In the name of the father, son and the holy spirit.
A verse that is often used to support the trinity is Matthew 28-19, where Jesus instructs the disciples to go and baptise in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
Matthew 28-19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Therefore it is claimed by many trinitarians that this is Jesus telling the disciples to baptise in the name of the trinity. All three members of God being referenced.
It is understood by many trinitarians, for reasons I can only fathom as being self confirming, that this verse is in fact describing the very nature of God. In other words Jesus saying go baptise into God who is God the father, God the son and God the Holy spirit. This of course is not what the text says or even implies.
Matthew 28-19 has absolutely nothing to do with the nature of God. There is nothing in the text, unless of course you are reading into the text a preconceived belief of the trinity, that would imply that Jesus, by issuing his command, is in any way describing the triune unity of God. Jesus did not in fact instruct his disciples to baptise in the nature of God and neither did he instruct them to baptise INTO the name of God the father, God the son and God Holy Spirit. He didn’t even command the baptising INTO anything at all. We are not baptised into the NAME of God or Jesus or any other name.
Now I know there is one verse that states if we are baptised INTO Christ
Galatians 3-27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
But this isn’t a verse about the formula of baptism or being baptised in the name of Christ , this is simply meaning those who are baptised are baptised into CHRIST, baptised into the BODY of Christ. Becoming part of Christ through baptism. This does not mean baptising into into the NAME of Christ. There is no reference here to the actual baptism itself. We are baptised in the NAME of Christ INTO the body of Christ.
Interestingly Matthew 28-19 is the ONLY verse from the synoptic gospels that I have personally had used by trinitarians to support the trinity. (At the time of writing this article anyway).
ALL other gospel verses used to prove the trinity, actually come from one single Gospel, the Gospel of John. those verses have been dealt with in separate writings and won’t be dealt with in this writing. Here I am going to deal ONLY with the verse in question, Matthew 28-19, and see, if when it is actually examined, if it does in fact support the trinitarian claim.
Before I start to investigate this verse in a bit more detail. I would like to quickly address an argument made by some, admittedly some Unitarians use it, that the verse as it is stated in the Bible today, is not how the verse originally read. Some use the writings of Eusebius to support their claim. Eusebius quotes Matthew 28-19 a number of times and each time he states in MY name rather than in the name of the father, son and Holy Ghost.
But the rest of the apostles, who had been incessantly plotted against with a view to their destruction, and had been driven out of the land of Judea, went unto all nations to preach the Gospel, relying upon the power of Christ, who had said to them, “Go ye and make disciples of all the nations in my name.”
Book III Ecclesiastical History, Chapter 5, Section 2
What king or prince in any age of the world, what philosopher, legislator or prophet, in civilized or barbarous lands, has attained so great a height of excellence, I say not after death, but while living still, and full of mighty power, as to fill the ears and tongues of all mankind with the praises of his name? Surely none save our only Savior has done this, when, after his victory over death, he spoke the word to his followers, and fulfilled it by the event, saying to them, “Go ye and make disciples of all nations in my name.”
Oration in Praise of Emperor Constantine, Chapter 16, Section 8
I am aware of this argument however I will not be using this as an argument here. I 100% believe the verse as it reads in the Bible today (KJV) is the correct reading that was included in the original writings of Matthew. More so I believe it is a very weak and probably more accurately labelled, disingenuous argument to claim otherwise. I rather feel it is an attempt to sidestep the argument made by trinitarians by those who are unable to actually deal with the verse as it is. Rather than making this false accusation against the verse, I simply rather believe the verse has a different meaning than that which the trinitarian would assert. I interpret this verse in a different way. Interpreted in a way that I think has much biblical support.
Anyway back to the verse at hand. It cannot go unnoticed and certainly not unmentioned that NEVER, not even once does the Bible ever record anyone baptize anyone, as most churches do today and just as I was baptised myself, by saying I baptise you in the name of the father, son and holy spirit.
The Bible ONLY ever records the disciples baptising in the name of JESUS and in the name of Jesus alone, a singular name.
Even the go to verse for those that say baptism is a requirement of salvation, Acts 2-38, only states to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ.
Acts 2-38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Other verses where baptism is performed in the name of Jesus
Acts 8-16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Acts 10-48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Acts 19-5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
It would seem, by way of the biblical support for how the disciples are scripturally depicted performing their baptisms that either the disciples
1) Totally misunderstood what Jesus had commanded them and went about baptising only in his name in spite of the command of Jesus.
2) The disciples simply disobeyed him and only baptised in his name again in spite of the command of Jesus.
3) They completely understood the command that Jesus had given them but that command being very differently than what is so commonly taught by most of mainstream Christianity today and went about baptising in his name, but understanding what this truly meant.
It is very unlikely that the disciples did not understand Jesus or they simply disobeyed him because the baptism of which they performed was never corrected at anytime. They baptised in the name of Jesus and not one verse states that this was not the way in which the disciples should have done so. If it were incorrect then we would expect to see this correction somewhere in scripture. The baptism as performed by the disciples also produced the indwelling of the spirit so again if it was incorrect it was unlikely to have done so. I do not say impossible but it would seem rather odd for an incorrect baptism to produce the spirit when it would be going against the actual command of Jesus. If it were the case then any claim of any Christian group that we must baptise in a specific way would now be shown incorrect also. It would basically throw out any correct way in which to baptise.
It is far more likely that the disciples not only understood the command as Jesus had stated it, but also then went about correctly applying that baptism as Jesus had taught them how to do. There is no reason to believe that the disciples were incorrectly baptising by baptising in the singular name of Jesus.
In fact the Greek word translated as name in Matthew 28-19 is ὄνομα onoma, and this is in the singular form in this verse. The verse does not say in the NAMES of the father, son and Holy Ghost but name as in one name. The in the singular name of the father son and Holy Ghost. The singular name of the triune God however, if the triune God were correct would not be Jesus but YHWH.
Now we know that the disciples baptised in the one singular name, Jesus. Baptism was performed in the name of Jesus.
God’s name as just stated is not Jesus, it is YHWH.
Isaiah 42-8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
LORD is the English translation of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton YHWH.
The father’s name is also not Jesus. The father’s name is YHWH.
Isaiah 63-16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name isfrom everlasting.
Again the LORD is translated from the Hebrew YHWH.
There are some that claim that Jesus is YHWH, but the disciples did not baptise in the name of YHWH, they baptised in the name of Jesus. If Jesus is YHWH and the father is YHWH and the Holy Spirit is YHWH then by my reckoning, even though Maths is not my strongest point, this is 3 YHWH’s. If the triune God himself is YHWH then we have simply entered into a rather ridiculous conclusion that God is YHWH and each person of God YHWH is also God YHWH while each God YHWH is not the other God YHWH’s and the triune God YHWH is the 3 God YHWH’s in one, a total head spin and yet still the sons name is actually Jesus and not YHWH…….and this makes complete sense, I think not.
Jesus was the name of the man, who is the mediator between God and men as very clearly attested to by scripture.
1 timothy 2-5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Even if Jesus was 100% God and 100% man, the disciples baptised in the name of the man and not God.
So what does in the name actually mean?
Throughout the Bible we see that to do something in the name of someone is simply a Biblical way of articulating one person doing something in the AUTHORITY of another person.
In 1 Samuel, King David send out young men to meet Nabal IN HIS NAME.
1 Samuel 25- 5 And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:
The men spoke to Nabal all the words in King David’s name.
1 Samuel 25- 9 And when David’s young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
The men were simply sent in the authority of King David and spoke the his words that they had been given to speak in his authority. Greeting in the name of King David meant to greet in his authority.
After the Israelites were given the commandments on the tablets of stone at mount Sinai when, during their journey in the wilderness, God separated the tribe of Levi from the rest of the Israelites as the ones to bear the ark of the covenant. They were to bless in the NAME of God. The Levites were given the authority by God to bless.
Deuteronomy 10-8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day
This is repeated in Chapter 18 of Deuteronomy. The Levites were given no inheritance of the land given by God as they were the ones to minister in the name of YHWH, they were to minister in the Authority of YHWH
Deuteronomy 18-5 For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever.
Deuteronomy 18-7 Then he shall minister in the name of the LORD his God, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before the LORD.
Later in the same chapter God promises to raise up a prophet from amongst them, who will speak the words of God, given by God.
Deuteronomy 18- 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
God then warns against any prophet who would speak “IN MY NAME” who does not have the authority to do so. In the name of YHWH meaning in the authority of YHWH. Here meaning YHWH having not given that authority.
Deuteronomy 18-19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in myname, I will require it of him.20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Paul asked the question were the people baptised in his name, in HIS authority
1 corinthians 1-13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
He continued that he was glad that he had not in fact baptised many so that people could not say that they had been baptised in the name of Paul, in the authority of Paul.
1 corinthians 1- 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
In the book of Jeremiah we are repeatedly told about prophets that were speaking and prophesying in the name of YHWH. YHWH clearly states that he did not send them. They were not speaking and prophesying in his authority. He had not given them the authority to do so.
Jeremiah 14:14 Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Jeremiah 14:15 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with phets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.forbearing, and I could not stay.
Jeremiah 23:25 I have heard what the pro
Jeremiah 25:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts.
Jeremiah 27:15 For I have not sent them, saith the Lord, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.
Jeremiah 29:9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:21 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, which prophesy a lie unto you in my name; Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes;
Jeremiah 29:23 Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord.
Yet another example of this given authority comes to us in the book of Exodus as we see that the angel of the LORD was sent before the Israelites to lead them to the promised land.
Exodus 23-20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared
The Israelites were told to obey him for in him was the name of God. In the angel was the authority of God given to the angel by God.
Exodus 23-21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.
Jesus taught the disciples the truth about the scriptures and how they spoke of him, how he was to be put to death but to rise again
Luke 47- 44And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day
He then told them that repentance and remission of sins should be preached IN HIS NAME amongst all the nations.
Luke 24- 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
The disciples were to preach repentance and remission of sins unto all nations in his authority. The disciples would be preaching in the authority of Jesus.
Jesus then instructed them to wait in Jerusalem until they had received the power from on high. They were to wait however until they had been given the Holy Spirit.
Luke 24-48And ye are witnesses of these things. 49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
The disciples were to receive the Holy Spirit and then go out and preach in the authority of Jesus.
Jesus gave those that believed on him the authority to cast out devils, they will cast out devils IN MY NAME.
Mark 16- 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Jesus passing on the authority that was given to him by God.
Jesus however tells us about those that will come to him and proclaim that they cast out those devils and did many wonderful works and prophesied IN HIS NAME, in his authority and he will say that he never knew them. They were not in fact in the authority of Jesus.
Matthew 7-22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works?
People will proclaim that they are in the authority of Jesus when in fact they are in their own.
So why did the disciples only baptise in the name of Jesus and not in the name of the father son and Holy spirit.
Actually they did preach in the name of the father son and Holy spirit. Baptising in the name of Jesus, or baptising in the authority of Jesus was baptising in the authority of the father, son and Holy spirit. The disciples had received the Holy Spirit, the Holy spirit was therefore in them. They had been given the Holy spirit before they went out preaching. They had to have been given the Holy spirit before they could preach the gospel as instructed. They had the authority of having received the Holy Spirit.
The son was given all authority by the father. The son spoke in the father’s name. Those that baptised had the Holy spirit and were given the authority to baptise by the son, who, himself was given the authority by the father.
Jesus had come in his father’s name. He had come in the authority of the father
John 5-43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
But at his resurrection Jesus was then given all authority by the father.
When we look at the immediate context of Matthew 28-19 we see that just before this Jesus had declared that ALL power in heaven and earth was given to him.
Matthew 28-18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
This is echoed in the book of Acts.
Acts 4-10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
God had exalted Jesus and given him a name above all others
Philippians 2-9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
God gave Jesus HIS name as attested to in Isaiah 42 (which we saw was where God stated his name as YHWH)
Please read my writing understanding my glory will I not give to another, which explains how God promised to give his glory only to Jesus.
It is in that name by which they baptised.
Jesus told them to baptise in the authority of the father, son and Holy spirit
Baptising in the authority of the name Jesus was indeed baptising in the authority of the father who had given Jesus his authority.
Remember we come to the father through Jesus.
Romans 1- 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Baptising in the authority of the father, son and Holy Ghost is exactly what baptising in the name of Jesus meant. The verse does not in fact support the trinity, it actually supports that God gave Jesus the authority and Jesus passed that authority on to his disciples.