Monday, December 18

Matthew 28:19

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Jesus said, And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye into all the world and make disciples of all the nations in my name” (Matthew 28:19).

Or this, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

We will now look into what is written in the Scriptural record, and what some of the greatest Greek scholars have said about the wording of Matthew 28:19.

Luke (who also authored the book of Acts) wrote these final words of the Lord Jesus Christ. And said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. ” Mark wrote about these final instructions from Christ , And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.”

In Acts 2:38, and in front of all, the apostle Peter fulfilled the great commission using these words. Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

 The fact remains that every apostle baptized every repenting believer who heard the Gospel in the name of  the Lord Jesus Christ, for remission of sins; to include Paul, who was a later Christian convert. We find the name of the father (John 5:43), and of the son (Matthew 1:21), and of the Holy Ghost (John 14:26) is the name of Jesus. Paul wrote that Jesus name alone was to be used for every single thing ever done by Christians (Colossians 3:17). Every word or deed was commanded to be done in the name of Jesus. Peter said that His name alone saved us (Acts 2:38; 4:10-12; 8:12-16; 10:36-48). John wrote that Jesus said that His name alone is the single door and only way to God (John 10:9; 14:6). The word of God is established by the mouth of two or three witnesses. Therefore the issued is settled by those three apostles. Nevertheless, I will go beyond and show what scholars have said about the Matthew 28:19 Scripture.

The following seven citations of Matthew 28:19 are shown below in the quotations from the Proof of the Gospel (the Demonstratio) by Eusebius. The intent of this excerpt is not to purport accuracy of theology or philosophy of this man, but to glean from his access to the text of Matthew 28:19 in his day and time. For these citations, Eusebius (265 A.D. — 339 A.D.) as proclaimed Bishop of Caesarea had access to the famed Library of Caesarea and thus references Matthew 28:19 from more ancient manuscripts housed therein than are available to us today.

(1) Book III, Chapter 7, 136 (a-d), p. 157

Whereas He, who conceived nothing human or mortal, see how truly He speaks with the voice of God, saying in these very words to those disciples of His, the poorest of the poor: “Go forth, and make disciples of all the nations.” “But how,” the disciples might reasonably have answered the Master, “can we do it: How, pray, can we preach to Romans: How can we argue with the Egyptians? We are men bred up to use the Syrian tongue only, what language shall we speak to Greeks: How shall we persuade Persians, Armenians, Chaldaeans, Scythians, Indians, and other barbarous nations to give up their ancestral gods, and worship the Creator of all? What sufficiency of speech have we to trust to in attempting such work as this? And what hope of success can we have if we dare to proclaim laws directly opposed to the laws about their own gods that have been established for ages among all nations? By what power shall we ever survive our daring attempt?”

But while the disciples of Jesus were most likely either saying thus, or thinking thus, the Master solved their difficulties, by the addition of one phrase, saying they should triumph “In MY NAME.” And the power of His name being so great, that the apostle says: “God has given him a name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth,” He shewed the virtue of the power in His Name concealed from the crowd when He said to His disciples: “Go, and make disciples of all the nations in my Name.” He also most accurately forecasts the future when He says: “for this gospel must first be preached to all the world, for a witness to all nations.”

(2) Book III, Chapter 6, 132 (a), p. 152

With one word and voice He said to His disciples: “Go, and make disciples of all the nations in My Name, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” …

(3) Book III, Chapter 7, 138 (c), p. 159

But when I turn my eyes away to the evidence of the power of the Word, what multitudes it has won, and what enormous churches have been founded by those unlettered and mean disciples of Jesus, not in obscure and unknown places, but in the most noble cities—I mean in Royal Rome, in Alexandria, and Antioch, through the whole of Egypt and Libya, Europe and Asia, and in villages and country places and among the nations–I am irresistibly forced to retrace my steps, and search for their cause, and to confess that they could only have succeeded in their daring venture, by a power more divine, and more strong than man’s and by the co-operation of Him Who said to them; “Make disciples of all the nations in my Name.”

(4) Book IX, Chapter 11, 445 (c), p. 175

And He bids His own disciples after their rejection, “Go ye and make disciples of all the nations in my name.”

(5) Book I, Chapter 3, 6 (a), p. 20

Hence of course, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Son of God, said to His disciples after His Resurrection: “Go and make disciples of all the nations,” and added “Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.” (1)

Note 1 in W. J. Ferrar’s edition: Matthew 28:19. The verse is quoted thus seven times in the Demonstratio with the omission of the reference to Baptism and the Trinity. Conybeare (Hibbert Journal, i. (1902-3) p. 102), who holds that the reference was interpolated for dogmatic reasons, and was not fully assured in the text till after the Council of Nicea, supports his view from the practice of Eusebius. This is the view of Kirsopp Lake, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ii. 380 and Moffatt, The Historical New Test. 1901, p. 647. The historicity of the words as ipsissima verba is denied by Harnack, Clemen, and J. A. Robinson, Encyclopedia Biblica, art. “Baptism” From the Acts taken literally it would be gathered that apostolic Baptism was simply in the Name of Jesus. – (Acts 8:12-16; Acts 9:18; Acts 22:16)

(6) Book I, Chapter 5, 9 (a), p. 24

“Go ye, and make disciples of all the nations, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you.” What could He mean but the teaching and discipline of the new covenant?

(7) Book I, Chapter 6, 24 (c), p. 42

“Go ye into all the world, and make disciples of all the nations … teaching them to observe whatsoever I have commanded you.”

Bibliography: Eusebius (265-339) Bishop of Caesarea around 314 was referred to as the son of Pamphilus. He wrote many books, the best known of which is the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius. Other writings were the Praeparatio, the Demonstratio from which we have The Proof of the Gospel, Quaestiones ad Stephanum, and the Epitome. According to the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, “His time considered him its most learned man.”

The above seven referenced quotations of Matthew 28:19 according to Eusebius reflects the verse as he read it from the text in the library in Caesarea. The problem with most translations including the King James Version, as it relates to the text of Matthew 28:19, is that they reflect an erroneous addition of wording of Catholic origin and not the correct words spoken by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As the verse and the doctrine of the Trinity were being discussed in his day, and having access to the original, Eusebius denounced the reading of Matthew 28:19 with the Trinitarian phrase as the most serious of all the falsifications.

It is time for modern-day Christianity to get back to the actual words of our Lord Jesus and quote the words as they were actually written in the “Everlasting Gospel” of Matthew as:

“Go ye into all the world and make disciples of all the nations in my name” (Matthew 28:19).

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall first be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14). Could the correct rendition of Matthew’s Gospel play a part in the distribution of the Everlasting Gospel? (Revelation 14:6 — “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people”).

“The historical riddle is not solved by Matthew 28:19, since, according to a wide scholarly consensus, it is not an authentic saying of Jesus, not even an elaboration of a Jesus-saying on baptism” (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1, 1992, page 585).

“It has been customary to trace the institution of the practice (of baptism) to the words of Christ recorded in Matthew 28:19. But the authenticity of this passage has been challenged on historical as well as on textual grounds. It must be acknowledged that the formula of the threefold name, which is here enjoined, does not appear to have been employed by the primitive Church, which, so far as our information goes, baptized ‘in’ or ‘into the name of Jesus’ (or ‘Jesus Christ’ or Lord Jesus’: Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5, 1 Cor. 1:13, 15) (The Dictionary of the Bible, 1947, page 83).

Matthew 28:19, “the Church of the first days did not observe this world-wide command, even if they knew it. The command to baptize into the threefold name is a late doctrinal expansion. In place of the words “baptizing… Spirit” we should probably read simply “into my name,” i.e. (turn the nations) to Christianity, “in my name,” i.e. (teach the nations) in my spirit” (Peake’s Commentary on the Bible, 1929, page 723).

“On the text, see Conybeare, Zeitsch. Fur die Neutest. Wissensch. 1901, 275 ff.; Hibbert Journal, October 1902; Lake, Inaugural Lecture; Riggenbach, Der Trinitarische Taufbefehl; Chase, Journal Theo. Stud. Vi. 481 ff. The evidence of Eusebius must be regarded as indecisive, in view of the fact that all Greek MSS. and all extant VSS., contain the clause (S1 and S2 are unhappily wanting). The Eusebian quotation: “Go disciple ye all the nations in my name,” can not be taken as decisive proof that the clause “Baptizing…Spirit” was lacking in copies known to Eusebius, because “in my name” may be Eusebius’ way of abbreviating, for whatever reason, the following clause. On the other hand, Eusebius cites in this short form so often that it is easier to suppose that he is definitely quoting the words of the Gospel, than to invent possible reasons which may have caused him so frequently to have paraphrased it. And if we once suppose his short form to have been current in MSS. of the Gospel, there is much probability in the conjecture that it is the original text of the Gospel, and that in the later centuries the clause “baptizing…Spirit” supplanted the shorter “in my name.” And insertion of this kind derived from liturgical use would very rapidly be adopted by copyists and translators. The Didache has ch. 7: “Baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”: but the passage need not be dependent on our canonical Gospel, and the Didache elsewhere has a liturgical addition to the text of the Gospels in the doxology attached to the Lord’s Prayer. But Irenaeus and Tertullian already have the longer clause” (The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament; S. Driver, A. Plummer, C. Briggs; A Critical & Exegetical Commentary of St. Matthew Third Edition, 1912, pages 307-308).

“The disciples are further told to “baptize” (the second of the participles functioning as supplementary imperatives) new disciples. The command to baptize comes as somewhat of a surprise since baptism is referred to earlier only in chap. 3 (and 21:25) where only John’s baptism is described (among the Gospels only in John 3:22; 4:1-2 do we read of Jesus’ or his disciples’ baptizing others). Matthew tells us nothing concerning his view of Christian baptism. Only Matthew records this command of Jesus, but the practice of the early church suggest its historicity. (cf. Acts 2;38, 41; 8:12, 38; 9:18; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16; etc.). The threefold name (at most only an incipient Trinitarianism) in which the baptism was to be performed, on the other hand, seems clearly to be a liturgical expansion of the evangelist consonant with the practice of his day (thus Hubbard; cf. Did. 7.1). There is a good possibility that in its original form, as witnessed by the ante-Nicene Eusebian form, the text read “make disciples in my name” (see Conybeare). This shorter reading preserves the symmetrical rhythm of the passage, whereas the triadic formula fits awkwardly into the structure as one might expect if it were an interpolation (see H. B. Green; cf. Howard; Hill [IBS 8 (1986) 54-63], on the other hand, argues for a concentric design with the triadic formula at its center). It is Kosmala, however, who has argued most effectively for the shorter reading, pointing to the central importance of “name of Jesus” in early Christian preaching, the practice of baptism in the name of Jesus, and the singular “in his name” with reference to the hope of the Gentiles in Isa. 42:4b, quoted by Matthew in 12:18-21. As Carson rightly notes of our passage: “There is no evidence we have Jesus’ ipsissima verba here” (598). The narrative of Acts notes the use of the name only of “Jesus Christ” in baptism (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; cf. Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27) or simply “the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:16; 19:5)” (Word Biblical Commentary, Vol 33B, Matthew 14-28; Donald A. Hagner, 1975, page887-888).

“It cannot be directly proved that Jesus instituted baptism, for Matthew 28:19 is not a saying of the Lord. The reason for this assertion are: (1) It is only a later stage of the tradition that represents the risen Christ as delivering speeches and giving commandments. Paul knows nothing of it. (2) The Trinitarian formula is foreign to the mouth of Jesus and has not the authority of the Apostolic age which it must have had if it had descended from Jesus himself. On the other hand, Paul knows of no other way of receiving the Gentiles into the Christian communities than by baptism, and it is highly probable that in the time of Paul all Jewish Christians were also baptized. We may perhaps assume that the practice of baptism was continued in consequence of Jesus’ recognition of John the Baptist and his baptism, even after John himself had been removed. According to John 4:2, Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples under his superintendence. It is possible only with the help of tradition to trace back to Jesus a “Sacrament of Baptism,” or an obligation to it ex necessitate salutis, through it is credible that tradition is correct here. Baptism in the Apostolic age was in the name of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 1:13; Acts 19:5). We cannot make out when the formula in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit emerged” (History of Dogma, Vol. 1, Adolph Harnack, 1958, page 79).

“The very account which tells us that at the last, after his resurrection, he commissioned his apostles to go and baptize among all nations (Mt 28:19) betrayed itself by speaking in the Trinitarian language of the next century, and compels us to see in it the ecclesiastical editor, and not the evangelist, much less the founder himself. No historical trace appears of this baptismal formula earlier that the “Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” (ch. 7:1,3 The Oldest Church Manuel, ed. Philip Schaff, 1887), and the first Apology of Justin (Apol. i. 61.) about the middle of the second century: and more than a century later, Cyprian found it necessary to insist upon the use of it instead of the older phrase baptized “into Christ Jesus,” or into the “name of the Lord Jesus.” (Gal. 3:27; Acts 19:5; 10:48. Cyprian Ep. 73, 16-18, has to convert those who still use the shorter form.) Paul alone, of the apostles, was baptized, ere he was “filled with the Holy Ghost;” and he certainly was baptized simply “into Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:3) Yet the tri-personal form, unhistorical as it is, is actually insisted on as essential by almost every Church in Christendom, and, if you have not had it pronounced over you, the ecclesiastical authorities cast you out as a heathen man, and will accord to you neither Christian recognition in your life, nor Christian burial in your death. It is a rule which would condemn as invalid every recorded baptism performed by an apostle; for if the book of Acts may be trusted, the invariable usage was baptism “in the name of Christ Jesus,” (Acts 2:38) and not “in the name of the father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” And doubtless the author (Luke) is as good a witness for the usage of his own time (about 115 A.D.) as for that of the period whereof he treats” (The Seat of Authority in Religion, James Martineau, 1905, page 568).

“It is clear, therefore, that of the MSS which Eusebius inherited from his predecessor, Pamphilus, at Caesarea in Palestine, some at least preserved the original reading, in which there was no mention either of Baptism or of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It had been conjectured by Dr. Davidson, Dr. Martineau, by the present Dean of Westminister, and by Prof. Harnack (to mention but a few names out of many), that here the received text, could not contain the very words of Jesus? This long before any one except Dr. Burgon, who kept the discovery to himself, had noticed the Eusebian form of the reading.” “It is satisfactory to notice that Dr. Eberhard Nestle, in his new edition of the New Testament in Latin and Greek, furnishes the Eusebian reading in his critical apparatus, and that Dr. Sanday seems to lean to its acceptance” (History of New Testament Criticism, Conybeare, 1910, pages, 98-102, 111-112).

It is doubted whether the explicit injunction of Matt. 28:19 can be accepted as uttered by Jesus. …But the Trinitarian formula in the mouth of Jesus is certainly unexpected” (A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, J. Hastings, 1906, page 170).

“Feine (PER3, XIX, 396 f) and Kattenbusch (Sch-Herz, I, 435 f. argue that the Trinitarian formula in Matthew 28:19 is spurious. No record of the use of the Trinitarian formula can be discovered in the Acts of the epistles of the apostles” (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, James Orr, 1946, page 398).

Footnote to Matthew 28:19, It may be that this formula, so far as the fullness of its expression is concerned, is a reflection of the liturgical usage established later in the primitive community. It will be remembered that the Acts speak of baptizing “in the name of Jesus”, Acts 1:5 +. But whatever the variation on formula the underlying reality remains the same” (The Jerusalem Bible, 1966, Page 64).

Matthew 28:19 “… has been disputed on textual grounds, but in the opinion of many scholars the words may still be regarded as part of the true text of Matthew. There is, however, grave doubt whether thy may be the ipsissima verba of Jesus. The evidence of Acts 2:38; 10:48 (cf. 8:16; 19:5), supported by Gal. 3:27; Rom 6:3, suggest that baptism in early Christianity was administered, not in the threefold name, but “in the name of Jesus Christ” or “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” This is difficult to reconcile with the specific instructions of the verse at the end of Matthew” (The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, 1962, page 351).

Critical scholarship, on the whole, rejects the traditional attribution of the tripartite baptismal formula to Jesus and regards it as of later origin. Undoubtedly then the baptismal formula originally consisted of one part and it gradually developed into its tripartite form (The Philosophy of the Church Fathers, Vol. 1, Harry Austryn Wolfson, 1964, pg 143).

G.R. Beasley-Murray in his book, “Baptism in the New Testament” and a believer of the trinity doctrine, gives us some new insight on how the original text of Matthew 28:19 was structured:

“A whole group of exegetes and critics have recognized that the opening declaration of Matt. 28:18 demands a Christological statement to follow it: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me” leads us to expect as a consequence, “Go and make disciples unto Me among all the nations, baptising them in My name, teaching them to observe all things I commanded you.” In fact, the first and third clauses have that significance: it looks as thought the second clause has been modified from a Christological to a Trinitarian formula in the interests of the liturgical tradition” (G.R. Beasley-Murray, Baptism in the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962, pg. 83).

We now have absolute proof the Catholic Church fathers perverted the text in Matthew 28:19.  We now have the Hebrew Matthew Gospel, a manuscript that was preserved by the Jews from the first century.  In this Shem Tov MSS, the text at Matthew 28:19 does not contain the trinitarian statement.  Of course the Catholic Church and other trinitarian denominations who have defended the triune baptismal text, claim the Hebrew Matthew is false and a fraud.  This is self-serving so they can continue to practice a false baptism and deceive even more generations to believe Jesus said something HE DID NOT SAY! They are nothing more than one verse wonders. Nobody ever practiced a trintarian baptism within the Scriptures. As Jesus Christ alone is the power and wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). Jesus said by our words we would either be justified or condemned, and that we were to live by every one of them Matthew 4:4; 12:37). Are you going to place your trust in the strong tower and fortified name of Jesus, or in some obscure title invention by perverse men who wanted to deny the power of God. Your baptism method shows forth either your in belief in man-made traditions or your absolute trust in Jesus Christ.

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