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Is this baptism valid?

Submitted: 12/7/2008
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Question: If someone is baptized with the name of JESUS 'tacked on' at the end of the trinitarian formula (ie. 'I baptise you in the name of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost, in JESUS' name!') and that person being baptized has no knowledge of the meaning of JESUS' name baptism and is attending a trinitarian church, is that baptism valid?

Answer: What you describe seems to indicate a lack of basic understanding on the part of the baptizer and the one being baptized. We would not say that a person needs full understanding at baptism, but we do think they would need more than this. We would therefore conclude that such a baptism would not be valid. We would add that simply repeating the right words is not what makes baptism valid or effective. Please see our article 'Is There a Baptismal Formula?' which can be found on Shelf 1 of the Apostolic Free Library on this web site.