I know that people are baptized now in either:

But according to scripture, in whose name was Jesus baptized? Thus indirectly, in whose name did John the Baptist baptize?

  • 2
    Why did he have to be baptised in anyone's name? And what does it actually mean to be baptised in someone's name?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 11:06
  • @curiousdannii Good question, lets hope someone answers that also!
    – Barnstokkr
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 11:12
  • possible duplicate of Was baptism practiced before Christ? Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 14:43
  • 1
    Chapter 31 of 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon sheds some light on this for anyone who's interested.
    – ShemSeger
    Commented May 22, 2015 at 20:39
  • @curiousdannii my answer explains what it means to be baptized in someone's name.
    – intcreator
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 19:07

3 Answers 3


In whose name was Jesus baptized?

The baptism of John was for repentance. This was not as much an immersion in the name of a person but a public declaration of sorrow for sin and the change of thinking associated with repentance.

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Mark 1:4-5 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Luk3 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

John understood that Jesus, having no sin, did not need baptism for repentance.

Matthew 3:14-15 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

There was a tradition of "baptism" for the inauguration of a priestly career.

Leviticus 8:6 And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.

The idea that Jesus was being baptized for a type of priestly work can be given some support considering his age.

Numbers 4:35 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation:

Luke 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

It may be that the baptism of Jesus was diverted into a priestly baptism or it may be that it was diverted into a special declaration by God of the ministry of his son.

Luke 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

It does not appear that Jesus was baptized for the remission of sins or into anyone's name.

  • Probably one of the well directed answers I should say. Pardon my ignorance in this regard, but wrt the ministerial ordination that goes with the case of Aaron and his sons as quoted from Leviticus, the text also prior (8:2 to be precise) talks of a sin offering. This clearly is absent in the case of John the baptist's baptism of Yeshua, if I'm right. Also, if I'm informed right, there are also other paraphernalia associated with such an anointing which apparently are absent too. How do the two get aligned in context, so to speak?
    – techiev2
    Commented Dec 20, 2015 at 23:13

Scripture doesn't say.

However, what does it mean to "baptize in someone's name"? It means baptizing, having the authority of that person to do so. If we baptize in the name of Jesus, it is as though Jesus had baptized.

John the baptist was son of a priest, so it is safe to assume that he had priestly authority from God to baptize. Thus he baptized in God's name (no matter what he said when he did it).

  • 2
    This assumes that priests had authority from God to baptize people. Can you provide a reference for this?
    – Flimzy
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 13:18
  • @Flimzy No, but that's because we don't read of baptism in the Old Testament (as far as I am aware). The priests had authority to do all the sacrifices and ordinances (and no one else! Think Saul offering sacrifices), which are there to atone for sins. If we were to read of baptism in the Old Testament, then it would have been the priests who performed it. Do you have reason to object? As sidenote, in LDS theology, having the aaronic priesthood is enough authority to perform baptisms (as opposed to the melchizedek priesthood required to transfer the gift of the Holy Ghost, aka baptism of fire)
    – kutschkem
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 13:43
  • Baptism, of various forms, did exist prior to John the Baptist--but as a pagan ritual, not (principally) among Jews. Your entire argument is "JtB had authority from God to baptize due to having priestly authority." Unless priests actually had authority to baptize, your argument falls short. And as you have now explained, there's no direct evidence that he, or any priest, had such express "authority."
    – Flimzy
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 13:49
  • The "Aaronic priesthood" is not a concept that (to my knowledge) exists outside of LDS theology. Such an answer would be appropriate if the question were asking for an LDS perspective on baptismal authority.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 13:51
  • @Flimzy I found a relevant question about baptism in the Old testament: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/9202/…
    – kutschkem
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 13:51

Before answering the question of "in whose name was Jesus baptized," we must first understand what it means to baptize in the name of someone, or even what it means to do anything in the name of anyone else.

Doing something in the name of someone (or something) else means to act with the authority of the person whose name is invoked (the OED gives "by the authority of" as one of the meanings of "in the name of"). "I baptize you in the name of the Jesus" means "I have authority from the Jesus and I represent Him in baptizing you. I declare it valid with His authority which means He declares it valid."

The same goes for doing things in the name of God, or as more mundane examples, doing things in the name of your employer, your country, the law, your father, etc. "Stop in the name of the law!"—the law has authority, not the person citing the law.

Many Christian religions practice doing things in the name of Jesus, such as praying in the name of Jesus, performing ordinances in the name of Jesus, and even working miracles in the name of Jesus. This essentially means they are acting under the authority of Jesus—they do things that He authorizes, and therefore act in His name.

When Jesus was baptized, his baptism was authorized and commissioned by Himself. John the Baptist acted under the direction and authority of Jesus in person (as Jesus commanded John to baptize Him; see Matthew 3:13–15). Therefore the baptism of Jesus was performed under the authority of, or in the name of, Jesus.

Some may say Jesus was acting under the direction of the Father at this time, which is correct. John then can accurately be said to have baptized Jesus in the name of (or under the authority of) the Father as well.

  • Do you have any support/references for this?
    – ThaddeusB
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 15:43
  • @ThaddeusB Would you like me to cite a particular religion? The principles are general, which is why I assumed they would need no citation.
    – intcreator
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 9:09
  • No, a specific tradition is not required. However, giving us a reason to believe what you write is ALWAYS a good idea. Don't just tell us what you know - show us why we should believe it.
    – ThaddeusB
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 16:00
  • @ThaddeusB I tried to improve my answer. That being said, I'm not trying to convert anyone here, just offer a viable explanation.
    – intcreator
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 18:19
  • I think you misunderstood my critique. What I was asking for is an argument/explanation/reference to show that the baptism of Jesus was performed under the authority of, or in the name of, Jesus. Why do you think the text supports that? As it stands, you simply say it does. I am interested in how you arrive at the conclusion that his baptism was authorized and commissioned by Himself, preferably with a citation to published commentary to show it is not a novel interpretation.
    – ThaddeusB
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 18:28

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