paul is 1 Corinthians 15:29, the passage
where reference is made to baptizing the dead. The Mormons use
this passage to justify their conversion of the dead.  What is
the status of this passage in modern criticism?  Did any patristic
writer such as St. John Chrysostom or St. Augustine make reference
to this passage?  Could it not just be a reference to the ritual
washing of a dead body ?  Per exemplum, Jesus' body was washed 
before it was entombed.  Is this a reference to Christian or Jewish
practices of the first century.  Any comments would be appreciated.
Michael DiMaio, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy
Salve Regina U. Newport, RI
(401)847-6650, ext. 3265
America on Line:JoZonaras@aol.com