Search related sites

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mt. 28:19 "...in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit."

Mt. 28:19 "...in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit."

(From the RDB Files: “HS”)

Trinitarian author Robert Reymond was quoted as saying about this scripture in his book Jesus the Divine Messiah,

“what [Jesus] does say is this ... ‘into the name [singular] of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,’ first asserting the unity of the three by combining them all within the bounds of the single Name, and then throwing into emphasis the distinctness of each by introducing them in turn with the repeated article [the word ‘the’].”

Sure enough, when we read Matt. 28:19, we find,

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name [singular in the Greek] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." - RSV.


(The fact that Matt. 28:19 is considered to be spurious by many scholars - because of both good external and internal evidence - is not the issue here.)

Bible phrases beginning "in the name of..." indicate that the secondary meaning of "authority" or "power" was intended by the Bible writer. - p. 772, W.E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of the New Testament, 1983. Therefore, Matt. 28:19 actually means: "baptizing them in recognition of the power [or the authority] of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy spirit."

That W. E. Vine specifically includes Matt. 28:19 in this category can be further shown by his statement on p. 772 of his reference work. When discussing the secondary meaning of "name" ("authority," "power") he says that it is used

"in recognition of the authority of (sometimes combined with the thought of relying on or resting on), Matt. 18:20; cp. 28:19; Acts 8:16...."


A.T. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. 1, p. 245, makes the same admission when discussing Matt. 28:19.

 
The fact that "name" is singular at Matt. 28:19 is only further proof that "authority" or "power" was meant and not a personal name. If more than one person is involved, then the plural "names" would be used (compare Rev. 21:12). Even trinitarians admit that their God is composed of 3 separate persons. And each one of those "persons" has his own personal name (except, as we have seen, the holy spirit really does not)! Therefore, if personal names were intended here for these three different "persons," the plural "names" would have been used in this scripture.

Since it clearly means "in recognition of the power, or authority of," it is perfectly correct to use "name" in the singular. In fact, it must be used that way. We even recognize this in our own language today. We say, for example, "I did it in the name [singular] of love, humanity, and justice."

There is a famous statement in United States history that perfectly illustrates this use of the singular "name" when it is being used to mean "in recognition of power or authority." Ethan Allen, writing about his capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, quoted the words he spoke when the British commander of that fort asked him by what authority Allen had captured it.
Ethan Allen replied:

"In the name [singular] of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress." - p. 100, A Book About American History, Stimpson, Fawcett Publ., 1962 printing. (Also see Rebels and Redcoats, p. 54, Scheer and Rankin, Mentor Books, 1959 printing; and p. 167, Vol. 1, Universal Standard Encyclopedia, the 1955 abridgment of the New Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia.)

How ludicrous it would be to conclude that Allen really meant that Jehovah and the Continental Congress had the same personal name and were both equally God!
To paraphrase the quote credited to trinitarian writer Reymond at the beginning of this section above:

"What Ethan Allen does say is this ... 'in the name [singular] of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress,' first asserting the unity of the two by combining them within the bounds of the single Name, and then throwing into emphasis the distinctness of each by introducing them in turn with the repeated article ['the']."

According to this desperate attempt by trinitarians to make trinitarian evidence from Matt. 28:19, then, the same kind of statement by Ethan Allen is evidence (because of the singular "Name" and the repeated article) that The Continental Congress is equally God! (We might also consider a British expression: "in the name of God, king and country.")

Also notice how Luke 9:26 (which actually says, "when [Jesus] comes in the glory [singular] of him [Jesus] and of the Father and of the holy angels") is "first asserting the unity of the three by combining them all within the bounds of the single [glory], and then throwing into emphasis the distinctness of each by introducing them in turn with the repeated article." But, here, of course, the angels, too, make up the "trinity." We have, then, God the Father, God the Son, and God the holy angels!

If Jesus were really saying that Jehovah, Jesus, and the holy spirit had personal names and these names must be used during baptism, he would have used the plural word "names" at Matt. 28:19. And we would see the Father's personal name ("Jehovah" - Is. 63:16; 64:8 - Ps. 83:18 and Luke 1:32 - Exodus 3:15 and Acts 3:13) and the Son's personal name ("Jesus" - Luke 1:31, 32) and the holy spirit's personal name ("?") all being used in Christian baptism ceremonies for the past 1900 years.

Honestly now, how many religions actually use the personal names "Jehovah," "Jesus," and "(??)" when baptizing? - ("We baptize you in the names of 'Jehovah,' 'Jesus,' and '???'.") Or, since a few anti-Watchtower trinitarians even claim that the singular "name" at Matt. 28:19 is really "Jehovah," how many religions really use the personal name "Jehovah" (or "Yahweh") when baptizing? ("We baptize you in Jehovah's name.") Any church that does not do so, must be admitting, in effect, that "name" in this scripture does not mean personal name!

In spite of the extreme weakness of the trinitarian "evidence" for Matt. 28:19, it is nearly always cited by trinitarians because, incredibly poor as it is, it is one of their very best trinitarian "proofs"! And it is generally hailed by trinitarians as the best evidence for the deity of the holy spirit! This certainly shows how extremely weak the scriptural evidence is for a trinity!

No comments: