Matthew 28:19

19 "1Go therefore and 2make disciples of 3all the nations, 4baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

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Matthew 28:19 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 28:19

Go ye therefore
Into all the world; some into one place, and some into another; since his power and authority, and so now the commission he gave them, reached every where: before it was confined to Judea, but now it is extended to all the nations of the world; see ( Matthew 10:6 Matthew 10:7 ) ( Mark 16:15 ) ,

and teach all nations;
Jews and Gentiles, first the one, and then the other, the doctrines of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it; whatever they had learned from Christ, or were ordered by him, or "disciple all nations": make them disciples by teaching them; or, as the Persic version, by way of explanation, adds, "bring them to my religion and faith": not that they were able to do this of themselves, but they were to teach men externally, or outwardly minister the word, whilst the Spirit of God internally applied it, and taught, and made men true disciples of Christ: and they are such, who have learned to know themselves, their sin, and lost estate by nature; to deny themselves, both sinful and righteous self; who have learnt to know Christ, and the way of righteousness, peace, pardon, life, and salvation by him; and who are taught and enabled to part with all for Christ, and to bear all for his sake, and to believe in him, and give up themselves to him, and follow him whithersoever he goes:

baptizing them;
not all nations, for the antecedent to the relative "them", cannot be "all nations"; since (panta ta eynh) , the words for "all nations", are of the neuter gender, whereas (autouv) , "them", is of the masculine: nor can it be thought that it should be the mind of Christ, that all the individuals of all nations should be baptized, as Heathens, Turks, and Jews; but (mayeutav) , "disciples", supposed and contained in the word (mayeteusate) , "teach", or "make disciples"; such as are taught, and made disciples by teaching, or under the ministry of the word by the Spirit of God: Christ's orders are to "baptize": (wlbj) , "dip" them, as Munster's Hebrew Gospel renders it; that is, in water, which, though not expressed, is implied; for with no other baptism could the apostles baptize: not with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; for this was Christ's peculiar prerogative; but with water, which they in obedience to this commission practised, ( Acts 8:36 Acts 8:38 ) ( 10:47 ) , and which was to be done

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;
by the authority of these three divine persons, who all appeared, and testified their approbation of the administration of this ordinance, at the baptism of Christ: and as they are to be invocated in it, so the persons baptized not only profess faith in each divine person, but are devoted to their service, and worship, and are laid under obligation to obedience to them, Hence a confirmation of the doctrine of the Trinity, there are three persons, but one name, but one God, into which believers are baptized; and a proof of the true deity both of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and that Christ, as the Son of God, is God; since baptism is administered equally in the name of all three, as a religious ordinance, a part of divine instituted worship, which would never be in the name of a creature. This is the first, and indeed the only, place in which the Trinity of persons is expressed in this order, and in the selfsame words. Galatinus F6 pretends, that the ancient Jews used the same way of speaking. It would be well if proof could be made of it: he asserts it to be in Zohar on ( Deuteronomy 6:4 ) , and in the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel on ( Isaiah 6:3 ) . In the former he says, it is expressed thus, "hear, O Israel; the Lord", he is called "the Father; our God", he is called the Son; "is one Lord", this is "the Holy Ghost", who proceeds from both; and again, by the same R. Simeon, it is said, "holy", this is (ba) , "the Father"; "holy", this is (Nb) , "the Son"; "holy", this is (vdqh xwr) , "the Holy Ghost": and in the latter after this manner, "Holy Father, Holy Son, and Holy Holy Ghost"; but no such words are now to be found in either of these places. He affirms, that he himself saw a copy of Jonathan's Targum that had these words. The Jews often speak of the Tetragrammaton, or name of four letters, the name Jehovah, which they say is not lawful to be pronounced; and also of the name of twelve letters, which the above writer F7 makes to be "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost"; and of forty two letters, which from a book called Gale Razia, he says is,

``Father God, Son God, Holy Ghost God, three in one, and one in three;''

which in the Hebrew language make up so many letters; but this wants better authority.


F6 L. 2. c. 1.
F7 Ib. c. 11, 12. Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. Heb. in voce (hwh)

Matthew 28:19 In-Context

17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always , even to the end of the age."

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Cross References 4

  • 1. Mark 16:15
  • 2. Matthew 13:52; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:21
  • 3. Matthew 25:32; Luke 24:47
  • 4. Acts 2:38; Acts 8:16; Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 1:13, 15f; Galatians 3:27

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "Having gone;" Gr aorist part.
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