Barry Newman's Blog

February 8, 2012

Baptising in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (part VII)

Filed under: Baptism — barrynewman @ 2:57 am

                       “In the name” with reference to “in” (epi)

Using the Thesaurus Linguae Graeca I came across about 40 instances of “epi to onomati” appearing in the Greek literature apart from the New Testament up until about the beginning of the 2nd century A.D.  35 or so of these are to be found in the LXX.  In the Greek literature external to the LXX there are two references to something being done in the name of a person, two references to something or somebody being named after someone and one reference to something like, “on the basis of the reputation of a person”.  More than two thirds of the instances occurring in the LXX are references to something being said or done in the name of the Lord. 

In the New Testament the phrase “epi to onomati” is found 14 times.  Eight of these, all recorded in the Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke,  are references to something being done in the name of Jesus (all but one of these being, “epi to onomati mou”). Four of the instances, all recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, are references to speaking in the name of Jesus (two of these being, “epi to onomati touto”). There is a single reference to John the “immerser”, as a new born, being named after his father.  The other reference is to being baptised in the name of Jesus the Christ in Acts 2: 38.

The phrase “epi onomati” does not occur in the New Testament.

There are no examples of “epi tois onomasi” (in the names) in the New Testament but a cursory search of the Thesaurus Linguae Graeca revealed six instances in the period up until about the beginning of the 2nd century. One is found in the LXX: Exodus 28: 11 where the reference is to two stones being engraved with the names of the children of Israel. No further analysis of the usage of  “epi tois onomasi” was carried out.

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