Acts 8:37

"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."

The testimony of this Ethiopian eunuch has been removed in modern versions and their Greek texts. The verse is omitted by the standard Alexandrian codices, as well as P45 (third century), and P74 (seventh century). It is also omitted from several of the cursive manuscripts and early versions.

However, the passage is found in Codex E (eighth century) and in several other manuscripts. Also, it is in the Old Latin manuscripts (second to fourth century) and the Vulgate of Jerome (fourth century). Still further, the passage is cited by Irenaeus (202 AD) and Cyprian (258 AD). Thus, while not in the majority of the Greek witness, it does have both early and wide range support.

James White objects to the passage by claiming that it was introduced by Erasmus taking the reading from Jerome's Vulgate.

"Acts chapters 8 and 9 are also rather expanded in the TR due to material brought over from the Vulgate. If one looks up Acts 8:37 . . . in the NIV, one will not find such a verse (outside of the textual footnote, that is). The reason is the verse is found in only a very few Greek manuscripts, none earlier than the sixth century, and Erasmus inserted it due to its presence in the Vulgate and in the margin of one Greek manuscript in his possession." (The King James Only Controversy, [Bethany House, 1995], 66.)

True, the passage in question appears in the Latin Vulgate of Jerome. However, it also appears in all the Old Latin manuscripts which pre-date the Vulgate. And, as already stated, Irenaeus cites it in his thesis Against Heresies (3:12:8). Dr. Bruce Metzger sees the citation by Erasmus in a different light and cites Erasmus himself on this issue.

"Although the passage does not appear in the late medieval manuscript on which Erasmus chiefly depended for his edition (ms. 2), it stands in the margin of another (ms. 4), from which he inserted it into his text because he, 'judged that it had been omitted by the carelessness of scribes (arbitror omissum librariorum incuria).'" (A Textual Commentary On The Greek New Testament, [United Bible Societies], 360.)

It appears in all the early English Versions and all the authoritative/standard versions of the Reformation.


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