Baptism Forms

My mother is insistant that baptism in “the name of Jesus” is the only way. I have read that certain saints including Augustine and Aquinas said that under special dispensation baptism in the name of Jesus was acceptable. Why would that be needed? I was always told from RCIA that the 3 persons was the proper form.


In the Catholic Church, a Baptism is considered valid when the person administering the Baptism uses the phrase, “[Name], I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen,” while pouring water over at least some part of the person’s body, and while intending to baptize the person. (Someone might do this in a skit or play, or while demonstrating the technique to students, without actually intending to baptize the person, for example.)

“In the name of Jesus” would not be considered valid all by itself.

The Catechism I have says only someone of the deaconate, preist or episcopy as a bishop or archbishop can baptize. However anyone can in a time of eminent death can baptize in valid form and matter.

If you are a Oneness Pentacostal, then that would make sense. If one is a Catholic, this is completely false.

Please provide a source for where you read this. Because it is not true at all. Perhaps you misread or misunderstood?

There is no such thing as a dispensation to have baptism “in the name of Jesus”.

Baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the only valid baptism.

Perhaps your mom should read the words of JESUS CHRIST GOD HIMSELF!

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Matt 28:19

Any baptism not made in the trinitarian form would be invalid.

She knows that but she puts credence in Acts 2:38. Yes a oneness pentecostal is what she is a new comer on the block. Most protestant churches use the trinitarian formula unless it’s a millennial group like the JWs. She then proceeds to pick out what ever scriptures she wants to use and uses them to support her belief. She says the Catholic church changed the formula for baptism. I told her over the years much has changed in the church but never the sacraments. She knows all about it though. I say “Your using the church’s writings against it.” But no avail.

Views section. And ibid. is given.

Why would she so easily discount the words of Jesus? What does she say as to the reason Jesus said this?

If Jesus said this how is it a change for the Catholic Church to still do this?

Perhaps the historical writings of early Christians (pre Constantine) would help your mom. These are from the earliest Christians, the persecuted underground church.

The Didache

After the foregoing instructions, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living [running] water. If you have no living water, then baptize in other water, and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Before baptism, let the one baptizing and the one to be baptized fast, as also any others who are able. Command the one who is to be baptized to fast beforehand for one or two days (Didache 7:1 [ca. A.D. 70]).

Justin Martyr

As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, and instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we pray and fast 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 of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit [Matt. 28:19], they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, “Unless you are born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (First Apology 61 [A.D. 151]).


He [Jesus] came to save all through himself – all, I say, who through him are reborn in God; infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age (Against Heresies 2:22:4 [A.D. 189]).


[N]o one can attain salvation without baptism, especially in view of the declaration of the Lord, who says, “Unless a man shall be born of water, he shall not have life” (On Baptism 12:1 [A.D. 203]).

When we are about to enter the water — no, just a little before — In the church and under the hand of the bishop, we solemnly profess that we renounce the devil and his pomps and his angels. Thereupon we are immersed three times (The Crown 3:2 [A.D. 211]).


Where there is no scarcity of water the stream shall flow through the baptismal font or pour into it from above; but if water is scarce, whether on a constant condition or on occasion, then use whatever water is available. Let them remove their clothing. Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them (The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D.215]).

Recognitions of Clement

But you will perhaps say, ‘What does the baptism of water contribute toward the worship of God?’ In the first place, because that which has pleased God is fulfilled. In the second place, because when you are regenerated and born again of water and of God, the frailty of your former birth, which you have through men, is cut off, and so . . . you shall be able to attain salvation; but otherwise it is impossible. For thus has the true prophet [Jesus] testified to us with an oath: “Verily, I say to you, that unless a man is born again of water . . . he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Recognitions of Clement 6:9 [A.D. 221]).

Sola Scriptora all the way. She thinks some other church existed “the true church” and completely discounts reality. Then the Catholic church came around and rewrote everything. She is completely irrational. She just has her own beliefs and doctrines and holds onto them tight. I told her what Jesus said and she believes that the disciples would not “go against” Jesus. She thinks that’s what Acts 2:38 is doing and thinks that scripture is the true formula. She thinks that if you cover Jesus’s name he is the father, son and holy spirit. Has not concept of the persons. The hypostatic union. Or anything we believe. “When you’ve seen me you’ve seen the father”. Well Jesus is the “trinity” She sounds unitarian and believes what I would call modalism or Sebellianism. She thinks “these 3 are one” and that one is Jesus. The fullness of the Godhead and he is the trinity.

What a shame.

That first writing from the Didache was written before the book of revelation and the gospel of John. I get that she’s sola Scriptura but it baffles me how people can ignore history. Does she believe the church failed as soon as Jesus left? And was only made right in the 20th century.

So odd, I was Protestant a long time and still can’t understand such thinking.

I say she’s very much “asleep”. Maybe ignorance is bliss. I agree with you though. You can’t ignore history.

You and the writers of this Wiki article are not understanding what Aquinas wrote. “Special dispensation” does not mean the same thing as a canon law dispensation. It seems to be talking about the authority of the Apostles during the apostolic age.

And, none of these three writing about a hypothesis is equivalent to actual Church doctrine. The Church does not, and has never, baptized in the “name of Jesus” alone. And very early on it is quite clear that those baptized in non-Trinitarian ways were required to be baptized properly.

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