I have been asked to explain a passage of God’s Holy Word which we all may be very familiar. It is found in Acts chapter 8. As we pick up the narrative of Acts 8, that latter portion of the chapter deals with a man who is searching for the truth of God’s Word. The preacher, Phillip, was sent to this Eunuch from Ethiopia who is having a little trouble understanding a section of Scripture found in Isaiah 53. This Eunuch’s question is about the subject material of this chapter in Isaiah. It is from that point that the Bible records Philip’s start there “and preached unto him Jesus.” (Acts 8:35) The question is not what was preached. It is not who was preaching nor who was being taught. The question falls onto verse 37.
Notice Acts 8:36-38 –”And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Eph.added BH) And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” The question is: Why does my copy of the Bible NOT contain this verse?
Please realize that as folks take the old texts and translate the Greek into English, sometimes the old texts are missing pieces. After all, they are old! The American Standard Version of 1901 places verse 37 in the footnote and states this verse is found in other texts. It was just not found in the text they chose to use for translation. In our oldest Greek texts, we see verse 37 every time.
Let’s suppose for a moment that verse 37 is not there. Is there anywhere else where the principle the of Confession of Jesus as Lord is in God’s Word? Yes- notice these verses: Matthew 10 32 -33, Romans 10:9-11, 1st John 4:2-3, 1st John 4:15, Matthew 7:21, Luke 12:8, Acts 18:5, Hebrews 10:23… If God says something one time to us in His Word, it is important. What if God says it 8 other times?!?
Even if Acts 8:37 is never in the Word, the principle is found all through God’s Holy Writ. May God allow us all time to make that confession and live faithfully before God and man.