What does Acts 19:5 mean?
ESV: On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
NIV: On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
NASB: When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
CSB: When they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
NLT: As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
KJV: When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
NKJV: When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Verse Commentary:
The twelve men in Ephesus are devout followers of the message of John the Baptist. They understand that they are sinners, that their sin is an insult to God, and that they need to follow God more closely. To that end, they received "the baptism of John," meaning, they publicly announced they that agreed with John's message and resolved to live according to his teaching (Acts 19:1–4).

Now, Paul has explained that the man whom John promised would baptize "with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Luke 3:16) is Jesus of Nazareth. John taught that people needed to follow God by obeying Him. Jesus taught that no one could earn God's forgiveness on their own. Jesus died as the perfect sacrifice, paying for the sin of the world. He rose from the dead in an affirmation that God accepted His sacrifice (1 Corinthians 15:14–19). Those who entrust Him for the forgiveness of their sins receive the Holy Spirit as a seal of their salvation (Ephesians 1:13–14; 4:30).

To be baptized in Jesus' "name" means to publicly submit to His message and authority. It doesn't mean the sounds that we use to identify Jesus are a magical spell. To be baptized in Jesus' name does not contradict Jesus' command to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). The men had already been baptized by John; they know who God is. They need to add Jesus to their understanding and loyalties.

The sequence here seems a bit backward; first Paul baptizes them, and then they receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:6). This is the same sequence Philip saw in Samaria (Acts 8:12, 14–17). It should be noted that ancient writers, even those making orderly accounts, did not always focus on exact chronology. The greater focus in any story was ensuring all the major elements were recorded. Today, "credobaptism" is the standard. That is, people should be baptized after they have decided to follow Christ and can verbalize what they believe. We don't know the particulars, here. Paul didn't usually baptize his own converts (1 Corinthians 1:14–17). He may have assistants who baptize the men before he lays hands on them.

In the early part of the spread of the church, most of the new believers were either Jews or Gentiles who attended the Jewish synagogue and followed the Jewish God. When they came to an understanding and acceptance of Jesus' offer of salvation, they were baptized immediately (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 36–38; 9:18; 10:47–48; 16:15, 33; 19:5). Since these men had received the baptism of John, they know the basics. Today, people often become Christians and receive the Holy Spirit with less understanding of who Jesus is and who the Trinity is. Baptism typically follows a time of instruction. In that way, the new believers publicly align themselves as a Christian and the church publicly accepts them when they understand what being a Christian really means.
Verse Context:
Acts 19:1–7 continues the story of Paul's third missionary trip that began with his tour of the churches in central modern-day Turkey (Acts 18:23). Now, he is in Ephesus in the province of Asia in western Turkey. He had been in Ephesus for a short time before and will now stay for about three years (Acts 18:19–21; 20:31). His first encounter is with twelve men who know about John the Baptist and his baptism for repentance but not about Jesus, whom John promised would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11).
Chapter Summary:
Acts 19 recounts Paul's three-year visit in Ephesus. He starts by revealing how Jesus of Nazareth has brought to life the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit validates Paul's message by healing those struck with physical ailments and demon possession. Amazed by Paul's authority over evil spirits, so many magicians turn to Christ that the craftsmen who make idols fear for their livelihoods. They nearly incite a riot before the town clerk settles them down. Paul realizes his time in Ephesus has ended, and he travels to Macedonia (Acts 20:1).
Chapter Context:
Acts 19 is the meat of Paul's third missionary voyage. He has already revisited the churches in central modern-day Turkey (Acts 18:23). Now he returns to Ephesus for a three-year stay. After firmly establishing the church there, rescuing many from pagan magic and the worship of Artemis, he returns to Macedonia and Greece. A threat on his life sends him back up to Macedonia and across to Troas. He meets briefly with the Ephesian elders to tell them they will not meet again (Acts 20). When he returns to Jerusalem, he is arrested and, eventually, taken to Rome.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 5/28/2024 7:59:53 PM
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