Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets

Constantine Wrote Matthew 28:19 Into Your Bible!

Were You Baptized into Yeshua (Jesus) or a Trinity?


Back Next Chapter 31, Part 1 Preview: Were you baptized contrary to the Bible? A Roman Emperor insisted that Trinitarian wording be inserted into the Latin Vulgate Bible as it was being written. This chapter explains how the fraudulent text crept into virtually every modern English version of the Bible, and has even eluded being discovered by churches that don’t believe that Elohim (God) is a Trinity. The question becomes: Does it matter whose name you were baptized into?

What did Matthew actually write—“baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” OR “So go and make disciples in every nation IN MY NAME”?

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit—NKJV

Mysteries of the Everlasting Kingdom

Nearly every modern version of the Bible is short the equivalent of a few pages of text, due to the error of many modern “scholars” who prefer the Alexandrian Texts over the Received Texts. However this chapter concerns the only fraudulent addition that I am aware of to escape the notice of J.P.Green, a foremost proponent of the Texts almost unanimously used for 1900 years. A similar fraudulent Trinitarian “verse” is the KJV’s well known 1 John 5:7. Translators take heed:

Revelation 22:18-19 I testify to everyone who hears the words of prophecy in this small book: if anyone adds to them, YHVH will ADD to them the catastrophes [plagues] that are described in this small book. 19 If anyone takes words out of the book containing this prophecy, YHVH will TAKE AWAY their destiny from the Tree of Life and from the kadosh city described in this small book. —Gabriel Bible

(Have you ever tried to fit into your eschatology how it is that these long dead text alterers will suffer the end time “calamities that are written about in this book”? This is addressed in Are the “Unsaved” Lost?: The Called, the Culled and the Excused).

This chapter is based on a publication that was originally written in 1961 and titled “A Collection of the Evidence For and Against the Traditional Wording of the Baptismal Phrase in Matthew 28:19”. The author signed his work simply as A. Ploughman. Likely a pseudo name. He was a minister who lived in Birmingham, England. He had not encountered anything dealing with the authenticity of Matthew 28:19, during his 50 years of Biblical study except from out of print articles, books and encyclopedias. I might never have considered reviewing this information except for the fact that a trusted friend was quite zealous about the importance of the conclusions reached. In this chapter, only the secular historical quotations have been retained, as written from Ploughman’s research.

Questioning the authenticity of Matthew 28:19 is not a matter of determining how easily it can or cannot be explained within the context of established doctrinal views. Rather, it is a matter of discovering the very thoughts of Yehovah (God), remembering that His truths, and not our traditions, are eternal.

The information presented is extremely relevant to our faith. The amount of information supporting the conclusions presented may seem overwhelming, but for the serious seeker of truth, the search is well worth the effort. I hope that you will allow the facts contained in this chapter to stir you to action. If you discover that you have not been “immersed” (as I prefer to call it) or “baptized” into the name of the true Savior, and have knowingly accepted a substitute, what would Elohim (God) expect of you?

(“Immerse is a translation, baptize is the essentially untranslated Greek word “baptizo”. Due to the number of quotations cited, I am consistently using the term “baptize” instead of “immerse” in this article. However, since about 1700 AD, people have assumed that “pouring” and “sprinkling” are forms of baptism. The use of the word immersion would circumvent such confusion.)

However, it must be remembered that we have no known manuscripts of the The Testimony of Yeshua (New testament) that were written in the first, second or even the third centuries. There is a gap of over three hundred years between when Matthew wrote his account and our earliest manuscript copies. (It also took over three hundred years for the Catholic Church to evolve into what the “early church fathers” wanted it to become.)

No single early manuscript is free from textual error. Some have unique errors—other manuscripts were copied extensively and have the same errors. Again, our aim is to examine all of the evidence and determine as closely as possible what the original words were.

None of the Scriptures from Genesis thru Malachi make reference to a Trinitarian Elohim. Also from Mark thru Revelation, we don’t find any evidence for a Trinity. Only in Matthew do we find a relatively old “proof text” in support of a Trinity.

The Encyclopedia Wikipedia has a very detailed account of the evolution of the Trinity. The latter portion of the article explains virtually every version of the Trinity that has arisen. I would think that reading this information would cause a Trinitarian to shudder! But I don’t believe that the Unitarian alternative beliefs extant are any better. I would recommend that you consider reading another article on this site concerning the true nature of Elohim: “I and My Father are ONE.

I can’t resist making one quick point of the many that could be cited. When Stephen was being martyred, who did he see? He saw the Father and the Son, but the kadosh (holy) spirit wasn’t standing with them, but Stephen was filled with it! (Acts 7:55) There you have it—Father, Son and kadosh spirit all mentioned in one verse.

There is one other fraudulent “Trinitarian verse” found in the KJV that can be quickly eliminated from consideration, before we eliminate the only remaining “evidence”, because this “cherished verse” is certain to arise in conversation:

1 John 5:7-8 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. KJV

I did an Internet search using only the above Biblical reference, and came up with an article explaining the relatively recent origin of this “fantasy text”. Here is one relative paragraph from an article aimed directly at the successors of the original deception.

“This [altered] reading [in 1 John] is found only in eight late manuscripts, four of which have the words in a marginal note. Most of these manuscripts (2318, 221, and {with minor variations} 61, 88, 429, 629, 636, and 918) originate from the 16th century; the earliest manuscript, codex 221 (10th century), includes the reading in a marginal note, which was added sometime after the original composition. Thus, there is no sure evidence of this reading in any Greek manuscript until the 1500s; each such reading was apparently composed after Erasmus’ Greek NT was published in 1516. Indeed, the reading appears in no Greek witness of any kind (either manuscript, patristic, or Greek translation of some other version) until AD 1215 (in a Greek translation of the Acts of the Lateran Council, a work originally written in Latin). This is all the more significant, since many a Greek Father would have loved such a reading, for it so succinctly affirms the doctrine of the Trinity. The reading seems to have arisen in a fourth century Latin homily in which the text was allegorized to refer to members of the Trinity. From there, it made its way into copies of the Latin Vulgate, the text used by the Roman Catholic Church.”—The Textual Problem in 1 John 5:7-8—Daniel B. Wallace PhD

I’ll not venture down this parallel avenue any further. We’ll now resume the same plot as it unfolded over a thousand years prior to the 1 John 5 chicanery:

We must consider the possibility that all of the existing manuscripts may have one or more textual errors in common. According to the Biblical historian Dr. C. R. Gregory:

“The Greek manuscripts of the text of the New Testament were often altered by the scribes, who put into them the readings which were familiar to them, and which they held to be the right readings.

More on these changes will be addressed later.

An unnamed writer said:

“A great step forward is taken when we propose to give manuscripts weight, not according to their age, but according to the age of the text that they contain. By proving how honest a text is, rather than strictly how old it is, provides us with a text that has content that is truly ancient. When we verify that a text is older than the fourth century—that it was current in the third, or better still, the second century, we still cannot be sure that it has not been altered. We need to try to verify that the text is pure text. There is reason to believe that the very grossest errors that have ever deformed the text had already entered it in the second century. But what we want to determine is not merely an ancient text, but an accurate text

Of course, “the grossest errors”, that this writer is referring to are the deliberate deceptions. Not surprisingly, some of these textual corruptions occurred simultaneously with the respective doctrinal changes as they were being introduced into the “primitive church”. I say “primitive church” with a bit of sarcasm because the term would seem to imply that “the church” has evolved into something much better now—when in fact today’s “church” is quite miserably mutated.

Just as with the manuscripts, all extant Versions, containing the end of Matthew, also contain the triune name. But of course there is more to be considered than what is present in a document. You must also take into consideration what is absent. Again quoting from the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics:

“In all extant versions the text is found in the traditional [Trinitarian] 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.

F.C. Conybeare further elaborated:

“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 Matthew.

So then, tho all early versions contain the traditional triune name in Matthew 28:19, the earliest of these Versions don’t contain the verse at all. And curiously, not due to omission, but due to removal! We can’t be positive of the motives as to why these pages were destroyed, but for the sake of our study we’re now compelled to consult the early historical writings.

Excerpts of Early Catholic Writers

Before we make references concerning these early writers, it should be emphatically stated that if the question under consideration were one of doctrine, the written records of these Catholic writers would be nearly irrelevant. Doctrine must be obtained from the pure Word of Elohim (God) alone, and not from Catholics, Jews, Christians or other sources. These self proclaimed “fathers” lived in an age of unrestrained heresy. Their testimony is valuable primarily because they provide an incidental and independent verification of Biblical Texts much older than our current complete manuscripts.

“In the course of my reading I have been able to substantiate these doubts of the authenticity of the text of Matthew 28:19 by adducing patristic [L. pater: “father”] evidence against it, so weighty that in the future the most conservative of divines will 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. Conybeare in the Hibbert Journal

Could this bold statement be true? While not a single manuscript from the first three centuries is known to exist, we do have “eye witness” observations of at least two men who actually had access to manuscripts dating much earlier than our earliest. Others also quoted Matthew 28:19, whose written works have been preserved, dating to much earlier times than our best manuscript copies. We should examine who these men were, and what the circumstances were, and attempt to determine if these are reliable quotations of the original Texts. How did they quote Matthew 28:19? Did their comments imply an existing controversy surrounding the use of the Texts being quoted? Was a Trinity implied? These are questions that can be answered.

In the pages ahead, we will consider evidence from the following men, either via quotations from their writings, or as commented on thru the writings of their contemporaries: 1) Eusebius of Caesurae, 2) The unknown author of De Rebaptismate, 3) Origen, 4) Clement of Alexandria, 5) Justin Martyr, 6) Macedonius, 7) Eunomius and 8) Aphraates.

Our search thru their writings is not to establish any doctrine, but to find early witnesses to the verse in question.

Eusebius of Caesurae

The first witness will be Eusebius of Caesurae, also known as Eusebius Pamphili. He was born around 270 AD, and died around 340 AD. He lived in times of rampant doctrinal change, was a Trinitarian, and in later life assisted in the formation of the Nicene Creed. Regarding our inquiry into Matthew 28:19, Eusebius is our key witness. So to establish his veracity as a credible witness, let’s consider the following quotes:

““Eusebius of Caesurae, to whom we are indebted for the preservation of so many contemporary works of antiquity, many of which would have perished had he not collected and edited them.” Robert Roberts, in Good Company, vol. III, pg. 10

“Eusebius, 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 confesses the truth when he cannot find sufficient testimony. —E.K. in the Christadelphian Monatshefte, Aug, 1923 from Mosheim, in an editorial footnote.

“Eusebius Pamphili, Bishop of Caesurae in Palestine, a man of vast reading and erudition, and one who has acquired immortal fame by his labors in ecclesiastical history, and in other branches of theological learning. Chapter 2, 9 ... Till about 40 years of age he lived in great intimacy with the martyr Pamphilus, a learned and devout man of Caesurae, and founder of an extensive library there, from which Eusebius derived his vast store of learning. —Dr. Wescott, in “General Survey,” page 108

“Eusebius, to whose zeal we owe most of what is known of the history of the New Testament. —Peake Bible Commentary, page 596

“The most important writer in the first quarter of the fourth century was Eusebius of Caesurae ... 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, if some-what confused, and at times not a little prejudiced, erudition. —Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature

“Some hundred works, several of them very lengthy, are either directly cited or referred to as having been read by Eusebius. In many instances he would read an entire treatise for the sake of one or two historical notices, and must have searched many others without finding anything to serve his purpose. Under the head the most vital question is the sincerity of Eusebius. Did he tamper with the 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 ... but it leaves no imputation on his honesty. —Mosheim, again in an editorial note.

“Eusebius was an impartial historian, and had access to the best helps for composing a correct history which his age afforded. —Mosheim

“Of the patristic witnesses to the text of the New Testament as it stood in the Greek Manuscripts from about 300-340 AD, none is so important as Eusebius of Caesurae, 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 from this single collection of manuscripts at Caesurae derives the larger part of the surviving ante-Nicene 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. —F.C. Conybeare, in the Hibbert Journal, October 1902.

Considering the honesty, ability and opportunity of Eusebius as a witness to the “New Testament” text, let’s now move on to the his evidence concerning Matthew 28.

The Evidence of Eusebius

According to Ludwig Knupfer, the editor of the Christadelphian Monatshefte, Eusebius, among his many other writings compiled a file of corrupted variations of the Bible, and:

“... the most serious of all the falsifications denounced by him, is without doubt the traditional reading of Matthew 28:19.

His source material has been lost, as he later wrote:

“... through events of war I have lost all of my files and other materials connected with the magazine.

But various authorities mention a work entitled Discrepancies in the Gospels, and another work entitled The Concluding Sections of the Gospels.

According to Conybeare:

“Eusebius cites this text (Matt. 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.’

Ploughman’s research uncovered all of these quotations except for one, that 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. Eusebius was not content merely to cite the verse in this form, but he more than once commented on it in such a way as to show how much he confirmed the wording “in My name”. Thus, in his Demonstratio Evangelica he wrote the following:

“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 [Yeshua] 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.’—(col. 240, p. 136)

Conybeare proceeded, 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,’ and 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 seer of Caesurae.

In his Textual Criticism of the New Testament Conybeare wrote:

“It is clear therefore, that of the manuscripts which Eusebius inherited from his predecessor, Pamphilus, at Caesurae 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 has been conjectured by Dr. Davidson, Dr. Martineau, by the Dean of Westminster, and by Prof. Harnack (to mention but a few names of the many) that here the received text could not contain the very words of Yeshua—this long before anyone except Dr. Burgon, who kept the discovery to himself, had noticed the Eusebian form of the reading.

Naturally, an objection was raised by Dr. Chase, Bishop of Ely, who argued that Eusebius indeed found the traditional Text in his manuscripts, but substituted the briefer wording in his works for fear of vulgarizing the “sacred” Trinitarian wording. Interestingly, a modern Bishop revived the very argument used 150 years earlier, in support of the forged text of 1 John 5:7-8:

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

According to Porson (in a preface to his Letters):

“Bengel ... allowed that the words (The Three Witnesses) were in no genuine manuscripts.... Surely then, the verse is spurious! No! This learned man finds a way of escape. He said, “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.”

Here is how Mark would describe that way of thinking:

Mark 4:12 so they see clearly, but don’t discern, and when they hear they don’t understand, otherwise they might be converted and their sins sent away”.

Conybeare continued, refuting the argument of the Bishop of Ely:

“It is sufficient answer to point out that Eusebius’ 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 Philipptians 2:10.

Finally, the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics states:

The facts are, in summary, that Eusebius quotes Matthew 28:19 twenty-one times, either omitting everything between ‘nations’ and ‘teaching,’ or in the form ‘make disciples of all the nations in my name,’ the latter form being the more frequent.

Now that we have considered the evidence of Eusebius, let’s also consider some other early writers.

Other Early Writings

“The anonymous author of De Rebaptismate 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’. —(The Author of De Rebaptismate, from Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. I, page 352.)

“In Origen’s works, as preserved in the Greek, the first part of the verse is cited three times, 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

“In the pages of Clement of Alexandria a text somewhat similar to Matthew 28:19 is once cited, but from a Gnostic heretic named Theodotus, and not as from the canonical text, but as follows: ‘And to the Apostles he gives the command: Going around preach ye and baptize those who believe in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.’—Excerta cap. 76, ed. Sylb. page 287, quote from Conybeare.

“Justin [Martyr] ... quotes a saying of Christ ... as a proof of the necessity or 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 Matthew 28:19. —Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics

“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 Matthew 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 dialog with Trypho 39, p. 258: ‘God hath not afflicted nor inflicts the judgment, as knowing of some that still even today 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 illuminated by the name of this Christ.’ “The objection hitherto to these words being recognized as a citation our of 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 the 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)

“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 the heretics were valid, if the name of Jesus alone was invoked. [This decision did not prevent the popes of the seventh century from excommunicating the entire Celtic Church for its remaining faithful to the old use of invoking in Jesus’ 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 New Testament authorized such a coordination of the Spirit with the Father and Son. Whence we infer that their texts agreed with that of Eusebius. —Conybeare (Hibbert Journal)

“Exceptions are found which perhaps point to an old practice dying out. Cyprian (Ep. 73) and the ‘Apostolic Canons’ (no. 50) combat the shorter formula, thereby attesting to its use in certain quarters. The ordinance of the Apostolic Canon therefore 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 baptized not into the Trinity, but into the death of Christ.’ They accordingly used single immersion only. —Encyclopedia Biblia (Article on “Baptism”)

“There is one other witness whose testimony we must consider. He is Aphraates ... who wrote between 337 and 345. He cites our text in a formal manner, as follows: ‘Make disciples of all the 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 the Manuscripts Were Changed

The following quotations demonstrate how freely the scribes altered the manuscripts of the “New Testament”, in stark contrast to the scribes of the Hebrew Scriptures who copied the Scriptures with reverence and strict accuracy. These quotations also show the early heretical beginning of triune immersion at a time when the doctrine of the Trinity was being formulated, and how the Greek verses were changed to conform to the syncretized (pagan) practice.

“In the case just examined (Matt. 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 Manuscripts 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, pg. 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 today expose the fraud. It was necessary to emphasize this point, because Dr. Wescott and Hort used to [say] that there is no evidence of merely doctrinal changed 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 true, 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, pp. 4-8.

“We certainly know of a greater number of interpolations and corruptions brought into the Scriptures ... by the Athanasians, and relating to the Doctrine of the Trinity, than in any other case whatsoever. While we have not, that I know of, any such interpolation or corruption, made in any one of them by either the Eusebians or Arians. Whiston—in Second Letter to the Bishop of London, 1719, p.15.

“While triune immersion was thus an all but universal practice, Eunomius (circa 360) appears to have been the first to introduce (again) simple immersion ‘unto the death of Christ.’ This practice was condemned on pain of degradation, by the Canon Apostolic 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 triune immersion, but in such a way as to set forth their own doctrine of a gradation in the three Persons. —Smith’s Dictionary of Christian Antiquities (Article on Baptism)

“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 to by Tertullian (Adverses Prax 26).... The most elaborate form of the rite in modern Western usage is in the Roman Catholic Church. —Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church - pp. 125-126

“The threefold immersion is unquestionably very ancient in the Church .... Its object, of course, to honor the three Persons of the Holy Trinity in whose name it is conferred. —Catholic Encyclopedia, page 262

“If it be thought, as many critics think, that no manuscript 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. —Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Article on “Baptism”

“The exclusive survival (of the traditional text of Matt. 28:19) in all manuscripts, 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 codex, irrespective of its textual affinities. —Conybeare, the Hibbert Journal

“Athanasius ... met Flavian, 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’. Robert Roberts, in “Good Company” (Vol. iii, page 49)

Whiston, in his Second Letter Concerning the Primitive Doxologies, 1719, page 17, wrote:

“The Eusebians ... sometimes named the very time when, the place where, and the person by whom they (the forms of doxology) were first introduced.... Thus Philoflorgius, a writer of that very age, assures us in ‘Photius’ Extracts’ that in A.D. 348 or thereabouts, Flavianus, Patriarch of Antioch, got a multitude of monks together, and did there first use this public doxology, ‘Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit’.

And regarding the alteration of the Bible based on liturgical use, Hammond, in Textual Criticism Applied to the N.T. (1890) page 23 wrote:

“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 may 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 Matthew 6, which is lacking in most of the best authorities. Perhaps also Acts 8:37, containing the baptismal profession of faith, which is entirely lacking in the best authorities, found its way into the Latin text in this manner.

Considering the evidence of the manuscripts, the versions and now the early writings, you should by now have come to the conclusion that in the early centuries some copies of Matthew did not contain the modern triune wording. Regardless of the opinions or positions taken by many commentators, we must at the very least admit to this fact.

In legal practice where copies of an original lost document vary, the “internal evidence” is used to resolve the discrepancy. That is, a comparison of the undisputed text with the text in question, in order to determine which of the variant wordings is more likely to be the original. With both variants in mind, we will now turn to the Bible itself for internal evidence.

Internal Evidence

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Analyze everything and hold tightly onto anything beneficial.

In this verse, the Greek word translated as “Analyze” is “dokimazo”.

In our efforts to determine which reading of Matthew 28:19 is original, we will submit both renderings to ten “tests”. In doing so, we will be able to recognize the genuine, and expose the spurious.

The Test of Context

When examining the context, we find that today’s Trinitarian wording lacks logical syntax, that is, the true understanding of the verse is obscured by a failure of the varying concepts to harmonize. Yet i we read the following, the whole context fits together and the progression of the instructions is comprehensible:

Matthew 28:18-20 Yeshua came near during the conversation and said, “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. 19 So go and make disciples in every nation IN MY NAME. 20 Teach them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you, knowing that I’ll be with you always, right up until the very end of the age. Aw-main.”

The Test of Frequency

Is the phrase “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the kadosh spirit” used elsewhere in the Bible? Not once.

Did Yeshua use the phrase “in My name” on other occasions? Yes, 17 times to be exact, examples are found in Matthew 18:20; Mark 9:37,39 and 41; Mark 16:17; John 14:14 and 26; John 15:16 and 16:23.

The Test of Doctrine

Is any doctrine or concept in the Bible based on an understanding of a threefold name, or on immersion in the threefold name? None whatsoever. Is any statement in the Bible based on the fact of immersion in the name of Yeshua? Absolutely!

1 Corinthians 1:13 Now was the Messiah divided? Or was Paul crucified for you? Or were you immersed in the name of Paul?

These words, when carefully analyzed, suggest that the kadishea (saints) should to be immersed in the name of the One who was crucified for them. The Father, in His unfathomable love, gave us His only Son to die in our place; He being later raised to incorruptibility by the spirit of Yehovah. But it is Yeshua Himself who was crucified, and so it is into His name that we must be immersed in water to become kadishea.

According to Dr. Thomas, in Revealed Mystery Article XLIV:

“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, and that is, by immersion into His name. Baptism is for this specific purpose.” “As for it’s significance, baptism is linked inseparably with the death of Christ. It is the means of the believer’s identification with the Lord’s death. (Matthew 28:18-20)—God’s Way, pg. 190.

Father didn’t die, nor the kadosh spirit. The Bible says, “buried with Him [Yeshua] in immersion,” NOT with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:3-5)

R. Roberts used this explanation:

“According to triune 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.’ (Acts 4:12). —The Nature of Baptism, page 13):

Of course this is the same reasoning offered by Paul. Were you baptized in the name of Paul? Or in the name of the Father, Son, and kadosh spirit, or in any other name that replaces Yeshua from His position as the Passover Lamb and the only name given to us for salvation?

Based on the above understanding alone, we can ascertain the genuine text of Matthew 28:19, confirming the use of the phrase, “in My name”.

The Test of Analogy

Does any other verse make reference to immersion in the triune name? No. Does any other verse reference immersion in the name of Yeshua? Yes! The Father immersed the disciples with the gift of the kadosh spirit, a promise that came according to Yeshua—“in His name.” (John 14:26) This is because Yeshua is the “common denominator” (Literally: Name) in both water immersion and baptism of the kadosh spirit, as made apparent by the following verses:

John 16:7 Yet I tell you the truth—it is to your advantage that I leave, because if I don’t leave, the redeemer won’t come to you, but if I go I’ll send “her” [see John 14, footnote 2] to you.

John 14:26 But the Redeemer, the kadosh spirit, that the Father will send in My name will teach you everything. She will remind you of everything that I have told you.

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he brought the Good News of the Kingdom of YHVH in the name of our Master Yeshua Messiah, both men and women were immersed.

Notice that they were immersed as a result of heralding the name of Yeshua, not the titles “Father, Son and kadosh spirit.” So by analogy, we should be immersed in Yeshua’s name, because invoking His Name is the catalyst of understanding that prepares us for the immersion of the spirit, that is also given in His name (Acts 2:38-39, 19:1-5, John 3:3-5).

Now for Part 2

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Lon Martin, lonwmartin@yahoo.com
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Minor update April 1, 2014