Here's another look at the early church writers with a few differences from the list you provided, and some analysis. (If you want to skip the list and get to the analysis, jump to the "+++++++" marker.)
(1) DIDACHE. In the Holmes-Lightfoot-Harmer "Apostolic Fathers," Holmes dates its assembly to the first half of the 100's using components that were produced earlier, as early as 70. Chapter 7 begins, "Now concerning baptism, baptize as follows: after you have reviewed all these things, baptize `in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,' in running [literally, "living"] water. But if you have no running water, then baptize in some other water, and if you are not able to baptize in cold water, then do so in warm. But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times, `in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.'" Clear usages of the threefold formula. But how can we tell for sure that this is dependent upon Matthew 28, and not something else? Also, we should bear in mind that in the next chapter, the Didache quotes Mt. 6:9-13 with the closing phrase, "For yours is the power and the glory forever," The same folks who suggest that the Didache's inclusion of Mt. 6:13 is an interpolation in chapter 8 might argue similarly that the threefold formula was inserted into the text of chapter 7. (Btw, Steven, the list you presented had a double-citation, as if the Didache and the Apostolic Teachings are two things, but they're the same thing.)
(2) IGNATIUS. In the Holmes-Lightfoot-Harmer "Apostolic Fathers," does not use Mt. 28:19 in his Letter to the Philadelphians. In the introduction (in the 2nd ed.), Holmes states that "middle recension" of Ignatius' letters "preserves the original form of the letters." The "longer recension" is "an expanded version of the original letters created in the fourth century to which six spurious letters have been added." The citation you presented is from part of the expansion to which Holmes referred. (You can see the "longer recension" and the "middle recension" compared to one another, bit by bit, at
In the Letter to the Philippians, ch. 2, after a strong allusion to John 1:18 (with "the only-begotten Son"), and a few other snippets, we find: "There are not then either three Fathers, or three Sons, or three Paracletes, but one Father, and one Son, and one Paraclete. Which is why the Lord, when He sent forth the apostles to make disciples of all nations, commanded them to "baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," not unto one individual with three names, nor into three individuals who became incarnate, but into three possessed of equal honour." This entire epistle, though, is one of the six spurious epistles of the "longer recension."
So there goes Ignatius' testimony. At these particular points, Pseudo-Ignatius attests to a text of the late 300's.
(3) JUSTIN. Conybeare attempted to enlist Justin in support of his theory, using an excerpt from Dialogue With Trypho 39:2. (A fresh English translation is at Bombaxo: http://www.bombaxo.com/trypho.html
) The passage may be rendered -- "Just as God, because of those 7,000 men, did not show His anger, so now He has not yet exacted judgment from you, because He knows that every day some of you are forsaking your mistaken ways to become disciples in the name of Christ, and being illumined by the same name of Christ, you receive all the appropriate gifts." Conybeare emphasized the "become disciples in the name of Christ" part of the passage. But the "being illumined by the same name of Christ" (or, "being illumined by the name of the same Christ"?) part may also be in the equation, since to Justin, being "illumined" was a way of referring to baptism. I don't think this reference gets us anywhere, though, when we have Justin's two statements in First Apology 61:
First, Justin writes, "They are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, "Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."" This is an early example of the use of the threefold formula but it is not an exact quote, and it is interesting that Justin inexactly cites Jn. 3:5 here instead of Mt. 28:19. The deduction to be made, though, is that patristic writers did not feel obligated to ground a point or practice by citing what is, to us, its most obvious Scriptural grounds. For just a little further on, Justin says, as he describes the baptismal rite itself, "There is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe; he who leads to the laver the person that is to be washed calling him by this name alone. For no one can utter the name of the ineffable God; and if any one dares to say that there is a name (? renderings vary), he raves with a hopeless madness. And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings. And in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Ghost, who through the prophets foretold all things about Jesus, he who is illuminated is washed." Which is all a spectacularly clear use of the threefold baptismal formula. But Justin does not say that he got the idea for this from a statement at the end of the Gospel of Matthew.
(4) TATIAN'S DIATESSARON. The Arabic Diatessaron, ch. 55, says, "Then said Jesus unto them, `I have been given all authority in heaven and earth; and as my Father hath sent me, so I also send you. Go now into all the world, and preach my gospel in all the creation; and teach all the peoples, and baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and teach them to keep all whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you all the days, unto the end of the world." A clear combination of Mt. 28:18 (as it exists in the Peshitta; it looks like Jn. 20:21b, but in the Peshitta it's both. It looks like we have here a Diatessaronic reading that entered the Peshitta's text of Matthew, and then went from there into the Arabic Diatessaron.), Mk. 16:15, and Mt. 28:19. (This is followed by Mk. 16:16.) But how do we know that the usual form of Mt. 28:19 here hasn't been adopted from the Peshitta? We need a Western (geographically Western, that is, not textually "Western") witness. Enter Codex Fuldensis. On p. 164 of Ranke's 1868 presentation of Codex Fuldensis, Part CLXXXII, we find the following arrangement:
"Et locutus est eis dicens data est mihi omnis potestas; in caelo et in terra euntes in mundum uniuersum; praedicate euangelium omni creaturae; docete omnes gentes baptizantes eos in nominee patris, et fili es spiritus sancti; docents eos seruare omnia quaecumque mandaui uobiset ecce ego uobiscum sun omnibus diebus usque ad consummationem saeculi." Again, a clear combination of Mt. 28:18 (without the Peshitta's extra phrase), Mk. 16:15, and Mt. 28:19. (And, again, this is followed by Mk. 16:16.)
The odds that two independent editors would insert non-Diatessaronic material into Tatian's text, in such a parallel arrangement, phrase-for-phrase, with Mt. 28:20 appearing in the middle of Jesus' final commands, seems incredibly low. So the Diatessaron weighs in for the inclusion of "in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." (And, btw, for Mk. 16:9-20.)
(5) IRENAEUS. In Against Heresies III:17:1, Irenaeus states, "And again, giving to the disciples the power of regeneration into God, He said to them, `God and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The only resort of those who would deny that Irenaeus therefore knew Mt. 28:19 is to assert that this is an interpolation in the text of "Against Heresies."
(6) TERTULLIAN. Conybeare granted that Tertullian knew the text of Mt. 28:19 with the threefold formula. In "De Baptismo," as Tertullian discusses baptism, he provides early attestation for the passage about the angel and the moving of the water in John 5:4. (At
the translation by Ernest Evans is provided with the accompanying Latin text.)
"As John was our Lord's forerunner, preparing his ways, so also the angel, the mediator of baptism, makes the ways straight for the Holy Spirit who is to come next. He does so by that canceling of sins which is granted in response to faith signed and sealed in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. For if in three witnesses every word shall be established, how much more shall the gift of God? By the benediction we have the same mediators of faith as we have sureties of salvation. That number of the divine names of itself suffices for the confidence of our hope. Yet because it is under the charge of three that profession of faith and promise of salvation are in pledge, there is a necessary addition, the mention of the church: because where there are the three, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, there is the church, which is a body of three."
If the objection is made that "De Baptismo" 6 doesn't include an explicit quotation from Matthew 28, then we may proceed to ch. 13: "For there has been imposed a law of baptizing, and its form prescribed: `Go,' he says, `teach the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.' When this law was associated with that well-known pronouncement, `Unless a man has been born again of water and the Holy Spirit he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,' faith was put under obligation to the necessity of baptism."
In "Against Praxeas," Tertullian refers to the threefold formula repeatedly. In ch. 26, he uses Mt. 28:19 as one item in a list of things by which Christ showed that He was a Son: "And after the resurrection He pledges himself to send to His disciples the promise of the Father, and, lastly, commands them to baptize unto the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, not unto one: for not once, but thrice, are we baptized, unto each several Person at each several name." (Evans' English translation is at http://www.tertullian.org/articles/evans_praxeas_eng.htm
In "Prescription for Heretics" ch. 20, Tertullian used Mt. 28:19 pretty clearly, as he explains that after Judas fell away, Jesus "bade the eleven remaining ones to go and teach all nations, who were to be baptized into the Father and into the Son and into the Holy Spirit." (Notice the variant: in De Baptismo, the phrase "in the name" is present, but not in the other two places.)
(7) HIPPOLYTUS. In "Against the Heresy of One Noetus," ch. 14
Hippolytus says, "The Father's Word, therefore, knowing the economy (disposition) and the will of the Father, specifically, that the Father seeks to be worshipped in no other way but this, gave this order to the disciples after He rose from the dead: "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." And by this He showed, that whosoever omitted any one of these, failed in glorifying God perfectly. For it is through this Trinity that the Father is glorified."
(8) CYPRIAN. In Epistle 24:2, Cyprian states that the Lord, "after His resurrection, sent forth His apostles, charging them, saying, `All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Barring an explicit statement that the writer is quoting from the conclusion of the Gospel of Matthew, it can't get much clearer than this.
In Epistle 72:1 (To Jubaianus), Cyprian states, "For the Lord after His resurrection, sending His disciples, instructed and taught them in what manner they ought to baptize, saying, `All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'"
In Book 2:26 of his "Three Books of Testimonies," Cyprian explicitly states that he is quoting the Gospel: "In the Gospel, the Lord after His resurrection says to His disciples: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Downright pellucid.
(9) SEVENTH COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE. Four North African bishops use Mt. 28:19, with the triune formula: Lucius of Castra Galbae, Munnulus of Girba (an island), Euchratius of Thenae (on the coast), and Vincentius of Thibaris. (This should really be counted as four witnesses, not just one.)
(Note to Steven A.: the page www.waynecoc.org/MarkTwo.html hasn't existed for a while; a very similar page is at http://www.curtisvillechristian.org/MarkTwo.html
(10) ORIGEN. Conybeare stated, "In the writings of Origen and Clement of Alexandria there is no certain instance of Matthew xxviii. 19 being cited in the usual form." Conybeare also states that in the Greek text of Origen's works, "the first part of the verse is thrice adduced, but his citation always stops short at the words TA EQNH." But in "De Principiis" III:2, we find: "And in the New Testament we have abundant testimonies, as when the Holy Spirit is described as having descended upon Christ, and when the Lord breathed upon His apostles after His resurrection, saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit;" and the saying of the angel to Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon thee;" the declaration by Paul, that no one can call Jesus Lord, save by the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit was given by the imposition of the apostles' hands in baptism. From all this, we learn that the person of the Holy Spirit was of such authority and dignity, that saving baptism was not complete except by the authority of the most excellent Trinity of them all, that is, by the naming of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and by joining to the unbegotten God the Father, and to His only-begotten Son, the name also of the Holy Spirit." Some interpreters may find this interesting because Origen doesn't actually quote Matthew; he cites these other passages, and says that they teach that without the triune formula, saving baptism is not achieved. It would have been more practical to just explicitly quote Mt. 28:19. But patristic writers were frequently not practical; they enjoyed reinforcing one passage with another, and using one passage as a lens by which to view another. And here it looks to me like Origen is just using some passages to support another passage. Conybeare dismissed one or two other references in translations of Origen's compositions as being from the translator, Rufinus.
Also, in Origen's Commentary on Romans, on p. 356 of Thomas Scheck's English presentation, as Origen discusses Romans 6, he states, "You may perhaps also be asking this: Since the Lord himself told the disciples to baptize all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, why does the Apostle employ here the name of Christ alone in baptism? For he says, "We have been baptized into Christ," although surely it should not be deemed a legitimate baptism unless it is in the name of the Trinity." Origen does not note any manuscript-variations; instead, he reasons that Paul focused on Christ exclusively because he was picturing baptism as illustrative of death, and inasmuch as the Father and the Spirit did not die, Christ is the more appropriate reference-point.
(11) DE REBAPTISMATE. Despite attempts to assign this to Ursinus, a contemporary of Damasus, I think it's safe to say that the author was a contemporary of Cyprian, writing in 256-258. The author begins by referring to people who were baptized by heretics "in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord" and "in the name of Jesus Christ." This continues in ch. 6. In ch. 7, the author uses Mt. 28:19 with the triune formula: "Neither must you esteem what our Lord said as being contrary to this treatment: `Go, teach the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' Because, although this is true and right, and to be observed by all means in the Church, and moreover has been used to be observed, yet it behooves us to consider that invocation of the name of Jesus should not be considered futile by us on account of the veneration and power of that very name."
(12) AGAINST NOVATIAN. In paragraph 3, the unknown author offers an allegorical interpretation of the significance of the dove that returned to Noah: being sent from the ark three times, and flying through the air over the water, it "signified the sacraments of our Church. Whence also the Lord Christ charges upon Peter, and moreover also upon the rest of His disciples, `Go and preach the Gospel to the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' That is, that that same Trinity which operated figuratively in Noah's days through the dove, now operates in the Church spiritually through the disciples." An inexact reference, but still clearly a reference.
(13) GREGORY THAUMATURGUS. In "a Sectional Confession of Faith," in ch. 5, Gregory affirms, "In the name of the Holy Trinity baptism and invocation and worship are administered." A more explicit use of Matthew 28:19 is found in ch. 13 of the same composition: "What can the impious have to say if the Lord sends forth His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?"
(14) VICTORINUS. In his Commentary on Revelation, as presented by Jerome, Victorinus of Petau states, in a comment on the meaning of "many waters" in Rev. 1:15, "The many waters are understood to be many peoples, or the gift of baptism that He sent forth by the apostles, saying: `Go ye, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'"
(15) APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS. Although assigned in your list to the "Late 2d to early 3d century," the Apostolic Constitutions is usually given a date c. 380. Book 7:22 says, "We now say that you shall so baptize as the Lord commanded us, saying, `Go ye, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you)' - of the Father who sent, of Christ who came, of the Comforter who testified."
In Apostolic Constitutions II:26 (which has a different source than Book VII), we find the following: "Let the presbyters be esteemed by you to represent us the apostles, and let them be the teachers of divine knowledge; since our Lord, when He sent us, said, `Go ye, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.'" So there is no doubt that the triune formula was used by the author/compiler; this is, though, a text from the late 300's.
(16) APHRAHAT. Conybeare cited Aphrahat for an unusual variant: in Demonstration 1, Of Faith, paragraph 8, Aphrahat (= Aphraates) wrote, "When He sent forth His apostles He spake thus to them: - Go forth, make disciples of all nations and they will believe on me." After presenting this reading, Conybeare offered the conjecture that the original text of Matthew 28:19 stopped with the words "all nations," and was expanded differently in three different ways:
(1) the addition of "in my name," attested by Eusebius.
(2) the addition of "and they shall believe on me" attested by Aphraates.
(3) the triune baptismal formula.
(17) CLEMENTINE HOMILIES. Just to be thorough we should probably mention the first sentence of 17:7 in "Clementine Homilies" "Knowing therefore that we knew all that was spoken by Him, and that we could supply the proofs, He sent us to the ignorant Gentiles to baptize them for remission of sins, and commanded us to teach them first." A perfectly vague allusion.
So here are some thoughts just some initial impressions; there's more to this than can be digested in just a few days.
First, when we review the cited witnesses, their values are as follows:
(1) DIDACHE: clearly uses the triune baptismal formula. But the Gospel of Matthew is not named as the source. And in 9:5 the Didache has a reference to being baptized "in the Lord's name."
(2) IGNATIUS: at the pertinent points, the quotations become Pseudo-Ignatius (late 300's).
(3) JUSTIN: clear use of the triune baptismal formula. No statement that the Gospel of Matthew is being quoted.
(4) TATIAN'S DIATESSARON: blends the usual text of Mt. 28:19 into the narrative.
(5) IRENAEUS: quotes Mt. 28:19 with the triune formula, without naming Matthew as his source.
(6) TERTULLIAN: mentions that faith is sealed in baptism "in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" and repeatedly quotes Mt. 28:19 with the triune formula, without naming Matthew as his source.
(7) HIPPOLYTUS: quotes Mt. 28:19 with the triune formula, without naming Matthew as his source.
(8) CYPRIAN: quotes Mt. 28:19 with the triune formula, without naming Matthew as his source, but he states in Testimonies 2:26 that he is quoting from the Gospel (without specifying Matthew).
(9) SEVENTH COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE: four quotations of Mt. 28:19 with the triune baptismal formula, but without explicit identification of the Gospel of Matthew as the source.
(10) ORIGEN: alludes to the triune baptismal formula, and cites Matthew 28:19 in its usual form, without stating that he is quoting from Matthew. He does this when addressing the question of why Paul, in Romans 6, says that we are baptized into Christ, rather than that we are baptized into the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
(11) DE REBAPTISMATE: quotes Mt. 28:19 with the triune formula, without naming Matthew as his source.
(12) AGAINST NOVATIAN: quotes Mt. 28:19 with the triune formula, without naming Matthew as his source.
(13) GREGORY THAUMATURGUS: strongly alludes to Mt. 28:19 with the triune formula, without naming Matthew as his source.
(14) VICTORINUS: quotes Mt. 28:19 with the triune formula, without naming Matthew as his source.
(15) APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS: quotes Mt. 28:19 at least twice with the triune formula, without naming Matthew as his source.
(16) APHRAHAT: alludes loosely to Christ's words in Mt. 28:19, without mentioning baptism or the triune formula: "Go forth, make disciples of all nations and they will believe on me."
(17) CLEMENTINE HOMILIES: very vaguely alludes to Mt. 28:19, without naming Matthew as the source.
If, for simplicity's sake, we eliminate the post-Nicene witnesses from the list, there are 13 ante-Nicene pieces of support (16 if we count the bishops at Carthage in 257 individually) for the triune formula, and they represent a broad geographical spectrum. None of them explicitly say that they have obtained it from the Gospel of Matthew, but they treat it in the same way that Gospel-quotations are routinely treated. Cyprian says that he got the statement from the Gospel (which in this case is as good as saying that he got it from Matthew, since the other Gospels don't have parallel wording). So a person taking an unreasonably minimalistic approach could argue that since Cyprian is the only one who states that he was quoting from the Gospel, all the others either used some uniquely popular oral tradition, or a now-lost written source, or have had their writings interpolated by interpolators (who didn't also add an explicit mention of the Gospel of Matthew). But such a conclusion involves the idea that if a citation does not explicitly name its source, even in a case where the material being cited is unique to a single known source, the logical thing to do is to posit a hypothetical source for it. Such an idea puts a special burden on the patristic writers.
If the same standard were applied to the quotations from Eusebius listed by Conybeare (A PDF of his article in the 1901 Zeitschrift fur Neutestamentlich Wissenschaft can be downloaded from
(Thanks to Randall D. Hughes.)), they would melt away. A few examples:
(1) In Commentary on the Psalms, Eusebius uses Mt. 15:24 and 10:5-6 to show that Jesus first sent his disciples to the Jews. Then he refers to the command to evangelize (not "disciple" or "teach") all the nations in his name. An allusion to Mt. 28:19, or to Lk. 24:47?
(2) In Demonstration of the Gospel, Book 3, part 6, Eusebius wrote, "With one word and voice He said to His disciples: "Go, and make disciples of all the nations in My Name, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you," and He joined the effect to His Word; and in a little while every race of the Greeks and barbarians was being brought into discipleship." Looks like a loose recollection not a citation, but a summarization, utilizing Mt. 28:19 and Lk. 24:47. There is no mention of baptism at all.
(3) In Demonstration of the Gospel, Book 3, part 7, "For He did not bid them simply and indefinitely make disciples of all nations, but with the necessary addition of `In my Name.'" Since the subject is not specifically baptism, but disciple-making, a leap from the thought of Mt. 28:19 to Lk. 24:47 would be natural for someone as familiar with parallel-passages as Eusebius. The statement, "He showed the virtue of the power in His Name concealed from the crowd when He said to His disciples: `Go, and make disciples of all nations in my Name'" looks like a summarized reference (the triune formula is not in the picture because baptism is not in the picture) to Mt. 28:19 and Lk. 24:47. (Is there a double-citation? Hastily using electronic search to find the references, I may have overlooked some transition, but this looks like the very same statement that Conybeare says he found in Theophania V:49.)
Eusebius' use of the phrase, "Go ye and make disciples of all the nations in my name," might be a symptom of his desire to harmonize. Take the command to baptize out of the equation, and you take the triune formula out of the equation, too. In all these places, Eusebius seems to use "make disciples" as the antecedent for "in my name." As far as I can tell, he doesn't ever say, in connection with the scene of the Great Commission, that Jesus told His disciples to baptize in His name. This could all just be a loose way of referring to the first part of Mt. 28:19 and Lk. 24:47 at once.
Conybeare did not accept as legitimate the only explicit reference to the Gospel of Matthew: the statement of Eusebius himself, in Theophania IV:8. We should bear in mind that the Syriac text of Theophania is the third composition in BL. Syriac Add. MS 12150, produced in 411. The chapter-title runs, "He foretold at the outset to His disciples that He would make them fishers of men, and, that they should eventually, openly, immediately, (and) through His power, make disciples of all nations. From the Gospel of Matthew." Then comes the following:
"After his resurrection from the dead, all of them being together as they had been commanded went to Galilee, as He had said to them. But, when they saw Him, some worshipped Him, but others doubted. But He drew near to them, spoke with them, and said, "All power (both) in heaven and earth, is given to me of my Father. Go ye and make disciples of all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And, behold! I am with you always even to the end of the world.""
Conybeare states, "The Syriac translator, obliged to render so long a consecutive passage of the Gospels, has merely availed himself of his Syriac vulgate; and copied out from it the entire five verses." Lee, likewise assuming the existence of the Peshitta in 411, observed (in a footnote in his translation of Theophania) that the differences from the Peshitta are slight, and show "that the translator, having the words of the Peshitta in his mind, rather translated afresh than followed it literally."
However, it looks to me like there is quite a large difference from the text of the Peshitta! The phrase, "As the Father has sent Me, so send I you" (to which I referred above in the description of the evidence from the Arabic Diatessaron) is absent.
There is no further comment from Eusebius on the triune formula, and the only possible allusion to the phrase about baptism begins with the statement, ""But of necessity he added the mystery of cleansing," (without mention of the series of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) followed by a verbose description of the effects of the conversion of bad people, all of which which Conybeare attempted to explain as something not connected at all to the text of Mt. 28:19.
Meanwhile, there is another reference to consider. On p. 283 of the issue of the 1901 ZNW, Conybeare mentioned Theodotus, whose literary activity he says must have been as early as 160. In an excerpt from Theodotus appended to the eighth book of Stromateis, Theodotus is presented as writing, KAI TOIS APOSTOLOIC ENTELLETAI, PERIIONTES KHRUSSETE KAI TOUS PISTEUONTAS BAPTIZETE EIS ONOMA PATROS KAI UIOU KAI AGIOU PNEUMATOS. "And the apostles he commanded to go around preaching, and to baptize the believers in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit." But I haven't tracked down verification of this; probably the material mentioned by Peter Head addresses it.
My initial impression is that the least complicated solution is that the evidence other than Eusebius against the triune formula is just a series of imprecise allusions and summarizations. In the case of Eusebius, though, his harmonistic tendencies may have led him to conclude, for a while at least, that the triune baptismal formula was a liturgical accretion, and that Matthew must have written "in my name," a la Luke 24:47. (Similarly Eusebius resolved the apparent discrepancy between Mark 15:25 and John 19:14 via a conjectural emendation.)
Eusebius may have encountered a text of Matthew in which the entire baptismal formula had been excised, and /preferred/ it (rather than conjectured it) because it was apologetically convenient (i.e., easier to harmonize). I wonder: could a liturgical formula be specially marked in a MS, and then be excised by a dense novice copyist who misunderstood the special marks in his exemplar? If this could happen in the case of the baptismal formula in Mt. 28:19, could the same phenomenon occur very early in, say, Matthew 6:13, or even in Acts 8:37?
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.