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Old 09-25-2020, 08:16 AM
Steven Avery Steven Avery is offline
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Rebaptism Treatise- Alexander Viets Griswold Allen

Christian Institutions (1898)
by Alexander Viets Griswold Allen

Alexander Viets Griswold Allen (1841-1908)

An interesting section.
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:42 AM
Steven Avery Steven Avery is offline
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Re: Treatise on Rebaptism

Oneness and Trinity A.D. 100-300
The Doctrine of God in Ancient Christian Writings

©1991 - 1998 printing

Chapter 8. Baptism in the Name of Jesus.
David K. Bernard (b. 1956)

“A Treatise on Rebaptism”
p. 124-126

A Treatise on Rebaptism by an anonymous writer, probably a third-century bishop who opposed Cyprian, demonstrates that many people both inside and outside the institutional church baptized in the name of Jesus. The treatise discusses what should be done about persons “who, although baptized in heresy, have yet been baptized in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” and who turn from their heresy to the church (1). It concludes that rebaptism is not necessary: “Heretics who are already baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ must only be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (12).

The treatise makes a number of significant points. First, its position had overwhelming support: the support of “the most ancient custom and ecclesiastical tradition”(1), “the venerable authority of all the churches” (2), “the authority of so many years, and so many churches and apostles and bishops” (6), and “the custom and authority which so much claim our veneration for so long a time and for such great men” (15). These phrases indicate not only the acceptance of baptism performed outside the institutional church but strong support specifically for baptism in the name of Jesus.

Second, the name of Jesus is significant and effective in baptism. Acts 4:12 and Philippians 2:9-11 show that “the power of the name of Jesus invoked upon any man by baptism . . . afford[s] to him . . . no slight advantage for the attainment of salvation” (6). The invocation of Jesus’ name alone does not bring salvation to the heretic, but if he corrects his error, acknowledges the truth, and receives the Holy Spirit, then it becomes effective; the heretic does not “lose that former invocation of the name of Jesus” (6). In fact, the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5 is baptism in the name of Jesus. “When the apostle said that there was ‘one baptism,’ it must needs have been by the continued effect of the invocation of the name of Jesus, because, once invoked, it cannot be taken away by man”(10).

The treatise argues that baptism in Jesus’ name does not contradict Matthew 28:19. “Neither must you esteem what our Lord said as being contrary to this treatment ‘Go ye, teach the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ Because, although this is true and right, and to be observed by all means in the Church, and moreover has been used to be observed, yet it behoves us to consider that invocation of the name of Jesus ought not to be thought futile by us on account of the veneration and power of that very name, in which name all kinds of power are accustomed to be exercised, and occasionally some even by men outside the Church. . . . Therefore ought this invocation of the name of Jesus to be received as a certain beginning of the mystery of the Lord common to us and to all others, which may afterwards be filled up with the remaining things” (7).

Either the author thought that both a threefold formula and the Jesus Name formula were acceptable, or else he concluded that invoking Jesus’ name was the proper fulfillment of Matthew 28:19. The latter conclusion is supported by his statements that “the invocation of the name of Jesus” in baptism fulfills the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5 and that it is something “common to us and to all others.”

This document also reports that not only were heretics baptized by “invoking the name of the Lord Jesus,” but many people, both “Jews and Gentiles, fully believing as they ought, are in like manner baptized” (12).

Last edited by Steven Avery; 09-25-2020 at 08:50 AM.
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