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XIV. THE EARLY CHURCH BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS

 

The book of Acts is quite clear, the early church did baptize in the name of Jesus and we should take its testimony as true. Here are some scholars who agree with this statement.

 

“It is evident that they also baptized in his name those who believed”

The commentaries of Isho’dad of Merv, Bishop of Hadatha (850 AD)

 

In 1727 De Fide et officiis christianorum, (L) The faith and duty of Christians by Professor of theology Thomas Burnett, he wrote “Our fathers complained and we too at present complain, that the simplicity of the Christian religion has been corrupted, as well with regard to its doctrine (of baptism) as to its worship...which fault lies in the Roman church this we lament”. Later when discussing the early disciples he says "They adored Jesus Christ in their daily worship, and baptized and wrought miracles in his Name.", “Baptism...by which we are commanded to commemorate the death of Christ.

When we are dedicated to Christ in baptism...when we deliver ourselves up to Christ.”

 

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible (1746), on John 4:2

“but his disciples; they baptized in his name, and by his orders, such who were first made disciples by him.”

 

A critical commentary and paraphrase on the Old and New Testament (1776) Vol. 5, P. 229

“It was as absolutely necessary that heathens should be first taught to renounce their idolatry, and to believe in Christ, before they were baptized in his name...to be baptized in the name of Christ, is to own Christ”

 

John Chambers in An Harmony of the Four Gospels (1813) in a note to Matthew 28:19 says: "We find Christ's disciples, instead of baptizing men, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, baptizing them, only, in the name of Jesus, or Lord Jesus, or into Jesus Christ, etc.

 

“Many believed their doctrine, professed allegiance to Jesus Christ, by being baptized in his name… Own dear reader, the justice of your condemnation; forsake your sins; confess your guild in having so long despised and disesteemed the only saviour; be immersed in his name for the remission of your sins thrgough his blood:… So the claims of a person to the honor and priveleges of a Christian are defective, till he has put on Christ by being baptized in his name… They had heard the gospel, believed in Jesus, been baptized in his name, and were united in holy fellowship …Perhaps thou hast obtained mercy, yet hast not made that public profession of it which Christ requires, by being baptized in his name.” The Primitive Church Magazine (1841) p. 10, 11, 59, 193, 269

 

In 1844 AD August Wilhelm Neander, The Father of History Church (1789-1850) in History of the planting and training of the Christian Church by the Apostles writes: “In baptism, entrance into communion with Christ appears to have been the essential point; thus persons were united to the spiritual body of Christ and received into the communion of the redeemed, the church of Christ. Hence Baptism according to its characteristic marks, was designated a baptism into Christ, into the name of Christ, as the acknowledgement of Jesus as the Messiah was the original article of faith in the Apostolic church, and this (Baptism in the name of Jesus) was probably the most ancient formula of baptism, which was still made use of even in the third Century.”

 

In 1851 Professor of Biblical Criticism Edmund Turney (1816-1872) wrote in Baptism in the Import and explicitness of the command, P. 7, 10 “This transaction (baptism) is to be observed in the name of Christ, in profession of faith in him, and of conformity to his death and resurrection; and it is its design as thus explained, which invests it with its distinctive character as a Christian rite. “; “is it conceivable that our Lord should have sent forth his disciples among the various Gentile nations using the Greek language in the Roman empire, with the proclamation that they should "repent," and in his name " be baptized"”

 

In 1855 professor of theology Baron Karl August von Hase (1800-1890) in his History of the Christian Church writes that up till 100 AD “Baptism as an initiatory rite was performed simply in the name of Jesus”. He states that from 100-312 AD the Roman Church, recognized the validity of all baptisms. And mentioned that the Marcionists (who baptized in the name of Jesus) existed until the 6th century.

 

In 1860 the Rev. James Gardner M. A. published his book, The Faiths of the World which states: About the Marcosians “he [Marcus] maintained two kinds of baptism, a psychical baptism in the name of Jesus the messiah... and pneumatic baptism, in the name of the Christ.” (Perhaps water baptism in the name of Jesus and spiritual baptism?)

 

A history of the modes of Christian baptism (1861) by Minister James Chrystal. “Long before Eunomius, The Monarchians, The Praxeans, and many other heretics, denied the doctrine of the trinity, and they on account of this denial, did not baptize into all the persons of the trinity, since this would have seemed to teach the doctrines; nor did they use the trine immersion for the same reason, but they immersed once only, and that into the death of Christ.”

 

The Emphatic Diaglott (1864) by Benjamin Wilson, Biblical Scholar, Minister Wilson writes in “Alphabetical Appendix to the New Testament”: “NAME . . . “Christians baptized in the name of Jesus. Matt. xxviii. 19; Acts ii. 38; xix. 5; Rom. vi. 3; Gal. iii. 27.”

 

The Revealed Mystery (1869) Article XLIV P.13 by Doctor John Thomas “There is but one way for a believer of "the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ," to put him on, or to be invested with his name, as that is, by immersion into his name. Baptism is for this specific purpose - namely, for the introduction of devout believers of the truth into the name of Christ, that through it they may receive repentance and remission of sins, and a right to eternal life. From the day of Pentecost to the end of the Apostle's mission, there was no such thing as an unimmersed Christian.”

 

Christian Institutions by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Dean of Westminster (1881): “Doubtless the more comprehensive form in which Baptism is now everywhere administered in the threefold name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, soon superseded the simpler form of that in the name of the Lord Jesus only” (p. 13).

“It is not certain that in early times this [Triadic] formula was in use. The first profession of belief was only in the name of the Lord Jesus…In later times, Cyprian (Ep. lxiii.), the council of Frejus, and Pope Nicholas the First acknowledge the validity of this form [in Jesus Name]” (p. 297, 1f).

 

Biblical Theology of the New Testament (1882) by Dr. Bernhard Weiss. “That this [Baptism in Jesus name] was the original expression for the specific use of the rite of baptism in the Christian Church, appears unquestionable from 1 Cor i.13,15” (cf. x. 2)” (p. 187, note 1).

 

The Christian Ordinances (1883) written by Doctor of Divinity Christian Henry Forney. In Chapter 10 “it is generally conceded that during the time of the Apostles, as well as in the earliest post-Apostolic times, baptism was administered in the name of Jesus.”

 

In Baptisés dans L'Esprit (F) Baptized in the Spirit by Michel Quesnel (1885), we read the following: “The expression "into the name" is unique ....and used with "Lord", a more current title for Jesus among Gentile Christians.”, “both involved water-baptism, The Jewish Christian rite ("in the name of Jesus Christ"), The Gentile-Christian Baptism ("into the name of Jesus Christ)” (p 33).

 

Exploratio Evangelica: A Brief Examination of the Basis and Origin of Christian Belief (1899) by Professor of Archeology Percy Gardner, says: “Thus there can be no question that the earliest Christian baptism was into the name of Jesus Christ” He mentions baptism in Jesus name numerous times and then he argues that baptism in the name of the traditional manner is indefensible.

 

Joseph Armitage Robinson, Canon and scholar, writes Encyclopedia Biblica (1899) Vol. I Art. "Baptism": “Baptism was administered in the earliest times ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ or in that ‘of the Lord Jesus’”

 

The Century Bible, The Acts of Apostles, A Modern Commentary (1901) by Professor William Fletcher Slater. “In the name of Jesus Christ:…This seems to have been the simple form of the original baptismal confession in Judeo-Christian circles:...The spiritual fact in baptism was the heart-felt confession or invocation of Jesus as one's Lord;” (note to Acts 2:38).

 

Religions of Authority and the Religion of the Spirit (1904) by theologian and Professor Louis Auguste Sabatier, and Dr. Jean Réville, Section 4: "it appears evident that, originally, baptism was administered simply ‘in the name of Christ.’" (p. 53).” (See also p. 388).

 

Law of Moses (1907) by Robert Roberts, P. 27 “When Christ rose after thus bearing the curse of the law, the law had expended its cursing power on him, and was therefore "taken out of the way" in him, so that all who put on his name and came under his authority in faith and baptism were "free from that law" This is Paul's argument in Rom. 7:1-4 p. 97 “In being baptized into Christ, we pass through these hangings and stand in the holy place, constituted members of" the royal priesthood, the holy nation", which Peter alleges the saints to be (1 Pet. 2:9). Those who are not baptized into Christ stand outside the holy place.”

 

In The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (1910) p. 389 by Doctor of Divinity James Hastings. “The practice and doctrine of baptism, during the 1st and 2nd centuries...The earliest form, represented in the Acts, was simple immersion in water, the use of the name of the Lord… The earliest known formula is 'in the name of the Lord Jesus'”

 

The church in Rome in the First Century (1913) by George Edmundson "More remarkable still are those in which Moses, with the well-known traits of St. Peter, strikes the rock out of which flow the waters of cleansing through baptism in the name of Jesus Christ."

 

Kyrios Christos: A History of Belief in Christ from the Beginnings of Christianity to Irenaeus (1970, Ed. Germany: 1913) p. 295 by Wilhelm Bousset, theologian and translator of New Testament: “the community gathers in reverence, confesses his name, and invokes his name in baptism and exorcism... The pronouncement of the name in the sacrament of baptism signifies a protection of the baptizand by his kuvrio"

 

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915) p. 392, reads; The historian Socrates informs us that some of the more extreme Arians (not all Arians) “corrected” baptism by using the Name of Christ only in the formula. “The practice of using the shorter formula existed in the 5th and 6th centuries, at all events in the East”

 

le bapteme chretien au secon siècle: la théologie des pères (F) Christian baptism in the secondary century: The theology of the Fathers (1953) by Professor of theology André Benoît. André argues using the New Testament and the Didache that baptism in the second century was in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Time Magazine (December 5, 1955) report of Baptism in Rome in 100 AD: “The deacon raised his hand, and Publius Decius stepped through the baptistery door. Standing waist-deep in the pool was Marcus Vasca the woodseller. He was smiling as Publius waded into the pool beside him. ‘Credis?’ he asked. ‘Credo,’ responded Publius. ‘I believe that my salvation comes from Jesus the Christ, Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate. With Him I died that with Him I may have Eternal Life.’ Then he felt strong arms supporting him as he let himself fall backward into the pool, and heard Marcus’ voice in his ear ---- ‘I baptize you in the Name of the Lord Jesus’ ---- as the cold water closed over him.”

 

“The evidence… suggests that baptism in early Christianity was administered, not in the threefold name, but ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ or ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’”. Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (1962) Volume 1 P. 351

 

Worship in the Early Church (1964) p.60 by Doctor Ralph P. Martin

“Ephesians 5 verses 25-26 may be mentioned here, following C. A. Anderson Scott’s translation of the Pauline words: Eph. 5:25-26 ‘Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her, that he might consecrate her after cleansing in the water-bath (of baptism) together with the Formula’: and by the formula (literally ‘saying’) Paul evidently means the public acknowledgment (verbally calling on the name of Jesus Christ out loud) by the person(s) to be baptized of Jesus as Lord.”

 

A History of Christian Thought, (1965) Vol. 1 by Historian Jurgen Ludwig Neve, Professor Otto William Heick, “At first baptism was administered in the name of Jesus, but gradually changed into the name of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

 

Chamber’s Encyclopedia (1966) Vol. 2, page 112 has the following. Some have suggested that the Jews in Acts were compelled to be baptized in Jesus’ Name because they rejected Him, and were guilty of his crucifixion, and this was done as some sort of punishment. That idea is foolish; the Samaritans in Acts 8: were baptized in Jesus Name, and the Gentiles in Acts 10:43-48 were commanded to be baptized in His Name. Also, they had the name called upon them, Acts 15:17.

What a glorious punishment, to be baptized in the greatest Name in heaven and earth! Philippians 2:9. The Name of the whole family in heaven and earth, Ephesians 3:14, The only name with Salvation, Acts 4:12.

 

An American Catholic Catechism (1975) p. 112 by George J. Dyer "The earliest practice of the Church was probably to baptize converts 'in the name of Jesus' (Acts 10:48; 19:5) since in baptism it was his Lordship they confessed and into his body they were incorporated"

 

In The Good News According to Matthew (1975) p. 530 by New Testament Professor Eduard Schweizer who says “Everywhere except here [Mt 28:19] baptism is spoken of as being in or through the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 1:13; 15; 6:11; cf. 10:2)

 

Word Studies on the Holy Spirit (1979) by Dr. E. W. Bullinger “The Apostles themselves never obeyed this command [Matthew 28:19]; and in the rest of the New Testament there is no hint as to ever having been obeyed by anyone. Baptism was always in the name of the one person of the Lord Jesus… As to the Greek MSS. there are none beyond the fourth Century, and it seems clear that the Syrian part of the church know nothing of these words.” (p. 48)

 

Polish Catholic theologian, Professor Lucjan N. Balter writes: On the role of baptism, the apostle directs a particular note to Corinthians …On this occasion he allows himself as if it were to hyperbolic minimalization of the sacrament of baptism, when says the following sentence: »I thank God that except Crispus and Gaius I baptized none of you. Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel« (1Cor. 1,16). It is important that they all had the same baptism ― in the name of the same Christ ― received.” (work collective L. Baltera (red.), Człowiek we wspólnocie Kościoła (A Man in the Church Community), Akademia Teologii Katolickiej, Warszawa 1979, p. 22) (Polish citation, translated by Grzegorz Kaszyński)

 

The Bible Almanac (1980) P. 540-541: The early church under Christian baptism. “The early Christians were baptized in Jesus’ name following Jesus example” (cf. Mark 1:10, Gal. 3:27).

 

Il battesimo in epoca protocristiana (1987) The baptism in the pre-christian era p. 64 by Gerhard Barth says: “From the moment of baptism the neophyte became a member of Christ…The baptizands were receiving the name of the Son of God, over them being called the beautiful name”

 

Encyklopedia katolicka (1989) The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 3, sec. 353, art. Baptism (author: Józef Kudasiewicz): (Polish citation translated by Grzegorz Kaszyński) Realization of command - From this start the early Church inserted new members to his community by baptism (Ac 8, 12.36; 9, 18; 10, 44; 16, 15:33; 19, 5; Ro 6, 3). It was baptism by immersion in water (Ac 8, 36), in accord with symbolism of this sacrament (Ro 6, 4; Col 2, 12; 1 Pe 3, 20-21). “Baptism was given in the name of Jesus Christ (Ac 2, 38; 10, 48), in this way it was accented that his steward had given baptism his power and seriousness, and the neophyte confess belief in him and call upon his name; it all support mentions about calling upon the name of Jesus at the baptism” (Ja 2, 7) and while speaking of the credo (Ac 8, 37 — acc. Vg and some of Gr. codexes).”

 

Sacra Pagina, The Gospel of Matthew (1991) by Professor Daniel J. Harrington, “The Son of God directs that the Gentiles be baptized in his name.” (p. 416)

 

Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Evidence from the First Eight Centuries (1991) p. 30 by Kilian McDonnell and George T. Montague, concluded that based on the New Testament evidence Baptism is often in the Name of Jesus: “Here water-baptism in the name of Jesus is coordinated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit”

 

In Oneness and Trinity, A.D. 100-300 (1991) Chap 8 “Baptism in the Name of Jesus”, pp. 121-128 by Dr. David K. Bernard. “Most church historians agree that the original Christian baptismal formula was “in the name of Jesus” (typically with the title of Lord or Christ).1 In the Post-Apostolic Age, Hermas and probably Clement of Rome alluded to baptism in Jesus’ name, and one passage in the Didache refers to this formula. The emphasis on the name of Jesus by both Clement and Ignatius further indicates that the church of this age practiced baptism in Jesus’ name.

The Age of the Greek Apologists provides the first definite evidence for a threefold formula. Even so, those who used such a formula, such as Justin and later Irenaeus, continued to include the name of Jesus. When Marcion’s followers broke away from the church near the beginning of that age they continued to follow the formula that the church was using, which was “in the name of Jesus Christ.” The early Montanists, who split off at the beginning of the Old Catholic Age, also apparently used the Jesus Name formula. “Respected historical sources verify that the early Christian church did not use a threefold baptismal formula but invoked the name of Jesus in baptism well into the second and third centuries” God’s Infallible Word (1992) by Dr. David K. Bernard

 

Naissance du baptême (F) The Birth of Baptism (1993) by Professor Simon Légasse. Légasse argues that all the indications of early baptism were always in the name of Jesus, because we are to be baptized into the death of Christ. That baptism is an identification and memorial of his death. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death?”

 

In 1993 Robert Dolezal writes: “In its most basic form, [baptism] called for a confession of faith by the candidate, followed by complete immersion in water in the name of Jesus.” (After Jesus: The Triumph of Christianity).

 

“The earliest Church baptism was "into" or "in" the name of Jesus alone. For Christ’s Sake (1993) p. 103 by Tom Harpur, theologian

 

Baptism… perhaps more simply “in the name of Christ,” has been from the beginning the means of initiation into Christianity (Christianity 1994 Microsoft Encarta)

 

“According to Paul, the Lord is spiritually present in his church as it grows. This church is united through its believers who have faith in Jesus and are baptized in his name” The Early Church (1993) by Professor of Divinity Henry Chadwick

 

Into the name of the Lord Jesus (1997) by Lars Hartman examines baptism in the early church. Dr. Hartman explains that it is the name of Jesus that gives meaning and significance to the rite. Without the name the ritual has no relevance. “There the 'name' stood for the owner of a bank account, and when someone paid money into this account, it was done 'into the name' of the owner...the Greek-speaking Christians had adopted this technical term in order to claim that the baptized persons became the property of the glorified Lord like a sum of money which was transferred to a new owner. They were, so to speak deposited into his account.”

 

Gérard Rossé considers this (baptism in Jesus’ name) a very old liturgical formula, belonging to the language of the incipient Church. Atti degli Apostoli, Commento esegetico e teologico (1998) p. 678 Acts of the Apostles, exegetical and theological Comment by Professor of Biblical theology Rossé Gérard.

 

Hans Von Campenhausen using Acts 2:38 believed and proposed the thesis that in the beginning, Christian baptism was made only in the name of Jesus. The fathers of the Church (1998) by Professor of Church history Hans Von Campenhausen.

 

The voice: The truth about salvation, End of Fall 2005, has a long on article on Matthew 28:19, by Minister Oneil McQuick, “Most Historians clearly acclaim that the Matthew 28:19 was never the biblical formula for baptizing new converts, but the Acts 2:38 formula. Yet it is said that there is no historical date. In fact, the bible is a historic book within the first 100 years of the church, and it recorded Acts 2:38 after the church was first birthed on the day of Pentecost; other accounts followed in the book of Acts”

 

April D. DeConick, Professor of Biblical Studies in The Codex Judas Papers (2008) states “Baptism was understood by early Christians as a form of death where their bodies were being presented as living sacrifices in Jesus’ name.”

 

“We do live in a time of restoration, when God is replacing doctrinal errors in the true church with His truths for those who really want to know them. Not everyone does. Some like it the way it is, as in “We’ve always done it this way.” Well, with baptism, we haven’t always done it this way. At least, not in the beginning. The fact is, baptism was always and only in the name of Yeshua until about the time of Justin Martyr in the second century when the Triune or Trinitarian formula was introduced.” November 12, 2009 by Lonnie Lane.

 

“James, the brother of Jesus and leader of the early church in Jerusalem...that faction of the church wanted Gentiles, who had become believers in Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, Son of the living God and were baptized in his name” The Secret of the Bible (2012) by Minister E. James Dickey

 

"Key concepts of adventist religious teaching in contrast to the baptism of John the Christian baptism happens 'in THE NAME OF JESUS' and is accompanied by the holy Spirit...”

(Advent publishing of hamburg, archivenr. 1019 1173, p. 160-161)

 

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