Roman Catholicism, Water Baptism and the Holy Trinity Part 8
Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
January 2, 2009

Last Updated :
January 2, 2009

Comparison of Scriptures Which Discuss The Great Commission,
Professor Conybeare Rejects Triune Phrase In Matthew 28:19,
Rightly Divide The Word Of Truth, Were Church Fathers Wise?,
Why The Roman Catholic Church Emphasizes The Church Fathers,
Trust In Authority Of Catholic Church Or "Sola Escritura"?,
Be Guided By Holy Spirit, Immutability Of God's Holy Word,
How To Receive The Holy Spirit - Simply Ask For It, There's
Nothing To Prove & No Strings Attached, Born Through Faith,
Believe By Faith, Bold Witnessing Is Proof Of Holy Spirit,
Water Baptism Is Acceptable If It Serves As A Demonstration
Of Our Faith And Is A Witness To Others...But, Is The Bible
Truly The Inspired Inerrant Word Of God?, Theological Views
Regarding Inerrancy Of The Bible, Due To Manipulation And
Corruption Is The Bible Trustworthy?, God Has Preserved The
Essence Of His Word Despite Corruption, Study God's Word!

Here again is the list of verses from part seven for your
personal consideration. Please notice the structural and
elemental similarities:

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach
the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my
name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new
tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any
deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on
the sick, and they shall recover."
Mark 16:15-18, KJV

"And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved
Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached
in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
Luke 24:46-47, KJV

"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my
Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said
this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye
the Holy Ghost:"
John 20:21-22, KJV

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is
come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV

"And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to
the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By
whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to
the faith among all nations, for his name:"
Romans 1:4-5, KJV

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the
end of the world. Amen."
Matthew 28:19-20, KJV

As you can undoubtedly see, all of the previous verses deal
with a central theme; that is, the "Great Commission"; which
is Jesus' mandate to us to preach the Gospel of Salvation to
all nations by the power of the Holy Spirit. With the lonely
exception of the final verses from Matthew, all of the other
verses have something very unique in common. Aside from the
fact that they contain the "Great Commission" message, we
also see that:

1. They shall perform miracles "in my name" - Mark 16:15-18
2. They shall preach "in his name" - Luke 24:46-47
3. They shall be witnesses "unto me" - Acts 1:8
4. They shall be obedient "for his name" - Romans 1:4-5
5. They shall be sent by Jesus - John 20:21-22

In every case, they shall do all of these things in His Name,
or unto Him, or for His Name, or by Him, and not "in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost". The
Apostle Paul makes it even more plain when he states in his
Epistle to the Colossians:

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of
the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."
Colossians 3:17, KJV

Does Paul even slightly hint at doing anything "in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"? Most
definitely not.

So in comparing what Eusebius wrote regarding the verse; and
in examining what we actually find written in the entire New
Testament; and in seeing what the Lord actually said to them
about the "Great Commission", and in following the actions of
the First Century Apostles through the Book of Acts, and in
reading what is written in the Epistles, it is difficult not
to conclude that Matthew 28:19 contains spurious text which
was intentionally inserted into the verse at a later date by
the Trinitarian-leaning "Church Fathers", who were motivated
by their desire to force their misguided doctrine regarding
the necessity of water baptism for Salvation, as well as the
so-called "Holy Trinity" doctrine, upon the heathen masses
which they wanted to control. Returning briefly to Professor
Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare, his position regarding the
reliability of Matthew 28:19, as it is currently printed in
so many Bibles, is summed up as follows:

----- Begin Quote -----

"In the course of my reading I have been able to substantiate
these doubts of the authenticity of the text Matthew 28:19 by
adducing patristic evidence against it, so weighty, that in
future, the most conservative of divines will shrink from
resting on it any dogmatic fabric at all, while the more
enlightened will discard it as completely as they have its
fellow-text of the three witnesses."

----- End Quote -----

In short, Professor Conybeare is stating that Matthew 28:19,
in its current form with the triune phrase intact, cannot be
trusted any more than 1 John 5:7-8. That is what he means by
the phrase "fellow-text of the three witnesses". As we have
seen, Conybeare is by no means alone in his view concerning
Matthew 28:19. Since the earliest centuries following the
Ascension of our Lord and Savior, Bible-believing Christians
have been rejecting the spurious triune phrase. While we've
examined the opinions of a few theologians in this series who
concur with Conybeare's view, if you take the time to conduct
your own research, you will discover that there are many more
than those whom I have mentioned here. Rather than foolishly
embrace the subtle deceptions of the Roman Catholic "Church
Fathers", such as Athanasius, and other Trinitarians, they
have embraced the truth of the Scriptures, because God's Word
is the only true Authority and Foundation of our faith, and
not the misguided ramblings of Roman Catholic theologians who
fail miserably to "rightly divide the word of truth", as the
Apostle Paul so excellently wrote to Timothy, as we see here:

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of
2 Timothy 2:15, KJV

The Book of Proverbs offers us some similar advice when it
states the following:

"A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just
weight is his delight."
Proverbs 11:1, KJV

"Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a
false balance is not good."
Proverbs 20:23, KJV

So as I point out in my article "Rightly Dividing The Word
Of Truth", we must carefully compare and weigh the meaning
of the Scriptures, in order to arrive at the truth. Not only
do these Roman Catholic theologians fail to rightly divide
the word of truth, but they in fact attempt to insert their
own spurious text into it repeatedly, and for century after
century. They invent verses, and invent doctrines, seemingly
out of thin air. One minute a verse is not there, and the
next minute it is, as we have seen with Matthew 28:19 and
1 John 5:7-8.

So what it really comes down to is who you will choose to
believe; Jesus Christ and His First Century Apostles, or the
allegedly wise "Church Fathers", the majority of whom lived
centuries later, and who never really knew Jesus Christ or
His First Apostles personally. It should really bother you
that these people who support the belief in the necessity of
water baptism in order to obtain Salvation, and who try to
convince us to accept the misguided doctrine of the "Holy
Trinity", are always pointing to the writings of the "Church
Fathers", as if these individuals are the ultimate authority
when it comes to our Christian beliefs. As I said, if their
corruption of Matthew 28:19 and 1 John 5:7-8 is an example
of the wisdom which these men possess, then I for one will
pay them no heed, unless the doctrines they teach are in
full agreement with the Scriptures. I will continue to lean
on the wisdom and direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, in
order to understand the Bible, as I have done now for many
years. How about you?

In case you haven't fully understood why the "Church Fathers"
are so heavily promoted by the Roman Catholic Church, as well
as by their derivative churches, such as the Eastern Orthodox
Church, the Anglican Communion, etc., allow me to explain it
to you in a few words. As we saw earlier in this series, for
a long time, centuries in fact, the Roman Catholic Church has
believed that it alone has the sole power to grant Salvation.
Furthermore, as I point out in the article "Have You Read The
New Scriptures Yet?", it has convinced itself that Christian
doctrine can only be established by the "Holy Mother Church"
and the allegedly infallible pope. Furthermore, it has taught
for centuries that the words and doctrines which are promoted
by the "Mother Church" take precedence over what is contained
in the Scriptures. Any dedicated Catholic will be forced to
confess this truth if you press them on the issue.

In short, similar to the Mormons, the Holy Bible is only used
to support and confirm what the Catholic Church has already
decided is true. This approach is totally contrary to how we
Bible-believing Christians operate. Catholics refer to this
approach of deriving Christian doctrine from the Holy Bible
as "sola escritura", or Scripture only, and they're convinced
that our approach is wrong. Considering the issues which we
have examined in this series, one really has to wonder about
their claim.

As I explained earlier, we must have an unchanging, reliable,
authoritative source for establishing, as well as confirming,
our Christian beliefs, and that can only be the inspired Word
of God, as found in the Bible. This series has clearly shown
that the word of the Roman Catholic Church has been anything
but unchanging and reliable over the centuries. Their foolish
untrustworthy transcribers have inserted text, changed text,
removed text, and invented doctrines as they please for many
centuries. History itself clearly testifies that they will do
whatever is necessary in order to maintain their hold on the
masses. But what does the Bible tell us about God's Word, and
God's character? Consider the following:

"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of
man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not
do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV

"LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."
Psalms 119:89, KJV

"I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever:
nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and
God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which
hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been;
and God requireth that which is past."
Ecclesiastes 3:14-15, KJV

"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there
is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring
the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the
things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall
stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"
Isaiah 46:9-10, KJV

"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as
it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy
sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
Romans 3:4, KJV

"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie,
promised before the world began;"
Titus 1:2, KJV

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and
cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no
variableness, neither shadow of turning."
James 1:17, KJV

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do
well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a
dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in
your hearts:"
2 Peter 1:19, KJV

Can there really be any doubt regarding who we should trust?
Can there really be any doubt regarding which is the more
sure and enduring foundation of our faith? I think not.

In this series, we've talked a lot about the baptism by fire;
that is, being filled with the Holy Spirit. We have seen that
the primary purpose for which Jesus gave this precious gift
to His Disciples on the Day of Pentecost, was so that they
would be empowered to preach the Good News of Salvation with
boldness, in every nation. So what about you? If you are also
a Christian, have you ever been filled with the Holy Spirit?
Do you even know how to receive it? If not, it isn't nearly
as difficult as you may be inclined to think. In fact, it is
really quite simple. As I explain in the article, "Was Jesus
Filled With The Holy Spirit From Birth?", all that we have to
do in order to receive God's precious Gift of the Holy Spirit
is to simply ask for it, as is made perfectly clear by these

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto
your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give
the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
Luke 11:13, KJV

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,
believing, ye shall receive."
Matthew 21:22, KJV

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"
Matthew 7:7, KJV

Jesus just said "ask". He didn't say that you have to go to
your favorite church and get dunked in water. He didn't say
that you have to speak in tongues in order to prove that you
are saved, or to prove you have received the Holy Spirit; He
just said "ask". He didn't say that you have to roll on the
the floor, stomp your feet, shout "Hallelujah!" ten times at
the top of your voice or do anything else to convince others
that you are saved or filled with the Holy Spirit; all He
said to do was "ask"; three times in fact.

The minute that we choose to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord
and Saviour, and ask for the Gift of Eternal Life, the Bible
says that we are born of the Spirit, by faith, right at that
moment. We may not receive the full Promise until the day of
our Resurrection, but nevertheless, we have the Promise, and
God's Spirit dwells within us, even without a physical water
baptism, from that very minute, and not at some future date.
Being saved, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit is a
simple act of faith. As Jesus said, believe that you receive
and you will have it. If you need physical proof before you
will believe, then you really don't have faith; for as the
Apostle Paul wrote:

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he
that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a
rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Hebrews 11:6, KJV

Now, if, as some people erroneously believe, water baptism
is absolutely essential in order to be saved, or to receive
God's Holy Spirit, then I suppose that I must not be truly
saved or filled with God's Spirit, because I have never been
water baptized in the typical fashion. Yes, I recall that I
was baptized in a Catholic Church many years ago as a young
boy, but I have never been immersed bodily in water, as some
baptismal regenerationists claim is necessary. So should I
just assume that I somehow missed the train, and that all of
these years that I have served the Lord have been in vain? I
don't think so. As far as I know, if there is one true act
which demonstrates whether or not we are really saved and
filled with the Holy Spirit, I believe that it would have to
be the following:

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man
believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation."
Romans 10:9-10, KJV

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Matthew 7:20, KJV

"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that
winneth souls is wise."
Proverbs 11:30, KJV

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained
you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your
fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the
Father in my name, he may give it you."
John 15:16, KJV

That is what witnessing is all about; and that is what Spirit
filled Christians do; and I personally have done plenty of it
over the years, as I continue to do to this day via the World
Wide Web.

So what about water baptism? Personally, I see nothing wrong
with being baptized in water. It might even encourage certain
people's faith. For some Christians, undergoing a baptism in
water is their way of demonstrating their faith. That is fine
too. However, when a church or denomination adamantly teaches
that a person cannot be saved, and much less be filled with
God's Spirit without undergoing a water baptism, then that is
where I must strongly disagree; because it is corrupting our
faith, and changing it from one of Grace and Faith, to one of
works, and you simply cannot have it both ways. We are saved
by Grace through Faith, exactly like the Old Testament Saints
who were never water baptized either. They looked forward in
faith to the time of Christ, just as we now look backward in
faith to the time of Christ. Only faith saves us; not water

To adamantly insist on the necessity of water baptism, is to
behave just like the Scribes and Pharisees of old who clung
to the traditions of the Mosaic Law, instead of to the Grace
that we find through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Which do
you do? Have you been liberated from the bondage of the law,
or are you still a water baptizing legalist? Jesus came to
set you free.

In light of all of the evidence which I have presented in
this series, we are faced with a rather important question.
Regardless of which version we use, is the Bible truly the
inspired, inerrant Word of God? As a dedicated user of the
Authorized King James Version of the Bible for forty years,
I am forced to confess that while I continue to believe that
the KJV Bible is inspired, I cannot in all honesty say that
it is inerrant; and I dare say that this same judgment can
be equally applied to all of the other versions of the Bible
which are available at this current time. The history behind
Matthew 28:19 and 1 John 5:7-8 alone is clear proof of this.
The original First Century autographs, as authored by the
First Apostles and Disciples were inspired, and perhaps even
inerrant; but since that time, humanity has had almost two
thousand years to alter and manipulate them; so to continue
to suggest that they are without error is to purposely, and
wishfully, ignore the historical facts, in my view.

Whether they were well-meaning alterations which were made in
order to enhance the understanding of the readers, or errors
which resulted from confusing marginal notes with the actual
Biblical text, or intentional falsifications which were made
in order to promote the doctrinal or political ideologies of
the parties involved in the manipulation, nevertheless, the
changes were made to the original autographs of the Apostles,
and we must all recognize this. Of course, I am not the first
person to make such an admission. There have been a number of
prominent theologians and textual critics down through the
years who have made the very same observations. For example,
Professor Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare noted:

----- Begin Quote -----

"In the case just examined, (Matthew 28:19), it is to be
noticed that not a single manuscript or ancient version has
preserved to us the true reading. But that is not surprising
for as Dr. C. R. Gregory, one of the greatest of our textual
critics, reminds us, 'the Greek MSS of the text of the New
Testament were often altered by scribes, who put into them
the readings which were familiar to them,' and which they
held to be the right readings."

"These facts speak for themselves. Our Greek texts, not only
of the Gospels, but of the Epistles as well, have been
revised and interpolate by orthodox copyists. We can trace
their perversions of the text in a few cases, with the aid
of patristic citations and ancient versions. But there must
remain many passages which have not been so corrected, but
where we cannot today expose the fraud."

"The exclusive survival of (3) in all MSS., both Greek and
Latin, need not cause surprise. In the only codices which
would be even likely to preserve an older reading, namely the
Sinaitic Syriac and the oldest Latin MS., the pages are gone
which contained the end of Matthew."

----- End Quote -----

Professor Conybeare was referring to Caspar René Gregory who
was a late 19th Century/early 20th Century German-American
theologian who studied at the German University of Leipzig
under German Bible scholar and textual critic, Constantin
von Tischendorf, who we discussed earlier in this series.
Conybeare was quoting from one of Gregory's works entitled
"Canon And Text Of The New Testament", which was published
in 1907.

Speaking of the excessive corruption which is to be found in
the Codex Vaticanus, we also find the following quote in a
1924 edition of the Fraternal Visitor, which was a monthly
magazine devoted to the defense of the faith of Jesus Christ
as preached by the Apostles. This particular quotation is
actually translated from German, being as it was apparently
copied from the Fraternal Visitor, and printed in the German
magazine "Christadelphian Monatshefte":

----- Begin Quote -----

"Codex B. (Vaticanus) would be the best of all existing MSS
if it were completely preserved, less damaged, (less)
corrected, more easily legible, and not altered by a later
hand in more than two thousand places. Eusebius, therefore,
is not without grounds for accusing the adherents of
Athanasius and of the newly-arisen doctrine of the Trinity
of falsifying the Bible more than once."

----- End Quote -----

In his second letter to the Bishop of London in 1917, noted
British theologian, historian, and mathematician, William
Whiston, whose primary fame rests upon his translations of
works by Flavius Josephus, such as "Antiquities of the Jews",
had this to say regarding corruption in the Biblical texts:

----- Begin Quote -----

"We certainly know of a greater number of interpolations and
corruption's brought into the Scriptures . . . by Athanasius,
and relating to the Doctrine of the Trinity, than in any
other case whatsoever. While we have not, that I know of, any
such interpolations and corruption, made in any one of them
by either the Eusebians or Arians."

----- End Quote -----

A final example of how textual corruption was introduced into
the Bible -- in this case, the Doxology that we read at the
end of the Lord's Prayer in Matthew chapter six -- is related
in the work of late 19th Century British theologian, scholar
and textual critic, Dr. Charles Edward Hammond. In the fourth
edition of his book entitled "Outlines Of Textual Criticism
Applied To The New Testament", published in 1890, Dr. Hammond
writes as follows:

----- Begin Quote -----

"There are two or three insertions in the New Testament which
have been supposed to have their origin in the ecclesiastical
usage. The words in question, being familiarly known in a
particular connection, were perhaps noted in the margin of
some copy, and thence became incorporated by the next
transcriber; or a transcriber's own familiarity with the
words might have led to his inserting them. This is the
source to which Dr. Tregelles assigns the insertion of the
Doxology at the close of the Lord's Prayer in S. Matt. vi,
which is wanting in most of the best authorities. Perhaps
also Acts viii.37, containing the baptismal Profession of
Faith, which is entirely wanting in the best authorities,
found its way into the Latin text in this manner"

----- End Quote -----

Please note that the above quotations are only a few examples
which demonstrate how our Bible has been corrupted over the
course of the past two thousand years. Some of these edits to
the Word of God are minor, and perhaps not even intentional;
however, as we have now seen, others are considerably more
serious, intentional, and in fact affect the doctrines of our
faith. If you conduct your own research, you will find other
examples which demonstrate how various heretical teachings
have been insidiously introduced into our faith by the Roman
Catholic Church, beginning no later than the Fourth Century,
through purposely altering the Scriptures.

Some of you reading this, and learning this information for
the very first time may be alarmed. You may even be wondering
to yourself, "Well, if what you are saying is true, then what
am I supposed to believe? Why should I even read the Bible?".
As I explain in a few other articles, my response to you is
this: I remain convinced that the Bible is the inspired Word
of God. Inerrant? No; but nevertheless inspired. I also hold
to the belief that God is more powerful than man, and that He
is more than capable of preserving the most important aspects
and elements of His Word, regardless of what man has tried to
do to it over the past two millennia. In other words, despite
the tampering by man, whether accidental or intentional, I'm
still of the opinion that what God wants us to know is still
there; the primary message being, of course, Salvation by the
Grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the saving
Gospel, and no man has been able to extinguish the light of
its fire, and never will.

So please don't let the truths I have shared with you in this
series dissuade you from reading God's Holy Word. It is one
of the most rewarding experiences that you will ever have in
your life. It will feed you spiritually; it will inspire your
heart; it will motivate you to do good; and it will fill your
life with meaning and purpose. Most importantly, believing
its primary message will save you, and give you a wonderful
new life in the world to come. Isn't that one reason alone
sufficient to motivate you to become a dedicated student of
God's Word? I truly hope so.

With these words, I will bring this series to a close. I trust
that it has been informative, and a blessing in your life.

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