Interpretation Of The Baptismal Formula in Matt. 28:19 -- By: H. E. Bindseil

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 001:4 (Nov 1844)
Article: Interpretation Of The Baptismal Formula in Matt. 28:19
Author: H. E. Bindseil

Interpretation Of The Baptismal Formula in Matt. 28:19

Dr. H. E. Bindseil

βαπτίξειν τινὰ εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς κοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος.

(Translated from the “Studien und Kritiken,” 1832, by Rev. Henry B. Smith, West Amesbury, Mass.)

The expression, Βαπτίξειν τινὰ εἰς τὸ ὄνουμά τινος, in Matt. 28:19, seems to require a more exact investigation, than it has yet received. Many understand it as meaning, that the baptism imposes the obligation of reverencing those, in whose name the individual may be baptized. Others interpret it by the phrase, to baptize into the confession of faith in some one. Our own view is that ὄνομα is here to be understood in its original signification, and the whole expression to be interpreted, by means of baptism to give to one the name of another: that is, by baptism one is named after another. This is the interpretation of Clericus in his Animadv. in Hammondi Annott. Vitringa, in his Observatt. Sacr. T. I. l. iii. c. 22. § 2, cites his arguments, and endeavors to refute them. Clericus relies, with justice, upon 1 Cor. 1:12, 13; and upon the rabbinical expression טגל לשס פ. In 1 Cor. 1:12, 13, Paul speaks thus: “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, lam of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” From this it is clear, that the baptized person was accustomed to take the name of him, in whose name he was baptized. If this were not so, how could Paul, from the fact that some called themselves Paulinists, have any fear, that it might thence be inferred, that he had baptized them in his own name?

The rabbinical phrase, טגל לשס פ likewise confirms the same interpretation; for this signifies, to baptize, and by this means to affix a name. For example, לשס עגדות, to the name of servitude; לשס בן חורין, to the name of the son of free parents; לשס הירות, to the name of proselytism;1 so that the baptized person was called

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