Does Acts:8:36-37 prevent infant baptism?

It seems that Philip telling the eunuch that he had to believe in Christ to get baptized would go against infant baptism

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The eunuch had received instruction in the Faith as an adult, so faith is a necessary predisposition for an adult and them answer themselves/consent etc. to the Faith and to being Baptized.

In infant Baptism, the infants sponsors answer for them and they are baptized into the Faith. And as an infant does not have personal sin (only the stain of original sin), as George Haydock says " And as the defilement was not personal, but that of others, so are they purified by the faith of others."

George Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary Acts 8


Why is an admission of faith necessary for an adult?

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Welcome to the forums!!

As you’ve listed your religion under your profile as IDK, it would be worth your time to read the following:-

Catechism of the Catholic Church - The Sacrament of Baptism - you would benefit from reading this whole section, in which it also covers adult as well as infants and a whole lot more.

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Well if you didn’t believe in Jesus, what Catholics profess, then what would be the point of being Baptized?

An admission is necessary for the person about to be Baptized as this shows he’s received instruction, understands what he’s been taught, accepts it as being True and holds the same beliefs, all which back up his desire to be Baptized into the Catholic Faith.

Again in the catechism we read:- " 1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The response is: “Faith!”"

and in “1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.”

Baptismal Promises


so why did the eunuch have to believe with all of his heart?

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It means that he accepted fully the instruction he received, and his consent to these teachings and to being Baptized was full. The same if someone asked you whether you believed something with all your heart was true. If you did, then that’s what you’d say - yes, I believe it to be true with my whole heart. If you had some doubts on any part/point, then you wouldn’t believe with your whole heart.

Because if he had any doubts about the instructions he’d received, then he wasn’t ready to be Baptized into the Faith.


Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions

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You are welcome.

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Nope. Read elsewhere in Acts. And in the 1st letter of Saint Peter. Baptism is “for you and your children.” In Acts, entire households were baptized. (Acts 11:14, 16:15, 16:31, 16:34, 18:8)

In any event the Church which Christ founded on ZERO scripture is not a slave to the limitations of scripture - but also never violates the true meaning of scripture.

Q: Who has the authority to interpret?

The entire world knows what the bible says. The entire bible Christian world can do little but argue and divide over what it means.

A: The answer is given by our Lord (Mt 18:15-18) as well as Saint Paul in 1 Timothy 3:15.

The Church.

One more thing: Our Lord gave His Church the power of binding and loosing. Mt 16:18, 18:18). He said “Whatever” you bind on earth is bound in heaven. Baptism is certainly included in “Whatever.”


And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37)

I don’t know if this effects your question but it is my understanding that the above verse is not found in the earliest manuscripts of Acts and so many modern Bible scholars think the verse was not in the original manuscript of Acts.

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In order for something to be proscribed or prohibited, the scriptures would say “You shall not…”

But, that is nowhere to be found. BTW, there are several Protestant denominations which baptize children.

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