Various Quotes from Books, Commentaries, and Dictionaries relating to Matthew 28:19
"Generally, the Oneness position has been the complete harmonization of the Matthean expression with that of the Jesus' name form. But, interestingly, some Oneness arguments have appealed to textual critical scholarship which denies Jesus ever spoke the words recorded in the Matthew 28:19 account. More typically, it is maintained that the one apostolic formula is 'in the name of Jesus,' and the account in Matthew was interpreted by the apostles, including Matthew himself, to be the invocation of the name of Jesus."
Our God Is One Talmadge French, 1999, page 216
"The historical riddle is not solved by Matthew 28:19, since, according to a wide scholarly consensus, it is not an authentic saying of Jesus, not even an elaboration of a Jesus-saying on baptism."
The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1, 1992, page 585
"It has been customary to trace the institution of the practice (of baptism) to the words of Christ recorded in Matthew 28:19. But the authenticity of this passage has been challenged on historical as well as on textual grounds. It must be acknowledged that the formula of the threefold name, which is here enjoined, does not appear to have been employed by the primitive Church, which, so far as our information goes, baptized 'in' or 'into the name of Jesus' (or 'Jesus Christ' or Lord Jesus': Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5, 1 Cor. 1:13, 15).
From The Dictionary of the Bible, 1947, page 83
Matthew 28:19, "the Church of the first days did not observe this world-wide command, even if they knew it. The command to baptize into the threefold name is a late doctrinal expansion. In place of the words "baptizing... Spirit" we should probably read simply "into my name," i.e. (turn the nations) to Christianity, "in my name," i.e. (teach the nations) in my spirit."
From Peake's Commentary on the Bible, 1929, page 723
[This is one of my favorite quotes! The double talk is incredible!]
"On the text, see
Conybeare, Zeitsch. Fur die Neutest. Wissensch. 1901, 275 ff.; Hibbert Journal, October
1902; Lake, Inaugural Lecture; Riggenbach, Der Trinitarische
Taufbefehl; Chase, Journal Theo. Stud. Vi. 481 ff. The evidence of
Eusebius must be regarded as indecisive, in view of the fact that all Greek
The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and
S. Driver, A. Plummer, C. Briggs
A Critical & Exegetical Commentary of St. Matthew
Third Edition, 1912, pages 307-308
"The disciples are
further told to "baptize" (the second of the participles functioning
as supplementary imperatives) new disciples. The command to baptize comes as
somewhat of a surprise since baptism is referred to earlier only in chap. 3
(and 21:25) where only John's baptism is described (among the Gospels only in
John 3:22; 4:1-2 do we read of Jesus' or his disciples' baptizing others).
Matthew tells us nothing concerning his view of Christian baptism. Only Matthew
records this command of Jesus, but the practice of the early church suggest its
historicity. (cf. Acts 2;38, 41; 8:12, 38; 9:18; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16; etc.). The
threefold name (at most only an incipient Trinitarianism) in which the baptism
was to be performed, on the other hand, seems clearly to be a liturgical
expansion of the evangelist consonant with the practice of his day (thus
Hubbard; cf. Did. 7.1). There is a good possibility that in its original
form, as witnessed by the ante-Nicene Eusebian form, the text read "make
disciples in my name" (see Conybeare). This shorter reading
preserves the symmetrical rhythm of the passage, whereas the triadic formula
fits awkwardly into the structure as one might expect if it were an interpolation
(see H. B. Green; cf. Howard; Hill [IBS 8 (1986) 54-63], on the other
hand, argues for a concentric design with the triadic formula at its center).
It is Kosmala, however, who has argued most effectively for the shorter
reading, pointing to the central importance of "name of Jesus" in
early Christian preaching, the practice of baptism in the name of Jesus, and
the singular "in his name" with reference to the hope of the Gentiles
in Isa. 42:4b, quoted by Matthew in -21. As
Biblical Commentary, Vol 33B, Matthew 14-28
Donald A. Hagner, 1975, page887-888
"It cannot be directly proved that Jesus instituted baptism, for Matthew 28:19 is not a saying of the Lord. The reason for this assertion are: (1) It is only a later stage of the tradition that represents the risen Christ as delivering speeches and giving commandments. Paul knows nothing of it. (2) The Trinitarian formula is foreign to the mouth of Jesus and has not the authority of the Apostolic age which it must have had if it had descended from Jesus himself. On the other hand, Paul knows of no other way of receiving the Gentiles into the Christian communities than by baptism, and it is highly probable that in the time of Paul all Jewish Christians were also baptized. We may perhaps assume that the practice of baptism was continued in consequence of Jesus' recognition of John the Baptist and his baptism, even after John himself had been removed. According to John 4:2, Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples under his superintendence. It is possible only with the help of tradition to trace back to Jesus a "Sacrament of Baptism," or an obligation to it ex necessitate salutis, through it is credible that tradition is correct here. Baptism in the Apostolic age was in the name of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. ; Acts 19:5). We cannot make out when the formula in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit emerged."
History of Dogma, Vol. 1, Adolph Harnack, 1958, page 79 fn.
"The very account which tells us that at the last, after his resurrection, he commissioned his apostles to go and baptize among all nations (Mt 28:19) betrayed 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. No historical trace appears of this baptismal formula earlier that the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" (ch. 7:1,3 The Oldest Church Manuel, ed. Philip Schaff, 1887), and the first Apology of Justin (Apol. i. 61.) about the middle of the second century: and more than a century later, Cyprian found it necessary to insist upon the use of it instead of the older phrase baptized "into Christ Jesus," or into the "name of the Lord Jesus." (Gal. 3:27; Acts 19:5; . Cyprian Ep. 73, 16-18, has to convert those who still use the shorter form.) Paul alone, of the apostles, was baptized, ere he was "filled with the Holy Ghost;" and he certainly was baptized simply "into Christ Jesus." (Rom. 6:3) Yet the tri-personal form, unhistorical as it is, is actually insisted on as essential by almost every Church in Christendom, and, if you have not had it pronounced over you, the ecclesiastical authorities cast you out as a heathen man, and will accord to you neither Christian recognition in your life, nor Christian burial in your death. It is a rule which would condemn as invalid every recorded baptism performed by an apostle; for if the book of Acts may be trusted, the invariable usage was baptism "in the name of Christ Jesus," (Acts 2:38) and not "in the name of the father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." And doubtless the author (Luke) is as good a witness for the usage of his own time (about 115 A.D.) as for that of the period whereof he treats."
The Seat of Authority in Religion, James Martineau, 1905, page 568
"It is clear,
therefore, that of the
"It is satisfactory to notice that Dr. Eberhard Nestle, in his new edition of the New Testament in Latin and Greek, furnishes the Eusebian reading in his critical apparatus, and that Dr. Sanday seems to lean to its acceptance."
History of New Testament Criticism, Conybeare, 1910, pages, 98-102, 111-112
"It is doubted
whether the explicit injunction of Matt. 28:19 can be accepted as uttered by
But the Trinitarian formula in the mouth of Jesus is certainly unexpected."
A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, J. Hastings, 1906, page 170
No record of the use of the Trinitarian formula can be discovered in the Acts of the epistles of the apostles."
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, James Orr, 1946, page 398
Footnote to Matthew 28:19, It may be that this formula, so far as the fullness of its expression is concerned, is a reflection of the liturgical usage established later in the primitive community. It will be remembered that the Acts speak of baptizing "in the name of Jesus", Acts 1:5 +. But whatever the variation on formula the underlying reality remains the same."
Matthew 28:19 "... has been disputed on textual grounds, but in the opinion of many scholars the words may still be regarded as part of the true text of Matthew. There is, however, grave doubt whether thy may be the ipsissima verba of Jesus. The evidence of Acts ; (cf. ; 19:5), supported by Gal. ; Rom 6:3, suggest that baptism in early Christianity was administered, not in the threefold name, but "in the name of Jesus Christ" or "in the name of the Lord Jesus." This is difficult to reconcile with the specific instructions of the verse at the end of Matthew."
The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, 1962, page 351
Critical scholarship, on the whole, rejects the traditional attribution of the tripartite baptismal formula to Jesus and regards it as of later origin.
Undoubtedly then the baptismal formula originally consisted of one part and it gradually developed into its tripartite form.
The Philosophy of the Church Fathers, Vol. 1, Harry Austryn Wolfson, 1964, pg 143
of the above quotes were found in the reference section of a local