Re: In the name of ...

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Mar 12 1998 - 06:45:07 EST

At 4:17 PM -0600 3/11/98, clayton stirling bartholomew wrote:
>Michael S. Olszta wrote:
>> In Matthew 28:19 I read:
>> Matt 28:19 (KJS) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them
>> in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
>> Question: Regarding the words EIS TO ONOMA TOU patroV kai tou uiou kai
>> tou agiou pneumatoV, does this mean that the Father, the Son, and the
>> Holy Ghost have ONE NAME by which they are to be called?
>The following does not answer your question, which I will leave to scholars.
>Alfred Plummer (An Exegetical Commentary on Matthew, p431) has some discussion
>of the authenticity of the baptismal formula. He cites F.C. Conybeare and K.
>Lake who argue that the baptismal formula in Mat. 28:19 is an early
>interpolation. They support this idea by noting that Eusebius of Caesarea
>quotes the passage several times omitting the baptismal formula. For this
>reason they conclude that this formula didn't appear in the text until after
>the Council of Nicea.
>Alfred Plummer didn't buy this argument. He states (citing a Dr. Chase as his
>authority) that Eusebius did use the baptismal formula, when it served his
>purpose and omitted it when it did not. Plummer concluded that the evidence
>for the authenticity of this text was "overwhelming."
>This issue is noteworthy because it shows the length some scholars are willing
>to go to remove what they consider "dogmatic" material from the text of the NT
>by means of conjecture. In this case F.C. Conybeare and K. Lake attempted to
>cast doubt on a text which had unanimous manuscript support on the basis of a
>selective use of evidence from Eusebius. There argument fell flat because they
>didn't even use Eusebius in an even handed manner and Dr. Chase (who is he?)
>called their bluff.
>The moral of the story is look out for textual critics with an agenda.

Thanks very much for this post, Clay. And I agree wholeheartedly with your
final statement, to which I would only add, "Be suspicious of the textual
critic who claims he/she has no agenda"--my reason being not that I think
everyone has a conscious agenda but rather that I think everyone has
predispositions, whether or not one is cognizant of them--and they DO have
a bearing upon how one judges whatever evidence one discovers (the old word
for "discover" being "invent").

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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