HOW DID THE EARLY CHURCH INTERPRET CHRIST’S COMMAND IN MATTHEW 28:19? ACTS 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, and 19:5 are four Biblical references that answer this question. If the Biblical record is not enough, please examine the findings of the educated, scholars, and historians.
Britannica Encyclopedia, 11th Edition, Volume 3, page 365 – Baptism was changed from the name of Jesus to words Father, Son & Holy Ghost in 2nd Century.
Canney Encyclopedia of Religion, page 53 – The early church baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus until the second century.
Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion, Volume 2 – Christian baptism was administered using the words, “in the name of Jesus.” page 377. Baptism was always in the name of Jesus until time of Justin Martyr, page 389.
Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 2, page 263 – Here the authors acknowledged that the baptismal formula was changed by their church.
Schaff – Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, Volume 1, page 435 – The New Testament knows only the baptism in the name of Jesus.
Hastings Dictionary of Bible, page 88 – It must be acknowledged that the three fold name of Matthew 28:19 does not appear to have been used by the primitive church, but rather in the name of Jesus, Jesus Christ or Lord Jesus.
IS IT AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY THAT THE NAME OF JESUS BE SPOKEN OR CALLED OVER A CANDIDATE FOR WATER BAPTISM WHEN HE IS BEING BAPTIZED? For the answer to this question, please read Acts 15:17 and James 2:7 [Greek Linear]. First Century Christians INVOKED OR CALLED the name of Jesus over believers in water baptism. If, as some say, “the name of Jesus means the authority of Jesus’, then so much more should the NAME, rather than titles, be called over an individual in baptism. Read Matthew 28:18, Acts 4:12 and Colossians 2:9. Jude 3 is an exhortation to “CONTEND FOR THE FAITH ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS.” See Galatians 1:8-9 also. Should anyone dare to change what Christ and the Apostles established?
1. IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY GHOST?
2. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST?
Which of These Were Practiced By the Apostles in the Early Church?
BELOW ARE TWO COLUMNS FOR LISTING THE SCRIPTURES WHERE THE APOSTLES EITHER TAUGHT OR PRACTICED WATER BAPTISM.
IN JESUS NAME:
JEWS – “Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38.
SAMARITANS – They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 8:16.
GENTILES – He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Lord Jesus. Acts 10:48.
PETER TAUGHT – There is none other name given whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12.
PAUL TAUGHT – Whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Col. 3:17.
FATHER, SON AND HOLY GHOST: NONE.
ZERO, ZILCH OR ZIP! NOT EVEN ONE!
Matthew 28:19 was a command by Jesus to baptize in a NAME. The Apostles did not repeat the words of the command, but they did obey it as seen in the scriptures above. Since Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are titles of the manifestations of the Almighty Spirit and His body, the Apostles understood His SAVING NAME to be JESUS. Can any dare say that the Apostles disobeyed the Lord, or failed to baptize properly? THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST IS LORD JESUS CHRIST. The actions of the Apostles in the Book of Acts prove this to be true.
BAPTISM IN JESUS NAME
According to The Bible
JESUS TAUGHT – THAT REPENTANCE & REMISSION OF SINS SHOULD BE PREACHED IN HIS NAME BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM.” Luke 24:47
PETER OBEYED – “REPENT & BE BAPTIZED EVERYONE OF YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS.” Acts 2:38-39
SAMARITANS – “. . .THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.” Acts 8:16
GENTILES WERE COMMANDED – “HE COMMANDED THEM TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF LORD JESUS.” RV. Acts 10:48
PAUL RE-BAPTIZED – “. . . WHEN THEY HEARD THIS THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.” Acts 19:3-5
NO OTHER NAME FOR SALVATION – “. . .THERE IS NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN WHEREBY WE MUST BE SAVED.” Acts 4:10-12
EVERYTHING DONE IN JESUS NAME – “WHATSOEVER YOU DO IN WORD OR IN DEED, DO ALL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.” Col. 3:17
The above scriptures are not given to refute Matthew 28:19 where JESUS told Apostles to baptize in the name of the FATHER, & OF THE SON, & OF THE HOLY GHOST. They merely show how the command was interpreted and obeyed by them.
The Apostles knew what most religious leaders of today fail to recognize. First: That the Lord Jesus Christ is the family name. Eph. 3:15. Second: That the FULLNESS of the GODHEAD (Deity or God) dwelleth bodily in CHRIST. Col 2:9
They knew the name of the SON was JESUS. Matthew 1:21. They knew that the SON came in the FATHER’S name. John 5:43. They also knew that the HOLY GHOST was the SPIRIT of CHRIST and would come in JESUS NAME. John 14:26.
The name JESUS means JEHOVAH SALVATION. Faussets’ Bible Encyclopedia. Page 359.
BAPTISM IN JESUS NAME
According to History
BRITANICA ENCYCLOPEDIA – The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son & Holy Ghost by Catholic Church in the second century. 11th Edition, Vol 3, page 365-366.
BRITANICA ENCYCLO. – Everywhere in the oldest sources it states that baptism took place in the name of Jesus Christ. Vol. 3, page 82.
CANNEY ENCYCLO. OF REL. – The early church always baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus until development of Trinity Doctrine in 2nd century. Page 53.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLO. – Here the Catholics acknowledged that baptism was changed by the Catholic Church. Vol. 2, Page 263.
HASTINGS ENCYCLO. OF REL. – Christian Baptism was administered using the words, “IN THE NAME OF JESUS.” Vol. 2, Page 377.
The use of a Trinitarian formula of any sort was not suggested in early Church History. Vol. 2, Page 378.
Baptism was always in name of the Lord Jesus until time of Justin Martyr when Triune formula used. Vol. 2, Page 389.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLO. – Justin Martyr was one of the early Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church. Vol. 8
HASTINGS ENCYCLO. OF REL. – Name was an ancient synonym for “person.” Payment was always made in name of some person referring to ownership. Therefore one being baptized in Jesus name became his personal property. “Ye are Christs.” Vol. 2, Page 377 on Acts 2:38.
NEW INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLO. – The term “Trinity” was originated by Tertullian. A Roman Catholic Church Father. Vol. 22, Page 477.
William Chalfant, in the book “Ancient Champions of Oneness” records that “in 312 AD, Caesar himself, the Emperor Constantine, became a Catholic” and by 325 AD, at the Council of Nicea, a canon was drafted that specifically named a notorious group of Jesus’ name baptized believers based in Rome, and ordered them to be re-baptized.
The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, I, 275, says, “It is often affirmed that the words in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost are not the ipsissima verba [exact words]of Jesus, but…a later liturgical addition.”
In “A Collection of Evidence Against the Traditional Wording of Matthew 28:19,” Clinton D. Willis quotes from The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics to expose how Matthew 28:19 “…is the central piece of evidence for the traditional (Trinitarian) view. If it were undisputed, this would, of course, be decisive, but its trustworthiness is impugned on grounds of textual criticism, literary criticism and historical criticism.” “The obvious explanation of the silence of the New Testament on the triune name, and the use of another [Jesus’ name baptismal] formula in Acts and Paul, is that this other formula was the earlier, and the triune formula is a later addition.”
Edmund Schlink, in “The Doctrine of Baptism,” page 28, says, “The baptismal command in its Matthew 28:19 form cannot be the historical origin of Christian baptism. At the very least, it must be assumed that the text has been transmitted in a form expanded by the [Catholic] church.”
Wilhelm Bousset, in “Kyrios Christianity,” page 295, says, “The testimony for the wide distribution of the simple baptismal formula [in the Name of Jesus]down into the second century is so overwhelming that even in Matthew 28:19, the Trinitarian formula was later inserted.”
Make no mistake about it. The true early church did not apostatize. It was driven off by the Roman Catholic “Church.” Once the true church was driven off the scene, the Roman government decided to declare the new false church the official world religion, and set out to eliminate all conflicting points of view.
Soon the Roman Catholic Church demanded the death of true Christians.
Some time in the fifth century, probably around 430 AD, a creed was written, now mistakenly called the “Athanasian Creed,” which said, “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith, Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.”
After much additional verbiage, the conclusion of the Athanasian Creed is this: “…the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. …He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.”
Two centuries later, the Roman Catholic Church issued the Justinian Code of 529 AD, that declared DEATH for two heresies in general:
(1) Anti-Trinitarianism, and
(2) Rebaptism” (anything outside of the Roman Catholic trinitarian baptism).
Countless multitudes of Spirit-filled, Jesus’ name-baptized Christians were then later murdered because of this law.
The chances are that you were baptized in a ceremony where the baptizing minister called over you, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit” or in some such similar spell. This formula is of the Devil. It is mantra designed by the Devil to obliterate the one and only NAME you should have been baptized in, the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, or “Adonay Yeshua Ha-Mashiach” as the original Jewish Christians said it.
The Bible says: KJV John 20. 31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.“ Now you see why Satan wants to obliterate that precious Name of Jesus. He wants you to die spiritually and physically. Eternal life only comes through the Name of Jesus Christ.