Modern Christians owe a debt of gratitude to the early church. Her legacy of courage under persecution stands to this day as a bold testimony of faith. However, this legacy tends to overshadow the devastating impact of false teachers who crept into the fold shortly after the ascension of Christ. These purported Christians, better known as Gnostics, subtly twisted scripture using pagan Greek philosophy.
The baptismal formula in Matthew 28:19 is often thought to be obvious evidence of God’s triune nature. In this passage, Jesus commissions his apostles to baptize people “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The singular noun name, we are told, implies that all three figures share the same name, which in turn implies a shared essence or being.