This is another comment I am compelled to make on an article entitled “SAY YES TO holy spirit SAY NO TO GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT OF TRINITY! an Answer to Matthew 28:19.” This article was sent by a friend who eagerly denies the Trinity and goes all over the places to call some Christians as pagan. I am a Christian and I know my Lord and my God and have a love relationship with Him. I know Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit teaches me His truth and leads me to Him. I know the Holy Spirit for He talks to me and to many people in special and unique way. That’s why I am obliged to show that this article is not more than a cheap way to gain a self legalistic righteousness by blaming other believers as pagan.
There are many that utilize the following verse to support their acceptance of the Trinity.
Matthew 28:19 (KJV)
19 Go ye therefore, and teach b all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
They triumphantly announce,
“SEE! This is proof of the Trinity! There it is right from the pages of the New Testament!”
I would like to first point out to those claiming that verse 19 supports the Trinity that they should consider the immediate context of the verse instead of practicing the typical “context shredding” common in Christian and counterfeit Messianic circles. Let’s look at the context.
I do! I believe and take this verse as one of the basic evidence for the Holy Trinity which is NOT three but ONE God – An Undivided GOD. I do not just believe it but I practice it in my love relationship with this ONE God and my faith grows more and more as He reveals His truth to me more and more, through the work of the Mighty Comforter – The Holy Spirit. Now let’s see what the DISPUTANT means by immediate context of Matthew 28:19.
Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV)
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach b all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
b: teach…: or, make disciples, or, Christians of all nations
Note in verse 18 another clear statement by Yeshua that his power had been GIVEN to him. Common sense (something Trinitarians lack) dictates that the one giving and the one being given are separate entities, thus proving the giver (God) and one given (Yeshua) are NOT the same – Yeshua is NOT God. Those that consider Messiah to be God discard common sense and reason as they choose to accept the “unexplainable mystery” eventhough a very explainable and FAR more Biblical alternative exists.
I am not sure about the “b” thing for it does not appear in my KJV or NKJV or NIV Bible. I will instead include the same verses from Young’s Literal Translation Bible in the next comment but first let us talk about ‘the giver’ and ‘the given’ the DISPUTANT brought forth here. I am so sorry that even though I have asked many times that the DISPUTANT may explain to me what does he think about ‘how God beget the Son,’ but have failed so far to get a reply. My point is, it is easy to distinguish the son from the father in real earthy life. In Jesus’ case, the Holy Spirit caused Mary to conceive and gave a virgin birth to Him. It is easy to look at ordinary human being and separate the Father from the Son accordingly as if this is a part of human family tree. Jesus was not a Son of a flesh and blood but the Son of the Holy Spirit – the Son of God. If the son of lion is lion, the son of shark is shark and the son of man is man, then the Son of God should be God. God’s spirit is intact and is never separated. He did not send some part of His Spirit but the whole undivided spirit!
Now let me touch a little bit of what so called a common sense. Read this part of verse 18 carefully! It says, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Who is the eligible owner of the power of heaven and earth? It is God! Can any ordinary human being claim to have been given ALL the power of heaven and earth without being insane? Is there any human being or even human Messiah that is powerful enough – so mighty – to hold the control over heaven and earth? Can the Almighty God surrender such a power to a human being even though he is an extraordinary human being? All the answers say, No! It takes a God to hold such power! Can you see the truth now? Not about the body of Jesus but about WHO is inside that body? If you can’t see that then you need to have some spiritual common sense instead of the human common sense.
Take a look at one of the reasons for the Jews to crucify Jesus.
“The Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”” (John 19:7)
Now, if the Son of God can only be interpreted as ‘human Messiah’ as claimed and believed by the DISPUTANT and which is supposedly to be of the truth, then why did the Jews insisted to crucify Jesus? The answer is found in John 10:33 which says,
“”We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.””
What claim? One of so many is,
“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:33)
So, the logic conclusion of the thoughts of the Jews at the time that they wanted to stone Jesus and later on to crucify Him to death was that “The Son of God is God” and “I and the Father is one and is God.” And this is the evidence that JESUS DID CLAIMED TO BE GOD – many times and in many occasions such as in Mathew 9:6!
But, it takes a clean heart believer instead of a high learned scribes and legalistic truth seekers to see this evidence!
As a side note, did you notice the translator’s notes immediately following the verses? They were referenced with the “b” over the word “teach” in verse 19 and within them was the statement, “… make…Christians of all nations.” What a bogus note!!! There is NOTHING in the Greek word that says anything about making “Christians of all nations.” N-O-T-H-I-N-G! YESHUA WAS NOT A “CHRISTIAN” AND DID NOT TELL HIS FOLLOWERS TO MAKE “CHRISTIANS” OF ALL NATIONS! Yeshua was a Torah (Law) observant Jew! This represents a typical example of GROSS BIAS in translation and “study notes” found throughout most Christian based Bibles! In fact, the TRUE teachings of Yeshua were – and are – JUDAIC! What Yeshua was commanding was for his disciples (talmidim) to make students (disciples, talmidim) of Hebraic truth! I couldn’t let that grotesquely biased translator note slide by without rebuking the sickening bias it promotes, which is VERY common within the Christian-ruled Bible translation community.
Here is Matthew 28:18-20 from the Young’s Literal Translation Bible.
“(18) And having come near, Jesus spake to them, saying, `Given to me was all authority in heaven and on earth; (19) having gone, then, disciple all the nations, (baptizing them — to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days — till the full end of the age.’”
It is true that there is no such an ‘explicit’ command of Jesus or any term that contains a ‘direct’ meaning of ‘making Christians of all nations’ in the New Testament (NT) in any language. It is just a ‘note’ according to what is in the translator’s or the editor’s mind. But, is it a mistake at all? Let’s look at another verse in the NT.
“and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” (Acts 11:26, NIV)
Christians did not choose their name! It was given by the people in Antioch to the disciples of Jesus. Greek NT put it “en antiocheia mathEtas christianous” (IN ANTIOCH THE LEARNers ANOINTED-ians). So, it is so easily and clearly seen that the term ‘disciple’ (of Christ) is very much related to ‘Christian.’ And therefore, ‘making disciple (of Christ) of all nation’ is equal to ‘make Christian of all nations.’ There is no such thing as bogus note! Of course Jesus in not a Christian in sense of being a disciple of Christ. He is the Christ, who was rejected and crucified directly by the JUDAIC legalistic righteousness and this is a HEBRAIC truth (though in fact, we all did it, indirectly).
Now on to verse 19 – the “proof” verse used by Trinitarians.
Verse 19 is the only verse in the New Testament that talks of “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” together. If anyone knows of another please inform me. 1 John 5:7 has been proven by most scholars to be a corrupting addition to the Scriptures, a point I elaborate upon in my New Testament commentary of that verse. Only the most ultra-biased reject that fact. Thus, there appears to be no verse but this one that even hints at a “trinity”. However, that “hint” is only arrived at by assumption. Furthermore, as you will see as you continue reading, this “Triune formula” of baptism mysteriously stands alone among the other baptism formulas of the New Testament. Hmmm. Could we be victims of verse tampering?
I had thought that this DISPUTANT will somehow elaborate the term “of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’ in connection to the ‘immediate context’ to come to his term of ‘context shredding’ which he addressed to the Christians. Pitifully, this accusation went untouched while he seems to annihilate Matthew 28:19 for the reason ‘there is not a parallel verse found elsewhere in the NT.’ If we should judge the NT with this absurd reason of the DISPUTANT then there are many parts of the NT should be omitted, like Jesus prayer in John 17 (it is not found anywhere else in the NT). To arrive at his goal, the DISPUTANT then has to kill 1 John 5:7 with no evidence presented. What’s wrong if any verse only appear once in the NT? Above all, this Matthew 28:19 came out from the very mouth of Jesus. Jesus also said,
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35, NIV)
But, I am afraid that Matthew 28:19 will be erased by the DISPUTANT along with this verse since they both are ‘stand alone’ verses in the NT. Let me give you the Greek version of 1 John 5:7.
“hoti treis eisin hoi marturountes en tO ouranO ho patEr
that THREE ARE THE ones-witnessING IN THE heaven THE FATHER
ho logos kai to hagion pneuma kai houtoi hoi treis en
THE saying AND THE HOLY SPIRIT AND these THE THREE ONE
Since the DISPUTANT is not superior to Jesus Christ, then there is NO objection whatsoever if any believer decided to be baptized by the name “of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’ If God is pleased then who cares about the dispute of some new born scribes and Pharisees?
Let’s look at a few other baptism formulas.
Baptism in Yeshua’s Name
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47 KJV)
PETER OBEYED YESHUA’S INSTRUCTION.
“…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yeshua Messiah for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38 KJV)
This is where we see clearly who the DISPUTANT really is. Firstly, Luke 24:47 is a ‘stand alone’ verse in the NT. So, nobody but the DISPUTANT can use the stand alone verse, not to exercising his faith but to ridicule other people’s faith. Act 2:38, literally is also a stand alone verse. Secondly, Jesus did not commend to baptize people in Luke 24:47, or did He? When talking in Cornelius house, Peter himself said that,
“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:42-44)
There is no direct command of baptism here! Therefore there is no direct relationship between Luke 24:4 and Acts 2:38, that the DISPUTANT should use passage’s title, YESHUA TAUGHT and PETER OBEYED YESHUA’S INSTRUCTION in connection to baptism. This is his own common sense he was bragging about. If the DISPUTANT can unfairly use this two verses as a cause and effect but refuse the reasonable relation between ‘making disciple of Christ of all nations’ and ‘making Christians of all nations?’ So, ‘who is really tampering the verses ’ here?
“… only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Yeshua.” (Acts 8:16 KJV)
GENTILES WERE COMMANDED
“And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” (Acts 10:48 KJV)
PAUL RE-BAPTIZED THE EPHESIANS
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Yeshua.” (Acts 19:5 KJV)
We will get to know the DISPUTANT better. To ease you in checking up the title of this article I am commenting on, let me put it again here. It is, “SAY YES TO holy spirit SAY NO TO GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT OF TRINITY! an Answer to Matthew 28:19.” Did you happen to find any elaboration on ‘the holy spirit’ as the DISSPUTANT put it or the Holy Spirit any Christian would do? No! The DISPUTANT has drifted away from his main course. As I said before, it is so easy to look at Jesus PHYSICAL appearance and judge the Christian for worshiping pagan gods, than to elaborate his SPIRITUAL side – no…SPIRITUAL inside. There is why our smart and truthful DISPUTANT keeps focusing on Jesus while titling his accusation as above.
There is one other ‘kind’ of baptism Jesus also taught. He said,
“For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:5)
See also Acts 11:16. Sometimes, as in the case of Cornelius, the Holy Spirit came to people (baptize) even before the baptism in the name of Jesus (Acts 10:44-48). Some times it worked otherwise like in Samaria (Acts 8:15-17). So, indirectly we have seen that the baptism is ‘a joint business’, if I may say so, of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If the DISPUTANT is led by the Holy Spirit, he wouldn’t have insisted that the baptism is merely Jesus’ business – in the name of Jesus, alone. For if he is correct then there raises a question, “If Jesus’ name can be a fulfillment or replacement for ‘the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’, then who Jesus really is?” Can He be just a human being in this case? I do not think so!
Recorded Historical Baptism
Now let’s investigate what history records. When, how, and for what purpose was the baptismal formula changed?
BRITANNICA ENCYCLOPEDIA, 11TH edition, Vol 3, Pg 365-366
The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son, & Holy Ghost by the Catholic Church in the second century.
BRITANNICA ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol 3, Pg 82
Everywhere in the oldest sources it states that baptism took place in the name of Jesus Christ.
CANNEY ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION, Pg 53
The early church always baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus until development of Trinity doctrine in the 2nd century.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol 2, Pg 263
Here the Catholics acknowledged that baptism was changed by the Catholic Church.
HASTINGS ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION, Vol 2, Pg 377
Christian baptism was administered using the words “In the name of Jesus.”
HASTINGS ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION, Vol 2, Pg 378
The use of a Trinitarian formula of any sort was not suggested in early Church history.
HASTINGS ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION, Vol 2, Pg 389
Baptism was always in the name of Lord Jesus until the time of Justin Martyr when Triune formula was used.
Interesting? So, who is this Justin Martyr fellow?
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol 8
Justin Martyr was one of the early Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church.
Well, I guess that shows good ole Justin was true to his Roman Catholic faith. More…
NEW INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol 22, Pg 477
The term “Trinity” was originated by Tertullian, a Roman Catholic Church Father.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGION AND ETHICS, (1951), II, 384, 389
The formula used was ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ’ or some synonymous phrase; there is no evidence for the use of the triune name… The earliest form, represented in the Acts, was simple immersion….in water, the use of the name of the Lord, and the laying on of hands. To these were added at various times and places which cannot be safely identified, (a) the trine name (Justin)….
INTERPRETERS DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, (1962) I, 351
The evidence … suggests that baptism in early Christianity was administered, not in the threefold name, but ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’.
A HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT (Otto Heick), (1965), I, 53
At first baptism was administered in the name of Jesus, but gradually in the name of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
In other words, “gradually” the truth was crushed by the Roman church and replaced by it’s own “truth.”
HASTINGS DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE, (1898), I, 241
[One explanation is that] the original form of words was ‘into the name of Jesus Christ’. Baptism into the name of the Trinity was a later development.
A HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, Williston Walker, (1947), Pg 58
The Trinitarian baptismal formula … was displacing the older baptism in the name of Christ.
THE NEW SCHAFF-HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE, (1957), I, 435
The New Testament knows only baptism in the name of Jesus …, which still occurs even in the second and third centuries.
CANNEY’S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIONS, (1970), Pg 53
Persons were baptized at first ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ … or ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus.’… Afterwards, with the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, they were baptized ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
ENCYCLOPEDIA BIBLICA, (1899), I, 473
It is natural to conclude that baptism was administered in the earliest times ‘in the name of Jesus Christ,’ or in that ‘of the Lord Jesus.’ This view is confirmed by the fact that the earliest forms of the baptismal confession appear to have been single – not triple, as was the later creed.
ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, 11TH edition, (1910), Vol 2, Pg 365
The Trinitarian formula and triune immersion were not uniformly used from the beginning… Bapti[sm] into the name of the Lord [was] the normal formula of the new Testament. In the 3rd century baptism in the name of Christ was still so wide spread that Pope Stephen, in opposition to Cyprian of Carthage, declared it to be valid.
I have no objection against the history of baptism brought up by the DISPUTANT. What I would like to say that unless Matthew 28:19 is not listed in the NT or is taken away from the NT, then there is noting wrong in ‘going back’ to the first divine task Jesus gave to His believers. The main point of this task does not lay on baptism alone but on the preaching the Gospel and making disciples of Jesus Christ of all nations. Maybe we should ask the DISPUTANT as “How eager he is in spreading the Word and how many souls have he brought to Jesus, instead of searching for some legalistic righteousness by disputing the faith of other people?”
So, the inevitable conclusion is that VERY early in the development of the “church” the “fathers” of the church took it upon themselves to create a baptismal formula that incorporates their pagan Trinity ideology. To deny this is to deny clear facts.
I rest my case. I you wish to accept the “triune formula” of the questionable verse 19, so be it. The facts are on my side.
What a great collaboration of the title that brings the DIPUTANT to this accusation. He may not see or may not want to see that these Christians he called pagan are making the blinds see, the lames walk, the sinners repent, and the dead alive by the name of Jesus Christ and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. I hope that besides seeking the legalistic righteousness, all of the disputes do not come out of jealousy seeing the Christianity prospers and grows all over the globe and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit has won many souls for Christ.
On the other hand, this DISPUTANT has NOT made anything, anything at all to come to his statement of “the questionable verse 19” of Matthew 28. He did absolutely nothing to gain eligibility to say such thing. I should quote the warning Jesus regarding this accusation but I deliberately leave it for the next comment.
A more serious point in these verses, and the primary point Yeshua would have intended, was his statement in verse 20, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Yeshua taught obedience to the Torah of YHVH, whom he worshipped as his God. He taught fear of, reverence for, and steadfast faith in HIS God – the ONE trueGod that Yeshua, himself, affirmed in reciting the Shema.
Now let us ask the DISPUTANT this simple question, “Where in the NT that Jesus EXACLTY teach the people to observe the Torah?” Did Jesus taught the whole Torah AS IT IS or did He ‘fulfill’ it in many senses? Now this is the verses I wanted to show you. Yes, we can conclude the Jesus admitted the Torah by looking at John 5:17, but we have to remember also that He came to fulfill it. Take a look at some examples below.
“Ye heard that it was said to the ancients: Thou shalt not kill, and whoever may kill shall be in danger of the judgment; but I — I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Empty fellow! shall be in danger of the sanhedrim, and whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire.” (Matthew 5:21-22, Young’s Literal Translation)
Jesus did not just quote the Torah but added more unto it. Besides what will the DISPUTANT face by accusing Christians as pagan? May God have mercy on him!
In case of a woman caught in adultery we learn a new version of the law.
“and in the law, Moses did command us that such be stoned; thou, therefore, what dost thou say?’ ….and when they continued asking him,…., he said unto them, `The sinless of you — let him first cast the stone at her;’” (John 8:5 & 7, Young’s Literal Translation)
Jesus changed the laws,
“Ye heard that it was said: Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and shalt hate thine enemy; but I — I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those accusing you falsely, and persecuting you,” (Matthew 5:43-44, Young’s Literal Translation)
Jesus changed the perspective of Sabbath,
“if a man doth receive circumcision on a sabbath that the law of Moses may not be broken, are ye wroth with me that I made a man all whole on a sabbath? judge not according to appearance, but the righteous judgment judge.’” (John 7: 23-24, Young’s Literal Translation)
Deuteronomy 6:4,5 – 4 Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. The New American Standard Bible, (La Habra, California: The Lockman Foundation) 1977.
4 Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society) 1985.
This is the passage of Scripture Yeshua called the “foremost commandment,” the Shema – the single most powerful statement in all of Scripture in which the ONE and ONLY God is proclaimed – the very same God Yeshua the Messiah worshipped and wishes us all to worship! Indeed, the very same God Trinitarians and all others that promote a man-God Messiah do not know and profane through their idolatry.
I would like to narrow our view a little bit to personal matters rather than a communal things. Within this boundary I’d like to ask the DISPUTANT this question, “Do you personally know God, have a love relationship with Him and have conversations with Him?” I am afraid that his understanding of One God will be reflected by a well known question, “If Jesus is God, then who stays in heaven to rule the creation?” Or, “When God talked to Moses in the burning bush, who fill the vacancy in heaven.” The whole arguments would be merely physical as, ‘who prays to whom,’ ‘who gives to whom,’ ‘who worships whom,’ ‘who talks to whom,’ etc, things that have been abandoned by those he calls idolaters. He should be doing some introspecting if the answer is negative, because there are so many people he accuses as idolaters have those kind of things with God. Holy Spirit has been talking with these idolaters for so long and in all over the world. I doubt if the DISPUTANT have never been aware of these phenomena that again, have brought so many lost souls to Christ.
The DISPUTANT has quoted this Shema for several times now, from the OT and the NT (Mark 12:29-30). He may have memorized these verses but does he understand what it really means in connection to the second most important law – to love your neighbor as yourself? Has he been able to dive into the very bottom of these laws? I am afraid we will get negative answers here. He claimed to know Jesus so well that he believes Jesus is just a human Messiah and therefore, Christians are idolaters. But when he is asked to explain what Jesus means with Luke 14:26, he said that it’s been explained in the next verse (27). Is this the answer of a man who claims to know Jesus that well? Why does carrying one’s cross have to include hating one’s beloved? If he could go deep in this, the eyes of his heart would be seeing the truth that Jesus is God in flesh. No human being is sane enough to require so much love from other human being, but God Himself.
In the end, everyone is free to have his own judgment and decision upon this. May the Holy Spirit enlighten your heart to see the truth of Jesus, my Lord and my God (John 20:28).