Could you please tell me if baptising in the name of “The Father, Son and Holy Spirit” comes from tradition or is it found in the bible?

Matthew 28:19-20:

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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’*

Thanks! I was drawing a blank. :confused:

I would also love to hear your thoughts on the baptism of Jesus when He said, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”


The words are indeed found in Scripture, but the practice of using those exact words in baptism, however, is something that developed, as part of the Tradition.

You’ll note in Acts that it says people were baptized in the name of Jesus.

By the end of the 4th century, the current formula found in Matthew was still not being used in the West. In St. Ambrose’s De Sacramentiis, he states that people are baptized in the following manner:

They were asked if they believe the Apostles’ Creed in question form, like we do today. However, today people are asked it before the baptism. For Ambrose, they were baptized while the questions were being asked.

It would go like this:

The bishop would say: “Do you believe in God, the Father almighty…”, and when the one to be baptized says “I do” he or she would be immersed. Then “Do you believe in Jesus Christ”, and immersed again, and so on. This was baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as Christ commanded, but it was not using those exact words.

Even though John is recognizing the eternal character of righteousness Jesus is recognizing it’s temporal character realized in John’s mission to prepare the way. That John’s Baptism involves the same righteousness in it’s earthly perfection.

How John’s righteousness prepared the way.
Luke 7- 29
[29]And all the people hearing, and the publicans,justified God, being baptized with John’s baptism. [30]But the Pharisees and the lawyers despised the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized by him.

Jesus is recognizing the earthly or temporal manifestation of righteousness in John’s ministry as being His own.


Chapter 3: 13-17
13* Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying,** “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.**” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened * and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; 17* and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, * with whom I am well pleased.”

  1. Those being baptized by John are accepting John’s message of repentance because the Messianic age/era is upon them…Jesus goes to John to associate himself with these nascent believers who show their readiness for the Messiah

  2. John as his kinsman knew Jesus and his holiness and probably suspects his Messiah-ship…but not in a formal way…until after Jesus is baptized and the Trinity is made present and the Father speaks.

  3. John is shocked at this inversion…Jesus assures him that it must be accepted…since it is the Divine Will (Justice-Righteousness = the Will of God the Father…the due order that is established by His Plan).

  4. The instigator of the new Baptism receives the old baptism…why? Because Jesus did not come as a revolutionary innovator, he came to perfect the old order…to fulfill…the Father’s Plan. Just as he submitted himself to the Law, so he accepted the [Father’s] conditions preparatory to the Messianic age – the principle condition appearing as a baptism of repentance. It was God’s design for the period of transition.

  5. The descent of the Holy Spirit with the Father’s voice and the Word made flesh…make present the Trinity…but also the same Three Persons who worked together to create the material world and man…now is the beginning of God’s plan for a new creation…a new covenant…this is the Son’s investiture as the Messiah…and commences his mission.

These comments are taken [both quotes and paraphrases] from…
****A Commentary on Holy Scripture Vol II New Testament **–Dom Orchard-- pg 10

Lastly…for me…this is the beginning of Jesus’ identifying himself with the sinners…who he came for…anyone who recognized them-self as a sinner…and repents by/in his grace of faith…that is, believes in him as The One Who Came Into The World…As Sent by the Father.

So, for me…two words define Jesus and his mission Obedience [to Father’s will]…and…Sinners [being called to repent and believe in the Gospel…the really incredible Good News…The Word Made Flesh and our rebirth in Baptism as adopted sons and daughters of the Father…members of God’s eternal Divine Family…The Blessed and Holy Trinity]!..Yes, Good News indeed!

Pax Christi

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