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. Chapter 5.

Ananias and Sapphira

1 But there was another man, called Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, who sold a property. 2 With the full knowledge of his wife he kept back part of the purchase-money, and part he brought and laid at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, 'Ananias, how was it that Satan so possessed your mind that you lied to the Holy Spirit, and kept back part of the price of the land? 4 While it remained, did it not remain yours? When it was turned into money, was it not still at your own disposal? What made you think of doing this thing? You have lied not to men but to God.' 5 When Ananias heard these words he dropped dead; and all the others who heard were awestruck. 6 The younger men rose and covered his body, then carried him out and buried him.

7 About three hours passed, and then his wife came in, unaware of what had happened. 8 Peter turned to her and said, 'Tell me, were you paid such and such a price for the land?' 'Yes,' she said, 'that was the price.' 9 Then Peter said, 'Why did you both conspire to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Hark! there at the door are the footsteps of those who buried your husband; and they will carry you away.' 10 And suddenly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in, they found her dead; and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And a great awe fell upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these events.

Many Signs and Wonders Performed

12 Many remarkable and wonderful things took place among the people at the hands of the apostles.

THEY USED TO MEET by common consent in Solomon's Portico, 13 no one from outside their number venturing to join with them. But people in general spoke highly of them, [Or: ... Portico. Although others did not venture to join them, the common people spoke highly of them.] 14 and more than that, numbers of men and women were added to their ranks as believers in the Lord. [Or: and an ever-increasing number of believer, both men and women were added to the Lord.] 15 In the end the sick were actually carried out into the streets and laid there on beds and stretchers, so that even the shadow of Peter might fall on one or another as he passed by; 16 and the people from the towns round Jerusalem flocked in, bringing those who were ill or harassed by unclean spirits, and all of them were cured.

Persecution of the Apostles (Jerusalem)

17 Then the High Priest and his colleagues, the Sadducean party as it then was, were goaded into action by jealousy. 18 They proceeded to arrest the apostles, and put them in official custody. 19 But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors during the night, brought them out, and said, 20 'Go, take your place in the temple and speak to the people, and tell them about this new life and all it means.' 21 Accordingly they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.

When the High Priest arrived with his colleagues they summoned the 'Sanhedrin', that is, the full senate of the Israelite nation, and sent to the jail to fetch the prisoners. 22 But the police who went to the prison failed to find them there, so they returned and reported, 23 'We found the jail securely locked at every point, with the warders at their posts by the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.' 24 When they heard this, the Controller of the Temple and the chief priests were wondering what could have become of them, [Or: wondering about them, what this could possibly mean.] 25 and then a man arrived with the report, 'Look! the men you put in prison are there in the temple teaching the people.' 26 At that the Controller went off with the police and fetched them, but without using force for fear of being stoned by the people.

27 So they brought them and stood them before the Council; and the High Priest began his examination. 28 'We expressly ordered you', he said, 'to desist from teaching in that name; and what has happened? You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are trying to make us responsible for that man's death.' 29 Peter replied for himself and the apostles: 'We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you had done to death [Or: ... Jesus, and you did him to death ...] by hanging him on a gibbet. 31 He it is whom God has exalted with his own right hand [Or: at his right hand.] as leader and saviour, to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to all this, and so is the Holy Spirit given by God to those who are obedient to him.'

33 This touched them on the raw, and they wanted to put them to death. 34 But a member of the Council rose to his feet, a Pharisee called Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in high regard by all the people. He moved that the men be put outside for a while. 35 Then he said, 'Men of Israel, be cautious in deciding what to do with these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas came forward, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. But he was killed and his whole following was broken up and disappeared. 37 After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census; he induced some people to revolt under his leadership, but he too perished and his whole following was scattered. 38 And so now: keep clear of these men, I tell you; leave them alone. For if this idea of theirs or its execution is of human origin, it will collapse; 39 but if it is from God, you will never be able to put them down, and you risk finding yourselves at war with God.'

40 They took his advice. They sent for the apostles and had them flogged; then they ordered them to give up speaking in the name of Jesus, and discharged them. 41 So the apostles went out from the Council rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer indignity for the sake of the Name. 42 And every day they went steadily on with their teaching in the temple and in private houses, telling the good news of Jesus the Messiah. [Or: the good news that the Messiah was Jesus.]

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.