Baptism administered "In the Name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Ghost"
It is often ask, why, when the Lord Himself told His disciples that they should baptize all peoples in the name of the FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, does the Apostle St. Paul employ the name of Christ alone in Baptism (Acts 2:38), when speaking of Baptism?
The answer to this lies in the meaning of "In the NAME..." Greek scholar W. E. Vine states that the phrase "in the NAME" may be analyzed as follows --
(1) REPRESENTING the AUTHORITY of Christ (Mt 18:5; 24:5; etc...)
(2) in the POWER of (see below)
(3) in acknowledgement or confession of (e.g. Acts 4:12)
(4) in RECOGNITION of the AUTHORITY of (e.g. Mt 18:20)
(5) owing to the fact that one is called by Christ's "Name" or is identified with Him (e.g. 1 Pet 4:14)
Catholicís understand these Baptism texts under 2) or 4). For example, see Acts 4:7 -- the Jews asked "by what POWER or by what NAME have you done this?" Peter answered "by the NAME of Jesus Christ of Nazareth" (v. 10).
"And when they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead ó by this name this man stands here before you in good health" (Acts 4:7-10).
We can see that the phrase is used in the Bible as an expression of authority. This is also verified in Acts 16:18 which says, "And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour." We also see that when people were being baptized that they did it calling on Jesus' name (Acts 22:16); that is, they were calling upon Jesus who has all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). The church is supposed to "call upon the name of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 1:2) because it is by His authority (John 1:12) that we Christians have the hope and right of forgiveness of sins and adoption as His children (Rom. 8:15). So we see that the apostles Baptized by the AUTHORITY of Christ. They were not giving us a specific Baptism formula of words, for this we go to Christ "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"(Matthew 28:19) we must note that each of these nouns (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) are preceded by the definite article "THE" separated by the conjunction "AND" indicating distinct Persons! Neither logic nor the grammar of the text indicates that these THREE Persons are the one Person "Jesus." The singular "NAME" here indicates a unity of power or authority -- that there is only ONE God -- but that does not deny there are still THREE distinct Persons here, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
A look at the Church Fathers on this issue
or some Protestant Authors
"The Early Christians made use of the Trinitarian formula exclusively when baptizing...." Professor Joseph Whitman, The Early Church and the Bible, p. 332.
"The Early Christians, when baptizing, made use of the Trinitarian formula, 'I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Rev. Michael Kindelin, Christianity down through the ages, p. 337.
"The teaching of the Apostles, indeed, prescribes baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, " Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., vol.3, pp365-366.
"a sacrament of admission to theChristian Church. The forms and rituals of the various churches vary, but Baptism almost invariably involves the use of water and the Trinitarian invocation, "I baptize you: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The candidate may be wholly or partly immersed in water, the water may be poured over the head, or a few drops may be sprinkled or placed on the head...the portrays the risen Christ issuing the "Great Commission" to his followers: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19-20). "© 1999-2000 Britannica
"That the Early Church made use of the Trinitarian formula there can be no doubt. ... The Didache makes this very clear, as did Tertullian when he said the following: 'The law of baptism (tingendi) has been imposed and the form prescribed: Go, teach the nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.' (De Bapt., xiii)." Professor Paul Yamauchi, The Trinity and Christianity, p. 447.
"Augustine, Tertullian, the Didache, Ambrose, Justin Martyr, and numerous other early Christians, make it very clear that the form used in the baptism of catechism is the following: 'I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'" Rev. Peter Carty, The Christian
Religion, p. 127.
"Christians have always made use of the Trinitarian formula when baptizing..... those who say that the Apostles, when they mentioned in the name of Jesus, were not making use of the Trinitarian formula are all but accusing the Apostles of disobeying the very command of Our Lord Jesus
Christ when He commanded them to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in the Gospel of Saint Matthew! What a scandalous assertion!" Rev. John Chabot, The Trinity, p. 257.
"Indeed, if God were not a Trinity, then how is it that Christians have always baptized according to the Trinitarian formula "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," according to the very command of Jesus, unless they were a Trinity, three Divine Persons in one
God?" Professor Paul Kramer, The Tenets of Christianity, p. 557.
"..... faith is perfected through baptism, baptism is established through faith, and both are completed by the same names. For as we believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, so are we also baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost - as Christians have
always believed and baptized since the days of the Apostles." Rev. James Gruner, Christianity, p. 279.
"Why, when the Lord himself told his disciples that they should baptize all peoples in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, does this apostle employ the name of Christ alone in baptism, saying, `We who have been baptized into Christ'; for indeed, legitimate baptism is had
only in the name of the Trinity' The obvious answer to this question is simply that the Apostles did not baptize in the name of Christ only, otherwise they would be disobeying the direct command of Christ in Matthew, but were baptizing using the Trinitarian formula." Rev. Nicholas Henry,
Discourses on Christianity, p. 147.
"As Christians have always baptized, so do we baptize today, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Professor Charles Johnson, Christians of the Early Centuries and Christians today, p. 167.
The Church Fathers
"And concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: Having first said all these things, BAPTIZE INTO THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, in living water. But if thou have not living water, baptize into other water; and if thou canst not in cold, in warm. But if thou have not either, pour out water thrice upon the head into THE NAME OF FATHER AND SON AND HOLY SPIRIT. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whatever others can; but thou shalt order the baptized to fast one or two days before."(7in ANF,VII:379)
Justin Martyr (A.D. 155)
" I will also relate the manner in which we dedicated ourselves to God when we had been made new through Christ; lest, if we omit this, we seem to be unfair in the explanation we are making. As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE FATHER AND LORD OF THE UNIVERSE, AND OF OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, THEY THEN RECEIVE THE WASHING WITH WATER. For Christ also said, 'Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers' wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Esaias the prophet, as I wrote above; he thus speaks: 'Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from your souls; learn to do well; judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow: and come and let us reason together, saith the Lord. And though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white like wool; and though they be as crimson, I will make them white as snow. But if ye refuse and rebel, the sword shall devour you: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.' And for this [rite] we have learned from the apostles this reason. Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe; he who leads to the layer the person that is to be washed calling him by this name alone. For no one can utter the name of the ineffable God; and if any one dare to say that there is a name, he raves with a hopeless madness. And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings. And in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Ghost, who through the prophets foretold all things about Jesus, he who is illuminated is washed."(First Apology,61(A.D. 155),in ANF,I:183
Tatian the Syrian (A.D. 170)
"Go now into all the world, and preach my gospel in all the creation; and teach all the peoples, and baptize them in the NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT; and teach them to keep all whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you all the days, unto the end of the world. For whosoever believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but whosoever believeth not shall be rejected."(The Diatessaron,55,in ANF,X:128)
Irenaeus (A.D. 190)
"We have received baptism...for the remission of sins in the NAME OF GOD THE FATHER, AND IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD, WHO WAS INCARNATE AND DIED AND ROSE AGAIN, AND IN THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD."(Presentation of the Apostolic Preaching,41,in ECD,195)
Tertullian (A.D. 200)
"For the law of baptizing has been imposed, and the formula prescribed: 'Go,' He saith, 'teach the nations, baptizing them into the name of the FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.' The comparison with this law of that definition, 'Unless a man have been reborn of water and Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of the heavens,' has tied faith to the necessity of baptism."(On Baptism,13,in ANF,III:676)
Tertullian (A.D. 211)
"To deal with this matter briefly, I shall begin with baptism. When we are going to enter the water, but a little before, in the presence of the congregation and under the hand of the president, we solemnly profess that we disown the devil, and his pomp, and his angels. Hereupon WE ARE THRICE IMMERSED, making a somewhat ampler pledge than the Lord has appointed in the Gospel. "The Crown,3,in ANF,III:94)
Tertullian (A.D. 216)
"After His resurrection He promises in a pledge to His disciples that He will send them the promise of His Father; and lastly, He commands them to baptize into THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY GHOST, not into a unipersonal God. And indeed it is not once only, but three times, that we are immersed into the Three Persons, at each several mention of Their names."(Against Praxeas(Modalist/Oneness heretic),26,in ANF,III:623)
Hippolytus (A.D. 215)
"And when he who is to be baptised goes down to the water, let him who baptised lay hand on him saying thus: Dost thou believe in GOD ALMIGHTY? AND HE WHO IS BEING BAPTISED SHALL SAY: I BELIEVE. LET HIM FORTHWITH BAPTISE HIM ONCE ... DOST THOU BELIEVE IN CHRIST JESUS, THE SON OF GOD ... AND WHEN HE SAYS: I BELIEVE, LET HIM BAPTISE HIM THE SECOND TIME ... DOST THOU BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE HOLY CHURCH ... AND HE WHO IS BEING BAPTISED SHALL SAY: I BELIEVE. AND SO LET HIM BAPTISE HIM THE THIRD TIME."(Apostolic Tradition,21,in AT,36-37)
Origen (A.D. 244)
"[W]hy, when the Lord Himself told His disciples that they should baptize all peoples in the name of the FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, does this Apostle employ the name of Christ alone in Baptism, saying, 'We who have been baptized in Christ;' for indeed, LEGITIMATE BAPTISM IS HAD ONLY IN THE NAME OF THE TRINITY."(Commentary on Romans,5:8,in JUR,I:209)
Xanthippe and Polyxena (A.D. 250)
"Then Probus arising from the ground fell again upon the couch, and arising early he came to Paul, and finding him baptising MANY IN THE NAME OF THE LIFE-GIVING TRINITY, he said, My lord Paul, if only I were worthy to receive baptism, behold the hour. Paul said to him, Son, behold the water is ready for the cleansing of those that come to Christ. Therefore immediately taking, off his garments, and Paul laying hold of him, he leapt into the water, saying, Jesus Christ, son of God, and everlasting God, let all my sins be taken away by this water. And Paul said, We baptise THEE IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND SON AND HOLY GHOST."(The Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena,21 25,in ANF,X:211)
Eusebius of Caesarea (A.D. 323)
"We believe . . . each of these to be and to exist: the Father, truly Father, and the Son, truly Son, and the Holy Ghost, truly Holy Ghost, as also our Lord, sending forth His disciples for the preaching, said, "Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST ." Concerning Whom we confidently affirm that so we hold, and so we think, and so we have held aforetime, and we maintain this faith unto the death, anathematizing every godless heresy" (Letter to the People of His Diocese 3 ).
Cyprian (A.D. 256)
"Finally, when, after the resurrection, the apostles are sent by the Lord to the heathens, they are bidden to baptize the Gentiles "IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST." How, then, do some say, that a Gentile baptized without, outside the Church, yea, and in opposition to the Church, so that it be only in the name of Jesus Christ, everywhere, and in whatever manner, can obtain remission of sin, when CHRIST HIMSELF COMMANDS THE HEATHEN TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE FULL AND UNITED TRINITY?"(To Jubaianus,Epistle 72(73):18,in ANF,IV:383)
Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D. 350)
"[T]he simple water having received the invocation of the HOLY GHOST, AND OF CHRIST, AND OF THE FATHER, acquires a new power of holiness"(Catechetical Lectures,3:3,in NPNF2,VII:15)
Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D. 350)
"After these things, ye were led to the holy pool of Divine Baptism, as Christ was carried from the Cross to the Sepulchre which is before our eyes And each of you was asked, whether he believed in the name of the FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST, and ye made that saving confession, and descended three times into the water, and ascended again; here also hinting by a symbol at the three days burial of Christ. For as our Saviour passed three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, so you also in your first ascent out of the water, represented the first day of Christ in the earth, and by your descent, the night; for as he who is in the night, no longer sees, but he who is in the day, remains in the light, so in the descent, as in the night, ye saw nothing, but in ascending again ye were as in the day. And at the self-same moment ye were both dying and being born; and that Water of salvation was at once your grave and your mother. And what Solomon spoke of others will suit you also; for he said, in that case, There is a time to bear and a time to die; but to you, in the reverse order, there was a time to die and a time to be born; and one and the same time effected both of these, and your birth went hand in hand with your death."(Catechetical Lectures,20:4,in NPNF2,VII:147-148)
Hilary of Poitiers (A.D. 359)
"Thus, after the present first book, the second expounds the mystery of the Divine birth, that those who shall be baptized in the Name of the FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST may know the true Names, and not be perplexed about their sense but accurately informed as to fact and meaning, and so receive full assurance that in the words which are used they have the true Names, and that those Names involve the truth."(The Trinity,1:21,in NPNF2,IX:46)
Athanasius (A.D. 361)
"And the whole faith is summed up, and secured in this, that a Trinity should ever be preserved, as we read in the Gospel, 'Go ye and baptize all the nations in the NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST' (Matt. 28:19). And entire and perfect is the number of the Trinity (On the Councils of Arminum and Seleucia 2:28).
Athanasius (A.D. 360)
"For as the faith in the Triad, which has been delivered to us, joins us to God; and as he who takes anything away from the Triad, and is baptized in the name of the Father alone, or in the name of the Son alone, or in the Father and the Son without the Holy Spirit, receives nothing...for the rite of initiation is in the Triad...For as baptism, which is given in THE FATHER, SON , AND HOLY SPIRIT, IS ONE; AND AS THERE IS ONE FAITH IN THE TRIAD."(To Serapion of Thmuis,1:30,in SHA,139-140)
Basil the Great (A.D. 367)
"The Holy Spirit, too, is numbered with the Father and the Son, because He is above creation, and is ranked as we are taught by the words of the Lord in the Gospel, "Go and baptize in THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST." He who, on the contrary, places the Spirit before the Son, or alleges Him to be older than the Father, resists the ordinance of God, and is a stranger to the sound faith, since he fails to preserve the form of doxology which he has received, but adopts some new fangled device in order to be pleasing to men" (Letters 52:4).
Basil the Great (A.D. 375)
"For if our Lord, when enjoining the baptism of salvation, charged His disciples to baptize all nations in the name 'of the FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST,' not disdaining fellowship with Him, and these men allege that we must not rank Him with the Father and the Son, is it not clear that they openly withstand the commandment of God? If they deny that coordination of this kind is declaratory of any fellowship and conjunction, let them tell us why it behoves us to hold this opinion, and what more intimate mode of conjunction they have. If the Lord did not indeed conjoin the Spirit with the Father anti Himself in baptism, do not let them lay the blame of conjunction upon us, for we neither hold nor say anything different. If on the contrary the Spirit is there conjoined with the Father and the Son, and no one is so shameless as to say anything else, then let them not lay blame on us for following the words of Scripture."(On the Holy Spirit,10:24,in NPNF2,VIII:16)
Basil the Great (A.D. 375)
"We have made profession of our faith in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and we are baptized in the name of FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST."(Epistle 226:3,in NPNF2,VIII:269)
Ambrose of Milan (A.D. 379)
"That there is one Spirit, all holy, grace witnesseth, because there is one Baptism, IN THE NAME OF THE TRINITY."(On the Christian Faith,1:4,in NPNF2,X:205)
Ambrose of Milan (A.D. 379)
"We say, then, that there is one God, not two or three Gods, this being the error into which the impious heresy of the Arians doth run with its blasphemies. For it says that there are three Gods, in that it divides the Godhead of the Trinity; whereas the Lord, in saying, "Go, baptize the nations in the NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT," hath shown that the Trinity is of one power. We confess Father, Son, and Spirit, understanding in a perfect Trinity both fulness of Divinity and unity of power."(St. Ambrose's De spiritu Sancto (Book 1:10)
Ambrose of Milan (A.D. 381)
"Notice, also, that the appearance of the mystery THREE TIMES REPEATED EXPRESSED THE OPERATION OF THE TRINITY. And so in the mysteries the threefold question is put, and the threefold answer made, and no one can be cleansed but by a threefold confession. For which reason, also, Peter in the Gospel is asked three times whether he loves the Lord, that by the threefold answer the bonds of the guilt he had contracted by denying the Lord might be loosed."(Of the Holy Spirit,2:105,in NPNF2,X:128)
Ambrose of Milan (A.D. 391)
"Now, even the catechumen believes in the cross of the Lord Jesus, wherewith he too is signed; but unless he be BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, he cannot receive remission of sins nor gain the gift of spiritual grace."(On the Mysteries,4:20,in NPNF2,X:319)
John Chrysostom (A.D. 391)
"Therefore, in the case of BAPTISM ALSO THE TRINITY IS INCLUDED. The Father is able to effect the whole, as is the Son, and the Holy Ghost; yet, since concerning the Father no man doubts, but the doubt was concerning the Son, and the Holy Ghost, They are included in the rite, that by Their community in supplying those unspeakable blessings, we may also fully learn Their community in dignity."(Homilies on John,78:3 (A.D. 391),in NPNF2,XIV:289)
Gregory of Nazianzen (A.D. 380)
"I will baptize you and make you a disciple in the NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST; and These Three have One common name, the Godhead."(Oration on Holy Baptism,40:45 ,in NPNF2,VII:376)
Jerome (A.D. 382)
"For seeing that a man, baptized IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY GHOST, becomes a temple of the Lord, and that while the old abode is destroyed a new shrine is built for the Trinity, how can you say that sins can be remitted among the Arians without the coming of the Holy Ghost?"(Against the Luciferians,6,in NPNF2,VI:322)
Pope Damasus [regn A.D. 366-384]
"[W]e are baptized only IN THE FATHER, AND THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT and not in the names of archangels or angels..."(Council of Rome,24(A.D. 382),in DEN,32)
Gregory of Nyssa (A.D. 383)
"And we, in receiving Baptism, . . . conceal ourselves in [the water] as the Savior did in the earth: and by doing this thrice we represent for ourselves that grace of the Resurrection which was wrought in three days. And this we do, not receiving the sacrament in silence, but while there are spoken over us the NAMES OF THE THREE SACRED PERSONS on Whom we believed, in Whom we also hope, from Whom comes to us both the fact of our present and the fact of our future existence" (Sermon For the Day of Lights).
Gregory of Nyssa (A.D. 383)
"And we in receiving Baptism, in imitation of our Lord and Teacher and Guide, are not indeed buried in the earth (for this is the shelter of the body that is entirely dead, covering the infirmity and decay of our nature), but coming to the element akin to earth, to water, we conceal ourselves in that as the Saviour did in the earth: and by doing this thrice we represent for ourselves that grace of the Resurrection which was wrought in three days: and this we do, not receiving the sacrament in silence, but while there are spoken over us the NAMES OF THE THREE SACRED PERSONS on Whom we believed, in Whom we also hope, from Whom comes to us both the fact of our present and the fact of our future existence. It may be thou art offended, thou who contendest boldly against the glory of the Spirit, and that thou grudgest to the Spirit that veneration wherewith He is reverenced by the godly. Leave off contending with me: resist, if thou canst, those words of the Lord which gave to men the rule of the Baptismal invocation. What says the Lord's command? 'Baptizing them in the NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST.' "(On the Baptism of Christ ,in NPNF2,V:520)
Gregory of Nyssa ( A.D. 394)
"He said, 'teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' Since, then, in the case of those who are regenerate from death to eternal life, it is through the Holy Trinity that the life-giving power is bestowed on those who with faith are deemed worthy of the grace, and in like manner the grace is imperfect, if any one, whichever it be, of the names of the Holy Trinity be omitted in the saving baptism--for the sacrament of regeneration is not completed in the Son and the Father alone without the Spirit: nor is the perfect boon of life imparted to Baptism IN THE FATHER AND THE SPIRIT, IF THE NAME OF THE SON be suppressed: nor is the grace of that Resurrection accomplished in the Father and the Son, if the Spirit be left out."(To the City of Sebasteia,Epistle 2,in NPNF2,V:528)
Augustine (A.D. 400)
"Baptism in the name of THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST has Christ for its authority, not any man, whoever he may be; and Christ is the truth, not any man" (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:24 ).
Augustine (A.D. 400)
"To this we answer, That all who are baptized with the baptism that is consecrated in the words of the gospel have THE FATHER, AND THE SON, AND THE HOLY GHOST in the sacrament alone; but that in heart and in life neither do those have them who live an abandoned and accursed life within."(On Baptism-Against the Donatists,6:29,in NPNF1,IV:488)
Augustine (A.D. 400)
"Clearly, if the baptism is not consecrated in the NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST, it should be considered to be of the heretics, and repudiated as unrighteous by us with all solemnity of witness; but if we discern this name in it, we do better to distinguish the words of the gospel from heretical error, and approve what is sound in them, correcting what is faulty."(On Baptism-Against the Donatists,6:29,in NPNF1,IV:495)
Augustine (A.D. 403)
"Augustin answered: Baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost has Christ for its authority, not any man, whoever he may be; and Christ is the truth, not any man."(Letters of Petillian-The Donatist,2:57,in NPNF1,IV:545)
Augustine (A.D. 403)
"AUGUSTIN answered: certainly you had proposed thoroughly to investigate the BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF THE TRINITY."(Letters of Petillian-The Donatist,2:57,in NPNF1,IV:550)
Augustine (A.D. 408)
"O Lord our God, we believe in Thee, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. For the Truth would not say, Go, BAPTIZE ALL NATIONS IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, unless Thou wast a Trinity."(On the Trinity,15:28/51,in NPNF1,III:227)
Augustine (A.D. 412)
"[T]he Church that preaches that the Trinity is one and the same nature, because these three, who were signified in the three ways, are one. But the Church that preaches them is the body of Christ. Thus the three things by which they were signified came forth from the body of the Lord, just as we heard from the body of the Lord that the nations should be baptized IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. In hte name, not, 'In the names';for these three are one, and these three are one God. If the depth of this great mystery which we read in the Letter of John can be explained and understood in some other way in accord with the Catholic faith, that neither confuses nor divides the Trinity, neither denies the persons, nor believes they are different substances, we should on no account reject it."(Answer to Maximinus the Arian,2:22:3,in AAOH,308)
Pope Innocent[regn 401-417]
"Paulianists do not at all BAPTIZE IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, and the Novatians do not baptize in the same tremendous and venerable names, and among them the question has not ever been raised concerning the unity of the divine power, that is of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."(To Rufus, Epistle 17(A.D. 414),in DEN,42)
Theodoret of Cyrus (A.D. 444)
"And what need is there of many words, when it is possible to refute falsehood in few? We provide that those who year by year come up for holy baptism should carefully learn the faith set forth at Nicaea by the holy and blessed Fathers; and initiating them as we have been bidden, WE BAPTIZE THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY GHOST, pronouncing each name singly."(To the Monks of Constantinople,Epistle 145,in NPNF2,III:313)
Pope Pelagius [regn A.D. 556-561]
"[T]he evangelical precept ... handed down warns us to give each ONE HOLY BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF THE TRINITY."(To Gaudentius(A.D. 560),in DEN,91)
Pope Gregory the Great [regn A.D. 590-604]
"And indeed we have learnt from the ancient institution of the Fathers that whosoever among heretics are BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE TRINITY, when they return to holy Church, may be recalled to the bosom of mother Church either by unction of chrism, or by imposition of hands, or by profession of the faith only." (To Quiricus,Epistle 67(A.D. 601),in NPNF2,XIII:83)
John Damascene (A.D. 743)
"We confess one baptism for the remission of sins and for life eternal. For baptism declares the Lord's death. We are indeed 'buried with the Lord through baptism,' as saith the divine Apostle. So then, as our Lord died once for all, we also must be baptized once for all, and baptized according to the Word of the Lord, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, being taught the confession in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."(Orthodox Faith,9,in NPNF2,IX:76)