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Jesus said, "...go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

However, the early church apparently baptised in the name of Jesus:

Which is correct? Or is there a way to combine these?

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If in doubt, do as Jesus said... –  ℝaphink Aug 24 '11 at 12:32
There's a fascinating article here about this (for and against). Unfortunately, you can't spread it, so I can only paste the link. –  Richard Aug 24 '11 at 12:52
For the record, Branhamists consider this a very important question –  dancek Aug 24 '11 at 14:44

6 Answers 6

up vote 9 down vote accepted

From this article,

The reason they were baptizing "in the name of Jesus" is not because it was a formula, but because the phrase, "in the name of" means "in the authority of.

They were baptizing with his authority. They were using his authority to baptize believers into a new life.

Another quote from that same site:

Therefore, when someone is properly baptized, they are baptized in the name of Jesus; that is, by the authority of Jesus. Therefore, when they are properly baptized in the name of Jesus, they should say, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," just as Jesus commanded us to do.

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Most Churches will likely follow the words given by Jesus in Matt 28:19 than the Acts of the Apostles, and therefore "...baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

Special mention should be given to the Apostolic Church, Apostolic traditions etc. who are more likely to baptise, as you say, in the name of Jesus. For some denominations, this is a real contention point. I don't want to de-emphasise the importance this holds for some denominations.

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I'd add that Jesus's words are a commandment, and the three quotes in Acts are just events that are told, and are thus not as authoritative. –  ℝaphink Aug 24 '11 at 12:43

Taken from Acts 19 :

2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Edit: It's pretty clear it's Christ's baptism. "Christ's Baptism" doesn't mean that you become baptised into Christ's name, but you get baptised according to how Christ said you should be baptised. And how did Christ put it?

...baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...

Thus, I would say, each time when baptizing, baptise in the names of the Three Beings of the Trinity:

I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

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I think you have a strong argument here, but "Jesus" is not the name of God the Father. God the Father is not God the Son, nor is he the same as God the Son. –  lonesomeday Aug 24 '11 at 12:36
Learning from feedback and growing in your own knowledge is good. So is editing questions to improve clarity, expound, etc. I don't think combining those too is a good idea! Your answer inexplicably changed from expounding one position to expounding another. If reputation is a mark of how much the community trusts you, this makes their voting (on either view or future questions) unfair. If you hold and believe something, say so. If you were wrong and want to edit your answer, leave a note in the answer saying you had a substantive change from position X to position Y and perhaps include why. –  Caleb Aug 25 '11 at 19:06

Correct baptism would combine Mathew 28:19 and the referenced scriptures from Acts into a statement such as...

"I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: the Lord Jesus Christ".

Also see John 5:43

John 5:43 (KJV) I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

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Certainly not into the Name of the Creator and of the Redeemer and of the Sanctifier as I've heard some people doing - it's pretty sounding, but not valid.

But, in the Catholic Church at least, you can't have a valid baptism without actually saying, "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." in the vernacular of the parish - or Latin I'd imagine.

In fact, we recognize baptism as valid so long as that formula is followed.

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The Creator is God the Father, The Redeemer is The Son, The Sanctifier is The Holy Spirit. What's so wrong about that? –  John Aug 25 '11 at 3:16
@John. It's not a valid baptism according to Canon Law. Priests who do so aren't doing anyone any favors. –  Peter Turner Aug 25 '11 at 17:57
I believe that even in Catholic law a baptism is valid as long as the intent is right. If a priest were to baptize in the name of the Creator Redeemer and Sanctifier he would indeed be committing an error, but as long as the priest was intending to baptize them validly (and they were intending to be validly baptized) that would not invalidate the baptism. That goes double for non-Catholic baptism, which are (sometimes) recognized as valid. –  DJClayworth May 25 '12 at 16:50
@DJClayworth The Church will recognize a baptism of desire in the event of death before a proper baptism can be performed. But, the formula for a proper baptism is as Peter stated it. I've seen no official documents thus far to suggest the Church will recognize any deviation from the accepted formula. If you have a link supporting baptism by intent, I'd be interested to see it. –  svidgen Nov 10 '12 at 21:15
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith agrees with Peter Turner that such invented baptismal formulas are invalid. See for example freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1978353/posts or google the combination of "Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier" and "Brisbane" for other sources. (A rebellious priest in Brisbane was using such formulas, and this is apparently what resulted in the CDF's decree.) –  Andreas Blass Aug 12 at 2:23

If I write you a valid check for all the money in my bank account and sign it as Son, but not my name, they could not and would not cash it. We must only baptize in Jesus' name for it is "the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12 Jesus is the Name of GOD. Isa 9:6,Matthew 1:21-23,etc. For His name actually means Jehovah-Savior, or Jehovah has become our salvation. Therefor when you are baptized in Jesus' name you are baptized into salvation. The apostles understood what Jesus proclaimed in Matthew 28:19 and they obeyed it by baptizing in Jesus' name. Father, Son, Holy Ghost aren't names, but they are titles. Titles are not valid, that is why the 4 or so accounts of baptisms in the book of Acts were all done in the Name of Jesus. Not in Father, Son, Holy Ghost. There is no Biblical proof of that. only baptism in Jesus Name. We must not only believe part of the Word of God, but we must believe it all and rightly divide it. The Word of God speaks for itself, BELIEVE it!!!

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If we should baptise only in the name of Jesus then why Jesus say to baptise in the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit too? –  curiousdannii Aug 12 at 13:57

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