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Closer Looks to Mathew 28:19
Note From the Editor
This booklet is an edited reprint of a publication which 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," written by Pastor A. Ploughman of Birmingham,
England. It has been edited for readability and completeness.
Pastor Ploughman's original work can be read in it's entirety by
visiting the website of the Jesus Messiah Fellowship. Copies of the
original work are available there for a nominal price.
We are greatly indebted to Pastor Ploughman, who has now passed on,
for his scholarly effort. He received the Holy Ghost in the 1914
Welsh revival, established 3 works in England, and invested his
life's earnest into his writing about Matthew 28:19. His passion for
exposing the fraud of early scribes continues to be a blessing to
The question of the authenticity of Matthew 28:19 is not a matter of
how easily it can or cannot be explained within the context of any
churches doctrinal views. It is a matter of recovering the very words
of our Lord, remembering that His Word, and not our own, is eternal.
The presentation of facts in this book, I believe, is fair, to the
point and extremely relevant to our faith. The lengths to which
Pastor Ploughman went to support the conclusions drawn may seem
tedious to some, but for the serious student of the Word it will only
begin to whet the appetite for more personal exploration.
It has been said, "Study without reflection is useless, but
reflection without study is dangerous." I hope then, that you will
allow the facts contained in this booklet to stimulate your mind, and
resonate in your spirit . You will be blessed!
Preface to the Second Edition
The importance of this subject is discussed at length in the last
chapter of this booklet.
In more than fifty years as a student of the Bible, and an enquirer
in the sphere of Biblical knowledge, I have not seen or heard of
anything dealing with this question of the authenticity of Matthew
28:19, apart from articles and letters in periodicals and books, now
out of print, and encyclopedias (which are inaccessible to most
This collection of information is concerned with the actual text of
scripture, and not with any teaching, formal or otherwise, that
arises as a result. However, in the chapter dealing with internal
evidence regarding Matthew 28:19, doctrine will of necessity be a
factor while exploring the genuineness of the text.
As a rule, teaching (or doctrine) is based on the text of scripture.
This body of evidence is not meant to discover what teaching to
ascribe to the text, but to discover the actual text itself.
Pastor A. Ploughman
January 1, 1962
"Every word of God is pure." Proverbs 30:5
"Through thy precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every
false way." Psalms 119:104
Many have had difficulty concerning the phraseology of Matthew 28:19,
and have written to editors of periodicals seeking answers. Most
respondents however, have merely glossed over the difficulty with
quips, quotes, ideology and exhortation. Of course, all of these have
their place, but not at the expense of arriving at the truth.
The difficulty, left largely unanswered, surrounds the
words, "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost." This phrase has been questioned, not because of
any certain doctrine it lends itself to, but rather because of the
early witnesses that attest to a different reading, and to the
grammar and syntax of the words themselves.
Is the "name-phrase" of Matthew 28:19 genuine? Or is it, like
the "three witnesses" of 1 John 5:7-8, a spurious addition introduced
into early manuscripts to bolster an emerging doctrine? To understand
the importance of this question, let us consider the words of noted
nineteenth century biblical scholar F.C. Conybeare (1856-1924):
"Until the middle of the nineteenth century the text of the three
witnesses of 1 John 5:7-8 shared with Matthew 28:19 the onerous task
of furnishing scriptural evidence of the Trinity...(the spurious
words added in 1 John)...are now abandoned by all authorities except
the Pope of Rome. By consequence the entire weight of proving the
Trinity has of late come to rest on Matthew 28:19."
Perhaps the reason that serious scholarly efforts have not been made
to discover (or proclaim) the truth is because to do so would
undermine the very foundation of traditional post-Nicene theology.
After all, if indeed the titles "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" were
added, and were not the words of our Lord, then what scriptural
authority do we have for baptizing in any name except the name of
Jesus? The answer: None whatsoever.
However, what is important is not what the implications of our
inquiry might possibly be, but rather that we might find the truth.
To discover what words Matthew actually wrote is the purpose and goal
of this study.
We will begin by discussing textual criticism in general, and then
apply those principles to our text in question.
In the end, you will learn through tried and proven methods of
textual criticism what words were penned by Matthew, and what words
were added by others to the sacred writ.
We would do well to begin by remembering the strict warning contained
within the scripture itself:
"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye
diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord
your God which I command you." Deuteronomy 4:2
On Textual Criticism Generally
Textual Criticism refers to the methodical and objective study of
various documents with the aim of retrieving the original form of the
text or at least the form closest to the original.
As applied to the New Testament, this means selecting from the many
variants contained in the manuscript tradition the one which most
likely represents the primitive reading.
Most Bible Helps contain a brief description of the methods of
Textual Criticism. For a brief synopsis, let us look to Swete, in
the "Aids to the Student" in the Variorum Bible:
On Textual Criticism in general:
"The text of the New Testament rests upon the combined testimony of
streams of documentary evidence: extant manuscripts of the original
Greek, ancient versions, and the `patristic' quotations, i.e.
passages cited by a succession of ancient Christian writers known
as `the fathers'."
Concerning Manuscript Evidence:
"The autographs (originals) of the New Testament scriptures were
probably lost within a few years after they were written. No early
Christian writer appeals to them as still existing... men...could not
anticipate their importance to posterity."
Concerning Early Versions:
"Next in importance to manuscripts as channels for the transmission
of the text of the Greek Testament must be placed the ancient
Versions, which were made from Greek manuscripts, in most cases older
than any which we now possess. The Old Latin and Syriac Versions
belong to the second century, and carry us back to the lifetime of
some of the immediate successors of the Apostles."
Concerning the Patristic Writings:
"So extensive are the quotations of the New Testament in the Greek
and Latin Christian writers of the first five centuries that it would
have been possible, in the event of all the manuscripts of the Canon
having perished, to recover nearly the whole of the text from this
source alone...there remains a large number of instances in which
patristic authority goes far to turn the scale in favor of a disputed
reading, or against it."
Using the above sources of textual criticism, and also with what is
styled as internal evidence, we can with great confidence recover the
true reading of our text. With regards to Matthew 28:19, the
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (ERE hereafter) has this to say:
"It is the central piece of evidence for the traditional view...if it
were undisputed, this would, of course, be decisive, but it's
trustworthiness is impugned on the grounds of textual criticism,
literary criticism and historical criticism." (Vol. 2, pg 380,
under "Baptism - Early Christian)
Let us now employ these methods to discover the true reading of
Evidence of the Manuscripts
If Greek Manuscripts of Matthew's gospel were our only source for
establishing a reading of the text, then there would be no need for
further study, as all extant manuscripts contain the name-
phrase "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost." Again from the ERE:
"In all extant manuscripts... the text is found in the traditional
However, it must be remembered that we have no extant (currently
known to exist) manuscripts that were written in the first, second or
even third centuries. There is a gap of over three hundred years
between the actual writing of Matthew and our earliest manuscript
It must also be remembered that no single manuscript is free from
textual error. Some have errors peculiar to themselves, and some
whole families of manuscripts have the same errors. The textual
critic aims to reproduce from an examination of all the evidence what
was probably the original words.
But from the facts stated, it is within possibility that all the
existing manuscripts may have one or more textual errors in common.
That fact must be admitted, however reluctantly.
Another fact that we have to face is that during that time gap of
three hundred years false teaching thrived and developed into the
According to renowned textual critic 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."
How these changes were made will be discussed further in a later
chapter. Another writer had this to say of the "weight" given to
"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 which they contain. To Tregelles must be ascribed the honor of
introducing this method of procedure, which he appropriately
called `Comparative Criticism'. It is a truly scientific method, and
leads us for the first time to safe results. But a little
consideration will satisfy us that as an engine of criticism, this
method is far from perfect. It will furnish us with a text that is
demonstratively ancient, and this, as a step toward the true text, is
a very important gain. It is something to reach a text that is
certainly older than the fourth century, that was current in the
third or even the second century. But this can be assumed to be
autographic only if we can demonstrate that the text current in the
second or third century was an absolutely pure text. So far from
this , however, there is reason to believe that the very grossest
errors that have ever deformed the text had entered it already in the
second century. If our touchstone only reveals to us texts that are
ancient, we cannot hope to obtain for our result anything but an
ancient text. What we wish, however, is not merely an ancient text
but the true text."
Of course, when the writer speaks of `the grossest errors,' he is not
speaking of errors of teaching, but as a textual critic, of errors in
the text itself. Some of these textual corruptions occurred
concurrently with corruptive teaching in the early church. This
reality will be dealt with later in this study.
Where are the Earliest Manuscripts?
The fact that we have no copies of the scriptures that date any
earlier than the fourth century naturally begs the question, "What
happened to the earliest manuscripts?" The following quotes serve in
no small way to answer that question:
"Diocletian, in 303 a.d., ordered all of the sacred books to be
burnt, though enough survived to transmit the text." -Swete in
Variorum "Aids to the Student."
One reason why no early manuscripts have been discovered is that they
were, when found, burned by the persecutors of the early church
before Christianity became a "state" religion in the time of
Constantine. Eusebius, who tended the great library at Caesarea,
"I saw with my own eyes the houses of prayer thrown down and razed to
their foundations, and the inspired and sacred Scriptures consigned
to the fire in the open market place."
Dr. Wescott, in his "General Survey of the History of the Canon of
the New Testament, wrote (pg. 383):
"Among such scenes he could not fail to learn what books men held to
be more precious than their lives."
Indeed, even the great library at Caesarea suffered from this time of
persecution. According to Jerome, quoted in "The Principle Uncial
Manuscripts of the New Testament" by Hatch:
"About a.d. 350, two priests, Acacius and Euzoius, undertook the task
of restoring the damaged library of Pamphilus at Caesarea, and
replaced the old papyrus books with vellum copies." -Jerome Ep. xxxiv.
From our first method of inquiry, we can thus deduce the following
1. All known manuscripts support the trine name-phrase found in
2. Early copyists made changes to the text, some in error, some on
purpose, but changes nonetheless. Textual Criticism for the most part
exposes these changes quite readily.
3. It is possible that the earliest corruptions of scripture have
been preserved in all extant manuscript evidence.
4. The goal of Textual Criticism is not merely to find the earliest
text, but to find the actual text.
5. Manuscripts dating before the fourth century do not exist in large
part because of the widespread persecution of the early church and
the consequent destruction of sacred writings.
Because of the above facts, manuscript evidence alone will not
suffice to reveal the true text in our study. We must now turn to the
second body of evidence to be considered, the Early Versions.
Evidence of the Versions
As with the evidence in manuscripts, all extant Versions which
contain the end of Matthew contain the Threefold Name.
But of course, in the arena of Textual Criticism, there is more to be
considered than what is present in a document. One must also take
into consideration what is absent.
We quote again from the ERE (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics):
"In all extant versions the text is found in the traditional
form ...though it must be remembered that the best manuscripts, both
of the African Old Latin and of the Old Syriac Versions are defective
at this point."
F.C. Conybeare further elaborates:
"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, though all early Versions contain the traditional name-
phrase of Matthew 28:19, the earliest of these Versions do not
contain the verse at all. And curiously, not because of omission, but
because of removal!
Granted, we can not be sure why these precious pages were destroyed,
but for the sake of our study we are now compelled to consult our
next authority, the "Patristic Writings."
"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 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
How true is this? What are the facts? While no manuscript from the
first three centuries is in existence, we do have the writings of at
least two men who did actually possess, or had access to, manuscripts
much earlier than our earliest.
There are also others, who quoted Matthew 28:19, whose written works
we now posses, that date much earlier than our best manuscript copies.
Who were these men? When did they write? Were they reliable and
exact? How did they quote Matthew 28:19? These are all questions that
must now be answered.
In the pages ahead we will consider evidence from the following men,
either by direct quotation from their writings, or indirectly through
the writings of their contemporaries:
1) Eusebius of Caesarea, 2) The unknown author of De Rebaptismate, 3)
Origen, 4) Clement of Alexandria, 5) Justin Martyr, 6) Macedonius, 7)
Eunomius and 8) Aphraates.
Before we turn to the witness of these early writers, let it be
emphatically stated, that if the question under consideration were
one of theology, the evidence of these "fathers" would be of no value
Our doctrine must be obtained from the pure Word of God alone, and
not from any other source. These so-called "fathers" lived in an age
of theological darkness and rampant heresy. Their testimony is
valuable only because it provides a witness to manuscripts of the
scripture much older than our current copies.
Therefore, our search through their writings is not to establish any
doctrine or theology, but to find an early witness to the verse in
Eusebius of Caesarea
Our first witness will be Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as
Eusebius Pamphili. He was born around 270 a.d., and died around 340
a.d. He lived in times of gross spiritual darkness, was a
Trinitarian, and in later life assisted in the preparation of the
Regarding our inquiry into Matthew 28:19, Eusebius will serve as our
key witness. Therefore, to establish his veracity as a credible
witness, let us consider the following quotes:
Robert Roberts, in Good Company, vol. III, pg 10
"Eusebius of Caesarea, 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."
E.K. in the Christadelphian Monatshefte, Aug, 1923
"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."
Mosheim, in an editorial footnote
"Eusebius Pamphili, Bishop of Caesarea 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 Caesarea, 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 Caesarea...Eusebius was a man of little originality
or independent judgment. But he was widely read in the Greek
Christian literature of the second and third centuries, the bulk of
which has now irretrievably perished, and subsequent ages owe a deep
debt to his honest, if some-what confused, and at times not a little
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."
F.C. Conybeare, in the Hibbert Journal, October, 1902
"Of the patristic witnesses to the text of the New Testament as it
stood in the Greek Manuscripts from about 300-340 a.d., none is so
important as Eusebius of Caesarea, for he lived in the greatest
Christian Library of that age, that namely which Origen and Pamphilus
had collected. It is no exaggeration to say from this single
collection of manuscripts at Caesarea 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
Having considered the honesty, ability and opportunity of Eusebius as
a witness to the New Testament text, let us now move on to what
evidence he presents concerning Matthew.
The Evidence of Eusebius
According to the editor of the Christadelphian Monatshefte, Eusebius
among his many other writings compiled a collection of the corrupted
texts of the Holy Scriptures, and "the most serious of all the
falsifications denounced by him, is without doubt the traditional
reading of Matthew 28:19."
Further inquiry has failed to pinpoint the exact compilation referred
to, as Ludwig Knupfer, the Editor, has since written, "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.'
I have collected all these passages except one which is in a catena
published by Mai in a German magazine, the Zeitschrift fur die
neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, edited by Dr. Erwin Preuschen in
Darmstadt in 1901. And Eusebius is not content merely to cite the
verse in this form, but he more than once comments on it in such a
way as to show how much he set store by the words `in my name'. Thus,
in his Demonstratio Evangelica he writes thus (col. 240, p. 136):
`For he did not enjoin them "to make disciples of all the nations"
simply and without qualification, but with the essential addition "in
his name". For so great was the virtue attaching to his appellation
that the Apostle says, "God bestowed on him the name above every
name, that in the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of things in
heaven and on earth and under the earth." It was right therefore that
he should emphasize the virtue of the power residing in his name but
hidden from the many, and therefore say to his Apostles, "Go ye, and
make disciples of all the nations in my name".'
Conybeare proceeds, in Hibbert Journal, 1902:
"It is evident that this was the text found by Eusebius in the very
ancient codices collected fifty to a hundred and fifty years before
his birth by his great predecessors. Of any other form of text he had
never heard and knew nothing until he had visited Constantinople and
attended the Council of Nice. Then in two controversial works written
in his extreme old age, and entitled, the one `Against Marcellus of
Ancyra,' 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
In his `Textual Criticism of the New Testament' Conybeare writes:
"It is clear therefore, that of the manuscripts which Eusebius
inherited from his predecessor, Pamphilus, at Caesarea in Palestine,
some at least preserved the original reading, in which there was no
mention either of baptism or of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It has
been conjectured by Dr. David-son, 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
Jesus - this long before anyone except Dr. Burgon, who kept the
discovery to himself, had noticed the Eusebian form of the reading."
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 shorter formula in his works for fear of vulgarizing
and divulging the sacred Trinitarian formula.
It is interesting to find a modern Bishop reviving the very argument
used 150 years earlier, in support of the forged text of 1 John 5:7-
8. 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. `The passage was of so sublime and
mysterious a nature that the secret discipline of the Church withdrew
it from the public books, till it was gradually lost.' Under what a
lack of evidence must a critic labor who resorts to such an
Conybeare continues, 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 Philippians 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."
Having considered the evidence of Eusebius, let us now look at the
other early writers on our `witness list.'
Other Early Writings
The Author of De Rebaptismate
"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'". 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
Clement of Alexandria
"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
- Excerta cap. 76, ed. Sylb. page 287, quote from Conybeare.
"Justin...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." - Ency. 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 abridgement of the ordinary text.
The passage is in Justin's dialogue 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
"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
"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. (However, this decision did not prevent the popes
of the seventh century from excommunicating the entire Celtic Church
for its adhesion to the old use of invoking in one name). In the last
half of the fourth century, the text `in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost' was used as a battle cry by the
orthodox against the adherents of Macedonius, who were
called `pneumato-machi' or `fighters against the Holy Spirit',
because they declined to include the Spirit in a Trinity of persons
as co-equal, consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father and Son.
They also stoutly denied that any text in the 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 will show the ease with which scribes freely
altered the manuscripts of the New Testament, so unlike the scribes
and custodians of the Old Testament Scriptures who copied the holy
writings with reverence and strict accuracy.
These quotations will also show the early start of the practice of
trine immersion at the time when the doctrine of the Trinity was
being formulated, and how the New Testament writings were made to
conform to traditional 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 aver 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.
Fraternal Visitor 1924, page 148
"Codex B. (Vaticanus) would be the best of all existing
manuscripts...if it were completely preserved, less damaged, (less)
corrected, more easily legible, and not altered by a later hand in
more than two thousand places. Eusebius therefore, is not without
ground for accusing the adherents of Athanasius and of the newly
arisen doctrine of the Trinity of falsifying the Bible more than
once." -Translation from Christadelphian Monatshefte.
Whiston - in Second Letter to the Bishop of London, 1719, p. 15.
"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
Smith's Dictionary of Christian Antiquities (Article on Baptism)
"While trine 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 trine immersion, but in such a way as to set forth their own
doctrine of a gradation in the three Persons."
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church - pp. 125-126
"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 Encyclopedia - page 262
"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."
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics - Article on "Baptism"
"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."
Conybeare - In the Hibbert Journal
"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
Robert Roberts, in "Good Company" (Vol. iii, page 49)
"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'."
Whiston, in 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 possibility that additions were made into scripture
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 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
Having reviewed the evidence of the manuscripts, the versions and now
the patristic writings, you will by now have come to conclusion that
in the early centuries some copies of Matthew did not contain the
traditional triune name-phrase. Regardless of the opinions or
positions taken by our commentators, we must at the very least admit
In legal practice where copies of the same lost document vary,
recourse is had to what is called "Internal Evidence." That is, a
comparison with the rest of the text of the document that is not in
dispute, in order to ascertain which of the variant readings is the
more likely original.
With both variants in mind, let us now turn to the scriptures
themselves for our internal evidence.
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thess 5:21
In the above verse, the Greek word for "prove" is dokimazo, and it
means, "to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing
is genuine or not), to recognize as genuine after examination, to
approve, deem worthy."
In our efforts to ascertain which reading of Matthew 28:19 is
original, we will submit both to ten "tests". In doing so, we shall
be able in the end to recognize the genuine, and expose the spurious.
1. The Test of Context
Examining the context, we find that the traditional name-phrase lacks
syntactic quality, that is, the true sense of the verse is hindered
by a failure of the linguistic patterns to agree. If however, we read
as follows, the whole context fits together and the tenor of the
instruction is complete: (Matt. 28:18-20)
"All power is given unto me...go therefore...make disciples in my
name, teaching them...whatsoever I have commanded ...I am with you..."
2. The Test of Frequency
Is the phrase "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit/Ghost" used elsewhere in the scripture? Not once.
Did Jesus use the phrase "in my name" on other occasions? Yes, 17
times actually, examples to be found in Matt. 18:20; Mark 9:37,39 and
41; Mark 16:17; John 14:14 and 26; John 15:16 and 16:23.
3. The Test of Argument
Is any argument in scripture based on the fact of a threefold name,
or of baptism in the threefold name? None whatsoever.
Is any argument in scripture based on the fact of baptism in the name
of Jesus? Yes! This argument is made in 1 Cor. 1:13...
"Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized
in the name of Paul?" (emphasis added)
From this argument, when carefully analyzed, it appears that
believers ought to be baptized in the name of the One who was
crucified for them. The Father, in His amazing love, gave to us His
beloved Son, who by the Spirit was raised to incorruptibility. But it
is the Lord Jesus Himself who was crucified, and in His name,
therefore, must believers be baptized in water.
According to Dr. Thomas, in "Revealed Mystery" Atricle 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." ( God's Way, pg. 190)
Now the Father did not die, nor yet the Spirit. As the scripture
says, "buried with Him (Jesus) in baptism," not with the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 6:3-5)
R. Roberts used this argument (The Nature of Baptism, page 13):
"According to trine immersion, it is not sufficient to be baptized
into the Son. Thus Christ is displaced from His position as the
connecting link, the door of entrance, the `new and living way.' And
thus there are three names under heaven whereby we must be saved, in
opposition to the apostolic declaration, that `there is none other
name (than the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth) under heaven given
among men whereby we must be saved' (Acts 4:12)."
This, of course, is the same argument as Paul's. Were ye baptized in
the name of Paul? Or in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
or in any other name that displaces Christ from His position as
the `connecting link,' and the only name for salvation?
Based on this argument alone, we can confirm the genuine text of
Matthew 28:19 to contain the phrase, "in my name."
4. The Test of Analogy
Is there anything in scripture analogous to baptism in the triune
Is there anything analogous to baptism in the name of Jesus? Yes! The
Father baptized the disciples with the gift of the Holy Ghost, a
promise that came according to Jesus `in His name.' (John 14:26) This
is because Jesus is the `connecting link' in both water baptism and
spirit baptism, evidenced by the following scripture quotations:
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go
away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but
if I depart, I will send him unto you.
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will
send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things
to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 16:7 and
14:26, See also John 7:39).
"But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the
kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized,
both men and women. (Acts 8:12)
Notice that they were baptized in response to the preaching of the
name of Jesus Christ, not the titles "Father, Son and Holy Ghost."
By analogy, we should therefore be baptized in Jesus' name, because
it precedes and prepares us for the baptism of the Spirit, which is
likewise given in His name. (Acts 2:38-39, 19:1-5, John 3:3-5)
5. The Test of Consequence
In being baptized, do we `put on' the name of the Father, Son and
Holy Ghost? No.
Do we put on the name of Jesus? Yes. When we are baptized in the name
of Jesus Christ, according to all early Church baptisms recorded in
scripture, were are quite literally being baptized `into' the name of
Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:27 states:
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on
No mention is made in scripture of any result in baptism being
related to the titles of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Every mention
makes a clear connection with the person of Christ, and His atoning
sacrifice on the cross.
6. The Test of Practice
Did the disciples, after receiving the `Great Commission' ever once
baptize in the threefold name? Never!
Did they baptize in the name of Jesus? Always! (Acts 2:38; 8:16;
10:48 (inferred); 19:5, etc.)
The argument has often been made when defending triune immersion, "I
would rather obey the command of Jesus, than to imitate the Acts of
the Apostles." This kind of logic though, places the Apostles in
disobedience, and makes all Apostolic baptisms void.
If all of God's Word is inspired, and it is, then we would do well to
give no greater heed to one verse over another, but rather take all
of God's Word in context, and rightly apply it to our lives. Quite
simply, the `red letter' portions of our Bibles (i.e., the words of
Christ) are no more, and no less important than the rest.
It is easier to believe that the disciples followed the parting
instructions of our Lord, than to suggest that they were immediately
disobedient to His command.
7. The Test of Significance
What significance is attributed in scripture to baptizing believers
in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? None.
What significance is afforded to baptism in the name of Jesus? First,
the scripture teaches that baptism in the name of Jesus as an act of
repentance is for the remission (that is, forgiveness) of sins (Acts
Second, baptism in His name alone is linked to the promise of the
Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38, 19:1-5).
Third, baptism in the name of Jesus is likened to our identification
and personalization of the death and burial of Christ. (Romans 6:1-4
and Colossians 2:12).
Fourth, being baptized into Christ is how we `put on' Christ
Fifth, baptism in His name is called the `circumcision of Christ,'
and reflects our `putting off' of the man of sin, thus becoming
a `new creature in Christ Jesus.' (Col. 2:11-12, 2 Cor. 5:17).
Baptism in the name of Jesus expresses faith in the Incarnation, the
authentic human life of Jesus, the death of the Son of God on the
cross for our sins, and the remission of sins through His name.
Baptism in the threefold name can be said only to express faith in
the Trinitarian doctrine itself, and the man made creeds that support
8. The Test of Parallel Accounts
As God's providence would have it, Matthew 28 is not the sole record
in the gospels of the `Great Commission' of our Lord. Luke also
records this event with great detail. In Luke 24:46-47, he writes
Jesus speaking in the third person,
"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his
name among all nations."
This passage alone restores the correct text to Matthew 28:19, where
Jesus speaks in the first person, "in my name."
Furthermore, the Gospel of Mark likewise records a version of
the `Great Commission,' using some of the same patterns of speech:
"Go ye...all the world...preach the gospel...every
creature ...baptized...in my name..." (Mark 16:15-18)
Of course, it is not baptism that `in my name' here refers to, but
the works that the disciples would do. Compared to Matthew, though,
the similarity is striking, for neither is baptism explicitly
mentioned there, but that disciples should be made, "in my name."
9. The Test of Complimentary Citation
While there is no text that offers a complimentary citation of the
triune name-phrase, there is a striking resemblance between Matthew
28:18-20 (with the correction) and Romans 1:4-5. The former contains
the Commission of Christ to His Apostles, while the latter is Paul's
understanding and acceptance of his own commission as an apostle.
Consider the following similarities:
"all power is given unto me"
"Go ye" "teaching them to observe"
"all nations" "in my name"
"the Son of God with power"
"for obedience to the faith"
"for his name"
10. The Test of Principle
It is written: "whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name
of the Lord Jesus..." (Colossians 3:17).
In this principle laid down by Paul, the implication is clear. The
word "whatsoever" is all inclusive, and certainly therefore includes
baptism, which is a rite involving both word and deed.
The traditional reading of Matthew containing the threefold name is
clearly not in accordance with the above principle. The shorter
phrase is. This proves which of the two readings is the spurious one.
God's Word does not contradict, it compliments and completes.
Paul not only enunciated this principle, he also applied it
specifically in the context of baptism. In Acts 19:1-5 we find
disciples of John who had been baptized under his ministry. Like
baptism in Jesus' name, John's baptism was one of repentance for the
remission of sins (Mark 1:4, Acts 2:38). John preached with his
baptism that One would come after him, who would `take away the sins
of the world' and "baptize with the Holy Ghost.'
Paul introduced these disciples to Jesus, and applying the above
principle re-baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And so, applying the test of principle to our two readings in Matt.
28:19, we find strong support for the phrase "in my name."
Sufficient evidence has been produced to enable the reader to decide
whether or not the triune-name in Matt. 28:19 is genuine. The
following quotations are presented by way of interest, and should not
be used in the arena of textual criticism thus far employed.
Hastings Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics
"The cumulative evidence of these three lines of criticism (Textual
Criticism, Literary Criticism and Historical Criticism) is thus
distinctly against the view that Matt. 28:19 (in the traditional
form) represents the exact words of Christ." - Article: Baptism;
Dr. Peake - Bible Commentary, page 723
"The command to baptize into the threefold name is a late doctrinal
expansion. Instead of the words `baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost' we should probably
read simply, `into my name'."
F. Whiteley in `The Testimony' (Oct. 1959, pg 351. `Back to Babylon)
"There is the `triune' baptismal formula, which may prove a very
broken reed when thoroughly investigated, but...we leave it for
separate treatment. The thoughtful may well ponder, meantime, why one
cannot find one single instance, in Acts or Epistles, of the words
ever being used at any of the main baptisms recorded, notwithstanding
Christ's (seemingly) explicit command at the end of Matthew's Gospel."
Williams R.R. - Theological Workbook of the Bible, page 29
"The command to baptize in Matt. 28:19 is thought to show the
influence of a developed doctrine of God verging on Trinitarianism.
Early baptism was in the name of Christ. The association of this
Trinitarian conception with baptism suggests that baptism itself was
felt to be an experience with a Trinitarian reference."
Dean Stanley - `Christian Institutions'
"Doubtless the more comprehensive form in which baptism is now
everywhere administered in the threefold name...soon superseded the
simpler form of that in the name of the Lord Jesus only."
E.K. in the Fraternal Visitor - Article: `The Question of the Trinity
and Matt. 28:19." 1924, pg 147-151, from Christadelphian Monatshefte.
"The striking contrast and the illogical internal incoherence of the
passage...lead to a presumption of an intentional corruption in the
interests of the Trinity. In ancient Christian times a tendency of
certain parties to corrupt the text of the New Testament was
certainly often imputed. This increases our doubt almost to a
decisive certainty concerning the genuineness of the passage."
Dr. Robert Young
In his `Literal Translation of the Bible', Young places the triune
name in Matthew 28:19 in parentheses, thus indicating the words to be
of doubtful authenticity.
James Martineau - `Seat of Authority'
"The very account which tells us that at last, after His
resurrection, He commissioned His disciples to go and baptize among
all nations, betrays itself by speaking in the Trinitarian language
of the next century, and compels us to see in it the ecclesiastical
editor, and not the evangelist, much less the Founder Himself."
Black's Bible Dictionary
"The Trinitarian formula (Matt. 28:19) was a late addition by some
reverent Christian mind."
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics
"The obvious explanation of the silence of the New Testament on the
triune name, and the use of another formula in Acts and Paul, is that
this other formula was the earlier, and that the triune formula is a
Professor Harnack - `History of Dogma' (German Edition)
Professor Harnack dismisses the text almost contemptuously as
being `no word of the Lord'."
F. Whiteley in `The Testimony,' footnotes to Article: Baptism, 1958.
"Clerical conscience much troubled (see Comp. Bible App. 185) that
the apostles and epistles never once employ the triune name of Matt.
28:19. Even Trinitarians, knowing the idea of the Trinity was being
resisted by the Church in the fourth century, admits (e.g.
Peake) `the command to baptize with the threefold name is a late
doctrinal expansion', but still prior to our oldest yet known
manuscripts (Fourth Century). It's sole counterpart, 1 John 5:7 is a
proven interpolation. Eusebius (a.d. 264-340) denounces the triune
form as spurious, Matthew's actual writing having been baptizing
them `in my name'."
Is It Important?
Is it important that we amend the text of Matthew 28:19? The man
whose standard of judgment is his own ideas will answer in the
negative. But those who acknowledge that God's thoughts are not our
thoughts will carefully consider the matter in light of scripture,
and remember that in the matter of divinely appointed symbolic
actions, the details are of great importance. Matthew 28:19 has to do
with such a symbolic action. For example:
a) Cain's offering lacked blood and was rejected.
b) The man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath forfeited his life.
c) Uzzah died when he touched the Ark of the Covenant.
Certainly these acts of disobedience were judged according to their
error, but perhaps also God was displeased because they marred the
portrait-in-type of the Son of His Love, as to a) the atonement by
blood, b) His millennial rest, and c) His chosen ones.
Every symbolic action required by God has not only one or more
significance, but in fact is the actual cause of the very real end-
effect. Consider the following cause-and-effect examples:
1) When Joshua pointed his spear there was victory (Josh. 8:18).
2) Only three victories were given to Joash when he struck the ground
but thrice (2 Kings 13:19-25).
3) The Passover Lamb (or kid) had to be without blemish (even as was
Christ), if the household was to be protected from the Death Angel
Nothing in God's ritual is without meaning or result. When He speaks,
it is done! Christ called Lazarus, and Lazarus came forth! In matters
of ritual, such as Baptism and the Breaking of Bread, we are dealing
with God's ritual, not man's.
All man-made rituals, no matter how lofty their motivation, when they
deviate from and therefore pervert the Word of God, are nothing more
than empty traditions that `make the Word of God of none effect'
(Mark 7:13). Obedience to God's commands, however, will always effect
the result for which they are given.
In the matter of establishing the original text of Matthew 28:19, it
is indeed important to settle what is genuine, and what is spurious,
so that we may properly obey our Lord's command. After all, that is
the purport of our introductory text in Deut. 4:2, "Ye shall not
add...neither ...diminish ought...that ye may keep the
commandments'." When we are obedient to the true command of our Lord,
we can expect the promised, and even eternal effect.
Believers were taught in James 5 (verse 14) to anoint the sick with
oil in the name of the Lord. The result would be that the Lord would
raise him up. When two or three gather together in His name, the
result is that He is there in the midst of them. As our evidence
reveals, Jesus commanded to go and make disciples in His name. As a
result, He would be with them to the end, even to the end of the age.
Anything we do in His name directly involves Him. No wonder then that
Paul so clearly charged those believers in Colosse:
"Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him!"
1. The Light is Dawning
The British and Foreign Bible Society published in 1960 a Greek
Testament, and at Matthew 28:19 the phrase `en tO onomati mou' (`in
my name') is given as an alternate reading, Eusebius being cited as
The Jerusalem Bible 1966 (a Roman Catholic production) has this
footnote to Matt. 28:19, "It may be that this formula...is a
reflection of the liturgical usage established later in the primitive
community. It will be remembered that Acts speaks of baptizing in the
name of Jesus."
2. But Matthew 28:19 and Luke 24:47 Say Nothing of Baptism!
That is true. They speak only of "making disciples of all nations"
and "repentance and remission of sins." However, in establishing the
original text of Matthew 28:19 to contain simply "in my name," we
have essentially eliminated all support for baptizing "in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
Because of this far reaching implication, we were forced to examine
the internal evidence with regards to baptism, in order to find any
other support for the traditional reading, as the triune formula that
was added to Matt. 28:19 is connected with baptism.
Though baptism is not specifically mentioned in Matt. 28:19 or Luke
24:47, it can be inferred because of the following two points:
1. In Matthew, the command is to "make disciples in my name."
To "make a disciple" of necessity includes baptism in the conversion
process (Mark 16:15-16, John 3:3-5), and the entire process is under
the umbrella of the injunction to do so "in His name."
2. In Luke, "repentance and remission of sins" would be preached "in
His name." By testimony of other scriptures (Luke 3:3, Acts 2:38), it
is clear that remission of sins comes through baptism preceded by
repentance. Here Jesus enjoins both to being preached "in His name."
3. The Evidence of Eusebius
Jerome makes an interesting statement. (He was born a.d. 331 and died
in 420, and wrote many exegetical and controversial treatises and
letters, as well as the renowned Latin Vulgate translation of the
Scriptures.) His interesting statement is as follows (from the
Catalogue of Ecclesiastical Writers):
"Matthew, who is also Levi...composed a gospel...in the Hebrew
language and characters...Furthermore, the Hebrew itself is preserved
to this day in the library at Caesarea which the martyr Pamphilus so
Now Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340 a.d.) inherited from that Pamphilus
(who died in a.d. 310) that famous Library, a library which was
commenced by Origen (185-254 a.d.).
The wording of that statement by Jerome seems to mean that the
original Manuscript of Matthew was still to be seen in the Library at
Caesarea. Or it could mean an early copy of Matthew's Hebrew writing.
But the phraseology of Jerome appears to indicate the actual
Manuscript written by Matthew himself.
4. The Mental Reservations of Eusebius
On page 14 of this book, last paragraph, mention is made of the fact
that after the Council of Nicaea Eusebius three times used the triune
name-phrase in writing. The following three extracts shed light on
this strange affair:
1. Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature; Eusebius
"At the Council of Nicaea (a.d. 325) Eusebius took a leading
part...He occupied the first seat to the emperor's right, and deliver-
ed the opening address to Constantine when he took his seat in the
council chamber...Eusebius himself has left us an account of his
doings with regard to the main object of the council in a letter of
explanation to his church at Caesarea...This letter...is written to
the Caesareans to explain that he would resist to the last any vital
change in the traditional creed of his church, but had subscribed to
these alterations, when assured of their innocence, to avoid
2. Wallace Hadrill, in `Eusebius of Caesarea,' (1960)
"Our concern here is only with Nicaea as it affected Eusebius...his
own account of the matter is transmitted to us...in the letter he
addressed to his diocese an explanation of his actions at the
Council, for with some misgiving he had signed the document bearing
the revised text of the creed he had presented...But being satisfied
that the creed did not imply the opposite Sabellian pitfall ...he
signed the document."
3. William Bright in his Preface to Burton's `Text of Eusebius
Ecclesiastical History': "The Nicene Council followed, in the summer
of a.d. 325. Eusebius, of course, attended and was profoundly
impressed by the sight of that majestic gathering...He occupied a
distinguished position in the Council; he was its spokesman in
welcoming the Emperor...On the next day, as if yielding to those
representations, and moved by the express opinion of Constantine, he
signed the Creed, and even accepted the anathematism appended to it;
but did so, as we gather from his own statement, by dint of evasive
glosses which he certainly could not have announced at that time.
While then he verbally capitulated in the doctrinal decisions of the
Nicene Council...he did so reluctantly, under pressure, and in senses
of his own...He knew that he would be thought to have compromised his
convictions, and therefore wrote his account of the transaction to
the people of his diocese, and, as Athanasius expresses it `excluded
himself in his own way'."
5. Second Century Mutilations of the Sacred Text
In the book mention is made of the fact that textual critics have
been able to reproduce the Sacred Text substantially correct as it
existed in the second or third century.
As was pointed out on page 7, "there is every reason to believe that
the grossest errors that have ever deformed the text had entered in
already in the second century...If our touchstone only reveals to us
texts that are ancient, we cannot hope to obtain for our result
anything but an ancient text. What we wish however, is not merely an
ancient, but the true text." The following three excerpts are
interesting as being in accordance with that pronouncement:
1. The Authentic New Testament was translated by Dr. Hugh J.
Schonfield, and published in 1962. The Introduction contains the
"It may be accepted with confidence that we have at command the New
Testament substantially as the writings contained in it would be read
within a century of their composition."
It is in that century, as has been pointed out, that the `very
grossest textual errors' deformed the Sacred Text.
2. The S.P.C.K. published in 1964 Volume One of the Clarified New
Testament. At Matthew 28:19, the comment reads, "One would expect
this name to be that of Jesus and it is surprising to find the text
continuing with `the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost,' which
are no names at all. The suspicion that this is not what Matthew
originally wrote naturally arises. In `Father, Son and Holy Ghost' we
have the Trinitarian formula...which was associated with Christian
Baptism in the second century, as evidenced in the Didache, chapter
3. F.C. Kenyon, in The Text of the Greek Bible, pages 241-242
"At the first each book had its single original text, which it is now
the object of criticism to recover, but in the first two centuries
this original Greek text disappeared under a mass of variants,
created by errors, by conscious alterations, and by attempts to
remedy the uncertainties thus created."
6. The Source of the Error
The earliest reference to the triune name-phrase is found in the
Didache. The Didache is a collection of fragments of writings from
five or more documents. They were originally written, it is thought
between a.d. 80 and 160. Although we now have only 99 verses, those
verses contain the seeds of ma
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