Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Quick response to an attack on the Word of God

I just wanted to address a blog post on another board about a verse in Acts where Philip and the Ethiopian are engaged. The verse in question is Acts 8:37 which reads "And he said, 'If you believe with your whole heart, you may.' And he answered, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God'"

I responded in a comment with this:

Yes, this verse is in the KJV and the Textus Receptus but it's actually not in the text of any Greek manuscript that the Textus Receptus is based on - just in the margin in one of them. It was also in the Latin Vulgate - the version produced by the Roman church. So, while this verse is orthodox in it's meaning, it is likely nothing that Luke wrote and was inserted later.

So to accuse the other versions of "leaving out" verses is wrong. The texts of the Textus Receptus do not support this verse.

If anyone has any question about this, Google "textual basis Acts 8:37". I think you'll learn a lot including the fact that there is really so little support for this verse being in the original that it should be atleast noted as being of questionable heritage - as all of the "modern versions" do. My ESV has the verse in a footnote. My NIV has it also. So it's not left out at all but is using proper translation methods to notate the verse.

Does removing that verse or putting it in the footnote remove the idea of belief must come before baptism? Was this verse removed because of some consipiracy to make it that we must be baptized first as children? Well, since it's only location at the time of Erasmus writing the Textus Receptus was the version that was commissioned by the Roman Catholic church, I do not think so. Mark 16:16, Acts 8:12-12, Acts 18:8 and Acts 19:4 all speak of "believing and being baptized". It's the proper order - believe then be baptized. So even without Acts 8:37, Scripture is consistent. Baptism is an ordinance for those who have believed.

So once again, we can have faith that the "modern versions" are still the Word of God for the English speaking peoples.


Prairiehomemaker said...

Interesting Ann. Thank you for researching myths about the Bible. I try, but your much better at it than I am! I will get there, I am just slow!

Mamame said...

Well, this case was super easy to find out since when you google like I said, the truth is right there. :) Even many of the KJVO sites state the same thing - that the verse is of questionable heritage.