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.Acts 8:37
There are many theories surrounding the omission of Acts 8:37 from several versions of the Bible, including the NIV and ESV. The official reason listed in most Bibles that omit it is that it was not present in early versions of the manuscript, that it was added to versions such as the KJV but that it wasn’t found in original Bibles.
The debate often happens when those who believe that it should be included questions the validity of these early manuscripts. One way or another, there is a conspiracy that surrounds this verse. That much cannot rationally be questioned. Either someone went through a lot of trouble to include a verse of the Bible that had enough legs to make into many modern translations or others went through a lot of effort to have it omitted because they didn’t care for the message.
It is a crucial point because it pertains to Baptism. If one were to be believe that it is supposed to be in the Bible, they could point the conspiracy towards the Catholic Church. If Baptism requires that one must believe with all their hearts that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then it would call into question the practice of the baptism of infants. Professing the Messiah cannot be done by an infant.
The conspiracy works in the other direction as well. One might say that the verse was added in an attempt to cause a contradiction between the Bible and the Catholic Church.
We currently believe that the King James Version is the right English version, but we’re always searching and praying on the subject.