This section takes a closer look at Matthew 28:19, the verse believed by the Christian world to mean that Messiah commanded Christian water baptism. We will see that in the broad framework of New Covenant Scripture this belief is absolutely untenable.
The background context of Matthew, the verbiage of Messiah in the synoptic gospels, Messiah's post-resurrection commands in Luke-Acts as a two volume set, and Paul's epistles utterly fail to support the idea that water was ever intended by Messiah in Matthew 28:19.
What we do see is a command for Jewish Sh'lihim (Apostles) to go out among the first-century idol-worshipping nations and transform their lives by a full knowledge of the living God of Israel.
"Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Yeshua had appointed for them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. Then Yeshua came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen." Matthew 28:16-20.
οι δε ενδεκα μαθηται επορευθησαν εις την γαλιλαιαν εις το ορος ου εταξατο αυτοις ο ιησους και ιδοντες αυτον προσεκυνησαν οι δε εδιστασαν και προσελθων ο ιησους ελαλησεν αυτοις λεγων εδοθη μοι πασα εξουσια εν ουρανω και επι [της] γης πορευθεντες ουν μαθητευσατε παντα τα εθνη βαπτιζοντες αυτους εις το ονομα του πατρος και του υιου και του αγιου πνευματος διδασκοντες αυτους τηρειν παντα οσα ενετειλαμην υμιν και ιδου εγω μεθ υμων ειμι πασας τας ημερας εως της συντελειας του αιωνος
Jewish imagery permeates the book of Matthew. There is no doubt that it was composed for a Jewish audience. Yet at first glance this final paragraph seems to go beyond what Jews could accept about the nature of God.
Therefore, along with evaluating what is meant by "baptizing," we must investigate the special phrase, "The name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit." This New Covenant idea, and all it implies, has been especially unbearable for much of the Jewish people.
Israel is under divine commandment not to serve other gods, and has suffered severely in the past for doing so. This passage is viewed in that light and believed incompatible with God. Furthermore, it is taken that Israel's Messiah would never speak in such a way.
But the other side of the question is too ominous to "brush away with a straw." If the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has truly communicated His greatest Expression in Yeshua, then Israel needs to repent and return to the God of our fathers, as does the rest of the world.
This grave controversy about the nature of God boils down to a simple question:
"At what level does the God of Israel speak?"
Israel valiantly testifies that the Creator of the Universe once took us out of the slavery of Egypt, into the wilderness, and spoke to the entire nation at the mountain of Sinai. All Israel heard the voice of the Living God. Israel knows firsthand that God is a communicating Being. His nature includes the attribute of expressing Himself.
But at what level does the Eternal "speak"? Has He only spoken human words, one word after another, like human beings? Perhaps He uses a higher form of communication with angels?...
Or, from eternity, has the God of communication fully expressed all of His magnificence, every incomprehensible thing about Himself, including self-sustaining personal identity?
The question is that simple.
Either the communicating God always fully expresses all things about Himself from eternity or He never will.
The Eternal One cannot start expressing all His glory in the midst of time. To declare eternal glory it is necessary to express it from eternity. If not there is a permanent limitation of nature. It would be the unthinkable proposition of a God who is forever unable to express all His unlimited glory.
Thus the Word of the God of Israel must be all the eternal splendor of God, including self-sustaining personal identity.
The Word was with God and the Word was God.
There can never be division or rivalry. The Word always expresses only that which is of the nature of the Father who speaks. God is echad (one). The glorious Father eternally generates the exactness of His essence, His Expression, His Son.
If the God of Israel does eternally express all things about Himself, then Israel also knows He has lowered Himself to speak in humans terms, like a father speaks to his young son. Not even the greatest prophet climbs to the heights of infinite communication. God must limit Himself to speak with us, even as it is written in Psalm 113:4-6,
4. The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
5. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
6. Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
The God of Israel humbles Himself (Heb. mashpil) to express His concern with His creation.
This fact of God humbling Himself is clearly seen in the three Visitors who came to Abraham where all three ate a meal. Abraham was asked, "Is anything too hard for the LORD."
All three got up to leave and Abraham was told the LORD was going to inspect Sodom and Gomorrah to destroy them if the out-cry was true. Abraham interceded with the LORD for the sake of the cities, the LORD left Abraham and two angels entered Sodom (Genesis 18:1-19:1).
The face value of the text says the LORD limited Himself and came to Abraham in the form of a Man and ate a meal.
God called to Moses from the midst of the bush,
"I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Moses turned his face, for he was afraid to look at God, Exodus 3:4-6.
In the very next verse God says of Israel's suffering,
"For I know (yada'ti) their sorrows."
The Hebrew indicates He fully knows the sorrow of His suffering creatures, and that is the heart of the message of the Good News.
The "Arm of the LORD" was a "Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief," Isaiah 53:1,3. The Word of God was limited to flesh and expressed infinitely deep pangs of sorrow, since God knows the atrocity of human rebellion in this world.
The Word expressed God's boundless woe over sin in a way humans could comprehend: whipped back, beaten head, thorny crown, humiliating nakedness, splintery wood, pierced hands and feet, vinegar to drink, agonizing death.
Long before that sacred revelation in Jerusalem God proclaimed to Moses the name of the LORD, making all His infinite goodness (cal tuv) pass before him (Exodus 33:19). God declared;
"The LORD, The LORD, GOD," (Exodus 34:6)
Three divine names for three infinite Persons, in the "name" of the Living God of Israel. They are revealed through Messiah as the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.
Far from being an alien concept to Judaism, Messiah's phrase of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit readily conforms to Biblical ideas. This brief survey of the Jewish heart of the New Covenant cannot be "brushed away with a straw."
The Christian world, in general, long ago concluded Messiah ordered a new water ritual in Matthew 28:19. The verse is taken as the basis for water baptism by many in Christendom.
Some modern critics deny the authenticity of the passage,1 while others see it expressing the goal of fellowship with the living God. The last idea would correspond well with the context of King Messiah commanding Jewish apostles to go beyond the borders of Israel to make disciples from all defiled nations of the world and to purify them, teaching them the truth of Israel's God.
The Commission takes about thirty seconds to read. While these may be the actual words of the Lord, we know from other passages that He spent more time with His disciples after the resurrection.
In fact here the Lord said "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" without elaborating on His commandments. He expected His apostles to know them.
Matthew is giving the high points of Messiah's instructions as the capstone of his story and he may have written them in his own words, a perfectly legitimate practice.
Some exegetes suggest the Commission actually provides the basis for the entire story of Matthew. The resurrected Yeshua is Lord of Heaven and earth, therefore Matthew will declare His story.
We must not miss the fact that Messiah commissioned His Jewish apostles. At the time of writing it included no one other than the eleven. It is also helpful to realize that certain features of the Commission parallel the developing Rabbinical creed.
The opening verses of Pirke Avot, Sayings of the Fathers, establish the authority of the oral and written Torah for Rabbinical Judaism, and give command to "make disciples." This is comparable with the Great Commission's chain of authority of Messiah to Jewish apostles who pass on traditions about Him, and who are also to "make disciples."
Pirke Avot says,
"Moses received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Joshua...."
He received it from the Lord of Heaven and earth on the mount of revelation in Sinai and passed it on to his apostle Joshua.
In a similar way Messiah Himself is Lord of Heaven and earth and transmitted His command to His apostles on the mount of New Covenant revelation in Israel.
As noted above, God declared His name to Moses, "the LORD, the LORD, God." The Son of God, Yeshua, declared the name of God to His disciples, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Both the Pharisees (from whom Rabbinical tradition developed) and the apostles of Yeshua promoted versions of "prophetic" Judaism that were in direct competition with the priestly Sadducean hierarchy that claimed jurisdiction over Jewish worship in Jerusalem.
Matthew wrote his work from within the Jewish culture. He concluded his story by revealing the authority vested in the eleven apostles, and then why the Good News had gone beyond the confines of the nation. The risen Messiah is not just King of Israel, He is Lord of all creation. That is why He sent Jewish apostles to go to all nations.
But we know the apostles did not take the Good News to the nations for a long time. Some ten years after Messiah's resurrection Cornelius had to fetch a Jewish apostle to be saved. That astounding event jolted Peter's mind and he finally understood something about baptism that Messiah had said years earlier.
In a similar way, we must keep in mind that:
The Commission in Matthew was written years after Peter, in Acts 11:16, remembered Messiah's word of Acts 1:5.
No doubt the apostles slowly remembered many things, and eventually their thoughts were collected into the four gospels. Such being the case, it is impossible to make Matthew's Commission the basis for water baptism as recorded in the early chapters of Acts --where gentiles were avoided-- because Matthew explicitly says, "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them."
In other words, for whatever reason the Jewish apostles baptized with water in the early chapters of Acts, this verse was not in their mind. They were not going to the nations, not until Acts 10, and that was years before Matthew was written.
On top of that, the premier Jewish apostle to the nations, Paul, who was specially selected and sent by Messiah, said the Lord had not even sent him to baptize, 1 Corinthians 1:17, and this forces us to reconsider the usual interpretation of baptizing in Matthew 28:19.
Critics have long pointed out that no water baptism in New Covenant Scripture is ever found in such a form as Matthew 28:19.
Indeed those who date Matthew late say this verse was written to justify Christian ritual practices which had arisen quite a bit later.
Others counter that Matthew may not be speaking of a ritual formula at all, but that after the publication of Matthew's gospel practices arose from a misunderstanding of what had been written.
"The objection that the Gospel containing this phrase cannot be early, because it conflicts with the custom of the early Palestinian Church (sic), which baptized in or into the name of Christ, rest upon the false assumption that the editor intended to represent Christ as prescribing the formula which should be used at baptism.
The words rather mean baptizing them into the fellowship of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and describe, not the formula to be used at baptism, but the end and aim which would be secured in and through baptism. The editor may well have written these words at a period when it was customary to baptize in or into the name of Christ, without at all wishing to represent Christ as having prescribed a fuller formula, but simply the intention of summing up the end and aim of the Christian life into which the convert entered at baptism."2
Most importantly, on two other occasions Messiah is recorded using baptize and baptism to speak of tremendous influence with no connection to water or rituals in Mark and Luke.
"Can you drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said to Him, "We can." Yeshua said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup I drink and with the baptism I am baptized you will be baptized.”
ὁ δὲ 'Ιησου̃ς εἰ̃πεν αὐτοι̃ς οὐκ οἴδατε τί αἰτει̃σθε δύνασθε πιει̃ν τò ποτήριον ὃ ἐγὼ πίνω ἢ τò βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθη̃ναι
οἱ δὲ εἰ̃παν αὐτω̨̃ δυνάμεθα ὁ δὲ 'Ιησου̃ς εἰ̃πεν αὐτοι̃ς τò ποτήριον ὃ ἐγὼ πίνω πίεσθε καὶ τò βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθήσεσθε
"I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am pressed till it is accomplished.”
βάπτισμα δὲ ἔχω βαπτισθη̃ναι καὶ πω̃ς συνέχομαι ἕως ὅτου τελεσθη̨̃
There is plenty of warning that something far beyond water is meant in Matthew 28:19.
In this Commission baptize does not signify a one-time ritual act. Instead, defiled pagans were to be permanently purified from their wicked ways, including idol worship, by a true knowledge of Israel's God.
Remember also that Yeshua taught in ways which required spiritual discernment. "Beware and take heed of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." When the disciples thought He was talking about bread He rebuked them.
"'O you of little faith! Why do you reason among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not see nor understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand and how many basketfuls you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand and how many basketfuls you gathered?
How is it you do not understand that I was not talking to you about bread?
But be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.'
Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the leaven used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (Amalgamation of Matthew 16:5-12, Mark 8:14-21.)
Here the Lord was completely misunderstood, not by enemies, but by His closest disciples who had followed Him for several years. They could not see beyond the physical realm. Their hearts were dull and slow to hear His profound warning and, through lack of discernment, the entire point was missed. This powerful example compels us to carefully discern the command for Jewish apostles to baptize the nations.
If the "bread," the teaching, of Pharisees and Sadducees was dangerous and to be avoided, could Jewish apostles teaching the truth of God baptize --transform-- disciples in a wonderful, positive way? We may certainly answer yes.
Today the Lord is asking,
"How is it you do not understand I was not talking to you about water?"
New believers from the nations were never obligated to be "water" baptized. Instead Jewish apostles were obligated to "wash clean" new believers with the truth of God.
We must keep in mind that not long before the Commission was given the disciples were told that Messiah's words had cleansed them, John 15:3. They had been washed by His words which were spirit and life, John 6:63. So it is with Paul, the bride is cleansed with a washing, not of physical water but of the word, Ephesians 5:26.
Consider the following comments which elevate our understanding of the Lord's words. Plummer suggested on page 433 of his Gospel According to S. Matthew, that Messiah's command may not speak of a formula for water baptism, but that;
"Our Lord may be explaining what becoming a disciple really involves, it means no less than entering into communion with, into vital relationship with the revealed Persons of the Godhead."
Simcox said on page 311 of his, The First Gospel;
"We are to baptize all into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: into the manifested nature, into the very life, of God, as God pours forth this life through His Son.
Baptism is infinitely more than an appropriate sacrament of initiation into membership of the Church; it is the communication of the new and eternal life which Christ has triumphantly brought into the world and which he lovingly offers to all who will receive it. Once men have been baptized into this new life, they are to be taught the simple but revolutionary laws of Jesus by which this new life is to be lived out on earth."
J. K. Howard, on page 45 of his New Testament Baptism said,
"The one who is baptized, 'into the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,' has entered the sphere of an entirely new relationship with God. He knows God as Father in the unique way in which Christ the Son came to reveal Him. Further, the knowledge of this revelation is made actual in real experience by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit."
James W. Dale surveyed many commentators in his Christic and Patristic Baptism and several believed Matthew 28:19 spoke of something beyond water baptism. Page 441 contains a quote from Neander, p 197;
"We certainly cannot prove that, when Christ commanded his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost He intended to establish a particular formula of baptism....He wished to show the dependence of the whole life on the one God, who had revealed himself through his Son, as the Father of fallen man, and who imparts his Spirit to sanctify man, whom his Son has redeemed; as well as to point to the true worship of God, as He had revealed himself through his Son, in a heart sanctified by the Divine life, which is shed forth from him."
Doubtless the above writers hold to the general validity of a Christian water baptism. But their comments on this verse in Matthew carry us far beyond the power of water to the realm of the Spirit of God.
In light of these comments it is quite reasonable to believe the Lord of Heaven and earth did not command a new ritual in His Great Commission in Matthew. Instead He sent Jewish apostles to purify the nations, to sanctify them in a living relationship with God. Transformation of souls is His great desire.
Mark 16:16 is another command from Messiah which has been taught to mean a water ritual. But, as with Matthew 28, it outlines the necessity of being spiritually transformed.
"He who believes and is 'transformed' shall be saved."
Simon the sorcerer had believed and was water baptized, but Peter said he was full of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity, Acts 8:20-23. He needed to be spiritually purified, water had not saved him.
Water is read into Mark 16:16 because of tradition. Nevertheless, it make far more sense to believe Messiah says everyone who believes and is transformed shall be saved.
There are only four passages in the New Covenant where the risen Messiah spoke of baptizing:
Paul's direct testimony in 1 Corinthians 1:17, that though he did baptize with water, Messiah had not sent him to baptize
These four alone reveal His desire after the resurrection.
In 1 Corinthians He did not send His apostle to the nations to baptize with water.
In Acts He contrasted John's water and the greater Spirit with no mention of another new water baptism.
The reliability of the text of Mark 16:9-20 is in question.
The form of the last baptism, Matthew 28, is unlike any water baptism in the New Covenant.
Matthew and Mark are the only places where it is remotely possible to think a water rite was ever commanded by Messiah.
The foundational belief that the Lord ordered universal water baptism for the house of Christendom has long been known to be based on a small amount of fragile material! It evaporates in the light of day.
In this discussion a major question must be faced.
What possible sense does the Lord's final instruction of Acts 1:5 make if just days earlier, at the meeting in Matthew 28:19, He really had commanded a new water baptism? Why then contrast John baptizing with water against being baptized with the Spirit?
If a new water baptism had previously been commanded there would be no point in such a contrast because the new baptism would supersede anything of the past and render John's defunct, obsolete.
Messiah should have said something more like, "You will baptize with water, and I will baptize with the Spirit" if he had really commanded water baptism.
On the other hand if water was not meant in Matthew and Mark, but instead transformation, then the contrast of Acts 1:5 makes perfect sense. John's was the only Messianic water baptism there ever was and it was infinitely transcended, the Spirit is now being poured out in New Covenant power.
So although it goes against the prevailing attitude of many centuries, it makes more sense to believe Messiah never commanded water baptism. Instead He gave threefold instructions to His disciples about transformation:
To be baptized with His out-poured Spirit, Acts 1:5.
For mature disciples to baptize new believers, transforming them with the truth of God, Matthew 28:19.
For new believers to be baptized, letting their lives be completely changed, Mark 16:16.
This concept is highlighted by the fact that all four gospels and Acts all contain the contrast of John baptizing with water, Messiah with the Spirit.
On the other hand Luke, John and Acts give no indication of a new command after resurrection, while post-resurrection baptismal passages in Matthew and Mark do not say water.
Messiah's "High Priestly Prayer" of John 17 explains His understanding of the "name of God" and can be directly compared to the "name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit" in the Commission of Matthew 28.
"I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world."
"Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are."
"While I was with them in the world I kept them in Your name.
"O Righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them," John 17:6, 11-12, 26.
This prayer says nothing of a formula for baptism.
Neither does it have anything to do with continually pronouncing the tetragrammaton, yud-kay-vav-kay, the holy name of God that Jews will not utter.
Rather it is expressive of the presence of the Father. Yeshua manifested the life of His Father and spoke of this life as His Father's name. That was the heart of His work on earth, to manifest the name, the very essence of the life of His Father.
He also prayed that His disciples would also manifest this life,
"They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth; Your word is truth.
"As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
"I do not pray for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You Father are in Me and I in you, that also they may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." John 17:16-21.
Messiah envisioned His disciples manifesting the name of His Father, that all might be one, even as the Father and Son are one. All are to dwell in the life and truth of God, loving one another, even as the Father loves the Son.
Just as Messiah had been sent to manifest His Father's name, so He sent His disciples. This prayer in John contains a commission every bit as important as Matthew 28, but with no sign of a water ritual.
The disciples were told of a living relationship --communion-- with the Father. Messiah said He would continue to declare this name of His Father to His disciples, and if they live their lives in His name they too declare His name by their lives.
Israel had long been promised a revelation of God's name in the Messianic age.
"Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I." Isaiah 52:6. (English Standard Version)
This verse also correlates with the Commission of Matthew 28. Certainly in Isaiah's day the word that is God's name was known by Israel but was not sanctified. The very names Isaiah and Jeremiah contain parts of God's name.
Israel knew the word but had limited awareness of His reality.
But the prophet had promised;
34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. Jeremiah 31:33 (34) (English Standard Version)
The loving Father seeks fellowship with His children. Neither does Messiah desire the situation of disciples who have heard the name of God but do not know Him personally.
Yet sadly enough, many in traditional Christianity have heard the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and have no relationship with God.
Messiah knows everyone's heart. He wants to send mature disciples to bear the reality of the living God in their human vessels, displaying His name to others so that they also might have fellowship with God.
Messiah seeks disciples who will walk in this world as He walked, submitting their wills to the Father, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Messiah Himself completely fulfilled all requirements of the holy Torah given by Moses.
But He is even greater than the Torah. He transcends it with the Torah of the Spirit of Life. He works in us in a new and living way as a great High Priest for His disciples. In this light we consider the commandment,
"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain." Exodus 20:7 (KJV)
This holy command prohibits bearing the name of the LORD in a way which associates it with things contrary to His righteous, holy nature. It is a restriction placed on man in its sinful, powerless state, a fallen humanity at enmity with God.
Messiah transcends the need for this prohibitive command by the awesome power exuding from His divine life.
When a disciple has truly received the Spirit of Messiah, and is led by the Spirit, he lives moment by moment in a new life. He abides in a new nature which fulfills and ever transcends the requirements of the Torah.
The new heart, regenerated into the image of the Son of God, will not allow them to take the name of the LORD in vain.
No, infinitely beyond that, this new heart will glorify the name of the LORD in the world.
When a disciple rightly glorifies the name of the LORD he radically affects the hearts of others. Those who are receptive are baptized with the name of the living God.
Messiah's command for mature disciples to baptize new disciples in the name of God reveals the power He gave them to glorify the name of the LORD with their new lives.
Messiah was concerned that the life of God be manifested through His disciples, with the hope that one day "God may be all in all," 1 Corinthians 15:28.
Paul continually warned disciples from the nations not to be yoked to the Law by outward commandments of men.3 If serious problems like these were already occurring during Paul's career, how much more after his death.
A water baptism, supposedly commanded by Messiah would be of utmost importance, though Paul previously had flatly refuted such an idea in 1 Corinthians 1:13-17. Paul's epistles and the rest of Scripture were already being twisted in his lifetime, 2 Peter 3:16.
By the beginning of the second century, only about forty years after the deaths of Paul and Peter, water baptism was deemed by many as the pivotal event for eternal salvation. It was not merely a sign of salvation.4
As decades passed more and more error found place in the minds of believers. Instead of understanding the end-time Messianic water baptism as an element of Jewish ritual practice, it was assumed a superior water baptism commanded by Messiah provided ultimate purification before God.
The glorious insights of sharing resurrection life have become clouded as water baptism overshadowed the experience of Messiah baptizing with His Holy Spirit.
It is far past the time to recover the original intent of Messiah and to purify the world by a true, intimate and full knowledge of the Living God.
1Though Greek manuscript evidence and other translations conclusively support this reading, F.C. Conybeare, after examining the citations of the Great Commission by Eusebius, suggested that he was not aware of the phrase, 'Father and Son and Holy Spirit' until after the Nicene Council of the fourth century. Others however, concluded that Eusebius used various phrases for the Great Commission, including this one, depending of the subject matter he was addressing, see Beasley-Murray, Baptism, pp 77-82, "The great majority of critics and commentators have found themselves unable to forsake the unbroken testimony of the (Greek) texts and versions for the very uncertain witness of Eusebius; indeed, Lagrange characterized adherence to 'Conybeare's whim' as he described it, as 'a real defiance of textual criticism'. The objection to the authenticity of Mt. 28:19 on the basis of sound principles of textual criticism therefore can scarcely be said to have maintained itself."
2W.C. Allen in the Gospel According to S. Matthew, The International Critical Commentary, N.Y. 1907, p 307.
3cf. Galatians 3:2; 5:2-3,12; Philippians 3:2-3; Colossians 2:8,16-19; Titus 1:10
4While it is true the same sort of development occurred with the "Lord's Supper" (i.e. the second of seven sacraments for sacramentalists or the second "ordinance" for other Christians) it was never considered the initial and primary requirement for salvation. For that reason the supper, which is of a different origin than the end-time baptism and is intended for all believers regardless of national origin, is not treated here.