John William Burgon, Acts 8:37 and the Received Text

Steven Avery

[KJBD] Dean Burgon referencing Acts 8:37 as scripture

[KJBD] Acts 8:37 and Dean John Burgon


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.

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.


Wow. I stopped back at an anti-pure-KJB pit, and it is amazing how impoverished are their discussions.

That you Lord Jesus that we actually have the honor and privilege to defend your pure word.

Anyway, occasionally something interesting does come up. I was challenged about comments I had made (on some textcrit forums) about Dean Burgon and Acts 8:37.

Most of you are aware that Acts 8:37 and the Johannine Comma are close kin.

When I checked I realized that the evidence is even more powerful than I realized when I posted here. earlier, so I will give the earlier post, improved, and include a third powerful pro-Acts 8:37 reference from the Dean, and also a link to the thread in process.


First, what we had earlier, but I will spruce it up a bit with new material.
We had two references.


Dean Burgon apparently did not do any in-depth discussions of this verse (similar situation as with the Johannine Comma), we do have one clear acceptance of Acts 8:37 as scripture. (1855 Vol 2 Mark) (1859 Vol 1 Mark-Matthew)
A Plain Commentary on the Four Holy Gospels - (1859) Vol 1 p. 397-398 (Mark 16:16)

The Dean discusses the harmony of Acts 8:36-38 and Mark 16:16.
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" with what the"eunuch confessed".

This saying seems, in the first place, to point out who are the fit subjects for Holy Baptism ' ..... He that believeth' may be baptized.' (d) If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest,' were the express words of the Deacon Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch. ' He that believeth :' but in what ? No doubt .... in the FATHER, and in the SON, and in the HOLY GHOST. So in effect, and almost in words, the eunuch confessed : so Timothy doubtless professed his good profession before many witnesses (e)

(d) Acts viii.37
(e) 1 Tim. vi. 12

And the Dean directly relates Acts 8:37 to the profession of 1 Timothy 6:12.

ADDED 2021:
Actually not so strong, because he changes the Confession from Jesus is the Son of God.


Also here in this section the Dean mentions how the verse was called into question.

A Treatise on the Pastoral Office p. 75

The famous verse in S. John's first Epistle (v. 7.); the reply of Philip to the eunuch, (Acts viii. 37.); the quotation from the Psalms in S. Matth. xxvii. 35; and the angelic agency which caused the troubling of the pool of Bethesda (S. John v. 3, 4,), are I believe the principal cases where a single verse of Scripture has been called in question....

Notice that neither Acts 8:37 or the Johannine Comma are listed in the:

"questionable places"


"are all capable of definite specification ; affect neither faith nor practice;
can mislead nobody; are of importance to none but the critical scholar."

Very interesting for the overall textual views of Dean John Burgon



"Plain Commentary" Luke Volume 3 - p. 208-9 (Luke 8:47)

Luke 8:47
And when the woman saw that she was not hid,
she came trembling,
and falling down before him,
she declared unto him before all the people
for what cause she had touched him,
and how she was healed immediately.

Dean Burgon:
Take notice, that in this miracle the cure came first. This was vouchsafed as a help and encouragement ; that so, the open confession which the SAVIOUR requires, and which must follow, see Acts viii. 37,*might prove the easier.* It is further remarkable as having been a miracle within a miracle;*and one, wherein CHRIST wrought without a word, or sign.

Very clear with the reference of an "open confession" along with the
scripture verse Acts 8:37.


Sidenote for completeness.
"Traditional Text" mentions the section on p. 281, more en passant

In summary, there is no ability to hand-wave this. The Dean is taking one of the most significant TR / non-Majority verses and clearly and powerfully referencing it as scripture, with his own exegesis. Then in the third case (#2 above) he is giving an overall textual view that is a defacto defense of both Acts 8:37 and the Comma. This does not mean that we should say that their were no nuances and weaknesses in the Dean's position, from our understanding and vantage points today, but it does give a lot of strong extra support from the Dean of a TR and KJB perspective.


Oh, the thread from the dark side ?
Here it is ..
Another phantom quote?

My posts are on pg. 2.
Last edited: