JESUS VS PAUL #4: Baptize or not to baptize?

The following is from JESUS VS PAUL #4: Baptize or not to baptize?

(4) Jesus–“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19) versus Paul–“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 1:17). To baptize or not to baptize, that is the question.

The site linked to above is one which has a number of apparent discrepancies between what Jesus said and what Paul said. Yes, they are actually numbered. This is the 4th issue they bring up.  I will use the NIV translation, as it is easier to read than the KJV.

Matthew 28:19-20

19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

1 Corinthians 1:13-17

13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Jesus commanded his disciples to go everywhere and make disciples and to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Paul was the apostle sent to the Gentiles, and he was dealing with an issue of division within the church. Paul was pointing out that he had not baptized many people, so as to avoid making people think they should be following HIM. Paul wanted people to trust in Christ, not in Paul. He was thankful that had had not baptized people – EXCEPT for a few people. Note that Paul DID baptize people. But his goal was not to simply baptize, but to preach the gospel. He wanted to create disciples, not merely people who had been baptized in the name of Christ. So his focus was not on simply baptizing people, but on making disciples who would be baptized (as an expression of the faith they have).

So again, no. There was no discrepancy. Christ told the disciples to go to the nations, make disciples and baptize, teaching them to obey what he had commanded them. Paul did exactly that.



3 Responses

  1. To baptise is always upon the authority of Christ! This is the meaning in the Book of Acts! The formula is as Christ spoke, in the “name” singluar of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) The triunity of the one God! Note, discipleship and baptism are connected.
    Fr. R.

  2. […] 8 – Where to Pray | The Church of Jesus Christ on Apparent DiscrepanciesFr. Robert on JESUS VS PAUL #4: Baptize or not to baptize?wbmoore on Visited another church…Joel on Visited another church…wbmoore on […]

  3. Thanks for dealing with this. Incidentally, Paul did in fact baptize. If he even baptized one, he fulfilled Matthew 28:19. Further, I think in this text Paul was saying that he only baptized two members of that particular local church, which was probably due to circumstances as I do not believe that Paul planted that church.

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