Baptize in whose name?


#1

Matt 28.19 Jesus tells us to baptize in the name of the Father,Son and Holy Spirit but in Acts the disciples baptized in Jesus name only? Is this a contradiction? What was the thought behind the change if any?


#2

I have puzzled over this for many years.
Luke’s version of seemingly the same event records it this way:

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Anointed One should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and deliverance from sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:45-47)

Some say that Matthew’s account originally stated that Jesus actually said, “baptizing them in my name” and that this was changed to “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” by later Trinitarians. However tempting it may be to adopt that idea (and I am disposed to adopt it myself), the evidence points to the text as we have it in Matthew 28:19 as being what Jesus actually said.

The earliest extant Christian writings outside the New Testament also quote it as “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” It is quoted that way in the writings of:

Clement of Rome (A.D. 30-100)
Polycarp (A.D. 65-100)
Papias (A.D. 70-155)
Barnabus (A.D. 100)
Letter to Diognetus (A.D. 130)
Justin Martyr (A.D. 110-165)

It is possible but rather unlikely, that these early writers had actually written “baptizing them in my name” and that some unscrupulous Trinitarian(s) changed the words of every one of their writings to “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

So if Jesus did say the words, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” it indeed seems puzzling, that Jesus’ disciples would not have obeyed that command, but instead (in every instance recorded in the book of Acts) baptized people in Jesus’ name alone.


#3

Interesting… Padion, I have not gone back through your posts… I know you think repentance is necessary for forgiveness, would you say Baptism is also necessary?


#4

Yes, repentance is necessary for forgiveness. Jesus taught, “Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and IF he repents, forgive him.” (Luke 17:30). However, it is certainly not necessary to baptize someone in order to forgive him. Even Jesus’ death is not necessary in order for Jesus Himself to forgive. He forgave people while He walked this earth PRIOR TO his death (Matt 9:2,5 Luke 5:30 7:28).

The purpose of Jesus’ death was to deliver people from the POWER of sin in their lives:

*Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Heb 9:26 …he has appeared once for all at the end of the age for the abolition of sin by the sacrifice of himself.*

When the apostle Peter was addressing the Jews, he told them that God had raised Jesus from the dead, and then concluded with these words:
Let the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you have crucified. (Acts 2:36)

When Peter said this, they were “cut to the heart” and asked Peter what they should do, now that they had killed the Messiah. Peter replied

Repent [have a change of heart and mind] and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus the Messiah, resulting in the release from the bondage of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

If repentance alone were sufficient to be delivered from the power of sin, why did Peter not merely say “Repent”? Why did he add “and be baptized”?

We also read in Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” If belief (or trust) alone is sufficient, why was “and is baptized” added?

The second-century Christians also saw baptism as necessary for regeneration.
Justin Martyr (A.D. 110-165) in his “apology” (explanation) of Christian practice to the Roman emperor, wrote the following concerning baptism:

As I see it, if baptism were a mere ritual, it would not be necessary in order to be delivered from wrongdoing. Rather than being a mere ritual, I see it as similar to signing a contract—a contract to indicate that a person is one of Jesus’ disciples, and has given his life in serving Jesus.

When you purchase a new car, you must sign a contract. If you refuse to sign, you will not get the car.


#5

I understand (though disagree) with your position. :slight_smile:

That Justin Martyr stuff is IMHO pure BS.

But you have to now explain the young person at seven days old who dies, they have not obviously repented (or been Baptized) … Are you saying that there is no sin there until they advance in age, or are you saying…? Are you saying that there is a place (in time or age) where *our sin nature *condemns us? What about the mentally challenged? People who are every day fighting to keep a grip on their sanity… How the hell are they suppose to repent??? They do things every day that many would think as being sin… And yet God would forgive them but not the rest of us??? Or maybe God would not forgive them or us. Our sin of not doing something (repenting or being baptized) would be our downfall. We will go to hell or be annihilated.
:open_mouth:

THINK ABOUT IT :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth:


#6

Chad, I didn’t write a word about condemnation, hell, or annihilation. Please read again what I have written with an unbiased mind.

Basically, I wrote that repentance is necessary in order to be delivered from sin in our lives. Your bringing up the matter of infants dying at 7 days old, or mentally challenged people, is irrelevant. If you are talking about the after-life, I am sure that God will do the just thing for such people. I was NOT talking about the after-life.

My point and only point is that one can appropriate the enabling grace (Titus 2:11-14) to overcome sin in one’s life, and that that grace is made available through Christ’s sacrificial death, by means of repentance and faith in Christ. I was also saying that baptism is the means of clinching the deal and demonstrating that we are disciples of Christ indeed.


#7

I just want to point out that the person to whom Jesus said “tonight you will be with me in paradise” almost certainly wasn’t baptized.


#8

Well, thanks Don, as you explain it here , I can roll with you. The point we differ on (and I’m trying to make) is that the repentance comes after the hearing and realizing of who God and Christ is. Our understanding is different of the great gift of that same sacrificial death of Christ you talk about. Your repentance is necessary before forgiveness and my forgiveness brings forth repentance. :smiley:


#9

Well, thanks Don, as you explain it here , I can roll with you. The point we differ on (and I’m trying to make) is that the repentance comes after the hearing and realizing of who God and Christ is. Our understanding is different of the great gift of that same sacrificial death of Christ you talk about. Your repentance is necessary before forgiveness and my forgiveness brings forth repentance. :smiley:

Maybe i missed it earlier but Jesus said we must forgive others or our Heavenly Father will not forgive us and Jesus didn’t qualify this command by saying “if they repent.”


#10

Hey Steve, you said:

This is my point. If forgiveness (and that is a huge topic in and of itself) is totally based on our repentance (thus our action) would not the law be sufficient to bring us to a place where we are able to commune with God YAHWEH?

That is the crux of the dilemma :astonished:


#11

Yepper :smiley:


#12

I’ll continue to view it as Jesus taught it:

Luke 17:3 Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him…

Clearly Jesus taught here that our forgiveness of a person is conditional on his repentance not the other way around.

Indeed the very concept of forgiveness implies repentance. When a person sins against us, repents, and we forgive him, the relationship is restored. It’s just as if he had never sinned against us.

What would it mean to forgive an unrepentant person? Does it mean to let go of our ill feelings toward him? If we have ill feelings towards him, we should let go of those feelings, and cease to have them, but that’s NOT forgiveness!

Some people say, “I forgave him, but I’m not going to go out and have dinner with him!” If that is a person’s attitude, he hasn’t forgiven the offender. How would it be if God said to us, “I forgive you, but don’t bother praying to Me, for I won’t listen; I won’t do a thing for you, you vile sinner.” If God said that to you, would you believe yourself to have been forgiven?


#13

What would it mean to forgive an unrepentant person? Does it mean to let go of our ill feelings toward him? If we have ill feelings towards him, we should let go of those feelings, and cease to have them, but that’s NOT forgiveness!

Yes it means to give it over to God and let it go! Feelings often change and are often transitory so we can’t rely on feelings alone to forgive or not. Obviously repentance is desirable and should clearly invoke our forgiveness but Jesus forgave his enemies on the cross without their repentance and he told us to forgive or our Father in Heaven will not forgive us! That’s a strong statement, as strong as he could make it and i wouldn’t assume Jesus knew we would read into his statement that repentance is necessary.
Also MM brought up a good point that requiring repentance for forgiveness does sound and feel like a move back toward “the law.”


#14

Actually Steve, there’s nothing written in the account that Jesus forgave his enemies while on the cross. Rather it is written that Jesus asked the FATHER to forgive them (Luke 23:34). Nor is it written that God immediately forgave them.

Let me suggest when it was that Jesus’ prayer for their forgiveness was answered. When devout Jews heard, on that special day of Pentecost, Galilean Christians who were filled with the Spirit of God, and began declaring the wonderful works of God in the various languages of those who were gathered there, those Jewish people were bewildered, and Peter addressed them at length.

Peter concluded with these words:

(Acts 2:36) Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Among those Israelites gathered, were the very persons who were involved in the crucifixion of Jesus. And what was their response?

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

They were convicted in their hearts of the sin of putting to death the Messiah—the Anointed One of God! They wondered, "Is there anything we can do about this great wrong NOW?

Here’s what Peter told them to do, and he also told them what would be the consequences of doing it:

38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

And those some of them accepted Peter’s words and acted upon them:

41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

So those for whom Jesus prayed, who didn’t know what they were doing, were doubtless among those who repented at that time, and were baptized, and were granted forgiveness in response to their repentance.

Those among them who DID know what they were doing, were probably the ones who did not respond to Peter’s call for repentance and baptism.


#15

Actually Steve, there’s nothing written in the account that Jesus forgave his enemies while on the cross. Rather it is written that Jesus asked the FATHER to forgive them (Luke 23:34). Nor is it written that God immediately forgave them.

But if Jesus asked his Father to forgive his enemies then it was Jesus desire or will that they be forgiven and Jesus said he didn’t do his own will but the will of the one who sent him. The connection you made from this event to Acts 2.36-40 is a strong argument for sure and if you can connect the two at the hip then that is a strong piece of evidence. It’s interesting that these verses specifically link repentance to forgiveness and you use it to support your position and rightly so but you also have claimed that Jesus didn’t die for our forgiveness but only for our deliverance from sin.

I wonder if perhaps we can forgive others without their repentance but that does not necessarily qualify the other party from being forgiven by God. Perhaps the two are not the same and have different qualifications.


#16

What would that mean? By forgiving, what would you actually do?

Would you let them off the hook? By saying, “I forgive you,” would you be telling them that what they did was okay?

In an issue of the Reader’s Digest, a Jewish Rabbi wrote and article against this kind of “forgiveness.” He made reference to a certain teenager who had raped or sexually violated several teenage girls. A group of teenagers then erected a huge sign in the town which read “We forgive you, Joey!”
The writer of the article made clear, that to tell the unrepentant Joey that they forgave him, was tantamount to telling him that what he did was okay, and that this would encourage Joey to repeat his offense with impunity.


#17

Paidion wrote

No, I would not be saying that whatever they did was O.K. what I would be saying is that ‘I forgive you’… And I realize that I have done things wrong, and realize that I will probably continue to flub up. In love I realize this and will continue to love. Your position that by our lack of forgiveness we somehow will show them their error.

I’m not with you on this.

Bad juju man. I have seen this first hand. Rips families and relationships apart. Our focus is to be on mending relationships and have patience and mercy. :wink:

Also you said

And my position is that there were three thousand souls that quite possibly did not go through the ordeal that was coming their way: 70AD. :open_mouth:


#18

Personally, this Trinitarian Evangelical insists on baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and consistent with my alignment with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the American Baptists, baptism is for believers only by immersion. I respect the soul liberty of my brothers and sisters in Christ who call themselves Apostolics and insisting on a Baptism in Jesus’ name.


#19

Hi Steve 7150. I don’t think the following is the article in the Reader’s Digest to which I referred. But it makes some of the same points as the author of that article—points to which I also subscribe. However, I do not entirely agree with it.

lukeford.net/Dennis/indexp29.html

Chad, refusing to forgive an unrepentant person has nothing to do with being unloving.

Chad, you haven’t explained AT ALL what you would mean by saying “I forgive you” to an unrepentant person—one who had no intention of changing his ways, or ceasing his evil acts.


#20

What would that mean? By forgiving, what would you actually do?

Would you let them off the hook? By saying, “I forgive you,” would you be telling them that what they did was okay?

No, of course what they did may not be OK. I think forgiveness is not carrying a grudge, not looking for revenge and letting it go and giving it over to God. When i say “it” i mean the transgressor and the action. Of course the transgressor should repent and of course there s/b justice but i can’t force repentance or justice so i have a choice left to me, to stew in my own juices or let it go and move on. Didn’t Paul say to be joyful always so how do you do that carrying a grudge?
Didn’t Jesus say we must forgive or our Heavenly Father will not forgive us? The point you made about “letting them off the hook” misses the point that i’m not controlling the hook, i’m only in charge of my heart and mind.