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Does the New Testament teach to be baptized in Jesus name?

There is no passage in the New Testament that records what was actually said over someone in the actual act of baptism, such as “Peter said as he baptized 'I baptize thee in the name of Jesus Christ' when he was immersing a person in water.” When one comes to the book of Acts we find statements like “baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”, or “in his name,” or “Jesus Christ”; no two times are exactly alike. What this means is that this call to be baptized in Jesus' name was not used as a technical formula by the Church. (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5, also 22:16). Greek scholar A.T. Robertson explains that baptism was “on the authority of the Lord Jesus as he had himself commanded (Matthew 28:19) and as was the universal apostolic custom. Proper understanding of 'Jesus' involved all the rest including the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Luke does not give a formula, but simply explains that now these men had a proper object of faith (Jesus) and were now really baptized.”

When the New Testament states “Baptize in the name of Jesus,” it simply means that the person was baptized into the believer's baptism, not into John's baptism, not into proselyte baptism or any other baptism. The name Jesus distinguished it from other types of baptism. However, the actual formula to be spoken during a baptism is found in Mt. 28: attributed to Jesus' own words: “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” To prove the point that “in the name” was a statement for a Christian baptism, let's look at Acts 19. When Paul asked them “into what then were you baptized? Unto what or on what basis (Robertson, Grammar, p.592). In other words, whose baptism, they responded into John’s baptism. Were they baptized into John? Did John or those baptizing them say John's name over them? Of course not! But this would have to be what transpired according to the Oneness interpretation of the book of Acts and “in Jesus' name.” Certainly they did not mean that they took John's name in baptism or were spiritually immersed into John. When it says in 1 Cor. 10:1-4 that they (Israel) were all baptized into Moses, in the cloud and the sea, this clearly means in reference to Moses' leadership and God’s deliverance. Moses’ name was not pronounced over the people as they went through the waters, (nor that the cloud and the sea).

The disciples were authorized by Jesus to use the Trinitarian formula in Mt.28, but the language of Acts refers to the declaration toward the candidate. Crehan makes a point that the active voice is used in Matthew 28:19, but the passive voice is used where we find baptism in or into the name of Jesus mentioned in Acts or the writings of Paul. What he concludes is the disciples were commanded to baptize in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whereas those baptized were commanded to be baptized in the name of Jesus (Early Christian Baptism and the creed; a Study in Ante-Nicene Theology, p.76, 88).

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