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XI. HISTORY OF BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS

 

Baptism in the name of Jesus was done by the Apostles Peter and Paul and never fully disappeared. One obstinate point is that baptism in Jesus name kept on resurfacing throughout the centuries. The fact that this issue refused to go away does makes many suspect that the traditional Matthew 28:19 does not have the early and original wording. Baptism in Jesus name keeps on being mentioned by churches and individuals; with some considering it as valid and others as a heresy. Below is a list of people who mentioned Baptism in Jesus name.

 

Baptism in the name of Jesus mentioned throughout the centuries:

(136-160)        Valentinius, a Gnostic (he baptized in the name of Jesus Christ)

(160-225)        Tertullian, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus

(218-223)        Pope Calixtus I (he baptized in the name of Jesus Christ)

(225-258)        Lawrence of Rome (he baptized in the name of Jesus Christ)

(200-258)        Cyprian, bishop of Carthage

(254-258)        Pope Stephen I (he accepted baptism in Jesus name as valid)

(300-368)        Hilary of Poitiers certainly knew of baptism in the name of Jesus.

(313-398)        Didymus the blind

(340-398)        St. Ambrose, Aurelius Ambrosius

(347-407)        John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople

(401-417)        Pope Innocent I

(354-430)        St. Augustine of Hippo

(393-457)        Theodoret Bishop of Cyrus

(556-561)        Pope Pelagius I

(673-735)        The Venerable Bede of England, “The Father of English History”

(675-749)        John of Damascus (The Golden Mouth)

(741-752)        Pope Zachary

(858-867)        Pope Nicholas I

(1033-1109)    St. Anselm of Canterbury

(1483-1546)    Martin Luther the Protestant Reformer

(1530-1591)    George Schomann a Socinian theologian

(1599-1647)    Thomas Edwards English Puritan clergyman

(1735-1790)    Robert Robinson, Historian

(1843-1898)    George Thomas Stokes, Professor and Ecclesiastical historian

(1846-1937)    Percy Gardner, Professor of Archeology at Cambridge

 

Groups that baptized in the name of Jesus: The following is a list of some groups that are known to have baptized in the name of Jesus. There are other groups that are suspected to have baptized in the name of Jesus but I have confined myself to only list those that have some evidence that they did baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. According to Apostolic History outline (2012) by Doctor of Theology Marvin M. Arnold, there were 40 to 50 organizations of Apostolics in the 9th century and numerous others throughout the centuries.

 

The study of the ancient history of “heretical” groups is very confusing for many reasons. The authors sometimes made mistakes in their writings; most of the writers of such history are either very general in their descriptions or sometimes outright antagonistic to their beliefs; which is kind of like the History of the Jews written by Apion, full of hate filled distortions, lies, calumnies and atrocious falsehoods. It is clear that ancient historians were not too concerned about being fair or objective. Although charges of heresy are common, few details of the heresies are given. Not only that; but sometimes the groups themselves appear under more than one name; like the Euchites are sometimes called Messalians, and the Arians appear to have generated a number of distinct branches, some of which baptized in the name of Jesus and others which did not.

Most of these groups arose in the early centuries before the traditional baptism was fully formulated and dominant. After the traditionalists rose to power these groups went into recession and only survived in far away places with some sporadic mention of them centuries later as on the verge of exctintion. It appears that after a few generations most of these groups went into decline; it also seems that these groups over generations changed their beliefs, some begun to adopt real heretical doctrines or even some abandoned their initial baptism in the name of Christ for the traditional baptism.

 

(Baptized in the name of Jesus) List arranged by approximate dates

Ebionites 80 AD - 4th century, Jewish Christian sect, considered heretical.

-- Elkasaites 100 AD – 10th century, a branch of the Ebionites, died out

Montanists 135 AD - 8th century, widespread in the Roman Empire, crushed by force.

Valentinians 136 AD - 7th century, a very large body of believers, spread in the Empire.

--Marcosians 2nd century - 4th century, a branch of the Valentinians, died out.

Marcionites 144 AD - 7th century, they flourished in the east, died out.

--Apelletians 2nd century - ? a branch of the Marcionites, died out.

Patripassians late 2nd century - 3rd century, possible an earlier name for Monarchians.

Monarchians late 2nd century - early 5th century, outnumbered Catholics in the 3rd century.

Artemonites late 2nd century - 16th century, followers of Artemon a monarchian, died out.

--Sabellians early 3rd century - 5th century, an offshoot of Monarchism.

Samosatenes 260 AD - 5th century, left Jesus’ baptism, returned to Catholic Church.

Donatists 311 AD - 7th century, the largest Christian group in North Africa.

Arians 320 AD - 8th century, (Diverse group), they were finally crushed by military force.

Priscillianists 350 AD - 700 AD, strong in the Iberian Peninsula, persecuted to extinction.

Macedonians 350 AD – 5th century

Eunomians 350 AD – 7th century, died out.

Aetians 356 AD - ? followers of Aetius of Antioch

Euchites 370 AD – 12th century, persecuted to extinction.

Photinians 376 AD - ? followers of Photinus a Modalist Monarchian

Bonosians 380 AD – 7th century, followers of Bonosus, the monarchian bishop of Sardica

Paulicians 4th century - 19th century, Military force and persecution destroyed them.

--Thondracians 840 AD - ?, a branch of the Paulicians.

--Bogomils 900 AD - 1400 AD, a branch of the Euchites, persecuted to extinction.

Albigensians 11th century - 13th century, mostly in France, crushed by the inquisition.

Waldesians 1170 AD – 19th century, througout Europe. left Jesus’ baptism

Cathari 12th century - 15th century, flourished in Western Europe, crushed by the inquisition.

Anabaptists 1523 AD - end of 16th century, crushed by military force and the inquisition.

In 1565 AD there was in Morovia an International Federation of Apostolic Churches.

The Universalists (mid 1600s) -1961,were absorbed into the Unitarian movement.

In 1802 -? The Halcyon Church of Christ in Columbia was founded, North America

The Plymouth brethren 1820-?? Some of them baptized in the name of Jesus only.

 

There are other “heretical” groups that perhaps did baptize in the name of Jesus, but there is no real evidence to substantiate the claim that they did. Like the (Manichee, Anthropians, Ophites, Henricians and others).  Perhaps with time some future written evidence will be found that will support the claims about these other groups.

 

James the brother of Jesus: He was also often referred to by the name of “James the Just”; he was the leader of the Jewish Church in Jerusalem and preached baptism in the name of Jesus. James used the gospel of the Hebrews, which according to an ebionite monk named Annarikhus, this gospel had this text “Go ye forth into all the world, and teach ye all the nations in My Name in every place.”  The history and martyrdom of James is given by Josephus, Clement and Heggesipus.

 

The Ebionites: In the first century there was a Jewish sect called the Ebionites. This sect claimed to be the original church of Jerusalem before Jerusalem was destroyed; they claimed James “the Just”, the brother of Jesus as their founder and also claimed to have the biological relatives of Jesus among their own number. They were monotheistic and were known to practice immersion in the name of Jesus in their baptism; they thought of themselves as the true followers of Jesus. This sect only used “The Gospel of the Hebrews” (sometimes “The Gospel of the Apostles”) as their text; for they understood the Hebrew language.

This sect also used 'The Ascents of James', which made reference to baptism in the name of Jesus. On writing about 'The Ascents of James' Doctor Van Voorst says "Salvation comes through baptism in the name of Jesus, a baptism Jesus brought to replace the temple sacrifices." Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence (2000) By Professor of New Testament Studies Robert E. Van Voorst.

The name Ebionite means “poor ones”, which has a strong connection to James for he oftens mentions the poor.  However there are some who claim it was founded by a “heretic” named Ebion; however according to Hegesippus it was Thebutis who split the church in Jerusalem and created the Ebionites after the death of the bishop Symeon of Jerusalem, about 107 AD; because he himself was not elected to the bishopric church in Jerusalem.

The Ebionites often claimed that their gospel of the Hebrews was identical to the Lost Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. Their gospel was different from the Greek Gospel of Matthew. The Oldest Church Manual: The teaching of the twelve apostles (1885) by Phillip Schaff.

 

The Elkasaites: This was an obscure Jewish sect that branched out from the Ebionites around 100 AD, they are named after their leader Elchasa. They were most noted for their practice of ritual baptism for they baptized by full immersion, they taught that baptism was for the remission of sins, no matter how grievous the sin. The original Elchasean baptism is reconstructed by Brandt as a total immersion of the body, fully clothed, in the water of a river or a spring, “in the name of the Great and Most High God.” which was not traditional, but since we know that they are descendents of the Ebionites the most likely interpretation of this claim is that they actually baptized in the name of Jesus. The Revelation of Elchasai (1985) p. 14, 72, 76, 77 by Gerard P. Luttikhuizen

They too only had a Hebrew Gospel and were Sabbatarian. The parents of Mani, founder of Manichaeanism were claimed to have been Elkasites; according to the Cologne Mani-Codex. They prayed toward Jerusalem and condemned the offering of sacrifice on the ground that Jesus had been the last sacrifice. The Elkasaites took refuge in Arabia and flourished there until the 10th century. Mohamed was influenced by the Arian Monk Sergius of Syro-Phoenicia and by the Elkasaites with the doctrine of absolute Monotheism, which explains the strong anti-trinitarian and absolute monotheism of the Muslim religion and the tradition of praying toward Mecca.

 

The Nazoreans, the Nazoreans were often mentioned as having similar doctrines with the Ebionites.

The Cerinthians: These were the followers of Cerinthus.

The Symmachians: These were the followers of Symmachus an early Jewish Christian.

 

These three different sects had all the following things in common.

  1. They were Jewish Christian sects
  2. They were branched from the Ebionites
  3. They had Hebrew scriptures
  4. They venerate James the brother of Jesus
  5. They were law abiding sects
  6. They were monotheists and rejected the doctrine of the trinity
  7. They were Sabbath keepers
  8. There are indications they baptized in the name of Jesus, conclusive proof has not been obtained

 

The Macedonians: The adherents of Macedonius were called 'pneumatomachi' or 'fighters against the Holy Spirit', because they declined to include the Spirit in a Trinity of persons as co-equal, consubstantial, and co-eternal with the Father and the Son. They also stoutly denied that any text in the New Testament authorized such a co-ordination of the Spirit with the Father and Son. Whence we infer that their texts agreed with that of Eusebius [meaning, they lacked the triune reading of Mt 28:19]” (Hibbert Journal, F. Conybeare)

 

Some more groups: “The Eunomians and aetians, baptized "in the death of Christ"...The Sabellians were ordered to be rebaptized because the doctrine of Sabellius that there was but one person in the trinity had infected their baptismal form. The two sects that sprang from Paul of Samosta who likewise conferred invalid baptism; the Paulinists and Photinians did not distinguish the persons of the trinity when baptizing.” The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol 2, p. 263 Baptism.

 

The Paulicians: The group's name was derived from the 3rd century Bishop of Antioch, Paul of Samosata who lived from 200 to 275 AD and was Bishop of Antioch from 260 to 268. He was a believer in monarchism. Many years later around 545 AD The Empress Theodora a woman of vulgarity and insatiable lust, combined with shrewish and calculating mean-spiritedness sent Military officers to the districts of Armenia, to extirpate the Paulicians; and multitudes were hung, beheaded, drowned, and their property confiscated. The number of the victims to this outrage is reckoned at not less than a hundred thousand. In 969 AD, the emperor John Tzimesces, transported many of this sect to Philip- popolis, in Thrace, (Where their descendents still continue to live, as mentioned by a priest of the Greek Church in this town, named Constantine. Vienna, 1819.) so they now availed themselves of this opportunity to make still further progress in that country, and to extend themselves into other parts of Europe. When the Crusaders took Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade (1204 AD), they found some Paulicians. General History of the Christian Religion and Church (1861) by August Neander

 

The Waldensians: They formed a diverse group, with some of them being arians who denied the trinity and baptized in the name of Jesus. They rebaptized those who came from the Catholic Church by immersion. David of Augsburg, A. D. 1256-1272, says: “They say that a man is then truly for the first time baptized, when he is brought into this heresy.” There is a work of theirs which confirms their mode of baptism; this text is called the "Nobla Leycon" which is supposed to have been written in the beginning of the twelfth century (A.D. 1100). It was held in great esteem by them. We extract the following passage from it: "And he commanded the apostles to baptize the nations. For then began the renewal. And he called the apostles, and commanded them to go throughout the world, to make disciples of all nations: To preach to Jews and Greeks, and every human being. And they proclaimed without fear the doctrine of Christ; preaching to Jews and Greeks, and working many miracles. And they baptized believers in the name of Jesus Christ. Then there became a people of new converts. And they were called Christians because they trusted in Christ." The History of the Evangelical Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont (1658) pp. 112-113 by Sir Samuel Morland. (Preger, Der Tractat des David von Augsburg die Waldesier)

 

External sources mention baptism in Jesus name: All the early historical evidence is that baptism in Jesus name was the original and most practiced baptism until it was forcefully displaced by the traditional baptism. Yet here and there throughout the centuries ancient documents mention baptism in Jesus name, which clearly indicates that it was never totally wiped out. Through over 10 years of research I have found evidence of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ in every century except for the 12th and 15th centuries, however I am confident that I will eventually find evidence of such baptism in those centuries. It is kind of hard to believe that baptism in the name of Jesus appears and disappears throughout the centuries, like if the church was playing hop scotch thru the centuries. Jesus said it clearly that his church would not be defeated, so I am quite sure that somewhere there is a record of believers in these centuries.

 

From 30 AD the birth of the church to about 62 AD when Paul was imprisoned in Rome (Acts 28:11) the first church baptized in the name of Jesus. The book of Acts is a faithfull account of such church history in the first century of the church existence.

 

From 135-160 A.D Valentinius preached in Rome and baptized his disciples in the name of Jesus, his disciples continued to exist for about 600 years. “It is clear that the idea of receiving the Name, and invocations of the Name, constitute an essential and distinctive element of Valentinian baptismal theology and practice. It represented one might say, the Valentinian equivalent to the epiclesis of the spirit in Proto-orthodox baptismal liturgies.” Gnosis: A Journal of Western Inner Traditions (1985) by Professor Stephan A. Hoeller Vol. 1. Ablution, Initiation, and Baptism: (2011) by New Testament professor David Hellholm. “The Valentinians said that baptism in the name of Jesus was sufficient to deliver Christians” History of Heretics, Section VIII p. 514, Section XIV, Page 544 The Works of Nathaniel Larder (1815) Vol 4 by T. Bensley.

 

In the year 204 AD at Alexandria, he (Basilides) was baptized in the name of Christ. The following day he was beheaded for the confession of the Lord A. Mellinus, col 1,2s 1st book fol 58

 

From 199 to his death in 217 AD Zephyrinus was the bishop of Rome or Pope, he was a monarchian. He was favorable to Noetus, Cleomenes and Calixtus his advisor (All 3 baptized in the name of Jesus). Zephyrinus had a long dispute with Hyppolytus who practiced triple baptism. On his death Calixtus was made Pope.

 

From 218-223 Pope Calixtus I a monarchist was bishop of Rome, Calixtus baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. The student's ecclesiastical history (1878) By Philip Smith, historian.

 

In 246 AD Tertullian derisively acknowledged that Monarchians who baptized in Jesus name outnumbered Catholics for they were the majority of believers”; and their doctrine was “everywhere.” Which brings up an interesting point, some modern teachers insist that by this time the Monarchians were either extinct or almost extinct and here Tertullian is plainly admitting that they are the majority. So someone is lying and why would Tertullian lie about his present conditions?

Really who would know more about the true beliefs of the majority of the believers, Tertullian who lived in those times or scholars who lived 2,000 years later? (A History of Christian Thought Vol. I (1932) Theologian, Arthur Cushman McGiffert, Chapter 12 “The Monarchians” pp. 236, 239; Enthusiasm (1950) Monsignor, Ronald Arbuthnott Knox, p. 58; Dictionary of Sects (1874) pp. 340, 412 by Doctor of Theology John Henry Blunt.)

 

THE EARLY BATTLE OVER BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS.

In 254-258 AD there was a fierce argument between Pope Stephen and the bishops of Carthage and Caesarea, (Cyprian and Firmilian) regarding baptism in the name of Jesus.

 

Pope Stephen: said “the name of Christ is of great advantage to faith and the sanctification of baptism; so that whosoever is anywhere so-ever baptized in the name of Christ, immediately obtains the grace of Christ:” he reaffirmed that baptism in Jesus name alone was also valid, due to it being the tradition of the Apostles. Pope Stephen called Cyprian the bishop of Carthage “a false Christ and a false apostle, and a deceitful worker” and excommunicated him for his opposition to baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, he also disfellowship Firmilian bishop of Caesarea for he also refused to accept baptism in Jesus name as valid. English Historical Review (1910) Newly discovered letters of Dionysius of Alexandria to the Popes Stephen and Xystus by F.C. Conybeare, p. 111. History of the Christian Church, Volume II: Ante-Nicene Christianity. A.D. 100-325 Christian Worship, Heretical baptism (1885) by Philip Schaff

 

Firmilian: The bishop of Caesarea, in 256 in Cappadocia in his epistle 74, in section 18, he bitterly complains that “heretics baptized in the name of Christ.” In Section 19 he indicates that Baptism in Christ was an “ancient custom”. “who is so foolish as to prefer custom to truth?” (So we see in this letter a clear admission by Firmilian that baptism in the name of Christ was the older baptism). In section 21 Firmilian called baptism in the name of Jesus an “old error”; he was excommunicated by Pope Stephen for opposing baptism in the name of Christ and insisting in “baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

           

Cyprian: The bishop of Carthage, in 256 AD  in his Epistles 72 and 73 mentions that Marcion baptized his converts in the name of Jesus Christ. He complained that Pope Stephen accepted heretics without requiring them to be rebaptized, “even those that came from him (Marcion) did not need to be baptized, because they seemed to have been already baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” And also mentions that Patripassians, Anthropians, Valentinians, Apelletians, Ophites, and other “heretics” baptized in similar manner. He repeats the charge in his epistle 73 “they who are baptized anywhere and anyhow, in the name of Jesus Christ”,  and appears to indicate that not only Marcion baptized in the name of Jesus but also Valentinus,  Apelles and others did so. The arguments between him and Pope Stephen became so bitter and antagonistic that he was excommunicated.

            The writings of Cyprian clearly confirm that baptism in the name of Jesus was the oldest and most common baptism and that the traditional baptism was the new innovation. Fermilian contended that consuetudines [customs] in the Church had to be examined in the light of truth, to him it did not matter that baptism in the name of Jesus was an ancient custom. He said thus “for antiquity without truth is the age old error.” Because Cyprian considered baptism in the name of Jesus to be an age old error, he was a bitter enemy of baptism in the name of Jesus and often mentions baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ as a popular “heresy” that needed to be destroyed. In much anger Cyprian mentions that there were thousands of heretics who ‘baptized in the name of Christ alone’. And we do know that Cyprian combated this shorter formula that was used in certain quarters, in an attempt to stamp it out. The Byzantine Fathers
of the Fifth Century
(1933) by Historian and theologian Georges Florovsky.

In September 256 AD Cyprian held the third synod in Carthage which rejected baptism in the name of Christ as valid. This caused for some time that the relations of the Roman and African Churches to become severely strained. A library of the Fathers: The Epistles of Saint Cyprian (1868), Cyprian and Roman Carthage (2010) by Professor of early Christianity Allen Brent. Doctor of Theology Thomas Kelly Cheyne, Encyclopedia Biblica (1899), Cyprian: His Life, His Times, His Work (1897) by Archbishop of Canterbury Edward White Benson.

 

From the records of this ancient battle we can deduct a few things. (Of course providing these writings have come to us without any interpolations or corrections)

 

1). The church begun in 33 AD baptized in the name of Jesus and was still doing it in 256 AD.

2). It is admitted that the majority of Christians had been baptized in the name of Jesus.

3). It is admitted that many heretical groups were still baptizing in the name of Jesus.

4). It is admitted that baptism in the name of Jesus was the ancient custom.
5). It is admitted that Pope Stephen accepted it as a valid baptism.

6). It is admitted that Pope Stephen excommunicated Cyprian and Firmilan for opposing it.

7). The traditional formula was a new innovation from the African (Alexandrian) churches.

8). Cyprian along with a few others was promoting a newly created formula or method of baptism.

9). Cyprian was fighting the old single immersion baptismal formula.

10). It is clear that the original older baptismal formula was eventually displaced.

 

In 261 Sabellius the most notorious defender of Monarchism (who baptized his disciples in the name of Jesus) was excommunicated by Dionysius, the bishop of Alexandria. Athanasius recorded that when Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria wrote against the Sabellians the doctrine was widespread: “At that date certain of the Bishops in Pentapolis, Upper Libya, held with Sabellius. And they were so successful with their opinions that the Son of God was scarcely any longer preached in the churches” (On the Opinion of Dionysius 5) The 1911 Classic encyclopedia.

 

In 314 AD the Synod of Arles condemned the Donatists as heretics, "For those who are called Donatists are said to have progressed so far in wickedness that with criminal lawlessness they repeat the sacrosanct baptism" (some of them baptized in the name of Jesus) yet the Donatists managed to survive until the 7th century. New World Encyclopedia, Decretum of 405.

 

In 325 AD in order to unify all the distinct Christian groups under a single banner the first council of Nicaea was held. The Emperor Constantine was desirous of unifying the Christians under a single creed. The Arians (some of whom baptized in the name of Jesus) were defeated and excommunicated. This council also ordered the Paulianists (The Paulinists, the Cataphrygians and the Bonosians did not baptize in the traditional manner.) to be rebaptized. From then on the tide shifted and baptism in the traditional manner was officially adopted, although widely disregarded. Many books describe the political fights and maneuvers of this council; one of them is Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Arian-Nicene Conflicts (1995) by Doctor of Theology Daniel H. William. Summa Theologiae (1265) by St Thomas Aquinas.

 

In 348 AD another council in Cartage was held which prohibited the rebaptism of those already baptized in the traditional manner, this ruling was done in opposition to heretics who baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

Around 350 AD Hilary of Poitiers a traditionalist wrote “since Christians are baptized in His Name”, “they [The Apostles] baptized in the name of Jesus only” He advocated that “heretics” who had only been baptized in the name of Christ be rebaptized in the traditional manner. (de Synodis, lxxxv.) Nicene and post-nicene fathers, Vol. IX, The life and writings of St. Hilary of Poitiers (1886) Philip Schaff.

 

In 375 AD Basil the Great wrote a letter to Caesarea where he attacked the Sabellians ‘Monarchians’ (who baptized in Jesus name in opposition to the traditional manner), if the Monarchians were extinct by this time (as some claim), why would Basil attacked them? Basil on his work On the Holy Spirit condemns "baptism into the Lord alone" as insufficient. Coptic Encyclopedia Vol. V, art “Monarchism” by William Hugh Clifford Frend, historian and archeologist.

 

In 380 AD the emperor Theodosius I issued the Edict of Thessalonica in an effort to rid that city of heretics (which baptized in the name of Jesus), for Thessalonica was a stronghold of Arianism at that time. Then in 381 he ousted the Arian Bishop of Constantinople, closed all their churches and ousted the Arians from Constantinople. In 383 he attempted a conference at his capital between Catholics and Arians, with a view to reconciliation; but no result was obtained. Divine Heiress: The Virgin Mary and the Making of Christian Constantinople (2012) by Doctor of Religion Vasiliki Limberis; Catholic Encyclopedia, Art. Theodosius I.

 

In 381 AD Ambrose de Milan defended baptism in the name of Jesus as valid. “Because the whole Trinity is implied in the name of Christ, and therefore the form prescribed by Christ in the Gospel was observed in its integrity, at least implicitly…If you name Christ, you imply both God the Father by Whom the Son was anointed, and the Son Himself Who was anointed, and the Holy Spirit with Whom He was anointed.” De Spiritu Sancto, Bk. I. chap. 3.

 

In 381 AD the synod of Constantinople condemned Theophronius of Cappadocia and Eutychius because they baptized their disciples in the Name of Christ alone. This synod also condemned the Eunomians for the same offense. The Sabellians, the Marcellians and the Photinians were condemned for not believing in the trinity. The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus, book 7 Chapter 17. Ecclesiastical History by Sozomen of Gaza Book VI, Chapter 26.

 

In 383 Ulfilas (little wolf) “The apostle of the Goths” died, he was an Arian, he wrote the Gothic Bible and also baptized in the name of Jesus. The Encyclopedia Britanicca, New World Encyclopedia.

 

In the 4th century Didymus the blind stated that the church did not recognize the baptism of the Montanists because they did not baptize in the traditional manner (On the Trinity, 2:15). Apparently, they used the Jesus Name formula.

 

In 390 AD Emperor Theodosius I, killed 7,000 Thessalonians, a great number of whom were Arians some of whom had been baptized in Jesus name. Encyclopedia of World History (1940) by Doctor of Philosophy William Leonard Langer, p.129. Ecclesiastical History, Book V, by Theodoret bishop of Cyrrhus (393-466). Letter on the massacre at Thessalonica (390) from Ambrose to the most august emperor Theodosius.

 

In 400 AD Augustine wrote a treatise on baptism against the Donatists some of whom baptized in the name of Jesus. (A Treatise Concerning the Correction of the Donatists). St. Augustin Exposition on the book of the Psalms on Psalms 78, 132, and 139 he says: “Repent ye, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and your sins shall be forgiven you.”

 

In 402 AD much to the chagrin of the traditional baptism proponents the majority of the Christians had been baptized in Jesus name. The Church of Apostles and Martyrs (1962) p. 110 by Henri Daniel-Rops, historian.

 

On February 15, 404 AD Pope Innocent wrote “That those who come from the Novatians or the Montanists should be received by the imposition of the hand only, because although they were baptized by heretics, nevertheless they were baptized in the name of Christ.” The Sources Of Catholic Dogma (1954) by Doctor Henry Denzinger

 

In 405 AD at the instigation of Augustin, the emperor Honorius issued the edict of unity, which declared Donatism as a heresy, prohibiting services, confiscating property and exiling the clergy. The death penalty was not used, but flogging was. Frustrated by the continuing resistance of the Donatists Augustin then led a campaign for more action against them, which resulted in a convention in Carthage in 411 once again proscribing Donatist meetings and confiscating their property. In 427 AD Augustine was upset that despite all he had done to get rid of the Donatists, these still outnumbered the Catholics and dominated North Africa so he challenged Maximus a leader of the Donatists to a debate. Augustin lost this debate and this loss only made him more determined to destroy the Donatists. Augustin was vengeful and fierce against the Donatist and was instrumental in their persecution... Augustine Through the Ages: An Encyclopaedia (1999) p. 550 by Professor Allan D. Fitzgerald. Eerdman's Handbook to the History of Christianity (1977)

 

In 443 (452) AD the second council of Arles ordered the rebaptism of the Photinians and the Paulianists which came into the church because they did not baptize in the traditional manner. 

 

Around (456) AD Theodoret Bishop of Cyrus denounced Eunomius of Cyzicus for not baptizing three times in the traditional manner, but once into the death of Christ. After the death of Eunomius in 393 AD his books were ordered burned by the Roman Council Eutropius.

 

In 494 a son of King Clovis was baptized, later on when another son was also baptized the king said, “He was baptized in the name of Christ” Later on when the King was losing a battle he cried out. “Jesus Christ, whom my queen Clotilda calls the Son of the living God; If you give me victory over these foes, I will believe in you and be baptized in your name!”

 

In 533 AD The second general council at Constantinople declared invalid the baptism of Sabellians who were baptized in one name only. New World Encyclopedia (2008) Sabellianism.

 

In 543 AD a Synod in Constantinople censured the Eunomians for practicing single immersion in the name of Christ, the apostolical canons expressly forbade it. The history of baptism (1817) p. 467 by Robert Robinson

 

In 560 AD Pope Pelagius I said: “There are many who assert that they are baptized in the name of Christ alone with only one immersion.  Letter, Admonemus ut written to Gaudentius, Bishop of Yolterra in Italy. The Pope declares such baptisms invalid, and demands that persons baptized with such a formula should be rebaptized. The Act of Baptism in the History of the Christian Church (1879) by Doctor of Divinity Henry Sweetser Burrage.

 

The legend of St. Romulus relates that around 600 AD, he agreed to vanquish a dragon if the township constructed a church and the people were baptized in the name of Christ.

 

On June 22, 601 Pope Gregory I wrote to Bishop Quiricus instructing him that any heretic that was baptize in the name of the traditional way was to be accepted without being rebaptized but “Those heretics, however, who are not baptized in the traditional way, such as the Bonosiaci and the Cataphryg’” he instructed to baptize them in the traditional way. “these, when they come to holy Church, are baptized, because what they received while in their error, not being in the name of the Holy Trinity, was not baptism … had not been given in the name of the Trinity.”

 

In 610 AD the prevalent mode of baptism was in Jesus name (Dictionary of the Apostolic Church (1916) Vol. 2, p. 62 Doctor of Theology John Chisholm Lambert).

 

In the 7th Century John of Damascus speaks of those who had been only baptized into Christ that those “who were not baptized into the Holy Trinity, these must be baptized again.” Nicene and post-nicene fathers, Vol. IX John of Damascus: Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.: Concerning Faith and Baptism (1886) Philip Schaff.

 

In the 7th Century the entire Celtic church was excommunicated for baptizing in the name of Jesus. (John W. Graham, Principal of Dalton Hall, University of Manchester,) The Celtic Church in Ireland (1898) by Doctor of Theology James Heron, minister; F.C. Conybeare (The Hibbert Journal, page 107)

 

The Key of truth, a manual of the Paulician church of Armenia written (7th - 9th century) has the following.  “Gregory of Nyssa accused the 'Arians' the adoptionists of Asia Minor of baptizing not in the name of the father, Son, and Holy Ghost; but of the creator and maker only.”

 

In 730 AD Pope Zachary was force to admit to both Alcuin and Charlemagne that Jesus’ name baptism was dominant. He also mentioned that the Celtic Missionaries did not baptized in the traditional way and that this was one of the reasons the church of Rome anathemized them. Epistle X, Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages (2005) pp. 172-175 by Professor of religious studies Jeffrey Burton Russell

 

In 792 AD The Council of Frejus declared baptism in Jesus name to be valid. (Professor E. W. Bullinger, How to enjoy the Bible, 1916)

 

In 858-867 AD Pope Nicholas admitted that Jesus name baptism was valid: “I baptize thee in the name of Christ.” (The Encyclopedia Britannica, (1910) 11th ed. Vol. 3, pp. 365-366 Respinsa ad consulta Burgarorun).

 

In 882 AD a Viking leader in the lower Rhine region abandoned heathenism and embraced Christianity receiving baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christianisation of Scandinavia (1987) by Viktoria Bokforlag.

 

On June 26, 909 the Archbishop of Hervé of Reims at the Synod of Trosly complained bitterly about “infestations of false Christians”. Many of whom baptized in the name of Jesus. (Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages, by Professor Jeffrey Burton Russell).

 

In 923 AD Eugenia was baptized in the Name of Jesus

In 925 AD Pelagius was baptized in the Name of Jesus.

In 980 AD Sympronius was baptized in the Name of Jesus

(Martyrs Mirror by Thieleman J. van Braght, Preacher 1659)

 

On July 7, 997 Pope Gregory V wrote to Archbishop John of Ravenna complaining about the number of heretics in the land. (Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages, by Jeffrey Burton Russell).

 

On January 25, 1075 AD Pope Gregory VII wrote to King Sweyn of Denmark, complaining about the number of heretics near Rome. (Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages, by Jeffrey Burton Russell).

 

In 1079 AD Pope Gregory VII, asked Anselm to pray that “heretics” might be eradicate, every single pope had to deal with heretical groups but he was highly distressed by their existence (Dissent and Reform in the Early Middle Ages, p. 181 by Jeffrey Burton Russell). Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, mentions that baptism was often done in the Name of Christ “baptized upon, or in the name of Christ” (Martyrs Mirror, by Thieleman J. van Braght p. 259).

 

In 1100 AD the chronicler Bernold of Constance a Catholic apologist sympathized with the Pope because he had to deal with a church infested by heretics. The War on Heresy (2012) by Professor of Medieval History Robert Ian Moore.

 

In 1284 AD The Synod of Nemours asserted that baptism alone in the name of Jesus was valid. (L) “si baptizans dicit: Baptizo te in nomine Christi” (If baptizing saying: I baptize you in the name of Christ) (The Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 3, by Hugh Chisholm, Journalist and Editor) This declaration, is evidence that the text of Mt. 28:19 was not yet authoritatively fixed by the church even at such a later date, and that many groups still baptized in that manner.

 

About 1300 AD a traveler hostile to the Armenians reported to the pope that he had witnessed baptisms without any traditional invocation in as many as three hundred parish churches. Early on before 700 AD the Armenians often spoke of “baptism into the death of Christ” as the one essential. The Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition (1910) Vol. 2 p. 570, Col. 2 Subject: ARMENIAN CHURCH

 

Between 1300 and 1350 AD the Tolosan Inquisition drove many Jesus name believers to flee into Moravia, Poland and Lithuania, where they spread their message of baptism in the name of Jesus. The Radical Reformation (1962) p. 669 by Professor George Huntston Williams.

 

A manuscript copy of The Noble Lessons a Waldensian document which dates from 1404 AD reads "Under the reign of this Emperor, who was a leper, there was a man in the church named Sylvester, a Roman. Constantine went to him, was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and cured of his leprosy." (Schmidt, Aktenstrucke, ap. Hist. Zeitschrift, 1852 a. 239. MSS. Cambridge University, vol. A, f. 236-238 and Noble Leizon, V. 403. For the genuineness of the Noble Lessons see Brez, Histoire des Vaudois, 1.42. Paris, 1793).

 

In the 16th century the anti-traditionalists socinians in Poland and Transylvania would not use the Catholick Form, but baptiz'd in the name of Jesus that was crucifyed, till by a severe Edict of most serene Prince of Transylvania, they were oblig'd to use the common Form." A Vindication of the Worship of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Supreme God (1726) by G. De Gols

 

On September 15, 1525 AD at Hague on the Netherlands, Johannes Pistorious (Jan Janz de Bakker), a Roman Catholic priest was burned at the stake for the heresy of baptizing in the name of Jesus Christ instead of in the traditional manner.

 

In 1572 AD George Schomann an English Clergyman was baptized in “the name of Christ.” Catechism and Confession of the Unitarians (1574) by George Schomann. Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern: The Reformation (1841) by Johann Lorenz Mosheim, Church historian.

 

In 1645 AD Clement Wrigblem and Paul Beft were named as heretics who had proclaimed "That the form by which men baptize, viz. in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is a form not left by Christ. That baptism of water is only in the name of Jesus Christ." This is reported in The Gentleman's Magazine: And Historical Chronicle v. 57 (Volume LV) for the year MDCCLXXXV

 

In 1646 AD Thomas Edwards mentions errors and blasphemies of some sectarians who considered the traditional formula: “A form of man’s devising, a Tradition of man, and not a form left by Christ.” and which baptized only in the name of Jesus Christ. Gangraena (1646) by Thomas Edwards, Preacher.

 

In 1656 AD the Baptist Standard Confession Article xxiv in Somerset, England declares baptisms in the name of the Lord Jesus to be valid.

 

In 1660 AD, A Confession or Declaration of Faith, presented to King Charles the Second, was published in London. In it Article xi, declared that baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be accepted.

 

On August 17, 1662 AD in England (Act of Conformity) 3,000 heretics (baptized in the name of Jesus) were killed and 2,500 others were exiled to the West Indies. Backsliding Church Organizations (2010) by Charles C. Mullings, PH. D.

 

In the 16th and 17th centuries, some Anabaptists rebaptized believers into the name of Jesus Christ, which is why they were called Anabaptists (Greek word for rebaptism).

 

The Two Discourses (1740) by James Rudd, Curate of Garsdale.

“To be baptized into or unto a person, in or into his Name, signifies the being made disciples of that person by baptism. So to be baptized unto Moses, is to be initiated into the mosaical constitution or made Moses' disciples. For the Words baptized unto Moses unto Moses, will bear no other interpretation but or what is equivalent to it and consequently, to be baptized into Jesus Christ, or into his Name, cannot, without a manifest violence to scripture, be taken to mean anything else than being sealed professors of faith in Christ, or inaugurated his disciples by baptism.”

“They (Corinthians) ought all to have reckoned themselves, as having been all baptized in his Name only.”

“Now that the baptism Ananias here ordered Paul to submit to, was that which the Apostles are said to have administered in the Name of the Lord Jesus, is evident.”

“Consequently, when Ananias ordered Paul to be baptized, calling (or, and to call) on the Name of the Lord, he had him enter himself a disciple of the Lord, by being baptize in his Name.”

 

The Book of Common Prayer (1791) Vol. vii

“Yet in the service for the baptism of adults the exhortation says, 'by being baptized, you do not declare yourself of any religious sect or party: but a Christian. For you are baptized into the name of Jesus only.”

 

In 1802 The Halcyon church was instituted in Columbia, "They admit of only one person in the Godhead", "The persons to be baptized walk down into the water in procession, attended by the congregation, and accompanied with vocal and instrumental music. The ordinance is then dispensed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ." The Faiths of the World (1860) by the Rev. James Gardner.

 

Robert Robinson (Baptist minister-Historian) (1735-1790) in The History of Baptism p. 60 published long after his death (1817) AD, mentions some Christians in his days who baptized in the name of Jesus “Many Christians taking it for granted, that the apostles thoroughly understood the words of the Lord Jesus, and supposing the form of words of local and temporary use, administer baptism in the name of Christ, and think themselves justified by the book of the Acts of the Apostles.”

Robinson in his Ecclesiastical Researches (1792) affirms that in the early centuries many groups Artemonites, Paulianists, Some Arians, Monarchians, Patropassians, Sabellians, and many others baptized in the name of Jesus and not in the traditional manner.

 

In March 27, 1830 AD The Columbia Star and Christian index (Vol. I Editor W. T. Brantly), mentions a Mr. Campbell and his friends and quotes Mr. Campbell: “The act by which we put on Christ; come to Christ, confess Christ, become disciples of Christ, come into the kingdom of Christ, are married to Christ, receive the pardon of our past sins, come into the actual enjoyment of the salvation of Christ in this present life - is the act of immersion into the name of Christ, which act presupposes faith in him.”

 

The Antiquities of the Christians (1834) Vol. 3 p. 137 by Joseph Bingham, scholar “Ursinus Sirmond, an African monk (1284 AD) the synod of Nemours...also asserted that baptism into the name of Christ alone was valid.” (in Gennad. de scr. eccl. xxvii)

 

In 1834 AD In Tracts for the times volume 2, we find the following quote attributed to Augustin. “The sacrifice of the Lord is then in a manner offered for each, when by being baptized he is sealed in His name”

 

In 1834 AD a group of Camisards establish an Orthodox Apostolic Acts 2:38 believing Church.

Nelson, Joseph. Church History. Parkersburg Bible College. Lecture given and Church Constitution shown to class on 18 November 2002.

 

In 1836 AD in Scriptural views of holy baptism, p. 20 by Hebrew Professor Edward Bouverie Pusey we find “unbelievers would not be baptized in Christ's name, for the remission of sins:”

 

In (1839) The Universalist manual was written by Menzies Rayner

“I baptize thee in the name of the Lord Jesus, and into the faith and profession of his holy religion.”

 

In 1850 AD Frederic Dan Huntington, pastor of a church in Boston, baptized people in the Name of Jesus. Revivalism & Social Reform in Mid-Nineteenth Century America (1957) p. 95 by Historian Timothy Lawrence Smith. Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins (1975) p. 163 by Historian Harold Vinson Synan

 

In the year 1856 Joshua Kennerly Speer was immersing in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Biographical Sketches Of Gospel Preachers (1932) by Professor H. Leo Boles

 

Around 1862 James M. Mathes was preaching baptism in the name of Jesus. The Encyclopedia of Religious Debates, Volume 3 (2015) by Doctor Thomas N. Thrasher

 

The Dublin Review, Vol. I New Series (1863) tells us that the Abyssinians (Churches in Ethiopia) sometimes baptized "in the name of Christ".

 

The General Baptist Magazine (1865) p. 388 "'Baptism in the Name of Jesus. '"This is one of the latest novelties brought out by the Plymouth brethren...The Rev W. Turpin, a minister of the Established church in Dublin...has also been baptized after this fashion"

 

The London Quarterly Review, Volume 27 (1867)

“Perhaps we should add that in Ballina, coollany, and other places in the West, some of these gentlemen whose names are now before us baptized the converts publicly, by immersion, and this in the name of Jesus only

 

In The Christian treasury (1876) P. 468 John Gerard said "In thy name is righteousness, election, salvation. I was baptized in thy name: I believe in thy name: In thy name I will die: In thy name I will rise again: In thy name will I appear in Judgement."

 

From 1884 to 1904 AD Rev. Alvin E. Velie of Florida Baptized over 1,500 people in Jesus’ name in Wisconsin, wrote the book Safety First Acts 2:38, Nelson, Joseph. Church History. Parkersburg Bible College. Lecture on 18 November 2002.

 

Anglican Orders: Are they valid? (1885) p.29 by John Dunstan Breen “I myself, during a residence of some years in Scotland, witnessed several public baptisms of Presbyterians; and in no case could I testify that they have been validly performed. A friend of my own (the son of a presbyterian clergyman, but for some time a member of the Church of England) bears me out in this experience. He was present in 1868 at St. Paul's Established Church, Glasgow, when a certain Mr. McAuslane (baptizing on behalf of the regular minister, Dr. Jamieson) used the invalid formula, 'I baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus'.”

 

The Acts of the Apostles (1891), Volume 1 p. 140 by Professor George Thomas Stokes “The Plymouth brethren, at least in some of their numerous ramifications, and other sects, have grounded upon the words, "be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ," a tenet that baptism should not be conferred in the name of the Trinity, but in that of Jesus alone.

 

The baptismal rites in Filipino Christian churches “The Independent Church of Filipino Christians (ICFC), established in 1907…had remained Unitarian and continued to follow the direction of the Oficio Divino (OD ) in administering baptism "in the name of the Lord Jesus". The same official liturgical book explains that "it is a false interpolation in the Gospel of St. Matthew that baptism is conferred in the name of the pagan trinity of gods. According to the Epistles and the Acts, the Apostles baptized only in the name of Jesus" (OD, p. 201).'

 

On April 15, 1914 a group of Pentecostal ministers began baptizing in the name of Jesus, after that thousands of Pentecostals were baptized in the name of Jesus, thus begun the modern Oneness movement, which has spread throughout the whole world.

 

Evangelicalism & the Stone-Campbell Movement (2002) edited by William R. Baker mentions often baptism in Jesus’ name: “So that to be baptized in Jesus' name is to call on the name of the Lord to be saved.”

 

The Monadic Formula of Water baptism: A quest for primitivism via a Christocentric and restorationist impulse (2008) by Doug Hogsten. "Elias Smith (17 June 1769 – 29 June 1846) and those who followed him, appear to have embraced the Monadic formula of water baptism:...300 which attended a communion service in Portsmouth, NH had been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ...It is also interesting to note that Smith also rejected the traditional doctrine of the trinity."

 

Making the connections: Much of our authentic church history has been lost, however we can connect some of the dots and see the connections.  We have no mention of how Epigonus or Cleomenes baptized however by making the following connections we can know; Noetus baptized in the name of Christ, then we know that Epigonus was his disciple, the disciple of Epigonus was Cleomenes, and the disciple of Cleomenes was Sabellius, who also baptized in the name of Jesus. In those times doctrines were passed from the teacher to the disciples, this means that baptism in the name of Jesus was passed from one disciple to the next in line. So by connecting these relationships we now know that both Epigonus and Cleomenes baptized their disciples in the name of Jesus.

            When we begin to connect the dots, we can begin to get an idea of the true beliefs of many of the heretical sects throughout history. We must always keep in mind that even though their enemies distorted their true beliefs, we can see thru their bitter lies and angry denunciations a semblance of their true beliefs.

 

If the case was open and shut then baptism in Jesus’ name would have long ago ceased to be an issue in the church. The constant resurgence of baptism in Jesus name throughout the centuries, indicate that here and there were small groups of “heretics” who baptized in the holy name of Jesus. Truth can be outlawed, beaten, hidden and imprisoned, but eventually it comes back to the surface. Baptism in the Name of Jesus (Acts 2:38) From Jerusalem to Great Britain (2011) by Lawyer Kulwant Singh Boora.

 

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