Acts 8:31
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

King James Bible
And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said, How should I then be able unless some one guide me? And he begged Philip to come up and sit with him.

World English Bible
He said, "How can I, unless someone explains it to me?" He begged Philip to come up and sit with him.

Young's Literal Translation
and he said, 'Why, how am I able, if some one may not guide me?' he called Philip also, having come up, to sit with him.

Acts 8:31 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

How can I, except some man should guide me? - This is no proof that "the Scriptures cannot be understood without an authorized interpreter," as some of the papistical writers assert. How could the eunuch know any thing of the Gospel dispensation, to which this scripture referred? That dispensation had not yet been proclaimed to him; he knew nothing about Jesus. But where that dispensation has been published, where the four Gospels and the apostolic epistles are at hand, every thing relative to the salvation of the soul may be clearly apprehended by any simple, upright person. There are difficulties, it is true, in different parts of the sacred writings, which neither the pope nor his conclave can solve; and several which even the more enlightened Protestant cannot remove; but these difficulties do not refer to matters in which the salvation of the soul is immediately concerned: they refer to such as are common to every ancient author in the universe. These difficulties, being understood, add to the beauty, elegance, and justness of the language, thoughts, and turns of expression; and these, only the few who are capable of understanding are able to relish. As to all the rest, all that relates to faith and practice, all in which the present and eternal interest of the soul is concerned, "the wayfaring man, though a fool, (quite illiterate), shall not err therein."

That he would come up, and sit with him - So earnestly desirous was he to receive instruction relative to those things which concerned the welfare of his soul.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Psalm 25:8,9 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way...

Psalm 73:16,17,22 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me...

Proverbs 30:2,3 Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man...

Isaiah 29:18,19 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness...

Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it...

Matthew 18:3,4 And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven...

Mark 10:15 Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?...

1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

1 Corinthians 8:2 And if any man think that he knows any thing, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

1 Corinthians 14:36,37 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it to you only...

James 1:10,21 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away...

1 Peter 2:1,2 Why laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings...

And he.

2 Kings 5:9,26 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha...

2 Kings 10:15,16 And when he was departed there, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him...

Simon the Sorcerer
'Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.'--ACTS viii. 21. The era of the birth of Christianity was one of fermenting opinion and decaying faith. Then, as now, men's minds were seething and unsettled, and that unrest which is the precursor of great changes in intellectual and spiritual habitudes affected the civilised world. Such a period is ever one of predisposition to superstition. The one true bond which unites God and man being obscured,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

A Meeting in the Desert
'And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28. Was returning, and sitting in his chariot, read Esaias the prophet. 29. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Whether the Imposition of the Priest's Hands is Necessary for this Sacrament?
Objection 1: It would seem that the imposition of the priest's hands is necessary for this sacrament. For it is written (Mk. 16:18): "They shall lay hands upon the sick, and they shall recover." Now sinners are sick spiritually, and obtain recovery through this sacrament. Therefore an imposition of hands should be made in this sacrament. Objection 2: Further, in this sacrament man regains the Holy Ghost Whom he had lost, wherefore it is said in the person of the penitent (Ps. 1:14): "Restore unto
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Penance is a Sacrament?
Objection 1: It would seem that Penance is not a sacrament. For Gregory [*Cf. Isidore, Etym. vi, ch. 19] says: "The sacraments are Baptism, Chrism, and the Body and Blood of Christ; which are called sacraments because under the veil of corporeal things the Divine power works out salvation in a hidden manner." But this does not happen in Penance, because therein corporeal things are not employed that, under them, the power of God may work our salvation. Therefore Penance is not a sacrament. Objection
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Acts 8:30
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.

Acts 8:32
This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Romans 10:14
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

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