A collection of the evidence for and against the traditional wording the baptismal phrase in Matthew 28:9.
By Rev. Morris Wise
The importance of this subject is shown in the last chapter of this pamphlet.
In more than fifty years as a student of the Bible, and an Enquirer in the sphere of Biblical knowledge, I have not seen or heard of anything dealing with this question of the authenticity of the text of Ma. 28:19, apart from articles and letters in periodicals and books, now out of print, and encyclopedias (inaccessible to most people).
This Collection is concerned with the ACTUAL TEXT of scripture, and not with any teaching arising as a result (though the aspect of teaching will of necessity arise when we consider the internal evidence as to the genuineness of the text.) Teaching is based on the text of scripture: this Collection of Evidence is concerned with the text.
1st January, 1962.
Headings of Chapters
On Textual Criticism generally
On Ma. 28:19–Evidence of the MSS. (MANUSCRIPTS)
What happened to the earliest MSS.?
Evidence of the Versions.
Evidence of the Early Writers
Eusebius as a Witness
The Evidence of Eusebius
Evidence of other writers
How Biblical MSS. were altered when the Great Apostasy began
The Opinions of others
Is it important?
“Every word of God is pure” (Pr. 30:5) Therefore spurious scripture is vile.
David wrote: “Through Thy precepts I get understanding, “Therefore I hate every false way” –Psa. 119:104.
Note the force of the word “therefore”!
If, as David, we love God’s Word, we shall, as he, hate spurious scripture. (See also Jer. 15:19; Ez. 22:26; 44:23).
Many have had difficulty concerning the phraseology of Ma. 28:19, and have written to editors of periodicals. Most of the editors wrapped up the difficulty with words, phrases, ideas, exposition and
exhortations, all of which are good in their proper place, but not as wrapping to hide away the difficulty.
A glowing exception to the general rule was that of Dr. Thomas. A letter from J. R. Lithgow on this subject and dated 28th May, 1855, (published in “THE HERALD”, Oct., 1855) remained unanswered for a long
time. We do well not to rush for the first possible “explanation”.
It is now known, and without the slightest uncertainty, that the verses I Jo. 5:7-8 in the A.V. contain spurious scripture.
Until the middle of the nineteenth century the text of the three witnesses I Jo. 5:7-8 shared with Ma. 28:19 the onerous task of furnishing scriptural evidence of the Trinity . . . (the spurious words) . . . are now abandoned by all authorities except the Pope of Rome. By consequence the entire weight of proving the Trinity has of late come to rest on Ma. 28:19 –F. C. Conybeare.
But is the Name-phrase in Ma. 28:19 likewise spurious, or is it genuine? Let the reader judge after examining the Evidence.
ON TEXTUAL CRITICISM GENERALLY
The EVIDENCE here presented will be of four kinds: –MSS. –Versions –quotations– Internal Evidence.
Most Bible Helps contain a brief description of the methods of Textual Criticism. For example, SWETE, in the “Aids to the Student” in the Variorum Bible, says
The text of the New Testament rests upon the combined testimony of streams of documentary evidence–extant Mss. of the Greek original, ancient versions, and “patristic” quotations, i.e. passages cited by a succession of ancient Christian writers known as “The Fathers”.
and concerning the MSS.–
The autographs of the New Testament Scriptures were probably lost within a few years after they were written. No early Christian writer appeals to them as still existing . . . men . . . could not anticipate their importance to posterity.
and concerning the Versions–
Next in importance to MSS. as channels for the transmission of the text of the Greek Testament, must be placed the ancient Versions, which were made from Greek manuscripts, in most cases older than any which we now possess. The Old Latin and Syriac Versions belong to the second century, and carry us back to the lifetime of some of the immediate successors of the Apostles.
and concerning the patristic writings–
So extensive are the quotations of the New Testament in the Greek and Latin Christian writers of the first five centuries that it would have been possible, in the event of all the MSS. of the Canon having perished, to recover nearly the whole of the text from this source alone . . . there remains a large number of instances in which patristic authority goes far to turn the scale in favour of a disputed reading, or against it.
As to Ma. 28:19, the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics says–
It is the central piece of evidence for the traditional view . . . If it were undisputed, this would, of course, be decisive, but its trustworthiness is Impugned on the grounds of textual criticism, literary criticism and historical criticism.
(The presence of the word for baptizing in Ma. 28:19 is also disputed, but we are not now concerned with this point: many other passages uphold the truth concerning Baptism.)
Whether or not the Name-phrase of Ma. 28:19 is genuine or spurious can be decided only by the evidence of the MSS., of the Versions, of the Patristic Writings, and by what is styled INTERNAL EVIDENCE.
Let us therefore consider the evidence of the MSS.
EVIDENCE OF THE MSS.
FOR the Threefold Name:
The two earliest MSS. extant (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus), written in the 4th century, both include the threefold name. Al/ the later Mss. that include the end of Matthew also contain the threefold name.
“In all extant MSS. . . the text is found in the traditional form”.
–Ency. Rel. and Ethics.
AGAINST the Threefold Name:
There is no evidence in the MSS.
But – it must he remembered that we have no manuscript that was written in the first, or in the second, or in the third century. There is a gap of three whole centuries between the writing of Matthew and the earliest of our MSS.
It must also he remembered that no single MS. is free from textual error Some have errors peculiar to themselves, and some whole families of MSS. have the same errors. The textual critic aims to reproduce from an examination of all the evidence what was probably the original words.
But from the facts stated, it is within possibility that all the existing MSS. may have one or more textual errors in common. That fact must be admitted, however reluctantly.
Another fact that we have to face is that during that time gap of three hundred years false teaching thrived and developed into the Great Apostasy. Moreover–the Greek MSS. of the text of the New Testament were often altered by scribes. Who put into them the ‘readings which were familiar to them, and which they held to be the right readings”.
–Dr. C. R. (Gregory, one of the greatest textual critics.
But this aspect is dealt with in a later chapter.
Another writer has this to say–
A great step forward is taken when we propose to allow MSS. weight not according to their age, but according to the ace of the text which they contain. To Tregelles must he ascribed the honor of introducing this method of procedure, which he appropriately called ‘Comparative Criticism’. It is a truly scientific method, and leads us for the first time to safe results … But a little consideration will satisfy us that as an engine of criticism, this method is far from perfect. It will furnish us with a text that is demonstrably ancient, and this, as a step towards the true text, is a very important gain It is something to reach a text that is certainly older than the fourth ‘century–that was current in the third or the second century. But this can he assumed to be the autographic text ONLY IF we can demonstrate that the text current in the second or third century was an absolutely pure text. So far from this, however, there is reason to believe that the very grossest errors that have ever deformed the text had entered it already in the second century . . . If our touchstone only reveals to us texts that are ancient, we cannot hope to obtain for our result anything but an ancient text. What we wish, however, is not merely an ancient hut the true text.
Of course, when he speaks of grossest errors’ the writer is not
speaking of errors of teaching, but, as a textual critic, of errors in
the text itself.
The subject of the corruption of the text of scripture concurrently with the corruption of teaching in the apostate churches is dealt with in a later chapter.
Before reaching any decision, let the reader consider the evidence of the Versions, as some of them are earlier than any of the MSS.
But first let us see what happened to the ancient MSS.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE EARLIEST MSS.?
Why have we no copies of the Scriptures written earlier than the 5th Century (except for two, which were written in the 4th Century)? The following quotations will supply the answer.
Diocletian … in 303 A.D…. ordered all the sacred books to be burnt . . but enough survived to transmit the text.– Swete in Variorum “Aids”.
One reason why no early, MSS. have been discovered is that they were, when found, burned by the persecutors of the Christians. Eusebius writes: I saw with mine own eyes the houses of prayer thrown down and razed to their foundations, and the inspired and sacred Scriptures consigned to the fire in the open market place. –H.E. viii 2. Among such scenes he could not fail to learn what books men held to be more precious than their lives”.
Dr. Westcott: General Survey of the History of the Canon of the N.T., p. 3X3.
It would seem that the Library at Caesarea had been severely damaged: About A.D. 350, two priests, Acacius and Euzoius, undertook “the task of restoring the damaged library of Pamphilus at Caesarea, and replaced the old papyrus books with vellum “copies” Jerome Ep. xxxiv.
– The Principal Uncial MSS. of the N.T. (Hatch).
EVIDENCE OF THE VERSIONS
FOR the Threefoid Name:
ALL the extant Versions which contain the end of Matthew contain the Threefold Name.
In all extant . . . versions the text is found in the traditional form . . . though it must be remembered that the best manuscripts, both of the African Old Latin and of the Old Syriac versions are defective at this point.
–Ency. Rel. and Ethics. again-
In the only codices which would be even likely to preserve ‘an older reading, namely the Sinaitic Syriac and the oldest Latin Manuscript . .. the pages are gone which contained the “end of Mattthew” –F. C. Conybeare.
So that we have no MS. earlier than the 4th Century, and in the case of these two earlier versions the end page of Matthew has been destroyed!
In these circumstances we must turn to the early quotations, styled the “Patristic Writings” and examine their evidence, to see how the quoted Ma. 28:19, and this we will proceed to do.
THE EVIDENCE OF THE EARLY WRITERS
How true is this’? What are the facts’?
In the course of my reading I have been able to substantiate these doubts of the authenticity of the text Ma. 28:19 by adducing patristic evidence against it so weighty that in Future the most conservative of divines w ill shrink from resting “on it any dogmatic fabric at all, while the more enlightened will discard it as completely as they have its fellow-text of the Three Witnesses
F. C. Conyheare in Hibbert Journal
While no MS of the first three centuries is in existence, we do have the writings of at least two men who did actually possess, or had access to. MSS much earlier than our earliest And there were others who quoted the passage of Ma. 28:19 in those earlier times.
Who were these men? When did they write’? Had they access to very early MSS? Were they reliable and exact? How did they quote Ma 28:19? These are questions that must now be answered.
It is proposed to bring forward evidence from the following, either by direct Quotation from their writings, or indirectly through the writings of their contemporaries, viz Euschius of Caesarea, the unknown author of De Rebaptismate, Origen, Clement of Alexandria. Justin Martyr. Macedonius, Eunomius and Aphrnates
But first a clarification, Let it be stated emphatically, that if the question under consideration were one of theology, the evidence of these “Fathers” would be of no value whatever. Our doctrine must be obtained from the pure Word of God alone, and not from any other source These so called “Fathers” lived in an age of theological darkness, and when we have the light of Scripture it is folly to search among the dim candle-lit darkness of the theologians Our concern is to find out what Matthew wrote at the end of his book.
Before dealing with the other writers, let us examine Eusehius as to his integrity and reliability as a witness, seeing that in this Enquiry he is a key witness.
EUSEBIUS AS A WITNESS
There were several men of this name. The one with whom we are concerned is known as Eusebius Pamphili, or Eusebius of Caesarea. He was born about 270 A.D. and died about 340 A.D He lived in times of gross spiritual darkness, was a Trinitarian, and in later life assisted in the preparation of the Nicene Creed. Here follows the opinions of historians and others concerning him.
Roberts Roberts Eusebius of Caesarea to whom we are indebted for the Roberts preservation of so many contemporary works of antiquity, many of which must have perished had not he collected and edited them.
–Good Company, vol. III, p. 10.
E.K. IN THE CHRISTADELPHIAN MONATSHEFTE AUG., 1923 Eusehius, the greatest Greek teacher of the Church and most learned theologian of his time . . . worked untiringly for the acceptance of the pure word of the New Testament as it came from the Apostles . . . Eusebius. . . relies throughout only upon ancient manuscripts, and always openly contessas the truth when he cannot find sufficient testimony.–Fraternal Visitor, June, 1924.
MOSHEIM Eusebius Pamphili, Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, a man of vast reading and erudition, and one who has acquired immortal fame by his labour in ecclesiastical history, and in other branches of theological learning. ch. ii, 9…. Till about 40 years of ace he lived in great intimacy with the martyr Pamphilus, a learned and devout man of Caesarea, and founder of an extensive library there, from which Eusebius derived his vast stores of leaning.
DR. WESTCOTT Eusebius, to whose zeal we owe most of what is known of the history of the New Testament.
–General Survey of the History of the Canon of the N.T., p. 108.
PEAKE The most important writer in the first quarter of the fourth century was Eusebius of Caesarea . . . Eusebius was a man of little originality or independent judgment. But he was widely read in the Greek Christian literature of the second and third centuries, the bulk of which has now irretrievably perished, and subsequent ages owe a deep debt to his honest’ it somewhat confused, and at times not a little prejudiced, erudition. –Bible Commentary, p. 596.
Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature Some hundred works, several of them very lengthy, are either directly cited or referred to as read (by Eusehius). In many instances he would read an entire treatise for the sake of one or two historical notices anti must have searched many others without finding anything to serve his purpose …Under the second head the most vital question is the sincerity of Eusebius. Did he tamper with his materials or not? The sarcasm of GIBBON (Decline and Fall, c. xvi) is well known…The passages to which Gibbon refers do not bear out his imputation … Eusebius contents himself with condemning these sins … in general terms, without entering into details. … hut it leaves no imputation on his honesty.
Mosheim in Eusebius was an impartial historian, and had access an editorial to the best helps for composing a correct history note which his age afforded.
Conybeare Of the patristic witnesses to the text of the New Testament as it stood in the Greek MSS. from about 2.00-340 A.D., none is so important as Eusebius of Caesarea, for he lived in the greatest Christian Library of that age, that namely which Origen and Pamphilus had collected. It is no exaggeration to say that from this single collection of manuscripts at Caesarea derives the larger part of the surviving anteNicene literature. In his Library, Eusebius must have habitually handled codices of the gospels older by two hundred years than the earliest of the great uncials that we have now in our libraries. –Hilbert Journal, Oct., 1902.
So much for the honesty, ability and opportunity of Eusebius as a witness to the text of the New Testament. Now we are ready to consider his evidence on the text of Ma. 28:19.
THE EVIDENCE OF EUSEBIUS
Having introduced the first witness, it is time to ascertain what he wrote concerning the text of Ma. 28:19.
According to the Editor of the Christadelphian Monatshefte, Eusebius among his many other writings compiled a collection of the corrupted texts of the Holy Scriptures, and “the most serious of all the falsifications denounced by him, is without doubt the traditional reading of Ma 28:19”.
Persistent enquiry has failed to trace the compilation referred to. and Knupfer, the Editor, has left his last Canadian address without trace. But various authorities mention “a work entitled DISCREPANCIES IN THE GOSPELS or QUESTIONS AND SOLUTIONS ON SOME POINTS IN THE GOSPEL HISTORY” and another work on THE CONCLUDING SECTIONS OF THE GOSPELS.
According to Conybeare:
Eusebius cites this text (Ma. 28:19) again and again in works written between 300 and 336, namely in his long commentaries on the Psalms, on Isaiah, his Demonstratio Evangelica, his Theophany . . . in his famous history of the Church, and in his panegyric of the emperor Constantine. I have, after a moderate search in these works of Eusebius, found eighteen citations of Matthew 28:19, and always in the following form:
Go ye and make disciples of all the nations in my name, teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I commanded you I have collected all these passages except one which is in a catena published by Mai in a
German Magazine, the Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, edited by Dr. Erwin Preuschen in Darmstadt in 1901. And Eusebius is not content “merely to cite the verse in this form, but he more than once “comments on it in such a way as to show how much he set store by the words ‘in my name’. Thus, in his Demonstratio Evangelica he writes thus (colt 240, p. 136):
For He did not enjoin them to make disciples of all the nations simply and without qualification, but with the essential addition “in his name”. For so great was the ‘virtue attaching to his appellation that the Apostle says, ‘God bestowed on him the name above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of things in heaven and on earth and under the earth. It was right therefore that he should emphasize the virtue of the power residing in his name but hidden from the many, and therefore say to his Apostles, Go ye, and make disciples of all the ‘nations’ in my name.
Conybeare proceeds: (in Hibbert Journal, 1902): It is evident that this was the text found by Eusebius in the very ancient codices collected fifty to a hundred and fifty years before his birth by his great predecessors. Of any other form of text he had never heard and knew nothing until he had visited Constantinople and attended the Council of Nice. Then in two controversial works written in his extreme old age and entitled, the one Against Marcellus of Ancyra, the other About the Theology of the Church, he used the common reading. One other writing of his also contains it, namely a letter written after the Council of Nice was over, to his see of Caesarea.
In his TEXTUAL CRITICISM OF THE NEW TESTAMENT Conybeare writes: It is clear, therefore, that of the MSS. which Eusebius inherited from his predecessor, Pamphilus, at Caesarea in Palestine, some at least preserved the original reading’ in which there was no mention either of Baptism or of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It had been conjectured by Dr. Davidson, Dr. Martineau, by the Dean of Westminster, and by Prof. Harnack (to mention but a few names out of many) that here the received text could not contain the very words of Jesus–this long before anyone except Dr. Burgon, who kept the discovery to himself, had noticed the Eusebian form of reading.
An objection was raised by Dr. Chase, Bishop of Ely, who argues that Eusebius found the Textus Receptus (traditional text) in his manuscripts, but substituted the shorter formula in his works for fear of vulgarizing and divulging the sacred Trinitarian formula. It is interesting to find a modern Bishop reviving the very argument used 150 years before, in support of the forged text of I John 5–
Bengel . . . allowed that the words (the Three Witnesses) were in no genuine MS…. Surely, then, the verse is spurious! No: this learned man finds a way of escape. The passage was of so sublime and mysterious a nature that the secret discipline of the Church withdrew it from the public books, till it was gradually lost. Under what a want of evidence must a critic labour who resorts to such an argument!–Porson (Preface to his
Conybeare continues, refuting the argument of the Bishop of Ely: It is sufficient answer to point out that Eutsebius’s argument, when he cites the text, involves the text ‘in my name’. For, he asks, in whose name?’ and answers that it was the name spoken of by Paul in his Epistle to the Philippians 2:10.
The Ency. Rel. and Ethics states:
The facts are, in summary, that Eusebius quotes Ma. 28:19 twenty one times, either omitting everything between ‘nations’ and ‘teaching’, or in the form make disciples of all nations in “my name”, the latter form being the more frequent.
Now let us look at the other early writers who quoted Ma. 28:19.
EVIDENCE OF OTHER EARLY WRITERS
AUTHOR OF DE REBAPTIZMATE The anonymous author of De Rebaptizm in the third century so understood them, and dwells at length on ‘the power of the name of Jesus invoked upon a man by Baptism.–De Rebaptizmate 6.7.–Smith’s Dict. of the Bible, Vol. i, p. 352.
ORIGEN In Origen’s works, as preserved in Greek, the first part of the verse is thrice adduced, but his citation always stops short at the words the nations; and that in itself suggests that his text has been censored, and the words which followed, ‘in my name’, struck out”. —-Conybeare.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA In the pages of Clement of Alexandria a text some what similar to Matthew 28:19 is once cited-but as from a gnostic heretic, named Theodotus, and not as from the canonical text, as follows –‘And to the apostles he gives the command: ‘Going around preach ye and baptize those who ‘believe in the name of Father and Son and Holy ‘Spirit’ (Excerpta cap. 76, ed. Sylb. p. 287)–Conybeare.
JUSTIN MARTYR Justin . . . quotes a saying of Christ . . . as a proof of thenecessity of regeneration, but falls back upon the use of Isaiah and apostolic tradition to justify the practice of baptism and the use of the triune formula. This certainly suggests that Justin did not know the traditional text of Ma. 28:19 –Ency. Rel. and Ethics.
and on the other hand
In Justin Martyr, who wrote between A.D. 130 and 140, “there is a passage which has been regarded as a citation or echo of Ma. 28:19 by various scholars, e.g. Resch in his Ausser canonische Parallelstellen, who sees in it an abridgment of the ordinary text. The passage is in Justin’s dialogue with Trypho 39, p. 258: God hath not yet afflicted nor inflicts the judgment, as knowing of some that still even to-day
are being ‘made disciples in the name of his Christ, and are abandoning
the path of error, who also do receive gifts each as they be worthy, being illumined by the ‘name of this Christ’. “The objection hitherto to these words being recognized as a citation of our text was that they
ignored the formula baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son and “Holy Spirit’. But the discovery of the Eusebian form of “text removes this difficulty: and Justin is seen to have had the same text as early as the year 140, which Eusebius regularly found in his manuscripts from 300 to 340–Conybeare (Hibbert Journal).
MACIEDONIUS We may infer that the text was not quite fixed when TERTULLIAN was writing, early in the third century. In the middle of that century CYPRIAN could insist on the use of the triple formula as essential in the baptism even of the orthodox. The pope Stephen answered him that the baptisms even of heretics were valid, if the name of Jesus alone was invoked. (However, this decision did not prevent the popes of the seventh century from excommunicating the entire Celtic “Church for its adhesion to the old use of invoking the one name). In the last half of the fourth century, the text in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost was used as a battle-cry by the orthodox against the adherents of MACEDONIUS, who were called pneumato machi 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 Son. They also stoutly denied that any text in the N.T. authorised such a co “ordination of the Spirit with the Father and Son.Whence we infer that their texts agreed with that of Eusebius. –F. C. Conybeare (Hibbert Journal).
EUNOMIUS “Exceptions are found which perhaps point to an old practice dying out. CYPRIAN (Ep. 73) and the APOSTOLIC CANON’S (no. 50) combat the shorterformula, thereby attesting its me in certain quarters. The ordinance of Canon Apost. 50 runs–
If any bishop or presbyter fulfill not three baptisms of one initiation, but one baptism which is given (as) into the death of the Lord, let him be deposed’. This was the formula of the followers of EUNOMIUS (Socr. 5.24)–‘for they baptize not into the Trinity, but into the death of Christ. They accordingly used single “immersion only”. –Ency. Biblica (Art. Baptism).
APHRAATES There is one other witness whose testimony we must consider. He is Aphreates . . . who wrote between 337 and 345. He cites our text in a formal manner as follows: Make disciples of all nations, and they shall believe in me. The last words appear to be a gloss on the Eusebian reading ‘in my name’. But in any case, they preclude the textus receptus with its injunction to baptize in the triune name. Were the writing of Aphraates an isolated fact, we might regard it as a loose citation, but in the presence of the Eusebian and Justinian texts this is impossible. –Conybeare.
HOW BIBLICAL MSS. WERE ALTERED WHEN THE GREAT APOSTASY BEGAN
The following quotation’s will show the ease with which scribes freely altered the MSS. of the New Testament, so unlike the scribes and custodians of the Old Testament Scriptures who copied the holy Writings with reverence and strict accuracy.
These quotations will also show the early start of the practice of trine immersion at the time when the doctrine of the Trinity was being formulated.
They will also show how the New Testament writings were made to conform to traditional practice.
CONYBEARE “In the case just examined (Ma. 28:19), it is to be “noticed that not a single manuscript or ancient “version has preserved to us the true reading. But that “is not surprising, for as Dr. C. R. Gregory, one of “the greatest of our textual critics, reminds us, ‘The “Greek MSS. of the text of the New Testament were “often altered by scribes, who put into them the “readings which were familiar to them; and which “they held to be the right readings’ (Canon and Text “of the N.T. 1907, p. 424).
These facts speak for themselves. Our Greek texts, not only of the Gospels, but of the Epistles as well, have been revised and interpolated by orthodox copyists. We can trace their perversions of the text in a few cases, with the aid of patristic citations and ancient versions. But there must remain many passages which have been so corrected, but where we cannot to-day expose the fraud. It was necessary to emphasize this point, because Drs. Westcott and Hors used to aver that there is no evidence of merely doctrinal changes having been made in the text of-the “New Testament. This is just the opposite of the truth, and such distinguished scholars as Alfred Loisy, J. Wellhausen, Eberhard Nestle, Adolf Harnack, to mention only four names, do not scruple to recognize the fact.
(While this is perfectly two, nevertheless–“there are a number of reasons why we can feel confident about the general reliability of our translations. –Peter Watkins in an excellent article ‘bridging the Gap’ in The Christadelphian, January, 1962, VP. 4-8.)
FRATERNAL VISITOR 1924, P. 148
Codex B. (Vaticanus) would be the best of all existing MSS if it were completely preserved, less damaged, (less) corrected, more easily legible, and not altered by a later hand in more than two thousand places. Eusebius, therefore, is not without grounds for “accusing the adherents of Athanasius and of the newly-arisen doctrine of the Trinity of falsifying the “Bible more than once.
–Trans. from Christadelphian Monatshefte.
WHISTON We certainly know of a greater number of interpolation and corruptions brought into the Scriptures . . . by the Athanasians, and relating to the Doctrine of the Trinity, than in any other cave whatsoever. While we hew not, that I know of, any such interpolation “or corruption, made in any one of than by either the Eusebians or Arlans.
–Second Letter to the Bishop of London, 1719. p. 15.
SMITH’S DICTIONARY OF CHRISTIAN ANTIQUITIES: Art Baptism Sec. 50 While trine immersion was thus an all but universal practice, Eunomius (circ. 360) appears to have been the first to introduce simple immersion unto the death of Christ . . . This practice was condemned on pain of degradation, by the Canon Apost. 46 (al 50). But it comes before us again about a century later in Spain; but then, curiously enough, we find it regarded as a badge of orthodoxy in opposition to the practice of the Arians. These last kept to the use of Trine immersion, but in such a way as to set forth their own doctrine of a gradation in the three Persons.
OXFORD DICTIONARY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH In the ‘Two Ways’ of the Didache, the principal duties of the candidates for Baptism and the method of administering it by triple immersion or infusion on the head are outlined. This triple immersion is also attested by Tertullian (Adversus Prax 26) . . . The most elaborate form of the rite in modern Western usage is in the Roman Catholic Church”. pp. 125-126.
HASTING’S DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE In the Eastern Churches, trine immersion is regarded as the only valid form of baptism.–Vol. 1, p. 243 fn.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA The threefold immersion is unquestionably very ancient in the Church . . . Its object is, of course, to honor the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity in whose name it is conferred.–p. 262.
ENCY. RELIGION AND ETHICS If it be thought, as many critics think, that no MS. represents more than comparatively late recensions of the text, it is necessary to set against the mass of manuscript evidence the influence of baptismal practice. It seems easier to believe that the Traditional text was brought about by this influence working on the ‘Eusebian’ text, than that the latter arose out of the former in spite of it.–Art. Baptism.
CONYBEARE The exclusive survival (of the traditional text of Ma. 28:19) in all MSS. both Greek and Latin, need “not cause surprise . . . But in any case, the conversion of Eusebius to the longer text after the Council of “Nice indicates that it was at that time being introduced as a Shibboleth of orthodoxy into all codices. . . . The question of the inclusion of the holy Spirit “on equal terms in the Trinity had been threshed out, and a text so invaluable to the dominant party could not but make its way into every coded, irrespective of its textual affinities. –Hlibbest Journal.
ROBERT ROBERTS Athanasius . . . met Flaivan, the author of the Doxology, which has since been universal in Christendom: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, etc. This was composed in opposition to the Arian Doxology: Glory to the Father, by the Son, in the Holy Spirit.–Good Company, Vol. iii, p. 49.
WHISTON The Eusebians . . . sometimes named the very time when, the place where, and the person “by whom they (i.e. forms of doxology) were first introduced . . . Thus Philollorgius, a “writer of that very age. assures us in PHOTIUS’S EXTRACTS that A.D. 348 or “thereabouts, Flavianus, Patriarch of Antioch, got a multitude of monks together, anddid there first use this public doxology, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to “the Holy Spirit.”
–Second Letter concerning the Primitive Doxologies, 1719,
HAMMOND 1890 There are two or three insertions in the New Testament which have been supposed to have their origin in “ecclesiastical usage. The words in question, being familiarly known in a particular connection, were “perhaps noted in the margin of some copy, and thence “became incorporated by the next transcriber; or a transcriber’s own familiarity with the words might have “led to his inserting them. This is the source to which Dr. Tregelles assigns the insertion of the Doxology “at the close of the Lord’s Prayer in Ma. 6, which is wanting in most of the best authorities. Perhaps also Acts 8:37, containing the baptismal profession of Faith, which is entirely wanting in the best authorities, found its way into the Latin text in this manner”.–Textual Criticism applied to the N.T.,
The Reader, having reviewed the evidence of the MSS., of the Versions and of the patristic writings, will no doubt have reached the conclusion that in the early centuries some copies of Matthew did not contain the triune-name clause. In legal practice, where copies of the same lost document vary, resource is had to what is called “Internal Evidence”, that is, a comparison with the rest of the text of the document that is not in dispute, in order to ascertain which of the variant readings is the more likely.
Our next chapter, therefore, will set forth some of this Internal Evidence.
This method is useful in ascertaining the original text of scripture where two or more readings obtrude.
As an example, take the word “broken” in I Co. 11: 24. Most versions include the word (in Greek) but the best MSS. at their first writing (i.e. before being altered by later hands) omit the word.
Which is correct?
Now the following scriptures are sufficient to decide this point Ex. 12:46; Nu. 9:12; Ps. 34:20; Jo. 19:36.
But in addition we have a verbatim record of the exact words of Jesus in Lu. 22:19–“This is my body which is given for you”. So that the word “broken” is shown by Internal Evidence to be spurious, and should therefore he struck out of the A.V. and excluded frond exhortations and prayers at the Breaking of Bread.
Certain ancient Greek MSS. leave a blank space where this word appears in other copies. The structure of the sentence in Greek requires some word to be inserted. Evidently, some scribe, seeing this space (honestly left blank by other copyists who refrained from inserting a word of their own to fill the gap) made a guess and slipped in the word for “broken”, thus starting an error which has continued right up to the A.V., and persists in church services throughout the whole of Christendom.
The Revised Version reads “which is for you”. It would have been more correct, however, to have left the gap that is found in the early MSS.
So, having found that in the first three centuries there existed copies of Matthew which at 28: 19 did not include the triune-name, and being very well aware that other copies of Matthew, and, in fact, all the later copies, did include the threefold name, we must have recourse to INTERNAL EVIDENCE to decide which is the true reading.
ONE TEST is that of the CONTEXT
Examining the context, we find that in the A.V. the sense of the passage is hindered, but if we read as under, the whole context fits together and the tenor of the instruction is complete:
All power is given unto ME . . . go therefore . . . baptizing in MY name, teaching them . . . whatsoever I have commanded . . . I am with you . . .
ANOTHER TEST is that of FREQUENCY
Is the phrase “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” used elsewhere in scripture?–Not once.
Did Jesus use the phrase “in my name” on other occasions? Yes Ma. 18:20; Mk. 9:37, 39, 41; Jo. 14:14, 26:15: 16:16:23 etc
ANOTHER TEST is that of ARGUMENT
Is any argument in scripture based on the fact of the threefold name, or of baptism in the threefold name?
Is any argument in scripture based on the fact of baptism in the name of Jesus?
Yes! This is the argument in I Co. 1:13:
“Is Christ divided?
“Was Paul crucified for you?
“Were ye baptised in the name of Paul?”
From this argument, if carefully analyzed, it will appear that believers ought to be baptized in the name of that One who was crucified for them. The Father, in His amazing love, gave to us His beloved Son, who by the Spirit was raised to incorruptibility, but it is the Lord Himself who was crucified, and in HIS name, therefore, must believers be baptized in water.
Dr. Thomas says: There is but one way for a believer of the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus the Christ’ to put him on, or to be invested with his name, and that is, by immersion into his name. Baptism is for “this specific purpose”.
–Revealed Mystery. Art
“There is none other name under heaven”–no other name or names–“given among men, whereby we must be saved”.–Ac. 4:12.
As for its significance: baptism is linked inseparably with the death of Christ–it is the means of the believer’s identification with the Lord’s death. –God’s Way, p. 190. Now the Father did not die, nor yet the Spirit.
“Buried with him” (not with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) –Ro. 6:3- 5.
Robert Roberts used this argument: According to trine immersion, it is not sufficient to be baptized into the Son.
Thus Christ is displaced from his position as the connecting link-the door of entrance–the new and living way. And thus there are three names under heaven whereby we must be saved, in opposition to the apostolic declaration, that there is none other name (than the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth) under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. –The True Nature of Baptism, p. 13.
This, of course, is the same argument as Paul’s (see above), and although R.R. did not so intend, his argument is equally effective against the use of the tribune name as against the practice of tripe-immersion. Were ye baptized in the name of Paul, or the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or in any other name that displaces Christ from his position as the ‘connecting link, as the ONLY name for salvation? That is the argument, and confirms the genuine text of Ma. 28:19 to contain the phrase “in my name”.
ANOTHER TEST is that of ANALOGY
Is there anything in scripture analogous to baptism in the Triunename?
Is there anything analogous to baptism in the name of Jesus?
Yes. The Father sent the holy spirit and baptized the waiting disciples with the spirit in the name of Jesus. Jo. 14:26. There is a reason for this. The holy spirit is the Promise (Ac. 2:33) which Christ received on ascending to the Father and only those who were in the corporate body of Christ, the Ecclesia which is His Body–only those could receive the Gift, and only because they were in that one Body. The Lord Jesus Christ is the “connecting link” both for baptism in water and for baptism in spirit. Jo. 3:5.
ANOTHER TEST is that of CONSEQUENCE
In being baptized, do we put on the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Do we put on the name of JESUS?
Dr. Thomas wrote: “Believers of the Gospel Jesus preached are “justified by faith through HIS name; that is, their Abrahamic “faith and disposition are counted to them for repentance and the remission of sins, in the act of puffing on the name of Jesus, the Christ. — Revealed Mystery, Art. XLIII
The Lord said: “I am in my Father, and ye in me” Jo. 14:20. Not until the Thousand Years have passed, and the Lord Jesus Christ returns His Kingdom to God, even the Father I Co. 15:24-28, shall God be all and in all. Till then we may not aspire to be “in the Father.
Believers bear the name of JESUS now, and so that name is not mentioned in Re. 3:12. Believers do not now bear the name of the Father, nor the new name of Jesus nor the name of the City of God, but these three names are promised to the faithful. Then, not now, shall we bear the name of the Father.
(See also the excellent article entitled NOTES ON AN INTERESTING BIBLE IDIOM by H. A. Whittaker in the CHRISTADELPHIAN for Sept. 1959, pp. 393-4)
ANOTHER TEST is that of PRACTICE
Did the disciples afterwards baptize in the Threefold name?–Never! Did they baptize in the name of Jesus?–Always! Ac. 2:38, 19:5; 8:16. etc.
ANOTHER TEST is that of SIMILARITY OF ACTION
Baptism is a symbolic rite. The only other rite of the Ecclesia is that of Breaking Bread.
The latter is the Communion of those who have experienced the former: and for none else.
I he Weekly Memorial is the Lord’s Supper, not that of a trinity. (“My body, My blood”).
ANOTHER TEST is that of SIGNIFICANCES
One significance involved is that of the forgiveness of sins.
John did preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Jesus had no sins to be remitted. Neither had he whereof to repent.
When a man brought his lamb to the priest, he laid his hands upon the lamb, and the lamb was slain, and so the man received a remission of his sin. Without the laying on of hands the sin could not have been transferred to the lamb.
This is the significance in the baptism of Jesus by John. When we were baptized (as when John’s disciples were baptized), our sins were loosed, remitted, washed away, and we arose sinless. The Lord entered the water of baptism to take upon Himself those very sins. He entered sinless and emerged bearing the sins of the world.
How do we know?
It was revealed to John, who exclaimed–“Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world!” (Jo. 1:29).
It was JESUS alone (and not the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) who was baptised, and became the Lamb of God to take away sins.
So that the significance here outlined requires the phrase in Ma. 28:19 to be “in my name”.
ANOTHER TEST is that of PARALLEL ACCOUNTS
Now it happens that Matthew was not alone in recording the words of Christ before His Ascension, Let us compare the parallel account of Lu. 24:4647: who writes in the third person and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached IN HIS NAME among all nations.
This passage therefore restores the correct text to Ma. 28:19–“in my name”.
Furthermore, the last Twelve Verses of Mark record the last discourse of Jesus before his ascension. If these verses are to he regarded as the inspired writing of Mark himself, then we have yet another witness to the correct text, for Mark, after using similar words to those of Matthew –
“go ye . . . all the world . . . preach . . . every creature…baptized . . .” includes not the tribune name but the phrase– “in my name”.
ANOTHER TEST is that of a COMPLEMENTARY CITATION
There is a striking resemblance between Ma. 28:19 and Ro. 1:4-5; the former contains the Commission of Christ to his Apostles, while the latter is Paul’s understanding and acceptance of his own Commission as an apostle.
all POWER is given unto me Go ye teaching them to observe all nations
the Son of God with POWER received . . . apostleship for obedience to the faith all nations and then follows in Ro. 1: 5, not the tribune name, but the phrase– “his name”.
ANOTHER TEST is that of a PRINCIPLE
It is written–
“WHATSOEVER ye do in word or deed, do all in the name “of the Lord Jesus” (Col. 3:17).
Now here is a principle laid down, and the comprehensive word “whatsoever” certainly includes baptism, which is a rite involving both word and deed.
Now of the alternative readings of Ma. 28:19, the threefold name is clearly not in accordance with the above principle. The shorter phrase is. This item of Internal Evidence, therefore, proves which of the two variant readings is the spurious one.
That this is correct, is proved by other scripture. It was Paul who enunciated the Principle. Did it, in his opinion, include Baptism Ac. 19:3-5 supplies the answer. The Baptism of John, like the Baptism of Jesus (then and now), was a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Ml; 1:4,.4c. 2:38-39. And John preached also the coming of the Messiah who should baptize with Holy Spirit. The difference between the baptism of John and baptism after Pentecost is that the latter was in the name of’ JESUS.
NO OTHER DIFFERENCE IS SHOWN IN SCRIPTURE. Non it is written of’ tile disciples at Ephesus that although they had been baptized unto John’s baptism, they were later baptized again, in the presence of Paul, hut “in the name of the Lord Jesus” Ac. 19:3-5.
This test, therefore, provides a doubly-strong proof of the authenticity of the phrase “in my name” in 111a. 28:19.
God foreknew that the record of the parting words of Jesus to his disciples would he tampered With, and in His wisdom He provided a remedy for those who have ‘eyes to see in providing the Principle enunciated by Paul in Col. 3:17, and the record of Paul’s application of that Principle in Acts 19:3-5.
THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS
Sufficient evidence has been produced to enable the reader to decide whether or not the triune-name in Ma. 28: 19 is spurious. The following opinions are given by way of interest. But the reader should not be influenced by them. He should make his own judgment on the evidence before reading further.
HASTING’S ENCY. RELIGION AND ETHICS The cumulative evidence of these three RELIGION AND ETHICS lines of criticism (Textual Criticism, Literary Criticism, Historical Criticism) is thus distinctly against the view that Ma. 28:19 (in the A.V.) represents the exact words of Christ”.
Art. Baptism: Early Christian.
DR. PEAKE The command to baptize into the threefold name is a late doctrinal expansion. Instead of the words baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we should probably read simply–into my name.
–Bible Commentary, p. 723.
F. WHITELEY in THE TESTMONY There is tire ‘triune’ baptismal formula, which may prove a very broken reed when thoroughly “investigated, but…we leave it for separate treatment. The thoughtful may well ponder, meantime, why one cannot find one single instance, in Acts or Epistles, of the words ever being used at any of tire many baptisms recorded, not withstanding Christ’s (seemingly) explicit command at the end of Matthew’s Gospel.
Testimony, Oct. 1959, p. 351. Art. Back to Babylon
WILLIAMS R.R. The command to baptize in Ma. 28:19 is thought to show the influence of a developed doctrine of God verging on Trinitarianism. Early baptism was in the name of Christ. The association of this Trinitarian conception with baptism suggests that baptism itself was felt to be an experience with a Trinitarian reference.
–Theological Wordbook of the Bible, p.
DEAN STANLEY Doubtless the more comprehensive form in which baptism is now everywhere administered in the threefold name . . . soon superseded the simpler form of that in the Name of the Lord Jesus only.
E.K. in the FRATERNAL VISITOR The striking contrast and the illogical eternal incoherence of the passage . . . lead to a presumption of an intentional corruption in the interests of the Trinity. “In ancient Christian times a tendency of certain parties to corrupt the text of the New Testament was certainly often imputed. This “increases our doubt almost to a decisive certainty concerning the genuineness of the passage.
Art. The Question of the Trinity and Matthew 28:19. 1924, pp. 147-151, trans. from the Christadelphian Monatshefte.
DR. ROBERT YOUNG In his Literal Translation of the Bible, Young places the triune name in Ma. 28:19 in parentheses, thus indicating the words to be of doubtful authenticity.
JAMES MARTINEAU The very account which tells us that at last, after His resurrection, He commissioned His disciples to go and baptize among all nations, betrays itself by speaking in the Trinitarian language of the next century, and compels us to see in it the ecclesiastical editor, and not the evangelist, much less the Founder himself. –Seat of Authority.
BLACK’S BIBLE DICTIONARY The Trinitarian formula (Ma. 28:19) was a late addition by some reverent Christian mind.
ENCY. RELIGION AND ETHICS The obvious explanation of the silence of the “New Testament on the triune name, and the use of another formula in Acts and Paul, is that this other formula was the earlier, and that the trine formula is a later addition.
PROF. HARNACK dismisses the text almost contemptuously as being no word of the Lord.-History of Dogma (German edn. i
F. WHITELEY in THE TESTMONY “Clerical conscience much troubled (see Comp. Bible App. 185) that apostles and epistles never once employ ‘the Triune Name’ of Ma. 28:19. Even Trinitarians, knowing Trinity idea was being resisted by Church in 4th Cent., admits (e.g. Peake) the command to baptize with the threefold name is a late doctrinal expansion, but prior to oldest yet known Ms. (4th Cent.). (Its sole counterpart, 1 Jo. 5:7, is a proved interpolation). Eusebius (A.D. 264-340) denounces the Triune form as spurious, Matthew’s actual writing having been baptizing them in my name. Footnotes to Art: Baptism (5) in The Testimony, Aug., 1958.
IS IT IMPORTANT?
That is to say, is it important whether we amend the text of Ma. 28:19 or not?
The man whose standard of judgment is his own ideas will answer in the negative. But those who acknowledge that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts will carefully consider the matter in the light of
scripture, and remember that in the matter of divinely-appointed symbolic actions the details are of the greatest importance. Ma. 28:19 has to do with such a symbolic action.
(a) Cain’s offering lacked blood and was rejected.
(b) The Sabbath stick-gatherer forfeited his life.
(c) Uzzah died on touching the Ark.
Maybe God was displeased because they marred the portrait-in-type of the Son of His Love, as to (a) his atonement by blood, (b) his millenial rest, and (c) his chosen ones.
Now every symbolic action required by God has not only one or more significance’s, but is the actual CAUSE: of very real END–EFFECTS
1) When Joshua pointed his spear there was victory. Jos. 8:18-19.
2) Only three victories were given to Joash when he struck the ground hut thrice. 2 Ki. 13:19-25.
3) The Passover Lamb or Kid had to be without blemish, Ex. 12:5, (even as was Christ), if the household were to he preserved from the Destroying Angel.
Nothing in Cod’s ritual is without meaning or result. When He speaks it is done! Christ called Lazarus and–Lazarus came forth! In matters of ritual (Baptism and the Breaking of Bread) we are dealing with God’s ritual, not man’s such as the Ritual of the Roman Catholic Church which, being man-made, has no further effect or result.
So that, on the one hand, any deviation from the appointed details is displeasing to God, and very definitely so, and, on the other hand, obedience to the divinely-appointed details will accomplish that whereunto they were sent.
Now in the matter of our Enquiry, it is important to settle what is the Word of God in order that we may obey. This is the purport of De. 4:2 -“Ye shall not add . . . neither . . . diminish ought . . . that ye may keep the commandments”. First of all, therefore, we should expunge the spurious phrase in Ma. 28:19 A.V., and with a zeal like that of our Master in expelling: those who ought not to have been in (God’s Temple, or like that of Nehemiah in casting out Tobiah’s “stuff”.
ENCYCLO. RELIGION & ETHICS:
On page three there is a quotation from this Encyclopaedia. The extract, and much other valuable information will be found in vol. 2. p. 380, under Baptism (Early Christian).
“ANOTHER TEST IS THAT OF ANALOGY” page 19.
It should be remembered that a believer becomes a member of the Body of Christ a member of His Church or Ekklesia, by being baptized in Holy Spirit. There is no other way in. (I Cor. 12:13 ‘in’ spirit not ‘by’ spirit).
“MATT. 28 19 & LUKE 24 47 SAY NOTHING OF BAPTISM”
That is true. And Mark’s account of the Commission has been lost. They speak only of “making disciples from all nations” and of “repentance and remission of sins”. The Pamphlet does not attempt it, introduce baptism into those two passages. Its aim is to set forth the genuine text of Malt. 28. 19. In doing that it destroys the only support that Trinitarians have for baptizing in the name of the 1 Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
As to baptism in water the Scriptures elsewhere speak plainly and unanimously teaching that remission of sins is by way of water-baptizn preceded by repentance. Acts 2:38-39; Acts 22:16 etc.
THE LIGHT IS DAWNING
The British and Foreign Bible Society published in 1960 a Greek Testament, and at Matt. 28:19 the phrase en to onomati mou’ (‘in my name’) is given as an alternative reading Eusebius being cited as the authority.
The Jerusalem Bible 1966 (a Roman Catholic production) has this foot fool note to Matt. 28: 19: “It may be that this formula . . . is a reflection of the liturgical usage established later in the primitive community. It will he remembered that Acts speaks of baptizing ill the name of Jesus”.
“THE TEST OF A PRINCIPLE”
On page 21 of the Pamphlet stress is placed on the command in Col. 3:17. The following passages are presented by way of contrast. For whereas believers must now do all things in the name of Jesus in the olden days the priests were required to do everything in the name of Yahveh, (actually this usual transliteration of the Name is incorrect, but is here used to avoid distraction).
Deut. 18:5 to stand and minister in the name of Yahveh.
Deut. 18:7 he shall minister in the name of Yahveh his Elohim.
Deut. 18:20 the prophet . . . who shall presume to speak a word
In my name
Deut. 18:22 when a prophet speaks in the name of Yahveh
As showing tile sense of the phrase when used in ordinary conversation, we might refer to I Sam. 25:5 where David said to the ten young men: Go to Nabal, and ‘greet him in my name’ This is exactly the same sense of the phrase when it appears in connection with baptism in the name of Jesus, and when it appears in Deut. 18 (above passages).
THE LOST BOOK
On page 10 reference is made to a lost book of Eusebius. This might be the one referred to by Wm. Bright – “His literary works . . . together with a larger work on Discrepancies in the Gospels . . . ” (Wm. Bright, prefacing Burton’s ‘Text of Eusebius’ Ecc. Hist. p.xxv). A footnote reads: “Demonstration Evangelica vii 3 part of this work . . . related to . . . the concluding sections of the Gospels”
Ludwig Knupfer, Editor of Monatshefte, has now been traced. He writes: “through events of war I have lost all my files and other material connected with the Magazine”.
THE EVIDENCE OF EUSEBIUS
Jerome makes an interesting statement. (He was born A.D.331 and died A.D.420, and wrote many exegetical and controversial treatises and letters and translated the Scriptures into Latin. With none of those are we now concerned.) His interesting statement is as follows “Matthew, who is also Levi . . . composed a Gospel . . . in the Hebrew language and characters . . . Furthermore, the Hebrew itself is preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea which the martyr Pamphilus so diligently collected.”
– Catalogue of Ecclesiastical Writers.
Now Eusebius of Caesarea (260-339 A.D.) inherited from that Pamphilus (died 310 A.D.) that famous Library, a library which was commenced by Origen (185-254 A.D.).
The wording of that statement by Jerome seems to mean that the actual Ms. of Matthew was still to be seen in the Library of Caesarea. Or it could mean a copy of Matthew’s Hebrew writing. But the phraseology of Jerome appears to indicate the actual Ms written by Matthew himself.
THE MENTAL RESERVATIONS OF EUSEBIUS
On page 11 of the Pamphlet, pare 1, mention is made of the fact that after the Council of Nicaea Eusebius three times used the triune name- phrase in writing. The following three extracts throw light on this strange affair
1. “At the council of Nicaca (A.D.325) Eusebius took a leading part . . He occupied the first seat to the emperor’s right, and delivered the opening address to Constantine when he took his seat in the council chamber . . .Eusebius himself has left us an account of his doings with regard to the main object of the council in a letter of explanation to his church at Cacsarca . . . This letter . . . is written to the Caesareans to explain that he would resist to the last any vital change in the traditional creed of his church, but had subscribed to these alterations, when assured of their innocence to avoid appearing
contentious.” Dict. Christian Biography & Literature. Art Euscbius.
2. “Our concern here is only with Nicaea as it affected Eusebius . . . Eusebius’ own account of the matter (is) transmitted to us . . . in the letter he addressed to his diocese in explanation of his actions at the Council, for with some misgiving he had signed the document bearing the revised text of the creed he had presented . . . But being satisfied that the creed did not imply the opposite Sabellian pitfall . . . he signed the document.” – Wallace Hadrill: Eusebius of Caesarea (1960)
3. “The Nicene Council followed, in the summer of A.D.325. Eusebius, of course, attended and was profoundly impressed by the sight of that majestic gathering . . . He occupied a distinguished position in the Council; he was its spokesman in welcoming the Emperor . . . On the next day, as if yielding to those representations, and moved by the expressed opinion of Constantine, he signed the Creed, and even accepted the anathematism appended to it but did so, as we gather from his own statement, by dint of evasive glosses which he certainly could not have announced at the time. While then he verbally acquiesced in the doctrinal decisions of the Nicene Council . . . he did so reluctantly, under pressure, and in senses of his own .. He knew that he would be thought to have compromised his convictions, and therefore wrote his account of the transaction to the people of his diocese. and, as Athanasius expresses it, ‘excluded himself in his own way’.”
— Wm. Bright in his Preface to Burton’s Text of Eusebius kcc. [list. p.xxxii]
SECOND-CENTURY MUTILATIONS OF THE SACRED TEXT
In the Pamphlet mention is made of the fact that textual critics have been able to reproduce the Sacred Text substantially correct as it existed in the second or third century. As was pointed out in the Pamphlet on page four. “there is every reason to believe that the grossest errors that have ever deformed the text had entered in already in the second century . . . If our touchstone only reveals to us texts that are ancient, we cannot hope to obtain for our result anything but an ancient text. What we wish, however, is not merely an ancient, but the true, text”. The following three excerpts are interesting as being in accordance with that pronouncement:
1. The Authentic New Testament was translated by Dr. Hugh J. Schonfield, and published in 1962. The Introduction contains the following:
“It may be accepted with confidence that we have at command the New Testament substantially as the writings contained in it would be read within a c century of their composition.”
(It is within that century, as has been pointed out, that the ‘very grossest textual errors’ deformed the Sacred Text).
2. The S.P.C. .K. published in 1964 Volume One of the Clarified New Testament. At Matt. 28:19 the comment reads “One would expect this name to be that of Jesus and it is surprising to find the text continuing with ‘the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost’, which are no names at all. The suspicion that this is not what Matthew originally wrote naturally arises. In ‘Father, Son and Holy Ghost’ we have the Trinitarian formula . . . which was associated with Christian Baptism in the second century, as evidenced in The Didache, chapter 7.”
3. F. C. Kenyon: The Text of the Greek Bible pp 241-242 – “At the first each book had its single original text, which it is now the object of criticism to recover, but in the first two centuries this original Greek text disappeared under a mass of variants, created by errors, by conscious alterations, and by attempts to remedy the uncertainties thus created.”
THE SOURCE OF THE ERROR
The earliest reference to the triune name-phrase is found in The Didache. The Didache is a collection of fragments of writings from five or more documents. They were originally written, it is thought, between A.D.80 and 160. Although we have only 99 verses, those verses contain the sperm of many false teachings that developed into the Papal Superstitions. The sperm of Indulgencies, Prayer Books, the Clergy, tithes for the priesthood, the Mass and the Confessional, the substitution of sprinkling for immersion and of other gross errors is to be found in that disreputable pseudo-Christian Didache. (Refs: IV1, IX 2-4, X2-6, X1113, XIVl and lV6.)
And in that Didache, among all those apostate beliefs and practices is found the triune name-phrase that later wormed its way into the sacred text of Matthew 28, 19, displacing the actual words of the Lord. Here, then, is the source of the error, a written teaching that reflected the erroneous practice of apostate Christians in the 2nd century.
THE BAPTISM OF JOHN AND THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
On page 21 of the Pamphlet it is stated that the baptism of John agreed with the baptism instituted by Jesus in all points except one – that the latter was done in the name of Jesus. In this connection it is interesting to note the following point made by the poet John Milton:
“The baptism of John was essentially the same as the baptism of Christ, but it differed in the form of words used in its administration, and in the comparative remoteness of its efficacy. If it had not been really the same, it would follow that we had not undergone the same baptism as Christ.”
– Milton’s Prose Works, trans. from Latin by Dr. Sumner, Bishop of Winchester, London 1853, vol. 4 p.412
(I demur, however, to the phrase ‘comparative remoteness of its efficacy’. When we are baptized in the name of Jesus we enter the water laden with sins, and those sins are, in the language of Scripture, then ‘washed away’. The Lord Jesus Christ entered the water sinless and arose therefrom burdened with our sins as well as the sins of John’s disciples – he was the Lamb of God which took away the sins of the world, carrying them to his Stake. I fail to see any ‘comparative remoteness’).
AN IMPORTANT QUESTION AND THE ANSWER THERETO
The Question I was baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit after repenting and believing the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. Was not that baptism sufficient?
The Answer “Apollos . . . a learned man . . . was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been taught by word of mouth the Way of the Lord . . . taught carefully the things concerning Jesus, knowing only the baptism of John” – Acts 18, 2425 RVm.
(The three main Mss – Sinaitic, Alexandrian, Vaticanus – all read ‘Jesus’ as above. The English translations which give ‘Jesus’ at that place include – RV, ASV, RSV, NED, NWT, TEV, Douay, Fenton, Moffat, 20th Cent. Wilson (Diag.) Weymouth, Concordant, Amplified, Authentic, Panin and Marshall. The AV reeds ‘tine Lord’).
HOW ACTS 18, 2425 ANSWERS THE QUESTION
Apollos was a disciple of the Baptist.
The Baptist knew that Jesus was the Christ and taught his disciples that Jesus was the Lamb of God which would take away the world’s sins. Apollos knew the things concerning the Kingdom of God and ‘the things concerning Jesus’.
He had been baptized for the remission of sins, having that knowledge. Now, presumably, he was baptized by his instructors at Ephesus in the name of Jesus. (This presumption arises from the fact that other believers at Ephesus who had the same beliefs were baptized by Paul in the name of Jesus).
There are those who, like Apollos, have been baptized in water for the remission of sins, understanding ‘the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ’, but who have not been baptized, as was that group at Ephesus, in the name of Jesus. Why do such hold back? Paul thought it was necessary for those believers to be baptized in the name of Jesus. Was he mistaken, or are we? Certainly Paul was not mistaken, for according to the Lord’s promise, He baptized that group in holy spirit after they had been baptized in His name.
THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS
The principle involved is seen in Matt. 10, 41. A gift in the name of a prophet secures a prophet’s reward. Anything done in the name of Jesus directly involves Him.
Believers were taught by James (5, 14) to anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord. The result would be that the Lord would raise him up. Two or three or more may meet together in the name of the Lord that involves Him. The result is that He is then present. The
believers were told to make disciples from all nations in his name. The consequent involvement of Christ lay here – He would be with them to the end.
Believers are required to be baptized in the name of Jesus. This involves the Lord Jesus Christ, who will then remit sins, and will Himself baptize in holy spirit those that ‘thirst’. (Acts 2, 38-39, Rev. 22, 17).
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY REV. MORRIS WISE. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.