“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
If ex-President George Bush told General Norman Schwartzkopf to “Go ye therefore, and speak to the Iraqis, chastising them in the name of the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union,” does this require that these three countries are one physical country? They may be one in purpose and in their goals but this does in no way require that they are the same physical entity.
Further, the “Great Commission” as narrated in the Gospel of Mark, bears no mention of the Father, Son and/or Holy Ghost (see Mark 16:15). As we shall see in chapter two, Christian historians readily admit that the Bible was the object of continuous “correction” and “addition” to bring it in line with established beliefs. They present many documented cases where words were “inserted” into a given verse to validate a given doctrine. Tom Harpur, religion editor of the Toronto Star says:
“All but the most conservative of scholars agree that at least the latter part of this command was inserted later. The formula occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, and we know from the only evidence available (the rest of the New Testament) that the earliest Church did not baptize people using these words – baptism was ‘into’ or ‘in’ the name of Jesus alone.
Thus it is argued that the verse originally read ‘baptizing them in my name’ and then was expanded to work in the dogma. In fact, the first view put forward by German critical scholars as well as the Unitarians in the nineteenth century, was stated as the accepted position of mainline scholarship as long ago as 1919, when Peake’s commentary was first published: ‘The church of the first days did not observe this world-wide commandment, even if they new it. The command to baptize into the threefold name is a late doctrinal expansion.'”
“For Christ’s sake,” Tom Harpur, p. 103
This is confirmed in ‘Peake’s Commentary on the Bible’ published since 1919, which is universally acclaimed and considered to be the standard reference for students of the Bible. It says:
“This mission is described in the language of the church and most commentators doubt that the Trinitarian formula was original at this point in Mt.’s Gospel, since the NT elsewhere does not know of such a formula and describes baptism as being performed in the name of the Lord Jesus (e.g. Ac. 2:38, 8:16, etc.).”
A number of other references confirm this fact such as The Dictionary of the Bible by James Hastings (p. 1015), but the above quotations should be sufficient for now.
This realization was not arrived at lightly or based upon unfounded whims. Indeed, internal as well as external evidence drove these Christian scholars to their current realization. For example, these Christian scholars observed that after Jesus allegedly issued this command and then was taken up into heaven, the apostles displayed a complete lack of knowledge of this command.
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;…'”
These Christian scholars observed that it is extremely unlikely that if Jesus had indeed specifically commanded his apostles to “baptize in the name of the father and the son and the holy Ghost” that the apostles would later disobey his direct command and baptize only in the name of Jesus Christ, alone.
As a final piece of evidence, it is noted that after the departure of Jesus, when Paul decided to preach to the Gentiles, this resulted in a heated debate and a great difference of opinion between him and at least three of the apostles. This would not be the case if Jesus had, as claimed, openly commanded them to preach to the Gentiles (see section 6.13 for more).
So we notice that not only does this verse never claim that the three are one, or even that the three are equal, but most scholars of Christianity today recognize that at the very least the last part of this verse (“the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost”) was not originally part of the command of Jesus but was inserted by the church long after Jesus’ departure.
On page 302 of his most powerful and well-researched 800 page book “The Life of Jesus Critically Examined,” Mr. David Friedrich Strauss says:
“…and after his resurrection, according to the synoptists, he gave the disciples the command, Go ye, and teach all nations, baptizing them, etc. (Matt. xxviii. 19; Mark xvi. 15; Luke xxiv. 47); i.e. go to them with the offer of the Messiah’s kingdom, even though they may not beforehand have become Jews. Not only, however, do the disciples, after the Pentecost, neglect to execute this command, but when a case is thrust on them which offers them an opportunity for compliance with it, they act as if they were altogether ignorant that such a direction had been given by Jesus (Acts x., xi)”
In fact, the reason why the disciples did not carry out this command was not because they were unfaithful to the command of Jesus (pbuh), rather, it was because Jesus (pbuh) never said these words in the first place. They were added by the Church later on. We shall see much more evidence of this elsewhere throughout this book.
“And when Jesus son of Mary said: ‘O Children of Israel, verily I am the messenger of Allah unto you. Confirming that which was [sent down] before me of the Torah”
The noble Qur’an, Al-Saf(61):6