My New American Bible has this verse # in my bible but it doesn’t have a verse to it. It does have a footnote to it stating something like the oldest translation of Acts doesn’t have this verse added to it.??? Anyone know what old text they may be referring too? Or where I can find more info. to this verse. Thanks
37 [And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.
I found this on a NAB website but it’s not in my NAB Bible. My book Bible may be the new revised New Testament 1986*
There are two groups of manuscripts. One has this verse, the other doesn’t.
It is also important to remember that when the originals were made, there were no chapter and verse numbers; they were added in the 1400s and 1600s I think, could be wrong but it was much after the original.
The group that thinks that verse should be there obviously include it. The other group, in order to prevent confusion with the rest of the chapter (and some other chapters too) keep the same numbering. Their view is basically:
I’ll try to explain it in an easy way. When translators translate the Bible, they usually don’t work using the actual manuscripts themselves. They don’t go around from place to place poring over the different manuscripts of biblical books we have found so far. (For one, it wouldn’t be practical, considering just how many biblical manuscripts there are all over the world.)
Their translation is based instead on what is called a ‘critical text’ or a ‘critical edition’. What happens is that scholars - or to use a jargon, ‘textual critics’ - compare the different surviving manuscripts of the New Testament in order to determine which reading is most likely to be closest to what the original autographs (i.e. the text as actually penned by the authors of the respective books) would have said. They use a number of factors to help determine probable readings such as the date of the manuscripts, the likelihood of accidental errors or intentional alterations of the text, etc. This science is what is known as ‘textual criticism’ or ‘lower criticism’.
Nowadays, most translations and academic works nowadays tend to use the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (now in its 28th edition), with the United Bible Societies’ The Greek New Testament coming in as a close second. There’s really no real difference between these two critical texts. They only differ on punctuations (of course, you have to remember that ancient manuscripts did not have punctuations as we do now) and on the apparatuses - the extra stuff. Generally speaking, the Nestle-Aland is the more comprehensive of the two; it lists most of the known variants across different manuscripts, while the UBS edition only lists the variants ‘meaningful for translators’. So, it doesn’t really matter much which one you get, though the UBS version might be easier for folks who just want to casually read or study the Greek.
So it’s not so much the translators’ ‘fault’ as the ‘fault’ of the people who produce said critical edition. The translators are just translating the text they were using.