VI. LOGICAL ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE VALIDITY OF MAT 28:19
The following arguments use logic to show that the traditional text in Matthew 28:19 is false. Logic is indeed a powerful tool that reasonable people have often used in presenting their cases.
The common practice of baptism: Baptism was known before the times of John the Baptist; it was a cleansing ritual derived from the numerous washings prescribe in the Old Testament rituals. Jewish Adult proselytes received instruction, and made a confession of their assent during their washing, and afterwards completed the ceremony of initiation by offering sacrifice. The mode of this purification was immersion in water. A river was preferred: but any collection of clean water of a depth sufficient for dipping would do. The proselyte after his baptism was regarded, in the language of the Rabbis, as 'a little child just born' as 'a child of one day'. John took up the same practice and used a part of the river Jordan where there was an abundance of water in order to immerse people in an immersion of repentance.
The repentance part was still continued by Peter, for the first requirement was to repent, but Peter added the common practice of people being baptized in the name of their rabbi (teacher). If we are Jesus’ disciples then it makes perfect sense to be baptized in the name of our rabbi Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. (John 1:49) The Jewish people did not baptize in the name of someone who was not there, or in the name of a dead rabbi. So in Acts 2 when all of the people were baptized in the name of Jesus, it shows that they felt his presence and truly believed that he had risen from the dead. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (1907) by Alfred Edersheim, Jewish biblical scholar.
Baptism was done in the name of a Rabbi and when one was baptized in the name of that rabbi, it meant being baptized in his teachings and with that you were declaring that you would follow in the steps of your rabbi and that you would take the yoke of your rabbi. If we are indeed his disciples then isn’t it logical that we should be baptized in his name?
The name of Jesus had all power: Jesus said that he had all power, so if he had all power why would he ask us to baptize in some other name, would his name not be powerful enough to wash away sins? It really makes no sense at all to ask us to baptize in any other name. It would be like a sovereign king who has all power of a country saying I have all power, but you can use some other name to conduct official business in my country, such commandment would be totally illogical. If his name can perform miracles, then what greater miracle than to be born again. If his name can save and forgive sins, then how could adding water to it, subtract from those abilities? Look at all the ways his name had power.
To cast out devils Mark 16:16, Acts 16:18 To speak in new tongues Mark 16:16, Acts 2:4
To take up serpents Mark 16:16 To drink deadly things Mark 16:16
To heal Mark 16:16, Acts 4:10 To save Acts 2:21
To do miracles Acts 6:8 To forgive sins 1 John 2:12
It was his baptism: John predicted that Jesus would baptize in the future, therefore it is his baptism, John baptized unto repentance, but Jesus would baptize his disciples unto him. It is quite clear that this baptism would be one that would be instituted in the future by Jesus, and it would be for his disciples, therefore it has to be in his name.
Acts 19:3 - the disciples of John were baptized into John's baptism (One name)
Acts 19:5 - the disciples then were re-baptized into Jesus' baptism (One name)
The epistles only link baptism to the name of Jesus: The language of baptism in the epistles clearly point to it being in the name of Jesus. If Jesus had indeed given the traditional formula, then the epistles would at least somewhere have language linking the traditional text to baptism in some manner, yet no such text exists. It says that we are buried unto the death of Christ thru baptism, yet we know that God can not die, we are buried with him in baptism, and only Jesus was buried, not the Father or the Holy Spirit. A careful examination of all the baptismal texts in the epistles only links baptism to the name of Jesus thus clearly indicating that baptism was done in the name of Jesus.
The symbolism in the baptism of Jesus: Jesus was sinless so he had absolutely no need to be baptized himself; he had nothing to repent of. This was a transference baptism. When we get baptized we wash away our sins, our sins leave us, however when Jesus was baptized he emerged carrying the sins of the whole world upon him. Just like the sacrificial animal in the Old Testament the Lamb of God carried the sins of the people and was slain outside the gate. Jesus took our sins upon him and in exchange we take his name upon us. “We must believe in the fact that our Lord was able to take all the sins of the world to the Cross because he first took upon himself the sins of the world by receiving his baptism from John the Baptist.” The Lord's prayer: Misinterpretations and truth (2006) p. 10 by Paul C Jong.
Jesus gave us everything that was his: When the Poet John Greenleaf Whittier was asked by a city if they could use his name, he said “I leave to you my name”, a line from his poem “My Triumph” and that is how the city of Whittier got its name. Jesus has already give us “His body and his blood” Matthew 26:26-28, why would he not also give us his name? I mean we can name a city after the name of a great man, but is the name of Jesus somehow not worthy to be used in baptism? Jesus left us without his bodily presence but he left us his name and everything that it represents to us so that we could use it, and we need to use like the Apostles used it, in baptism in his name.
Go you therefore: Most people gloss over these words and do not give it much thought, but let us take a closer look at these words which begin Matthew 28:19. In the prior verse Jesus had said “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”, then he proceeds with the words “therefore” this words is a link between his last statement and his next statement, The word therefore means “for that reason”, “because of that” He is saying because I have all power then do this.
It would be more appropriate for him to say
“Because all power is given unto me, make disciples unto me and baptize them in my name”
It really makes no sense for him to say
“Because all power is given unto me, make disciples unto me and baptize them in some other name”
The text flow is in the direction of Jesus, it just makes no sense to say that because he has all power, then we should do something in some other name, it just does not agree with the context.
The disciples were to preach his name and then baptize in a different name?: The apostles were out there preaching his name and then they were supposed to baptize in a different name?
Peter preached the name of Jesus; Acts 2:22, 3:13, 4:10, 5:28, and many more
Philip preached the name of Jesus 8:12, 8:35
Paul went throughout the whole Mediterranean Sea preaching the name of Jesus.
So the disciples went everywhere preaching the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 11:20), and they were supposed to baptize in a different name? That makes absolutely no sense. That would be like promoting Coca cola and then when the people came giving them a Pepsi.
That does not square with what they actually did.
The disciples preached in the name of Jesus, same name message.
The disciples baptized in the name of Jesus, same name baptism.
Their name was never preached: If Matthew 28:19 was really spoken by Jesus then it would be obvious that the Apostles had to preach all the three names, but that was not the case at all.
Luke 24:47 “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name”
Acts 8:12 “Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ”
Acts 19:13 “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches”
Rom 15:20 “I take pains to preach The Good News, not where the name of The Messiah is invoked”
Phil 1:15 “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife”
The Apostles preached the name of Jesus and baptized in the name of Jesus, there is no record of them ever preaching the name of the father or the name of the Holy Spirit.
Did the Apostles forgot just one thing?: If Jesus had really spoken all the words in Matthew 28:19, then how come the Apostles only did most of them, except for one part, just take a look.
Go therefore- R
Peter went to Samaria and Caesarea (Acts 10:24, Acts 8:14)
and make disciples of all the nations- R
15 plus nations in the crowd (Acts 2:9-11)
baptizing them - R
The Samaritans were baptized. (Acts 8:12)
In the name - R
in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 8:16)
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost- £
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you- R
Acts 20:20 “I did not shrink back from proclaiming to you anything that was profitable or from teaching it to you”
and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world - R
Acts 14:3 speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.
According to these verses the Apostles remembered to do everything that Jesus told them, except for one part, about baptism, for apparently they got it wrong, for they baptized in the name of Jesus. That is pretty selective remembering. How the Apostles could forget that important part? Maybe because the actual words of Jesus were “in my name”.
Does baptism belong in the Great commission?: Here I am going to say something that might shock many Christian brethren. Baptism is a rite, an important one, but nevertheless it still is a rite and a rite does not belong in the Great Commission. It might be embedded inside the Great Commission, but in reality it has no place being mentioned in the Great Commission. What is the main point of the Great Commission in every gospel? Let us take a look at the main point in each gospel, pay attention.
Matthew 28:19 “Make Disciples”
Mark 16:16 “Preach the gospel”
Luke 24: 24 “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name”
John 20:31 “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ”
Those are the main points in those commissions. Yes baptism is important, but how come it is not mentioned in every single gospel? Why is the rite of baptism omitted in the great Commission of the other 2 gospels? Now if we take the critics objections that the ending of Mark is an insertion then Mark also does not have baptism in the end. If we take the testimony of Eusebius, Annarikhus and Aphraates then neither does Matthew mention baptism. And why should a rite even be mentioned in the overall command given by Jesus to his disciples? After all the Eucharist is not mentioned, neither is prayer or fasting, neither is the giving of alms nor any other rite or activity. The fact that the rite of baptism is the only included one in Matthew 28:19 makes it highly suspicious of this text being an alteration.
Which one is a name?: Here is a list of the “names” mentioned in Matthew 28:19 and in Acts 2:38
The Father, The Son, the Holy Spirit. Lord, Jesus, Christ. Now which one of these is in reality a name? Father is not, neither is Son, nor Holy Spirit, since they are titles, roles or designations.
Neither are Lord or Christ a name for they are attributes; the only real name in the whole bunch is “Jesus”. So it is clear that there is only one single name. Jesus is Lord, but Lord is not a name but a description of what he is, Jesus is the Christ, but Christ is also a designation of who he was.
The disciples were witnesses: Jesus wrote nothing himself, all that we know comes from his disciples; they were the witnesses to his life and his words. One of the reasons I believe this is so, is because if Jesus had written anything we would only believe what Jesus wrote and not what his disciples wrote. We would place what Jesus wrote much higher than what any of his Apostles wrote; just like the people who say “I rather believe Jesus’ words than Peter’s words” when talking about baptism. But the thing is that those are not really Jesus’ words; Matthew 28:19 were not more the exact words of Christ than were Mark 16:15-18 or Luke 24:46-49. They were each writer’s rendition of the words of Christ, written many years later.
To make matters even clearer we need to remember that Jesus spoke Aramaic, so any text written in Greek are NOT the real words of Jesus. The best that the Greek text can do is to gives us a translation of the real words of Jesus. It is called the Great commission but a simply comparison will show they are different words and in different order. The phrase “or words to that effect” is accepted in many legal documents or in witness depositions, the reasoning is that even if the words are not “ipsissima verba”, as long as the words convey the same effect they can be taken as similar to what was spoken.
Commandment and fulfillment: There is a difference between a commandment and its fulfillment. One is the order and the other is the action done to complete such order. One is the Word the other is the Action. Jesus said to his chosen apostles to do one thing and let us look at how they did that one thing.
Mat 28:19, Mark 16:16, Luke 24:47are the words or the final commandments that Jesus gave to his Disciples.
Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:47, 19:6 are the actions taken to fulfill those commandments which Jesus gave them.
As a former military person, I clearly understand the difference between a commandment and its fulfillment. When the sergeant said “Fire”, we knew exactly what he meant, he did not meant for us to simply parrot him and shout back “Fire” or to argue with him about the meaning of the word “Fire”. If the sergeant told us to get in the ground, we hit the dirt, no questions asked. Those soldiers who hesitate to obey their sergeants do not live long in the battlefield. So the question is did the Apostles did what Jesus told them correctly? If they did, then it is obvious that they correctly interpreted his commandments correctly otherwise it means that they were wrong.
From the name Yeshua HaMashiach: We have to consider Jesus himself; his real name was Yeshua, for he was a Jew, “A Jew and nothing but a Jew. A Jew totally within his Jewish faith and his Jewish roots.”, “How, then, do we know which phrases in the gospels reflect the words of Jesus?...nothing that a first century Jew could not possibly have said or thought.” When it comes to baptism we have to evaluate which phrase more properly fits within the context of first century Jewish religious culture. It would be proper for the talmudin (disciples) of a rabbi to be baptized in the name of their teacher; the other baptismal phrase would be strange and certainly would not conform to the culture. Taking into account the Jewish religious culture of that time, it would be quite proper for Jesus to command baptism in his name, but it would not fit with his culture for his disciples to be baptized in some other name.
From the allusions to baptism: The allusions to baptism are clear indication that baptism in the name of Jesus was the only baptism in the early church. Could such phrases have originated from the traditional baptism? If they had been baptized in the traditional way then these verses would be slightly different.
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death”
“We were therefore buried with them through baptism into death”
“Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
“Having been buried with them in baptism, in which you were also raised with them through your faith in the working of God, who raised them from the dead.”
Baptism is always connected to the Lord Jesus Christ: We need to think about this, every single mention of baptism, even Matthew 28:19, is always in connection with Jesus Christ. If there was any kind of connection between baptism and the Father or the Spirit it would be reflected in at least one of the other mentions of baptism, but there is absolutely zero connection or even a hint of such connection. Let us look at other texts besides those in the book of Acts (Which are always linked to the name of Jesus). Look at these other texts that mention baptism which are always connected to the name of Jesus.
Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ”
Colossians 2:12 “When you were buried with the Messiah in baptism”
1 Peter 3:21 “this water symbolizes baptism that now…saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”
Was it an abbreviated formula?: I have read some books where the authors readily acknowledged baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; but the authors then dismisses it by saying that it was really an abbreviated formula for the traditional baptism. So these apologists explain that in reality the Apostles actually baptized using the traditional phrase, but the writing of this event is an abbreviation; a form of short hand if you will. Well this is really stretching the facts, for if this was an abbreviation how come this is the only one in the scripture? And besides where in the scriptures can we find it explained to us that it was an abbreviation? The scriptures do not ever indicate that it was an abbreviation.
Actually the apostolic baptism is in reality an expansion and not an abbreviation. Look carefully at the traditional text.
“be baptized every one of you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”
The word “Son” is only 3 letters long, it is short.
Now look carefully at the apostolic formula for baptism.
“be baptized every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”, 15 letters not counting spaces.
The difference between the word “Son” and the words “Lord Jesus Christ” is 12 extra letters.
The Apostolic text is an expansion 5 times longer for just the word Son. If one is an abbreviation of the other, it is the other way around, the word Son would be an abbreviation of the name “Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now a second question is that this abbreviation only mentions the Son, where is the rest of the abbreviation mentioning the Father, and the Holy Spirit? And how do we abbreviate Holy Ghost?
For it to be really an abbreviation the words would actually have to be reversed.
Matthew would end up saying “be baptized every one of you in the Name of the Father, and of the “Lord Jesus Christ” and of the Holy Ghost.”
Then the abbreviated Peter would have to say something like
“be baptized every one of you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”
Maybe Peter could have used these abbreviations
“be baptized every one of you in the Name of Dad, JC and the H.G.”
“be baptized every one of you in the Name of the Trinity” quicker and easier to pronounce and write.
The idea that the Apostolic baptism is an abbreviation is really grasping at straws.
The Holy Spirit failed: Jesus told his disciples that they would receive the Holy Spirit, and Acts 2:4 says “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost”. The Holy Ghost was supposed to “teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”John 14:26, “he will guide you into all truth:” John 16:13.
So according to some the Holy Spirit did not do any of those things.
The Holy Spirit failed to teach the right formula of baptism to Peter and the rest of the Apostles. For even years later people still were being baptized in the name of Jesus. If the Holy Spirit really was teaching them, then we must admit that correct baptism was in the name of Jesus or the Holy Spirit simply did a lousy job teaching them.
The Holy Spirit failed to remind them of what Jesus told them in Galilee about the words to use in baptism. The Holy Spirit just never got around to remind the Apostles that the proper name was not in the name of Jesus, which makes him a very forgetful spirit.
The Holy Spirit failed to guide them into all the truth of the correct baptism for they never corrected their mistake. It seems the Holy Spirit was not good at guiding, for the Apostles never were guided into all the truth about baptism.
The Holy Ghost failed as a teacher, as a reminder and as a guide if he did not failed then it is obvious that baptism was commanded by Jesus in his name. It is one or the other.
Jesus’ apostles: Look at what Jesus said to his disciples
(Chosen) John 15:16: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you”
(Faithful) Luke 22:28: “But you are those who have remained with me in my trials”
(Taught) Jesus taught the Apostles how to baptize (John 4:1)
(Understood) Jesus opened the Apostles mind to understand the scriptures (Luke 24:27)
(Commissioned) Jesus commissioned the Apostles to teach all nations (Matthew 28:20)
Did Jesus fail to choose the right men to be Apostles?
Did Jesus fail somehow to properly instruct the Apostles and then sent them to instruct others incorrectly? Did Jesus fail somehow to instruct them on the correct method they were to baptize? Those that dismiss the Apostles are not only calling into question the judgment of Jesus in his election of the Apostles, but they are also calling into question the teaching abilities of Jesus himself.
The traditional reading puts the apostles in the role of false apostles: The Bible is clear that the apostles never mentioned
nor baptized using the traditional text. The people who after reading what the
apostles taught and did disregard their example, do not realize that they put
the apostles in the role of disobedient to Jesus and false teachers.
If we say that the Apostles were
ignorant of his words, then who was Jesus speaking to before he departed into
heaven? Was Jesus leaving and giving finals instructions and no one was paying
attention? Why did not Jesus told them exactly how they should have to baptize
people during the last 40 days they were with him? Why would he wait until the
last moment before leaving them to give them the most important instructions?
If we say that the Apostles forgot
his last words; then we need to ask how they could forget the last commandment
of Jesus, I mean this was the last remembrance they had of him. Did all the
Apostles have a severe case of Alzheimer? It was only 7 days to the day of
Pentecost, did they forgot in just one week what Jesus told them? Perhaps
sometime during that week they all were hit in the head and had a severe case
of Amnesia? If we cannot trust the Apostles to remember what Jesus told them a
week ago, then how could we trust them to remember what he told them 3 and a
half years ago when he began his ministry?
Was only Matthew paying attention
during Jesus’ farewell? Are we to believe that only Matthew got the words of
Jesus’ right and everybody else got the words of Jesus wrong? Was Matthew, an
Apostle who was not even in the inner circle of Jesus, the only one with the
inside secret phrase, which he did not disclose until almost 40 years later
when he wrote his gospel?
4. Even if the Apostles were such knuckleheads as to forget Jesus words, Jesus told them that the Spirit of Truth would bring all things to their remembrance.
a. Well we can say that the Apostles never received the Spirit of Truth, which means that Jesus lied.
b. Well the Apostles did receive the Spirit of Truth, but the Spirit forgot to make them remember, which means that Jesus lied.
They did receive the Spirit of
Truth but the Spirit lied about baptism in Jesus’ name, which means that Jesus
If we say that Jesus did say that,
but they forgot then we can say that either Jesus was a bad teacher or he chose
a dozen of senile men. They were such a bunch of dummies that they could not
retain his teachings for even one week, so much for Jesus judgment in choosing
disciples or teaching abilities.
If the Apostles knew but never
baptized the way Jesus actually commanded, then we could say that they were
disobedient to Jesus Christ. So Jesus basically wasted his time with a dozen of
disobedient individuals who right after he left, turned around and immediately
disobeyed his commandments.
If they did receive the Spirit of
Truth and the Spirit of truth did remind them of the correct way to baptize but
the Apostles ignored the Spirit of Truth, then why should we not ignore them
and all their teachings like they ignored the baptism in the triune phrase.
8. If we say that they are false Apostles who knowingly and willfully disobeyed Jesus. Then we must conclude that the church was founded by false prophets, who hypocritically warned us about false prophets.
The early believers were in one accord regarding baptism in Jesus’ name.
I think we have to make a choice, either the Apostles obeyed Jesus or they did not.
If they did, then we must conclude
that Matthew 28:19 was tampered with and changed.
If they disobeyed then we must conclude that they were false prophets.
The Apostle Peter: Peter was the first disciple of Jesus; he lived with Jesus for over 3 years and was instructed personally by him. Peter was in the mount of transfiguration, he received the revelation and confessed Jesus as the Christ and he had a private audience with Jesus. Peter was in reality the most mentioned apostle in the gospels, and Jesus said that he would give Peter the keys to the kingdom. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven”
Peter opened the door of salvation to all the Jews in the city of Jerusalem. Acts 2
Peter opened the door of salvation to all the Samaritans in the city of Samaria. Acts 8
Peter opened the door of salvation to all the Gentiles in the city of Caesarea. Acts 10
From the power to bind given to Peter. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Peter has bound the name of Jesus to baptism; the name of Jesus has been tied to baptism and reaffirmed by the continuation of such binding by Philip and Paul. No one has been given the authority to unbind what Peter already has bound. The bounding or tying of the name of Jesus to baptism was done by Peter and it is valid in earth and in heaven, for Jesus authorized it.
When Jesus departed Peter assumed the leadership of the Church with all the other Apostles supporting him, he was a central figure in most of the early events of the church. There really was no one more qualified than Peter to transmit faithfully the teachings of Jesus. Yet according to some later teachers, Peter was wrong and they ignore his words. Just how or by what authority, revelation or reasoning do these teachers discount Peter’s words? Has the Lord spoken to them and given them the authority to disregard, reverse or correct what Peter has already decreed or bound in earth and in heaven?
Let us start by discounting Peter’s words in Acts 2:38
Peter forgot Jesus words
(Yet years later he still was baptizing the same way, so he never remembered)
Peter misunderstood Jesus
(Then everyone else also misunderstood Jesus)
Peter misheard Jesus
(Yet no one ever corrected him or corrected the Apostle Paul)
Peter created his own formula
(he did not like what Jesus told him and decided to get creative)
Peter purposely lied
(should this idea even be taken seriously?)
OK if you believe that Peter was wrong then take your pick
· The Spirit of Truth did not came upon Peter at Pentecost (Yes/No)
· The Spirit of Truth allowed him to lie (Yes/No)
· The Spirit of Truth forgot to remind him (Yes/No)
· The Spirit of Truth gave a contradictory formula to Peter (Yes/No)
In the book of Acts everyone else followed Peter’s lead in baptism.
If Peter was incorrect, then how come The Holy Spirit never corrected him?
If Peter was incorrect, then how come Jesus never corrected him?
If Peter was incorrect, then how come Matthew never corrected him?
If Peter was incorrect, then how come none of the other Apostles ever corrected him?
If Peter was incorrect, then how come none of the Prophets in the church ever corrected him?
Peter was called on the floor after he had gone and converted the house of Cornelius because he was a gentile; Peter actually had to explain himself as to why he had done what he had done. Later Paul rebuked him for his dissimulation of gentiles before the Jewish brethren. If Peter was incorrect on the day of Pentecost then how come no one called him on it or any of the other Apostles rebuked him for it. Where is the story of the brave Apostle Matthew confronting Peter for baptizing incorrectly? After all it was Matthew who supposedly wrote it, shouldn’t then he stand up for what he wrote?
You can take your next pick about the other disciples of Jesus.
· The disciples ignored Jesus’ words in favor of Peter’s words.
· The disciples forgot Jesus’ words, but they remembered Peter’s words.
· The disciples were disobedient to Jesus, but obedient to Peter.
· The disciples were false prophets, just like Peter was.
OK if the prior options are not acceptable then how about these
· The Spirit of Truth never came upon the disciples.
· The Spirit of Truth is actually The Spirit of Deceit.
· The Spirit of Truth forgot to remind them of Jesus’ Words.
· The Spirit of Truth has bad memory and did not remember Jesus’ words.
· The Spirit of Truth did not agree with Jesus.
The Apostle Matthew: The silence of the Apostle Matthew speaks very loudly. If Matthew truly wrote such a thing, then it seems that every one either ignore him or never heard of it. How come no one, absolutely no one mentions Matthew in the epistles? If Matthew indeed wrote in his gospel this phrase, how come not one single of the apostles or post apostolic fathers mention it? How come his mode of baptism was totally unknown in the early church? The only credible reason that there is absolutely no mention of a different baptism in the early church is that Matthew was in agreement with the Apostles and he did not write such phrase.
Matthew vs. Matthew: I would like to call to the witness stand Matthew.
Dear Matthew in your gospel, you often wrote the phrase “in my name” or “in his name” 11 or 12 times. You also often mention Jesus using phrases like (Follow me, confess me, come unto me, learn of me, receiveth me, believe in me, given unto me).
So it is established that you many times before had previously used phrases “in my name” and “believe in me”, or similar phrases. OK having established your usual pattern of expressions now we will make a quick comparison. So which of these texts sounds more like your words?
The traditional text which says “In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”
Or the Eusebian text which says “in my name?”
Also according to Annarikhus you said “in my name”
And according to Aphraates you said “they will believe in Me”
Why would you use a phrase that you had never used before?
Why would you disagree with the earlier gospels which use “in my name”?
Why give a different baptism than what the apostles already had established?
Why would you give us a new name at the end of the gospel?
Why did you failed to explain what this new name was?
The Apostle Paul: OK, for the sake of argument, what if Peter and all the other apostles did got baptism wrong. Then why didn’t Jesus start over with the Apostle Paul? Years later when Jesus spoke directly to Paul, why did not Jesus told him the correct method of baptism? And then tell him to go and correct Peter and the rest of the Apostles.
Why did Jesus not simply tell Paul to just believe in him and he would be saved? Jesus was already talking to Paul, yet he told him “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” Paul spent three days praying until Ananias came and told him what to do. And Paul did what Ananias told him, he got up and got baptized calling on the name of the Lord Jesus. It is nonsense for some to say that Paul did not care for baptism; he was baptized in the name of Jesus before he began his ministry and he did baptized people in the name of Jesus.
Wasn’t the Apostolic church the true church?: The true original church begun on the day of Pentecost, around 9:00 am in the morning; and that church baptized in the name of Jesus. Yet years later that same church was still baptizing in the name of Jesus. Why would anyone dare to say that the early church was wrong or mistaken from day one? By what power or secret knowledge can anyone make the judgment that the Apostolic church was mistaken and never corrected that mistake? Why would anyone even believe that a church so full of the Spirit of God couldn’t even get its baptism right?
Why would God allow his church to be in error from day one? If the true church was wrong in baptizing in the name of Jesus, why would the spirit of God manifest itself so mightily among them? Why would the Lord work miracles and wonders among them? God sent prophets to the early church warning them of famines and other things, yet he never sent a prophet to correct their baptism, why not? Perhaps because it wasn’t wrong? If the Apostolic church was in error, why would God add daily to the church, such as should be saved? Why would God allow an incorrect baptism to be preached to the early believers?
If Peter the first leader of that church was wrong on his first sermon, for preaching baptism in Jesus name, then how come he continued to be the leader of the early church? If Peter was wrong why did he have such power that just his shadow healed people? Why would God send an Angel to free Peter from prison, since he was the main preacher of baptism in Jesus name? Why was Peter allowed to continue teaching baptism in the name of Jesus, without God ever correcting him?
If the Apostle Philip was wrong in baptizing in the name of Jesus how come the Angel of the Lord never reproached him or corrected him, after all he was on speaking terms with Philip? Philip did great miracles and signs, why would he have that power, if he was baptizing wrong? Philip had just baptized a whole city in the name of Jesus, how else would he baptize the Ethiopian eunuch? The comprehensive Commentary on the Holy Bible (1839) p.46 by Matthew Henry says: “The eunuch is baptized in the name of Christ”
Paul had visions and great revelations given to him, and went up to the third heaven, if he was wrong about baptism, then why was he never given the proper revelation about baptism? Jesus spoke directly to Paul, yet Paul baptized in the name of Jesus. Did Jesus somehow forget to teach Paul the proper formula for baptism?
Seriously, those folks who attack the churches and believers, who teach and baptize in the name of Jesus, really need to stop and think really hard about what they are doing. They are attacking believers for teaching and practicing exactly what the early church taught and preached. Perhaps they should rethink their words and actions.
The Lord confirmed their words with signs: “the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:15) “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will? (Hebrews 2:3-4) “So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.” (Acts 14:3) The signs were a confirmation that what the Apostles preached was true. If the Apostles were saying words that were incorrect, they would have received no miracles and wonders confirmation. The people now preaching a different baptism than the Apostles have not signs to confirm anything they say.
The baptized believers received the Holy Spirit: If baptism in the name of Jesus is wrong then why did the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit? Why after baptizing the Ephesians believers in the name of Jesus they received the Holy Spirit if baptism in the name of Jesus is wrong? Would the Holy Spirit approve of a mistaken or “heretical” baptism like now it is called? If being baptized in the name of Jesus was incorrect why were these new believers accepted into the church? Why did Paul tell these incorrectly baptized believers to keep in the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit and to be filled with the Spirit?
Why should the Gospel of Matthew outweigh all other scriptures?: Why is the assumption made that the gospel Matthew is correct and all the other scriptures are incorrect or not valid. Yes Matthew was an Apostle, but he only had a supporting role. Matthew was not a part of the inner circle of Jesus like Peter, John and James were. Matthew is only mentioned once in the Book of Acts; so how it is possible that the supposed words that Matthew wrote at a later time have more credibility than all other earlier texts written by the other Apostles? And if Matthew really knew of a different baptism, why would he wait almost 40 years before he wrote it down? Would Matthew have allowed all the first Christians to be wrong about baptism? Why would he keep the real baptism formula a secret for all those years? The church already had a baptism in the name of Jesus, why would Matthew create a second baptism. It is quite clear that the real Matthew did not write such a phrase.
Shouldn’t the reading with much support be accepted as valid instead of the reading with no support? If Matthew 28:19 the traditional baptism has zero support from any other scripture and baptism in Jesus’ name has overwhelming support from many scriptures, shouldn’t it be obvious that Baptism in Jesus name is the correct text. How is a single text more credible than numerous texts? God is not the author of confusion, if there is a later second baptismal formula causing confusion; then we must conclude that such later baptismal formula does not come from God? All the biblical texts and all the scholars agree that baptism in the name of Jesus was the first and original baptismal formula, was the church wrong in their original baptism?
If in a court of law 7 reliable witnesses came early and said that the thief used a knife and then 40 years later one suspicious witness came claiming to be someone important and said that the thief used a gun, which testimony would you accept? In the Bible at least 15 early scriptures say that baptism is in the name of Jesus and one that came later on says that it is in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, which scripture has more validity?
The numbers are quite clear there are at least 10 scriptures that explicitly say that baptism was in the name of Jesus and many others which imply it. The count is very simply 1/10 = 10% even if we devalued the scriptures and gave a value of only 1 tenth to each scripture they would still be at least equal to Matthew 28:19, so just from a basic mathematical sense they are equal and the rest of the implied scriptures would tip the balance in favour of baptism in the name of Jesus.
The message was Jesus and acceptance was baptism in his name: Let us look at the message that was preached and the response given, there is a pattern clearly shown in the book of Acts.
Acts 2, The message of Peter in Jerusalem was Jesus and the response was baptism in Jesus’ Name.
Acts 8, The message of Philip in Samaria was Jesus and the response was baptism in Jesus’ Name.
The message of Philip to the Ethiopian was Jesus and the response was baptism in ________?
Acts 9, The message of Ananias to Paul was Jesus and the response was baptism in Jesus’ Name.
Acts 10, The message of Peter in Caesarea was Jesus and the response was baptism in Jesus’ name.
Acts 16, The message of Paul in Philippi was Jesus and the response was baptism in _____________?
Acts 18, The message of Paul in Corinth was Jesus and the response was baptism in Jesus’ Name.
Acts 19, The message of Paul in Ephesus was Jesus and the response was baptism in Jesus’ Name.
Now, the message of us in whatever place should be Jesus and the response should be baptism in ___?
How many people were actually baptized: OK Let us give the count of the people actually baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The bible often mentions that multitudes were added unto the church, but since it is hard to add multitudes, let us just add the actual numbers mentioned and then give an estimate in some other accounts; where no number is given, 10 people will be assumed. For the cities mentioned where no information is given, we will simply assume just a 100 people per city, which is really a very low conversion number. We know that Peter, Paul and Philip baptized in the name of Jesus, so let’s start adding.
Jerusalem 8,000, Caesarea? (10), Philippi? (10) Corinth? (10) Ephesus (12) = 8,142
Of course we would need to include Samaria, Rome, the Galatians, the Colossians and the church in Crete, which also are recorded as baptized in the name of Jesus. Perhaps they were small churches with 100 members each.
The people baptized in the name of Jesus were (Low estimate) 8,142 + 400 = 8,542
And now let us give the count of the people baptized in the traditional text. = 0
Power given to Jesus
(Mat 28:18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
(Mat 28:18) Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me
(Dan 714) He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him.
(Mrk 16:19) After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
(Isa 9:6) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders
(Jhn 3:35) The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands
If Jesus has all power why would we have to baptize in any other name? Wouldn’t the name of the person who has all power be enough? Is the power in the name of Jesus not enough so that we have to substitute it with some other “name” or add some other names?
The list of things that can be done in the name of Jesus just goes on and on, here is a small sample
Name of F-S-HG
Trust in his name. (Mat 12:21)
Gather in his name (Mat 18:20)
Receive children in his name (Mark 9:37)
Do miracles in his name (Mark 9:39)
Give water in his name (9:41)
Preach in his name (Luke 24:47)
Ask in his name (John 14:13)
Bow to his name (Philippians 2:10)
From the ancients own texts: I am going to call on the carpet some hostile witnesses; by that I mean the ancient preachers of the traditional baptism message in the early centuries. I have read many ancient texts where the Apostles or some other “Apostolic” Fathers teach for a long time about Jesus, these preachers go on for page after page preaching about Jesus and then at the end, they end up baptizing their hearers in the traditional manner instead of in the name of Jesus. That is illogical, these preachers exalted and glorified the name of Jesus, and even did miracles in his name, yet at the time of conversion, they ended up baptizing in the traditional manner. If you do not believe me read some of the ancient texts and you will see that they mentioned over and over the name of Jesus and instead of baptizing in the name of Jesus as one would logically expect them to do; they ended up baptizing using the titles that they often did not even mentioned at all in their just given long message. It is frustrating reading some of the ancient texts for sometimes, there is not so much as a single mention of the father, the son and the Holy Ghost as a group or even individually; and yet the phrase simply appears out of nowhere at the time of baptism. This is a clear indication of a bait and switch operation or a clear indication that the original baptismal formula that was in the end of many of these ancient texts was changed.
If Matthew is correct then we need to correct all the others: If we are to believe that only Matthew got it right, and all the other Apostles and disciples were wrong; then we need to change all the references to baptism in the name of Jesus to the traditional manner like in Matthew.
Let us start with Acts 2:38
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
You can continue changing the rest of all the other scriptures, for after all if the traditional text in Matthew 28:19 is indeed correct then it should be no problem at all to change all the other scriptures to match the “original” words of Jesus.
The name above all names: Jesus has all power, and has the name above all names, Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is the greatest name in heaven and earth, at his name every knee know shall bow, so why would anyone baptize in anything else but in the name of Jesus for it is the name under which we should be baptized.
Some people know that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, but he is much more than that; he is woven through the whole New Testament, from Matthew 1:1 (his first coming) to Revelation 22:20 (his second coming); in short his name supports the whole structure. You can take out the phrase “of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” of the New Testament and substitute it with “his name” and it would hardly be missed at all (except by the traditionalists) and it actually creates even more harmony in the New Testament (isn’t this amazing), but if you take out his name from the New Testament the whole structure falls apart.
From all that Jesus is: Looking all over the Bible we see that Jesus is the main thing, he is the whole focus of the Bible.
1 Cor 3:11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Yeshua Mashiach.”
Ephesians 2:20 “Christ Jesus himself is the chief cornerstone.”
If Jesus is all that and more, doesn’t it reason that his name is worthy of being used in baptism? The Apostles thought so and so they used the greatest name ever for baptism.
From receiving the Holy Spirit in his name: Jesus said “you shall receive the Holy Spirit in my name.” (John 14:26), if we are to receive the spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit in his name, then why should we not receive the physical baptism in water in his name also? The Holy Spirit comes thru his name, so why not also can remission of sins by baptism in water come thru his name?
From the water cleansings and testings in the Bible: Why is baptism in water such an important topic, well one thing that some people overlook in the Bible is that water has often been the means to cleanse and to test people.
In Genesis 7:11 God baptized the earth and cleansed it from evil by water.
In Genesis 21:19 God proved his protection of Hagar and Ishmael by water.
In Exodus 15:25 The Lord tested the people by water.
In Leviticus 16:4 Aaron and his sons were consecrated by water.*
In Numbers 5:26 the woman suspected of adultery was tested by water.
In Judges 7:4 God tested the men of Gideon by water.
In Matthew 14:25 Jesus walking in the water proved his divinity.
There are many other places in the Bible where water has played a critical role as the cleansing or testing element. It is not wonder then that baptism by water is the diving issue among so many Christians. Water is a cleansing element so it is quite proper that it is used by the Lord to divide those who serve him from those who will not serve him. For those who think it makes no difference how one is baptized they should look at the men of Gideon and see that it did make a difference how they drank the water.
* “Some Jewish interpreters have maintained that the washing of Aaron and his sons was by immersion, as was required of the high priest on the day of atonement (Leviticus 16:4).” (Harrison)
The Oneneness of God: The Bible speaks everywhere of the Oneness or singularity of God. There is
One God, One Lord, One shepherd, One King, One throne, and so on always emphasizing the numerity One. Based on that then it is clear that if we are going to be baptized then it has to be in One name and that name is Jesus.
Absurdities upon absurdities: I consider all this as one absurdity upon another one.
Jesus was all those years with his disciples and he waited until the very end to tell them how to baptize?
The name of Jesus is everywhere, yet a different name was chosen for baptism?
They were to do all things in the name of Jesus, except for baptism?
The Apostles then disregarded Jesus’ commandment and baptized differently?
Everyone forgot or ignored the words of Jesus?
Jesus then never corrected their mistaken baptism?
Please stop, this is just totally absolutely incredibly absurd.
REVIEW OF LOGICAL REASONS WHY MAT 28:19 IS AN INTERPOLATION.
The lack of repetition of a phrase
in a culture that uniquely valued repetition in its literature (Hebrew
Parallelism). The lack of repetition is totally illogical, it does not concur
with literature written by a Hebrew mind.
The total silence of the primitive
church about this phrase, defies any logic, if such scripture did exist. There
is never any reference to it or even an allusion to it by anyone. The absolute
silence about it goes against the cultural norms of the Jews and Jesus and the
apostles were Jews. No early believer mentions it.
The apostles’ obedience is beyond
questioning. They were obedient to the Lord and taught people what Jesus taught
them despite persecution and martyrdom. They were the receptors of the original
sayings of Jesus and yet never used this formula for baptism. It is illogical
to even think that they would ignore or disobey a direct commandment of Jesus
and create their own baptismal formula.
The apostles’ focus on the name of
Jesus. They preached in Jesus name, healed in Jesus name, made miracles in the
name of Jesus, cast out demons in Jesus name and even baptized in the name of
Jesus. Isn’t it logical to reason that if the apostles did everything in Jesus
name including baptism is because Jesus himself commanded them to do all things
in his name?
Jesus himself had said to use his
name to heal and cast out demons and to ask anything in his name. The only real
logical reason that all baptisms were done in the name of Jesus, is because he
himself must have also told them to baptize in his name and that concurs with
the Eusebius and Annarikhus texts and with Eusebius explanations of the power
of his name.
If the other Gospels (Mark and
Luke) ended using the words “in my name” isn’t it logical to think that Matthew
originally also ended the same way? After all the farewell of Jesus was one
single event recorded by all three of them.
Matthew’s silence speaks volumes.
Is it possible to believe that Matthew would have remained silent for 40 years,
if all were using words that Jesus did not say? Isn’t it logical that if the
Apostle Matthew had really heard those words that he would not have corrected
Peter or the other apostles in the matter of baptism?
The whole New Testament is
Christ-centric. Everything revolves around the name of Jesus, it is only
logical that baptism being such an integral part of the church would also be
Jesus’ name centered.
If the name of Jesus is above all
names and he has all authority, then it is logical that using any other name
for baptism would actually be a form of going from the name above all names to
a name below that of Jesus; in other words we would be settling for a lesser
name and a name that would actually have less authority.
10. The epistles clearly indicate a strong connection
between baptism and the name of Jesus. Apart from this interpolation there is
no indication anywhere of a connection between baptism and the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit as a group, so it is logical to suspect it deeply.
11. The Gospel of Luke has “in his name” and the
gospel of Mark has “in my name,” as part of the last words spoken by
Jesus. If Matthew is correct then it is logical that in order to make all of
them be in agreement we would have to assume that these two other gospels are
erroneous and need to be corrected by Matthew and we would also have to correct
the book of Acts and every other reference that mentions or alludes to baptism
12. One error or many errors? If the unique phrase in
Matthew 28:19 is correct, then all the other phrases are incorrect. What is
more logical to believe, that there is just one single interpolation in Matthew
or that there were multiple errors in different parts of the New Testament?
It is obvious that Jesus said baptism should be in his name or in the traditional manner, Jesus said one thing or the other, there is no compromise, one baptism is clearly incorrect.
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