IN WHOSE NAME ARE WE TO BE BAPTIZED?

In whose name is the Christian baptized?  Many quote the great commission of Matt 28:19 to prove we are baptized into the Trinity, not into Jesus Christ alone.

Matt 28:19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  (NKJ)

If we accept the translation as is, it does not prove that we are baptized into the Trinity, but merely the desperation of those who strive in vain to find support for this doctrine in scripture.  This passage does not state that these three are one person, nor anything of the kind.

In conflict with this, six other scriptures refer baptism in the name of Jesus, not baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit of Matt 28:19.

Let’s look at these scripture that contradict Matt 28:29.  Notice that in none of these texts was anyone baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  (NKJ)

Acts 8:12 – But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.  (NKJ)

Acts 8:16 – For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  (NKJ)

Acts 10:48 – And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.  (NKJ)

Acts 19:5 – When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  (NKJ)

Rom 6:3 – Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  (NKJ)

Some scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries believe that Matt 28:19 was altered.

An article from Beauties of the Truth (Volume 2, Number 1, January 1991) stated the following…

“Eusebius, a fourth century writer, had the greatest library of any early church scribe. It contained manuscripts of the new testament that were at least 200 years older than any existing today. Manuscripts copied by Origen,   Clement of Alexandria, and others not available today gave him access to almost original material.  Eusebius cites Matthew 28:19 eighteen times in his work, always in the same form: “Go ye and make disciples of all nations in my name, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I commanded you”

When he comments on the verse, Eusebius places great stress on the phrase, “in my name.”  Apparently his sources, Origen, Clement and Justin Martyr, excluded “father” and “holy spirit” from this scripture…

Aphraates, a Syriac writer of the middle-fourth century, cites the text in yet a different manner, “Make disciples of all nations, and they shall believe in me.” …  Ironically, Pope Stephen used only one name, Jesus…”

Pope Stephen I served as Bishop of Rome from254 to 257 AD.

Personally we are doubtful of the authenticity of the phrase in Matt 28:19, “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”  and think Eusebius was likely correct in quoting the text as saying, “make disciples of all nations in my name.”

12 comments to IN WHOSE NAME ARE WE TO BE BAPTIZED?

  • Anonymous

    I have just updated my study on Matthew 28:19; it located at:
    http://jesusnotyhwh.blogspot.com/2016/01/math28-19.html

  • Daz

    Thankyou kindly Jacqueline for all the info, very interesting. Hope you are well & enjoyed the covention.

    Warm & loving regards,
    Daz

    • Jacqueline

      Yes I did, were you able to get on at all? Also I failed to mention prior to the GB you could go up to the front row on the day of baptism. No one knew how many were getting baptized beforehand. He would ask if there was anyone present that wanted to symbolize their dedication to come on up. No questions, no nothing. My mother was not aware that my brother and I were getting baptized at 12 and 13. We wanted to vacation pioneer that summer. Put in 100 hours a month, 100 magazines, 33 return visits and three books were the requirements. You bought your magazines for a penney and placed it for a nickel or 2 for a dime. It was one way to make money for the summer and help my mother out who made $4.50 a day plus bus fare. We would clear together about $6.00 a day. It was a business and you helped people learn what you thought was the truth and some was more truth than they had heard especially the resurrection and earthly paradise.
      BTW: I don’t deal much with dates so some one else might answer your question on that. In Christ, Jacqueline

      • Daz

        Hi Jacqueline, aww I am so glad u enjoyed the convention! I am not going to manage to make it to any this year unless there is one maybe later on in the winter months as it was a little short notice for the summer one as I already had work booked in but hope to make it next year. I have made contact with UK bible students so I am hoping to meet up with them very soon. Thankyou once again for all your replies & help.
        God Bless . . . .

        Warm & loving regards,
        Daz

  • Daz

    Hi everyone,
    I just wanted to know if someone can actually tell me why there are 100 or so questions prior to your baptizm as a Jw? This seems a little extreme in my opinion. It is something I just couldn’t get my head around once I found out along with getting baptized into the organization which is what topped it off for me as I couldn’t find anything scriptual to support that. Also I mentioned in one of my previous posts along with Jacqueline that an early watchtower contradicts itself with regards to what NOT to get baptized into. Over 100 questions are asked by elders to see whether you are ready to get baptized & your answers will determine whether they feel you are ready? I don’t recall accounts of the apostles doing this, surely the only thing that matters is your heart condition & that you want to dedicate your life to Jehovah & Jesus!

    Warm & loving regards,
    Daz

    • Jacqueline

      Part (1) answer to your question.
      Hi Daz, It was actually 80 questions and the secret elder book was not secret, the questions were located in the back of the organization book. (It was yellow then).
      When the governing body came to full power (1970, circa) it became Ca-tho-lic in it reign and had to institute a Catechism(Summary of Church doctrine and instruction). The congregations had elder bodies instead of the one “Company Servant” or later called “Congregation servant” who answered only to New York. Covington was the former main lawyer for the society but after the GB came in it required a company of lawyers. The 80 questions are there to make sure you understood what the doctrines were and agreed, if you didn’t you would not be able to get baptized. (You could however just sit on the rows at the convention and get baptized without the questions but the elders might not accept you).
      An organizatio was forming much like the Catholic Church, before that the talks were gotten out by individual brothers and they could say what they got from the scriptures and how they understood the subject given them. Along with the 80 questions also all public talks came with an outline allowing some latitude but not much and were 1hr. Later talks were manuscripted only and was 45 min so no time was left to add your thoughts but brothers made time. So they went down to 30 min and the manuscript was tight.
      So to answer your question, this was the beginning of a real organization as you see it now. Many were asked to get rebaptized and did. This and the later 2 baptism question change, (1985). Meant you couldn’t sue them for DF if you answered yes I understand and believe these questions (80). Then when you got baptized you agree to be bound by the organization rules that you said you understood and was tested on it. You can’t litigate against them for mistreatment for disobeying their additional Catechism rules.
      Persons baptized prior to these legal events had grounds for litigation such as “Chitty” (governingbody member) and won a pension after being oustered.
      I needed to give background so you understand that a change occurred in 1970. Jacqueline

    • Jacqueline

      Daz this is the part 2 answer to your question on the baptism situation.

      Watchtower changes Baptism Questions to include Dedication to Organization
      “Therefore now with your mouth make a public declaration of your faith by answering these two questions that I shall ask you, and let your answers be hearable, that all those about you may be witnesses to the declaration that you solemnly make:

      (1) Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him the Father through his Son Jesus Christ?
      (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightenment of the holy spirit?” Watchtower 1956 July 1 p.407
      An important comment was made in 1955, something significantly contradicted in the arrangement introduced in 1985.
      “A Christian, therefore, cannot be baptized in the name of the one actually doing the immersing or in the name of any man, nor in the name of any organization, but in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit.” Watchtower 1955 July 1 p.411

      “We do not dedicate ourselves to a religion, nor to a man, nor to an organization. No, we dedicate ourselves to the Supreme Sovereign of the Universe, our Creator, Jehovah God himself. This makes dedication a very personal relationship between us and Jehovah.” Watchtower 1966 October 1 pp.603-604

      In total disregard for these previous comments and Biblical examples, in 1985 the baptism questions changed, with the candidate having to announce their desire to become associated with an Organization.
      “At the close of the convention baptism talk, the baptism candidates will be in position to answer with depth of understanding and heartfelt appreciation two simple questions that serve to confirm that they recognize the implications of following Christ’s example.
      The first question is: On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?
      The second is: Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization? Having answered yes to these questions, candidates are in a right heart condition to undergo Christian baptism.” Watchtower 1985 June 1 p.30

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Daz – In the New Testament Epistles, we cannot find a list of questions to be answered before a Christian is baptized. There are examples in Acts of baptisms, at none of which 100 questions were asked.

      Ac 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
      Ac 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
      Ac 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
      Ac 8:13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
      Ac 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
      Ac 8:36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
      Ac 8:38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
      Ac 9:18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
      Ac 10:47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
      Ac 16:15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
      Ac 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
      Ac 18:8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
      Ac 19:3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
      Ac 19:4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
      Ac 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
      Ac 22:16 `And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’

      So Daz, as you can see in these examples, there were not a long list of questions ask with the correct answers required.

      However, Bible Student Elders, when conducting a baptism service, at their personal discretion, will typically ask three questions, something like this:

      “1) Do you acknowledge that as a member of the fallen human race of father Adam, that you are a sinner and have you repented of your sins to the best of your ability?

      2) Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, trusting in His Ransom sacrifice to provide for forgiveness of your sins?

      3) Have you made an unreserved and full consecration to faithfully serve and obey the will of your heavenly Father, to the best of your ability, even unto death?

      Your brethren here welcome you into the Household of Faith, with Jehovah God our Father and Jesus our Lord and elder brother.”

      • Daz

        Hi Peter, thankyou kindly for your reply. I too couldn’t find anything scriptually to support the 80 questions asked at a Jw baptizm. The later part of your reply regarding the 3 baptismal questions definately seem in line scriptually, it should just be about Jehovah, Jesus & of course the one getting baptized.

  • Bret

    Correction:
    In Jesus commission to make disciples and baptize at Matt 28:19 he was NOT giving words to be repeated as though there were sacramental meaning to such words that are necessary for salvation as was also so with Apostles. Peter gave command to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38) thus showing the authority by which to carry out this command not sacramental words to repeat while dipping an individual in water. The Catholics started the idea of repeating sacramental words that they thought were significant to ones salvation and so likewise most of Christendom teaches this idea. So there is a great debate between apostolic oneness believers and those who believe in the trinity as to which “formula” of words is correct, as though there is some kind of significance to repeating these words.

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