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For Christ also said, ‘Except you are born again, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.’…”“…And again, giving to the disciples the power of regeneration into God, he said to them, ‘Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’…”“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.”“And when he who is baptized goes down into the water, he who baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say thus: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty? Then holding his hand placed on his head, he shall baptize him once.
And then he shall say: Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was born of the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and was dead and buried, and rose again on the third day, alive from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead? And again he shall say: Do you believe in holy spirit, and the holy church, and the resurrection of the flesh?
We know this because a Roman emperor once tried to do something similar—a man named Diocletian.
In the early fourth century he fiercely persecuted Christianity and tried to collect and destroy all of the New Testament manuscripts, which is why we do not have many from before the fourth century.
For the sake of argument let’s assume there really are no manuscripts before a.d. These manuscripts contain the standard reading of Matthew 28.19.
And you must tell the one being baptized to fast for one or two days beforehand.”“…Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are born again, for they then receive washing in water in the name of God the Father and Master of all, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.For the shorter reading hypothesis to be correct, someone would have had to destroy all of the manuscripts containing the “original” version of Matthew 28.19 and replace them with new ones with the longer reading.This is quite a conspiracy theory that requires a level of control that did not exist at that time.Early Quotes by Christian Authors Even if we cannot find or access early manuscripts before the fourth century to see if they contain Matthew 28.19, we can still consult the many Christian authors who lived in the second and third centuries to see how they cited it. Give public instruction on all these points, and then baptize in running water, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.If you do not have running water, batpize in some other. If you have neither, then pour water on the head three times in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.