In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commanded his disciples to baptise the new disciples in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, but in Acts 2:38 Peter told us to baptise in the name of Jesus alone. Is there any difference? -- Henry L. Davids (Cape Town)

No, I do not believe there is any difference at all. These are simply two ways of saying the same thing. "In the name of" means, essentially, by the authority of. For one of many biblical examples of this point, see Jeremiah 26:12-16, where "in the name of the Lord our God" is not a formula, but a recognition of the source of authority in which the prophet claimed to speak.

The Bible never explicitly requires a particular verbal formula we must be sure to utter when performing baptisms.