Fourth century Christianity was a mess organizationally, which is why the century was chock full of controversies and councils.If there was a strong pope figure in the fourth century this theory might be possible, but he would still lack the power and thoroughness to ensure that every last scrap of the original Matthew 28.19 was destroyed.We know this because a Roman emperor once tried to do something similar—a man named Diocletian.In the early fourth century he fiercely persecuted Christianity and tried to collect and destroy all of the New Testament manuscripts, which is why we do not have many from before the fourth century.I wish CSNTM published these on their website, but they don’t.However, if there was an early manuscript with even a slight variation, Bruce Metzger’s UBS 4th edition or his Commentary on the GNT would note it. We still have thousands of manuscripts, some of which date back to the fourth century (like Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus).
And you must tell the one being baptized to fast for one or two days beforehand.”“…Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are born again, for they then receive washing in water in the name of God the Father and Master of all, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit.
For Christ also said, ‘Except you are born again, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.’…”“…And again, giving to the disciples the power of regeneration into God, he said to them, ‘Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’…”“For the law of baptizing has been imposed, and the formula prescribed: ‘Go,’ He saith, ‘teach the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’ The comparison with this law of that definition, ‘Unless a man have been reborn of water and Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of the heavens,’ has tied faith to the necessity of baptism.”“And when he who is baptized goes down into the water, he who baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say thus: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty? Then holding his hand placed on his head, he shall baptize him once.
And then he shall say: Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was born of the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and was dead and buried, and rose again on the third day, alive from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead? And again he shall say: Do you believe in holy spirit, and the holy church, and the resurrection of the flesh?
This allegedly proves that the church decided to change the Bible to give more credence to the Trinity theory.
I find this hypothesis unconvincing for four reasons.