As we compare scripture with scripture, we will see that in the context of this scripture, it is not realistic that this verse in question does not belong in the Bible. What we want to know is if it is reasonable that the eunuch’s question was not answered.
When we look at verse 36, we see a specific question is asked for a specific reason.
Every time in the book of Acts where a specific question is asked, a specific answer is given.
The only exception to this would be where the question is rhetorical. There are plenty examples of both in Acts as the following illustrates:
“R” designates a rhetorical question which is not answered.
The purpose of a rhetorical question is to make a point. The purpose of a normal question is to receive an answer
Now, let’s look at the flow of conversation.
8:30 > Phillip asks the eunuch if he understands what he is reading from Isaiah.
8:31 > Eunuch responds with a rhetorical question that he can’t without help.
8:34 > The eunuch then presses the issue with Phillip asking who is Isaiah 53 referring to?
8:35 > Phillip answers again and uses this scripture to preach Jesus as Christ AND as is EVIDENT from the following question also teaches the eunuch that a believer in Christ must be baptized.
8:36 > The eunuch sees some “certain water” which would be quite unusual for the route they were taking. It may have been provided by God by miracle or simply providence. The eunuch particularly wants to bring the water to Phillip’s attention “see,here” as it appears Phillip was not planning to baptize him.
8:36 > The eunuch is convicted of the truth of the gospel and asks a very direct question which was, what is stopping me from being baptized? It appears apart from the eunuch’s question, Phillip would have continued on.
8:37 > Phillip explained what would hinder him by stating what would allow him and answering a very direct question which is consistent with every other time in Acts a question that is not rhetorical is asked.
As the text stands in the AV (KJV) and other related Bibles, 3 questions are asked and 3 are answered. In the modern versions, 3 questions are asked and 2 are answered.
Now let’s look at two other passages in Acts where questions were asked of things related to salvation:
Acts 16:30,31,33 “30 … Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved… And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”
Acts 2:37,37 “…Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…”
And in the same flow of scripture in Acts…
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?
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.
38 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.
Edward Super June 2017