Acts 8:37 - all the ECW references

Steven Avery

Acts 8:37 - all the ECW references

This will draw from my:

2009 FRDB (skeptic forum)
and Yahoogroups KJBD and WhichVersion posts, and also Facebook, James Snapp, various posts and bookmark refs, etc.

The research from James Snapp built on my earlier research and now we will build more on the paper from James! Many Snapp extracts are here, and I will plan on adding my comments (from earlier and new) to the material from James. His 2014 paper is excellent in many ways. Yet awkward, mixing up mss with Early Church Writers, due to his chronological approach. Also, a number of references were overlooked.

In terms of individual citations, one-to-one, the ECW are actually far more important than mss. (Just the Irenaeus and Cyprian citations are more important than the supposedly early omission mss.) And it is much easier to think of the ECW refs separately and as their own group (as I have done in earlier writings on the forums.)

Your tweaks and assistance and ideas greatly appreciated. Of course, as in Romans 8:1 (recent study) and many other verses, we will find the apparatuses grossly deficient.

As I start tweaking or dumping the Snapp comments, his originals will be untouched here on the PBF Acts 8:37 James Snapp thread.
Jams Snapp paper What I did was first divide up his paper into sense-units. And then one of them was ECW, and was brought over here, followed by many additions and changes.

Remember, too, that Acts 8:37 is the sister textual verse to the heavenly witnesses.


MOST, not ALL, of this list are pro-inclusion.

Summary List: (NJS = Not in James Snapp)

Irenaeus (include, 2 refs, 1 is ultra-strong)
Tertullian (mildly toward allusion)
Cyprian - (include)
Pontius the Deacon - (include)
Treatise on Rebaptism - contra Novatian (mildly towards allusion)
Eusebius of Caesarea - (allusion) NJS
Basil of Caesarea - (solid allusion) NJS
Hillary of Poiters - (include) NJS
Ambrose of Milan - (UBS-2 nothing found)
Pacian of Barcelona - (include)
Ambrosiaster - good allusion
Gregory of Nyssa - allusion
Chromatius of Aquilea - (include) JS error has it weaker
Jerome - (important for Vulgate, one ref inclusion, others ambiguous) NJS
Cyril of Jerusalem (mildly neg or neutral) NJS
Chrysostom - (likely omission with a phrase twist)
Augustine of Hippo - (include x2)
Isidore of Pelusium - (to be determined)
Speculum - (include)
Praedestinatus (include)
Fulgentius of Ruspe - (include x 2)
Cassiodorus - (allusion) (extra phrase in v. 39) - NJS
Bede - in his Greek mss., not in Latin
PsOec - in Josep Rius-Camps - Jenny Read-Heimerdinger apparatus
Theophylact (include x2 maybe 3, one note is different)


Additional checking mainly focuses on 3:

ChrAq (Josep Rius-Camps - Jenny Read-Heimerdinger)
Likely there is a space leaving Aq (Aquinas, presumably)
(not in alphabetical or chronological order?)
Note that Theophylact has a superscription too in their apparatus

Ps-Augustine - William Strange PsAugDS, (Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion symbolorum) he also has Aug

(Ps-?)Oecumenius - listed by many - now included above
Discusses verse, but only neutral to v. 37
Chrysologus (mild)
Justin Martyr (below)
Gregory Nazianzen (below)
more on post #6

Bibliography is also planned, James helps a lot with sources below.


Acts 8:36-38 (KJB)

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.

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.


ECW from the 100’s
(note: for now Shepherd of Hermas is on bottom post)

Irenaeus - commentary mostly by James Snapp

● Irenaeus – against heresies, book three, 12:8 (written in greek, extant in latin). The third book of Irenaeus’ composition against heresies was written, according to Irenaeus’ own statement near the beginning of the book (book three, 3:3), when Eleutherius was bishop of Rome from about 174 to 193 (or, according to the introduction to Irenaeus’ works in ante-nicene fathers, vol. 1, page 312, Eleutherius’ bishopric began around 177, and ended in 188). So the production-date for Irenaeus’ third book of against heresies may fairly be given as “c. 184” or “180’s.”) in this composition, preserved in a latin translation, irenaeus writes:

Philippus autem rursus spadoni reginae aethiopium revertenti a hierosolymis, et legenti esaiam prophetam, solus soli, quem annuntiavit? Nonne eum de quo dixit propheta: “tanquam ovis ad occisionem ductus est, quemadmodum agnus ante tondentem se sine voce, sic non aperuit os? Nativitatem autem ejus quis enarrabit? Quoniam tolletur a terra vita ejus.” hunc esse jesum, et impletam esse in eo scripturam; quemadmodum ipse eunuchus credens, et statim postulans baptisari dicebat: “credo filium dei esse jesus.” qui et missus est in regions aethiopiae, praedicaturus hoc quod ipse crediderat . . . .”7

“whom did Philip preach to the eunuch of the queen of the Ethiopians, returning from jerusalem, and reading Isaiah the prophet, when he and this man were alone together? Was it not he of whom the prophet spoke: “he was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before the shearer, so he opened not the mouth? But who shall declare his nativity? For his life shall be taken away from the earth.” he declared that this was Jesus, and that the scripture was fulfilled in him; as did also the believing eunuch himself, and immediately requesting to be baptized, he said, ‘I believe Jesus to be the son of God.’ this man was also sent into the regions of Ethiopia, to preach what he had himself believed . . . .”8

7 – the latin text is in William Wigan Harvey’s sancti irenaei episcopi lugdunensis libros quinque adversus haereses, vol. 2 (cambridge, 1862), page 62. The relevant paragraph is numbered 10, not 8.
8 – based on ante-nicene fathers, vol. 1, 1913, Roberts & Donaldson, page 433.

A greek scholium attributed to irenaeus9 is also extant:

The scholium conveys the sense of a comment that irenaeus made in against heresies, book 4 (23:2):

“Philip, when he had discovered the eunuch of the ethiopians’ queen reading these words which had been written: “he was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb is silent before the shearer, so he opened not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away;” and all the rest which the prophet proceeded to relate in regard to his passion and his coming in the flesh, and how he was dishonored by those who did not believe him;
easily persuaded him to believe on him, that he was Christ Jesus, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and suffered whatsoever the prophet had predicted, and that he was the son of god, who gives eternal life to men. And immediately when he had baptized him, he departed from him. For nothing else was lacking to him who had been already instructed by the prophets: He was not ignorant of god the father, nor of the rules regarding how to live, but was merely ignorant of the coming of the son of god, and shortly after becoming acquainted with this, he went on his way rejoicing, to be the herald in Ethiopia of Christ’s advent.” 10

9 – from page 144, Catenae Graecorum Patrum, Volume 3, edited by John Anthony Cramer. This collection of Greek comments on the text of the New Testament, some of which are attributed to specific patristic authors, can be downloaded from . Harvey reproduces the same material from Cramer’s book.
10 - Based on Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1, 1913, Roberts & Donaldson, pages 494-495.




Tertullian (very early 200’s, Latin.)
In the apparatus in UBS-2, Tertullian is listed as a witness for the inclusion of Acts 8:37, with no indication that this citation is dubious. However, in UBS-4, Tertullian’s name does not appear among the witnesses for inclusion. This inconsistency may emanate from the use of Tertullian’s comments in On Baptism, chapter 18, a chapter in which Tertullian attempts to answer an objection against his position that baptism should not be administered with haste:

“Those whose duty it is to baptize know that baptism should not be conferred lightly. “Give to everyone who asks of you” has its own application; it pertains to almsgiving. Rather, close attention must be given to that other passage: “Give not what is holy unto the dogs, and cast not your pearl before swine,” and, “Do not lay hands on anyone too readily, lest you share in another’s sins.”

“If Philip baptized the eunuch so promptly, let us reflect that the grace of the Lord had plainly intervened to show that this was proper. The Spirit had commanded Philip to go toward that road. The eunuch himself was not found distracted; nor was he the sort of man who might desire to be baptized on a sudden whim: he was one who had set out for the temple to pray, and had his attention riveted on the divine Scripture. God, finding him in such an attitude, sent an apostle to him without being asked; the Spirit’s second command [to Philip] was to join himself to the eunuch’s chariot. The faith-inspiring passage of Scripture is just what was called for. He is invited and is welcomed into the chariot. The Lord is revealed. Faith makes no delay. Water is at hand. And with his task completed, the apostle is caught away.”11
Perhaps what has happened is that the creators of the UBS apparatus relied upon an index-entry for Acts 8:26-40 for Tertullian’s composition, and it was simply assumed that this included verse 37. But I do not presently think that Tertullian’s statements can be securely regarded as a utilization of the verse. It is possible that when Tertullian wrote that the passage of Scripture inspired faith, and that “Faith makes no delay,” he had the Ethiopian’s confession of faith in mind. But this is not required by the evidence.

Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews (Ad Quirinium), Book 3, Treatise 12, chapter 43 (written in the 250’s, in Latin). In this very short chapter, Cyprian seeks to affirm from Scripture that a person who has faith can immediately obtain something – presumably, pardon for sins. His evidence for this is as follows:
“In the Acts of the Apostles: “Lo, here is water; what is there that hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart,” you may.”14

14 – Based on page 545, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5, 1886, Roberts & Donaldson.

Pontius the Deacon
– The Life and Passion of Cyprian (written shortly after Cyprian’s death, which occurred in 258. No later than the 260’s). Pontius, who had been a close acquaintance of Cyprian, utilizes Acts 8:37 in the course of a parenthetical remark in the third paragraph:

“For although in the Acts of the Apostles the eunuch is described as at once baptized by Philip,
because he believed with his whole heart, this is not a fair parallel.”15

15 – page 268, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5, 1886, Roberts & Donaldson.

De Rebaptismate
A Treatise Against the Heretic Novatian by an Anonymous A Treatise on Re-Baptism by an Anonymous Writer.

an anonymous Latin composition written in the 250’s, in response to Cyprian, does not feature a specific quotation of Acts 8:37 in its fourth chapter, but it does mention the Ethiopian eunuch’s faith:

“Sicuti Aethiops eunuchus cum rediret ab Hierusalem et legeret prophetam Esaiam et haesitaret suggerente Spiritu audita veritate a Philippo diacono credidit et baptizatus est, et cum ascendisset de aqua, Spiritus Domini rapuit Philippum, et non vidit eum iam nunc amplius eunuchus; abibat enim viam suam gaudens, quamquam, ut animadvertis, imposita ei manus non est ab episcopo, ut Spiritum Sanctum acciperet.”16

Just as the Ethiopian eunuch, when he was returning from Jerusalem and was reading the prophet Isaiah, and was perplexed, received assistance from the Spirit, and heard the truth from Philip the deacon, believed, and was baptized. And when he had gone up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip, and the eunuch saw him no more. For he went on his way rejoicing – even though, as you observe, hands were not laid on him by the bishop, that he might receive the Holy Spirit.”17

This could be a vague reference to Acts 8:37

16 – From Florilegium Patristicum, Fasciculus XI, Gerardus Rauschen, Tertulliani De Baptismo et Ps-Cypriani De Rebaptismate Recensio Nova, 1916.
17 – Based on the English translation at .

Eusebius of Caesarea

13. But as the preaching of the Saviours Gospel was daily advancing, a certain providence led from the land of the Ethiopians an officer of the queen of that country, This queen was Candace, according to the Biblical account; but Candace was the name, not of an individual, but of a dynasty of queens who ruled in Meroë, an island formed by two branches of the Nile, south of Egypt. See Pliny, H. N. VI. 35 (Delphin edition); Dion Cassius, LIV. 5; and Strabo, XVII. 1. 54 (Müllers edit., Paris, 1877). for Ethiopia even to the present day is ruled, according to ancestral custom, by a woman. He, first among the Gentiles, received of the mysteries of the divine word from Philip in consequence of a revelation, and having become the first-fruits of believers throughout the world, he is said to have been the first on returning to his country to proclaim the knowledge of the God of the universe and the life-giving sojourn of our Saviour among men; so that through him in truth the prophecy obtained its fulfillment, which declares that Ethiopia stretcheth out her hand unto God.

Eusebius: Church History - Book 2, Chapter1, Section 13

Basil of Caesarea (c. 370)

6. Wagner, Saint Basil, pp. 339-341; cf. Bapt. 1.2, which states that “instruction is necessary before we are worthy to receive” baptism (Wagner, Saint Basil, p. 349; repeated, p. 383). Exh. 6 says about the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8:26-40:

“Having been taught the gospel of the kingdom, he received the faith in his heart and did not put off the seal of the Spirit” (PG 31.437A).

Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries (2009)
Everett Ferguson

Hilary of Poiters (c. 360)
Homilies on the Psalms

Now, Ethiopia precedes (praevenit) in its confession of faith through the eunuch of Candace; for while he demanded for himself the grace of baptism, saying 'See, there is water, who will prevent my being baptized?' he so anticipated (praeveniens) with his hand that very sacrament of baptism in the desire of his impatient longing, that, desirous of his own salvation, he exacted from a deacon the ministering of an apostolic duty.
(Hillary, Tract in Ps. 67.33)

Ambrose of Milan (bishop from 374 to 397. Wrote in Latin.)
Ambrose’s name was in the UBS-2 apparatus as a witness for the inclusion of Acts 8:37. I searched through quite a bit of the works of Ambrose, but I was not able to find a clear reference to Acts 8:37 anywhere. I found, in the index to Volume 4 of Karl Schenkl’s edition of the works of Ambrose (this volume features Ambrose’s commentary on the Gospel of Luke), an index-listing for “Acts 8, 26 sqq.” An investigation of the reference, on page 440, shows that it does not include a utilization of 8:37. (It is possible that a reference to Acts 8:37 exists somewhere in materials I have not been able to search.) In the UBS-4 apparatus, Ambrose’s name appears in the list of witnesses for non-inclusion.22

22 – page 438, The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition, © 2001 Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, D-Stuttgart.

Pacian of Barcelona (active 365-391),
in Discourse on Baptism, part 7, wrote the following:

The seed of Christ, that is, the Spirit of God, produces, by the hands of the priests, the new man conceived in the womb of our Mother, and received at the birth of the font, faith presiding over the marriage rite. For neither will he seem to be engrafted into the Church, who has not believed, nor will be seem to be born again of Christ, who has not himself received the Spirit. We must believe, therefore, so that we can be born. For so says Philip, “If you believe . . . you may.” Christ therefore must be received, that He may beget, for thus says the Apostle John, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.”23

23 – Based on the English translation of Pacian’s Discourse on Baptism at .


Ambrosiaster (sometime in 366-384, when Damasus was bishop of Rome, written in Latin). (The name “Ambrosiaster” is a nickname for an unknown author whose work was, until the 1500’s, thought to have been written by Ambrose.)

According to Alexander Souter, Ambrosiaster’s text of Acts is European, resembling the text of the Old Latin Codex Gigas and the text used by Lucifer of Cagliari (c 350-370), who ministered in Sardinia.24 In the course of his commentary on the Pauline Epistles, when commenting on Ephesians 4:12, Ambrosiaster mentions Philip:
“Philip did not fix a day or a time for the eunuch’s baptism, nor did he assign a period of fasting beforehand.”25

That is not support for the existence of Acts 8:37 in Ambrosiaster’s text of Acts. However, in Ambrosiaster’s composition Quaestiones Veteris et Novi Testamenti, 91:6, as he addresses the heresy of Photinus and discusses the uniqueness of Jesus as the Son of God, he writes:

“Aut dicat Fotinus, quare vere filius dei creditor, si non est verus. Aut quod opus erat hunc credere filium dei, si unus esset de ceteris sanctis, qui filii dei digni sunt appellari? Aut numquid aliqua indignitas in hoc est, per quam filius dei, sicut ceteri sunt, credi non posset, et idcirco dicetur, ut hic, de quo incredulum videtur, credatur esse filius dei? Si enim potior est ceteris, quod opus est ut dicatur: Crede Christum Filium esse dei, nisi quia, ut aliter de hoc credatur, praecipitur quam de ceteris, ut, quia multi sunt qui filii dei sanctitatis causa appellantur, hic solusverus dei filius credatur, unde et unicus dicitur?26

Which means something like this:

“But say, Photinus, why belief is put in the true Son of God, if he is not true. What need is there for a person to believe in the Son of God, if this one is [merely] like the rest of the saints who are worthy to be called the children of God? Inasmuch as it is said, “I believe that Christ is the Son of God,” He is necessarily greater than the others; otherwise, would it not thus imply that something is believed about him that is also descriptive of the rest? For there are many who are designated the children of God, because of their sanctity, but when a person believes upon the only true Son of God, isn’t he saying that He is unique?”

This looks like a utilization of Acts 8:37, although with none of its narrative framework.

24 – See Alexander Souter’s analysis in Texts & Studies (1905), A Study of Ambrosiaster, especially pages 207-208.
25 - See page 49 of Gerald Bray’s 2009 translation of Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on Galatians-Philemon in the Ancient Christian Texts series, © 2009 by Gerald L. Bray.
26 – from CSEL 50, pages 155-156, edited by Alexander Souter (1908). This reference was provided on page 199 of William A. Strange’s The Problem of the Text of Acts, © Cambridge University Press 1992. #71 in the Monograph Series of the Society for New Testament Studies, G.N. Stanton, general editor.

Gregory of Nyssa (active 370’s-395 – the brother of Basil of Caesarea),
is a particularly interesting patristic writer, partly because he is, as James Brooks concluded, “one of the earliest writers whose quotations support the Byzantine text more often than any other.”27 Gregory of Nyssa’s writings do not contain many direct quotations from the book of Acts. However, in the composition De Baptismo, he made a statement which might refer to the faith of the Ethiopian eunuch. I have rendered it as follows:

“Imitate the Ethiopian eunuch, with his fervent desire. For this individual, after Philip, unobserved by him, had been induced by the Holy Spirit to take that road, and had been seated with him in the chariot, undertook not only to read Isaiah’s wisdom, but also to understand. For his appetite was whetted when he received the interpretation; he was like a cub which is given a taste [smell?] of the blood of wounded prey; he was very urgent and eager for Philip to hunt down and altogether slaughter the game, that is, the prophecy, that he had in his hands. And it was not at all laborious to ask to receive baptism from him – no waiting for the guest room, no choosing a village, or finding the place of sanctification. For he prudently supposed that every place is alike to the Lord, and that all water is suitable to be used for baptism, if only he has been found to have faith, and has received the sanctifying blessing of the priest.”

The Greek text of the final, relevant phrase:

και παν υδωρ επιτηδειον εις την του βαπτισματος χρειαν,
μονον εαν ευρη πιστιν του λαμβανοντος, και ευλογιαν του αγιαζοντος ιερεως.28

Gregory of Nyssa’s statement that the eunuch was discovered to have faith is probably an allusion to Acts 8:37, although a coincidental similarity cannot be ruled out altogether.

27 – page 226 of James A. Brooks’ The New Testament Text of Gregory of Nyssa, © 1991 The Society of Biblical Literature. Volume 2 of the series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers, Gordon Fee, editor
28 – See Migne’s P.G. Volume 46, columns 421 (Greek) and 422 (Latin).


Chromatius of Aquilea (active 388-407), in Sermo 2.7,
likens the baptisms of Simon the sorcerer, and of the Ethiopian eunuch, to Noah’s flood, and carrying the comparison further, he likens Simon the sorcerer to the raven, and the Ethiopian eunuch to the dove:

“This eunuch, since he is a dove, is chosen, but Simon the magician, since he is a raven, is rejected; for the former believed with his whole heart and whole faith, but the latter drew near, doubting in hismind and all full of faithlessness.”29

This is clearly an allusion to Acts 8:37.

29 – Cited on page 98 of Arator on the Acts of the Apostles – A Baptismal Commentary, by Richard Hillier, © Richard Hillier 1994, Oxford University Press. William A. Strange, in The Problem of the Text of Acts, located Chromatius’ use of Acts 8:37 in CChr.SL 9A, page 11, lines 124-127.

Chromatius 4th century powerful and direct quoting and commentary courtesy of Mike Ferrando

7. Finally, the Ethiopian eunuch was also found to be a dove in the present reading, as you, dearly beloved, heard. He had come to Jerusalem and, returning, he was sitting in his chariot, reading the prophecy of Isaiah when the Spirit said to Phillip, "Go near and stand by the chariot." And he went and stood near, and Phillip said to him: "Do you think you understand what you are reading?" And the eunuch said: "How can I understand, if there is no one to explain the scriptures to me?" And when Phillip sat with him, he explained the prophecy of scripture that he had read, showing and indicating the Lord Jesus Christ. And when Phillip had explained this to him, at once the Eunuch believed him and said to Phillip: "Here is water; what is there which prevents me from being baptized?" Phillip said to him: "If you believe, you may.” And he said: “I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. And they descended into the water, and Phillip baptized him."

8. Therefore, this eunuch was chosen as a dove, but Simon the magician was rejected as a raven. This is because one believed with his all his heart and all his faith, but the other came doubtful in spirit and full of treachery. For this reason, the one was received, the other rejected. One esteemed, one damned. Therefore, since we have been called to the knowledge of God, to the grace of Christ, with all our heart and all our faith we ought to believe in Christ in order that we will not be rejected with those full of doubt and impiety, but merit to be received with the saints and elect of God into future glory by Christ the Lord. Amen.



Facebook - King James Bible Debate

And.. time to add Jerome as a direct reference, not just through the Vulgate mss.

Letter 53 - To Paulinus - Bishop of Nola
translated by William Henry Fremantle (1831-1916) (ACCS)

In the Acts of the Apostles the holy eunuch (or rather "man" for so the scripture calls him Acts 8:27) when reading Isaiah he is asked by Philip "Do you understand what you read?", makes answer:— "How can I except some man should guide me?" Acts 8:30-31 To digress for a moment to myself, I am neither holier nor more diligent than this eunuch, who came from Ethiopia, that is from the ends of the world, to the Temple leaving behind him a queen's palace, and was so great a lover of the Law and of divine knowledge that he read the holy scriptures even in his chariot. Yet although he had the book in his hand and took into his mind the words of the Lord, nay even had them on his tongue and uttered them with his lips, he still knew not Him, whom— not knowing— he worshipped in the book. Then Philip came and showed him Jesus, who was concealed beneath the letter. Wondrous excellence of the teacher! In the same hour the eunuch believed and was baptized; he became one of the faithful and a saint. He was no longer a pupil but a master; and he found more in the church's font there in the wilderness than he had ever done in the ever done in the gilded temple of the synagogue. These instances have been just touched upon by me (the limits of a letter forbid a more discursive treatment of them) to convince you that in the Holy Scriptures you can make no progress unless you have a guide to show you the way.

Letter 53.5-6 NPNF2 6:98

"In the same hour the eunuch believed and was baptized"

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

Jerome discusses Philip, the eunuch and baptism a few other times, with ambiguity, no definite reference for or against the verse. Here is one, one could say that it leans towards omission, since it does not mention the confession of faith.


The Dialogue Against the Luciferians
And yet, if necessity so be, we know that even laymen may, and frequently do, baptize. For as a man receives, so too he can give; for it will hardly be said that we must believe that the eunuch whom Philip baptized lacked the Holy Spirit. The Scripture thus speaks concerning him, "And they both went down into the water; and Philip baptized him." And on leaving the water, "The Holy Spirit fell upon the eunuch."

John Chrysostom (active 381-407 at Antioch and then at Constantinople, wrote in Greek),
in Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, Homily 19, quoted extensively from Acts chapter 8. He does not utilize verse 37, and in light of his specific quotations of verse 36 and verse 38, the clear implication is that verse 37 was not in his text.

Added SA:

Homilies: On the Acts of the apostles. 1851-52

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 ? Mark the eager desire, mark the exact knowledge. 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. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Footnote includes:
... The 37th verse (Philip’s answer and the Eunuch’s confession) seems to have been absent from St. Chrysostom’s copy (unless indeed it is implied in the passage just cited). It is found in Laud’s Gr. and Lat. copy of the Acts, part is cited by St. Irenteus, p. J96. and part by St. Cypr. p. 318., but unknown to the other ancient authorities.

Does Chrysostom ever take that kind of short-cut in homily writing?

ACCS - NPNF 1 11:122-23 **.

Cyril of Jerusalem

"He instructed the Eunuch, and baptized him, and so having sent into Ethiopia a herald of Christ, according as it is written, Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God, he was caught away by the Angel, and preached the Gospel in the cities in succession."


Augustine of Hippo
(active 391-430, North Africa,wrote in Latin but occasionally referred to Greek manuscripts),
in Sermon 49, Section 11, in his Sermons on Selected Lessons of the Gospels, wrote:

“The eunuch believed on Christ, and said, when they came unto a certain water, “See, water, who does hinder me to be baptized?” Philip said to him, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” He answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Immediately he went down with him into the water. When the mystery and sacrament of baptism had been accomplished, that the gift of the Holy Ghost might not be thought to be of men, there was no waiting, as in the other case, for the apostles to come, but the Holy Ghost came immediately.”31

31 – See Augustine’s Sermon 49 on the New Testament, in English at

Check if this is the same, 49, out of 97, and 99:

Sermon 99:11 (ACCS)

This same Philip, who had baptized people, and the Holy Spirir had nor come upon them until the apostles had come along and laid their hands on them, baptized the eunuch of queen Candace who had been worshiping in Jerusalem, and on his way back from there he was reading the prophet Isaiah in his chariot and not understanding it. Philip was prompted to approach the chariot, and he explained the reading, insinuated the faith, preached Christ. The eunuch believed in Christ and said, when they came to some water, Look, here is water; who is to prevent me being baptized? Philip said to him, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?” He answered, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” And immediately he went down with him into the water. Once the mystery and sacrament of baptism had been carried out, since there was no expectation of the apostles coming as on the previous occasion, so that no one should think the gift of the Holy Spirit was at the disposal of mortals, the Holy Spirit came immediately. Sermon 99.11.*

* WSA 3 4:57. Augustine seems to have a Vg text deriving from the WT that includes a reference to the Holy Spirit coming upon the eunuch: “The Holy Spirit fell upon the eunuch but the angel [not the Spirit as in our text] of the Lord snatched Philip away."

idem ipse Philippus, qui baptizauerat homines, et non in eos uenerat spiritus sanctus, nisi conuenissent apostoli, et eis manus imposuissent, baptizauit eunuchum, id est, spadonem quemdam Candacis reginae, qui adorauerat in Ierusalem, et rediens inde legebat in curru suo Isaiam prophetam, et non intelligebat. admonitus Philippus accessit ad currum, exposuit lectionem, instruxit fidem, euangelizauit Christum. credidit eunuchus in Christum, et ait cum uenissent ad quamdam aquam: "ecce aqua, quis prohibet me baptizari?" ait illi Philippus: "si credis in Iesum Christum?" respondit ille: "credo filium dei esse Iesum Christum." continuo descendit cum illo in aquam. impleto baptismatis mysterio et sacramento, ne hominum putaretur donum spiritus sancti, non exspectatum est, si


Check these urls on the James page
Next is the additional Augustine ref: ============================

Augustine - Anti-Pelagian Writings

The whole of this passage of prophecy is that famous one in Isaiah which was expounded by Philip to the eunuch of Queen Candace, and he believed in Jesus.


Isidore of Pelusium
Footnote 13
§5.-S. Isadore of Pelusium, Ep. 448, in reply to a correspondent who was not satisfied with his statement (Ep 447), that "Philip who baptized the Eunuch and catechized Simon was not the Apostle, but one of the Seven," and requested proof from Scripture ('Epeidh kai marturian zhteij gpafikhn ...'Epeidh pollown apodeicewn eraj,) bids him observe, ch. viii. 1. that the Apostles remained at Jerusalem: that Philip the Apostle would have been competent to impart the gift of the Spirit: and further suggests, that Philip the deacon, fleeing from the persecution, was on his way through Samaria to Caesarea his native place, (where we afterwards find him xxi. 9), when these events befell, viz. the preaching, etc., at Samaria, and the conversion of the Eunuch.-In the next sentence, ekeinoi (i.e. the Apostles) ouk echesan: wkonomhqh toutouj (i.e. Philip the deacon and others) ecelqein: kai ekeinouj (the Apostles) usterhsai: "should come after," or rather, "should be lacking, be behindhand, not be forthcoming (at the time):" but Cat. kai ekeinouj eterwj, "and those (the Apostles) otherwise."-The modern text, after "next to Stephen," proceeds thus: "Wherefore also, when baptizing, he did not impart the Spirit to the baptized, for neither had he authority to do so, since the gift belonged only to the Twelve. But observe; those went not forth; it was Providentially ordered that these should go forth, oi kai usteroun thj xaritoj dia to mhpw labein Pn. #A., who were deficient in the grace because they had not et received the Holy Ghost. For they received power, etc. Consequently, this was the prerogative of the Apostles."

the Praedestinatus c. 440 published 1643 by Jacques Sirmond ****


gratia divina non datur ; secundum id quod Philippus apostolus dicit spadoni : Si credis es toto corde tuo, licet ut baptizeris (Act. viii, 37). Velle enim nostrum non exclusit gratia , sed incitavit, et dormientem quotidie excitat voluntatem. Jam ergo gratia posita, sicut scriptum est, in medio terrae clamat :

According to Phillip says to the Eunuch, If you think (confess?) your heart can be baptized (Act. VIII, 37) For the willing of our conscience does not shut out the grace of God, but at the moment, and it excites the will of every day sleeping. Grace has already been then, as it is in the center of cries;

This might be the spot.

– also known as Liber Qui Appelatur Speculum et Liber de Divinis Scripturis Sive Speculum (Part 2: On the Distinction of the Persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and sometimes called “Pseudo-Augustine” (though not the only composition with such a name) – was written in Latin, probably around 425. Its quotations from Acts indicate that its author utilized a form of the African Old Latin text. The author clearly quotes Acts 8:37: “Item illic: Et respondens spado ait: credo filium Dei esse Christum Iesum”33 – “There [that is, in Acts] again, “and the eunuch said in reply, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’”

33 – The quotation in Speculum is on pages 307-308 of Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, Vol. 12, edited by Franciscus Weihrich (1887).

Fulgentius of Ruspe
(active 507-533, mainly in what is now Tunisia, in North Africa, wrote in Latin, knowledgeable in Greek) used Acts 8:37 in his composition De Veritate Praedestinationis et Gratiae Dei ad Joannem et Venerium sometime after 523:

“Ipse in spadone opus gratiae salutaris perfecit, quo illuminante idem spado Christum esse Filium Dei credidit, et ad stagnum veniens sacrae tinctionis effectum poposcit, nec baptizatus tantum, sed et Spiritu sancto repletus abscessit.”34

That goes something like this: “The act of saving grace was thus accomplished, as this enlightened eunuch, having believed that Christ is the Son of God, coming to the sacred pool, received not only the effective washing he had asked for, but he also departed filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Another utilization of Acts 8:37 by Fulgentius is in Epistle XII, Ad Ferrandum 14 (CChr. SL 91, page 390, lines 282ff. 35

34 – Fulgentius’ use of Acts 8:37 in this composition is in Migne’s P.L. Vol. 65; Book One, chapter 9 (columns 612-614).
35 – According to William A. Strange, on page 200 of The Problem of the Text of Acts, © Cambridge University Press 1992. Online preview at .
Cassiodorus - Explanation of the Psalms

We recall how the apostle Philip noticed Queen Candace’s eunuch reading Isaiah, and suitably explained the Holy Scriptures to him; after the eunuch noted what he had read, he at once sought the grace of baptism, and then received the gifts of perfect salvation.'5 The Lord also says in the gospel: When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom and understandeth it not, there cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.'6 This passage allows us properly to grasp that this cannot be the experience of those worthy to listen to the Holy Scriptures with purity of heart. On this issue father Jerome’s words are splendid: “Divine Scripture is a pearl, and can be pierced from many sides.”17

Cassiodorus, Vol. 1 (ACW No. 51), Volume 1; Volume 51

Some more on Cassiodorus:

Nathaniel Lardner
3. He seems to have had a clause in Acts viii. 39. that (r) the Holy Ghoft descended upon the Eunuch after he had been baptised by Philip.
et ardore mentis baptizari se protinus Quo facto, Spiritus Sanctus supra eunuchum Philippus cecidit, et subita translatione disparuit.
In Act viii 38 39
Complexiones in Epistulas apostolorum,
Actus apostolorum et Apocalypsim

18. (VIII:26). Angelus autem Domini locutus est ad Philippum, dicens, et reliqua. Philippus et angelo commonetur ut pergat ad viam unde Candacis reginae transiturus erat eunuchus. Iste revertens de Hierusalem, quam pro devotione mentis suae venerat adorare, sedebat in curru, Isaiae prophetae locum illum legens, ubi ait: Tanquam ovis ad occisionem ductus est, et sicut agnus coram tondente, sic non aperuit os suum, et reliqua. Tunc ad eum Philippus ait: Putas ne quae legis intelligis? Eunuchus vero fecit eum currum conscendere et sibi Scripturarum secreta revelare; quae fideli mente percipiens, in itinere aquam conspexit, et ardore mentis incensus, baptizari se protinus postulavit: quo facto Spiritus sanctus supra eunuchum cecidit, et Philippus subita translatione disparuit; inventus que est in Azoto verbum Domini solita praedicatione disseminans.

This is moved from the Latin section of Dr. William A. Strange.

● The Venerable Bede (active 690-735, wrote in Latin)
died before most of those manuscripts were made. In his Commentary on Acts, Bede used a Latin text that did not include verse 37, but as he began his exposition on verse 36-38, he wrote:

Hic alia translatio juxta Graecum exemplar aliquot versus plus habet, ubi scriptum est,
Ecce aqua, quis prohibit me baptizari?
Dixit autem ei Philippus, Si credis ex toto corde tuo, salvus eris.
Respondens autem dixit, Credo in Christum Filium Dei.
Et jussit stare currum, et caetera.45

That is:
“At this point, there is another rendering, and the Greek exemplar has some more verses, where it is written, “Behold, water, who will forbid me to be baptized?”: Philip said to him, “If you believe with all your heart, you shall be saved.” He answered and said, “I believe in Christ, the Son of God.” And he commanded the chariot to stop,” and so forth.”

The probability is extremely high that Bede used Codex Laudianus.
Davidson and Scrivener read this in reverse, that he had Latin mss. not Greek.
45 – See page 42 of Vol. 6 of J. A. Giles’ Venerabilis Bedae – Commentaria in Scripturas Sacras (1844).

SA: Ironically, Davidson says:
"quoted by Irenaeus (Greek and Latin), OEcumenius, Theophylact twice, Cyprian, Praedestinatus, Pacian, Jerome, Augustine, Bede who says that it was not in the Greek."

Reading the fuller section, Bede says it is in his Greek examplar, and that it only fell out due to scribal error.

ACCS - p. 101-102

Bede: Here another translation,6 which follows the Greek model, has a few more verses in which it is written, "Behold, here is water. What is there to prevent my being baptized?” And Philip said to him, "It you believe with all your heart you will be saved." And he answered and said, "I believe in Christ, the Son of God." And he ordered the carriage to stop, and so forth. I believe that these verses were originally inserted in our version too, but through scribal error they were later removed. Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles 8.36B-38. *
* CS 117:84-85.

6 Bede here refers to manuscripts of the Vg that follow the WT. Most textual critics consider this text to be a gloss accenting faith in baptism and added under liturgical influence, but it is attested as early as Irenaeus Against the Heresies 3.12.8.

Theophylact (1055-1107, wrote in Greek),
in his commentary on Acts, made so many extensive quotations that his commentary is virtually a manuscript of the text of Acts with prolonged interruptions. Acts 8:34-40, including verse 37, can be found in Migne’s P.G. Volume 125, in columns 636-637. Theophylact does not offer any comment about verse 37. Further along in the same volume, in column 928, the same passage is presented, and in column 929, Theophylact mentions the eunuch’s faith.

SA: Note that Michaelis says:
"Acts viii. 37.... is found in one of the commentaries of Theophylact, omitted in the other."
Scrivener says:
"twice quoted"


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Steven Avery

James Snapp ECW notes

● The inclusion of Acts 8:37 is supported by early (Roman-Empire-era) patristic writers in a wide variety of locales.

● The inclusion of Acts 8:37 is supported by three patristic writers (Irenaeus and Cyprian and Pontius) whose manuscripts of Acts 8 were older than any manuscript of Acts 8 currently extant in any language.
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Steven Avery

apparatus and commentary info and misinformation

Apparatus analysis here.

Expositors Greek New Testament (1897) - very good note, mentions Oecumenius

"the question in ver. 36 evidently required an answer"
- Richard John Knowling (1851-1919)

Josep Rius-Camps - Jenny Read-Heimerdinger, «The variant readings of the western text of the acts of the apostles (XIII)», Vol. 15 (2002) 111-132
PsOec ChrAq

William A. Strange (2005)

William Strange apparatus.jpg

Should the Bible include 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."?
explains how the infant baptism beliefs would lean towards omission.

Scrivner note has a few points.
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Steven Avery

"the question in ver. 36 evidently required an answer"

"the question in ver. 36 evidently required an answer"
Overwhelming internal consistency evidence. Amazingly omitted by Snapp.

Ironically there is a vapid counter-attempt by Epp and Fee:
"its inclusion contradicts the narrative a few verses earlier, which implies that the Spirit came only through the hands of the apostles"4.

James did reference a similar unanswered question problem, where the internal evidence properly points to original inclusion.

John 9:38-39a is as follows:
38 Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
39 And Jesus said to him –”.

This passage is in the text of all major modern translations. However, it is absent from seven early witnesses: Papyrus 75, Aleph*, W, an early Coptic (Lycopolitan dialect) manuscript of John produced in the 300’s, a Fayyumic manuscript (P. Mich. Inv. 3521), a Sahidic manuscript (P. Palau Ribes Inv. 183), and Old Latin b (Codex Veronensis).
And it is far more sensible that the Acts 8:37 verse led to the baptism interregnum, the confession of faith in baptism, the renunciation of the world, rather than the reverse.


This can be connected to 1 Timothy 6:12 and other verses,

which shows the stylistic and doctrinal harmony within the NT, for Acts 8:37.
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Steven Avery


Cause of Addition or Omission

As is typical of longer readings in the Textus Receptus, critics of the inclusion of 8:37 propose that the verse was a pious addition. Inversely, proponents of the inclusion of 8:37 propose that the verse was omitted by scribes who disliked the message of the verse. Origen of Alexandria, Egypt in the 3rd century testified that manuscripts in Alexandria underwent corruption by way of careless or unfaithful copying. He said:

"...the differences among the manuscripts [of the Gospels] have become great, either through the negligence of some copyists or through the perverse audacity of others; they either neglect to check over what they have transcribed, or, in the process of checking, they lengthen or shorten, as they please."

(Bruce Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 3rd ed. (1991), pp. 151-152).

So the theory that the verse was omitted early is certainly viable. Let us see which theory is more likely in the context of the early church and its theology regarding baptism.

The message of the verse is that baptism prerequires the expression of faith in Jesus Christ. This is a message that is central to many Evangelical churches today. However, this message was not believed by the predominant churches of the early centuries (or even today among the mainline denominations). The common belief among the early churches was that even infants, who could not express faith, could be baptized. Here are some quotes by influential church fathers supporting infant baptism:
  • Origen (244 AD): "Baptism is given for the remission of sins; and according to the usage of the Church, Baptism is given even to infants. And, indeed, if there were nothing in infants that required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of Baptism would be superfluous." (Origen, Homily on Leviticus 8:3 -- AD 244)

  • Cyprian (250 AD): "But in respect to the case of infants, which you say ought not to be Baptized within the second or third day after their birth, and that the law of ancient circumcision should be regarded, so that you think one who is just born should not be Baptized and sanctified within the eighth day ....And therefore, dearest brother, this was our opinion in council, that by us no one ought to be hindered from Baptism ...we think is to be even more observed in respect of infants and newly-born persons." (Cyprian, Epistle 58, To Fides [54] -- AD 251)

  • Gregory Nazianzus (381 AD): "Be it so, some will say, in the case of those who ask for Baptism; what have you to say about those who are still children and conscious neither of the loss nor of grace? Are we to Baptize them too? Certainly, if any danger presses. For it is better that they should be unconsciously sanctified than that they should depart unsealed and uninitiated." (Gregory Nazianzus, Oration on Holy Baptism, 40:28 -- AD 381)

  • Chrysostom (388 AD): "We do Baptize infants, although they are not guilty of any [personal] sins." (John Chrysostom, Ad Neophytos -- AD 388)

  • Ambrose (387 AD): "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. No one is excepted: not the infant, not the one prevented by some necessity." (Ambrose of Milan, Abraham 2,11,84 -- AD 387)

  • Augustine (415 AD): "Likewise, whoever says that those children who depart out of this life without partaking of that Sacrament (Baptism) are alive in Christ, certainly contradicts the apostolic declaration and condemns the universal Church, in which it is the practice to lose no time and run in haste to administer Baptism to infant children, because it is believed as an indubitable truth, that otherwise they cannot be made alive in Christ." (Augustine, Epistle 167 -- AD 415)

  • Council of Carthage (418 AD): "Canon 2: Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mother's wombs should not be Baptized ...let him be anathema." (Council of Carthage, AD 418)

In both the Greek East and the Latin West, infant baptism was considered normative and beneficial. In this cultural and theological context of favoring infant baptism, what "pious scribe" would add a verse that goes against the prevalent view of his church? The theory that a "pious scribe" added 8:37 is shared by Evangelicals who see historical theology only through an Evangelical bias. The fact of history demonstrates that the message of 8:37 was subversive to the dominant theologies of the early churches. In light of this, it is more likely than not that 8:37 was omitted rather than added. The fact that 8:37 remained in the Latin stream despite the Latin church's deeply held devotion to infant baptism demonstrates the resilience of 8:37, which is best explained by the theory that 8:37 was supported by sufficient external evidence in early times.
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Steven Avery

related but minor without eunuch and Philip

Gregory Nazianzen - Oration 40 - Oration on Holy Baptism

"In the year 381, Gregory Nazianzen calls people to baptism with the words ‘I am Philip; do you be Candace’s Eunuch’.110
110 Gregory Nazianzen, Baptism 26. NPNF II, vol 7, p 369.

XXVI. Let nothing hinder you from going on, nor draw you away from your readiness. While your desire is still vehement, seize upon that which you desire. While the iron is hot, let it be tempered by the cold water, lest anything should happen in the interval, and put an end to your desire. I am Philip; do you be Candace's Eunuch. Do you also say, "See, here is water, what does hinder me to be baptized?" Seize the opportunity; rejoice greatly in the blessing; and having spoken be baptized; and having been baptized be saved; and though you be an Ethiopian body, be made white in soul. Do not say, "A Bishop shall baptize me — and he a Metropolitan — and he of Jerusalem (for the Grace does not come of a place, but of the Spirit) — and he of noble birth, for it would be a sad thing for my nobility to be insulted by being baptized by a man of no family." Do not say, "I do not mind a mere Priest, if he is a celibate, and a religious, and of angelic life; for it would be a sad thing for me to be defiled even in the moment of my cleansing." Do not ask for credentials of the preacher or the baptizer. For another is his judge, 1 Samuel 16:7 and the examiner of what you can not see. For man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. But to you let every one be trustworthy for purification, so only he is one of those who have been approved, not of those who are openly condemned, and not a stranger to the Church.

Justin Martyr(Apol. 1. c. 61),
“As many persons as believe that the things which we preach are true, and who promise to live accordingly .... are brought to a place where is water, and are made regenerate by the same way of Regeneration as we ourselves are regenerate, and are baptized in water in the name of the Father of all, and of Jesus Christ our Saviour, and of the Holy Ghost"

As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, "Unless you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

William Strange mentions Apology 66;1 in terms of what is said in baptism.

Homiletic Review in 1881

mentions Origen, but possibly confused because "readings" quote:

"and it is quoted as a part of this context not only by Cyprian, but by Irenieus and Origen, who desc
ribe readings as existing and current in their day, but of which few traces can be found at present"

Information relating to a baptism confession of faith, Jerome and Marcus Celedensis is here:

More on Anianus of Celeda

Apostolic Constitutions discusses the authority to baptize, and mentions Philip and the Eunuch



Hilary the deacon should be the Ps-Ambrose mentioned by Bingham (maybe not found now), he is neutral

Steven Avery

From an FFF
Some of this is in recent BCHF

... the reasons for the original dropping, likely in the 2nd century, before there was an rcc, are conjecture.

William Trollope (1798-1863) wrote that the verse was:

Anelecta Theologica (1835)

"probably omitted in later times as being opposed to the delay of baptism"

James Henshall, in Is Acts viii:37 Genuine Scripture? quotes from August Neander (1789-1850), who has the same explanation with more detail, and also references this from Whitby.

The Millennial Harbinger, Volume 3 (1860)
Is Acts viii:37 Genuine Scripture? - James Henshall

The history of the Christian religion and Church during the three first centuries (1831)
Johann August W. Neander

"Originally, as it was of great consequence that the Church should extend itself rapidly, those (among the Jews) who acknowledged their belief in Jesus as the Messiah, or (among the heathen) who acknowledged their belief in the one God, and in Jesus the Messiah, were immediately baptised, as appears from the New Testament. It gradually came to be thought necessary to give those, who wished to be received into the Christian Church, a more careful instruction by way of preparation, and to subject them to a more severe trial. This whole class of persons were called " auditores,"... and these names implied that they were persons, who were receiving a preparatory instruction in Christianity, and who as yet were only in a state to listen to the Holy Scriptures, when they were read, and to the sermons. The time of probation must have been different according to the different condition of individuals ; but the council of Elvira determined generally that it should last two years. In Origen we find two classes of these catechumens distinctly separated from each other. ... "

Delay of baptism is a related yet distinct motivation from believer's baptism.

Then, in the Reformation era, the verse became a sword used in the defense of believer's baptism. And the verse remains foundational in Bible baptism discussions today. Even more so, now that the rcc has joined forces with the modern version textus corruptus (in versions like the Nova Vulgata and the NRSV) in omitting the confession of faith.

(Please note the doctrinal relationship to Romans 10 as well, pointed out by Henshall.)

Steven Avery

William A. Strange

The Problem of the Text of Acts (2005)
By William. A. Strange

section is p. 69-77

It would have been quite possible, therefore, for some second-century readers to have found Acts 8.37 too candid in its description of the pivotal rite of the church, admission to fellowship. Not even Justin spoke as frankly as this about the examining of baptismal candidates. Some readers, of course, did not object to it, and Irenaeus cites the passage with approval. But not only is it possible to see why the passage might have been removed by a cautious second-century scribe, it is harder to see why such a uniquely revealing glimpse of the testing of a baptismal candidate should have been added during a period when such rites were being surrounded by an increasing veil of secrecy.

Acts 8.37 cannot therefore be dismissed as an obvious example of pious expansion in the text. Given the possible motive for removing it, if genuine, its internal characteristics deserve investigation.

Steven Avery

Scholars to try to Contact

Everett Ferguson

William A. Strange

Josep Rius-Camps - Jenny Read-Heimerdinger

Amy Donaldson ( Bede and Acts 8:37, minor ref)

Roger Pearse
Isidore of Pelusium

William Lawrence Frank, Jr.

heavenly witnesses


Earlier scholars with lots of info

Joseph Bingham

Andrew Eubank Burn


Steven Avery

Acts of Philip - For I also firmly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, and with all my soul

Found Jan 20, 2019, a solid allusion, and in the Acts of Philip!

Acts of Philip

And having thus spoken, he ordered that he should he baptized. And he called Nathan to him, and said to him: How hast thou seen those baptized who believe in Christ? Come to me, and baptize me in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. For I also firmly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, and with all my soul; because nowhere in the whole world is there another who has created me, and made me whole from my wounds.

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Steven Avery

Combining my data to Timothy Berg chart

Main List Above
(NJS = Not in James Snapp)

Irenaeus (include, 2 refs)
Tertullian (mildly toward allusion)
Cyprian - (include)
Pontius the Deacon - (include)
Rebaptism - contra Novatian (mildly towards allusion)
Eusebius of Caesarea - (allusion) NJS
Basil of Caesarea - (solid allusion) NJS
Hillary of Poiters - (include) NJS

Ambrose of Milan - (UBS-2 nothing found)
Pacian of Barcelona - (include)
Ambrosiaster - good allusion
Gregory of Nyssa - allusion
Chromatius of Aquilea - (include) JS error has it weaker
Jerome - (important for Vulgate, one ref inclusion, others ambiguous) NJS
Cyril of Jerusalem (mildly neg or neutral) NJS
Chrysostom - (likely omission with a phrase twist)
Augustine of Hippo - (include x2)
Isidore of Pelusium - (to be determined)
Speculum - (include)
the Praedestinatus (include)
Fulgentius of Ruspe - (include x 2)
Cassiodorus - (allusion) (extra phrase in v. 39) - NJS
Theophylact (include x2 maybe 3, one note is different)

Timothy Berg

Ambrose of Milan
Pacian of Barcelona
Gregory of Nyssa


Bede is on Timothy Berg chart and
Bede says yes to Greek, no to Latin, may give it a post.

Shepherd of Hermas
Incidentally, the Shepherd of Hermas has a usage of the verse 4:12, for some reason I had thought it might apply to 8:37:

"Well did you escape from it," says she, "because you cast your care on God, and opened your heart to the Lord, believing that you can be saved by no other than by His great and glorious name.. "

Shown to Timothy 2020
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Steven Avery

Oecumenius and Ps-Oec can be the same reference

Ps-Oec - apparatus - Josep Rius-Camps - Jenny Read-Heimerdinger -

Whitby (1710)

Samuel Davidson says:
"quoted by Irenaeus (Greek and Latin), OEcumenius ..."

Note that he flips Bede from having Greek mss. to having Latin, Scrivener too


Expositer's Greek Testament

Oecumenius is credited as using the verse by Samuel Davidson, Scrivener and the Expositor's Greek Testament, William Robertson Nicoll, editor. At one point Richard John Knowling did the Expositor's Greek section, the original edition seems to be Nicoll. As the major medieval Greek commentators, the usage by Oecumenius and twice by Theophylact in a sense neutralizes the Greek numerical ms. omission. The Greek ms. lacuna was recognized by the top Greek writers.
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