The Arrest and Trial of Peter and John
4 While Peter and John 1 were speaking to the people, the priests and the commander 2 of the temple guard 3 and the Sadducees 4 came up 5 to them, 2 angry 6 because they were teaching the people and announcing 7 in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 So 8 they seized 9 them and put them in jail 10 until the next day (for it was already evening). 4 But many of those who had listened to 11 the message 12 believed, and the number of the men 13 came to about five thousand.
5 On the next day, 14 their rulers, elders, and experts in the law 15 came together 16 in Jerusalem. 17 6 Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and others who were members of the high priest’s family. 18 7 After 19 making Peter and John 20 stand in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or by what name 21 did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, 22 replied, 23 “Rulers of the people and elders, 24 9 if 25 we are being examined 26 today for a good deed 27 done to a sick man – by what means this man was healed 28 – 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ 29 the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. 11 This Jesus 30 is the stone that was rejected by you, 31 the builders, that has become the cornerstone. 32 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people 33 by which we must 34 be saved.”
13 When they saw the boldness 35 of Peter and John, and discovered 36 that they were uneducated 37 and ordinary 38 men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus. 14 And because they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against this. 39 15 But when they had ordered them to go outside the council, 40 they began to confer with one another, 16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For it is plain 41 to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable miraculous sign 42 has come about through them, 43 and we cannot deny it. 17 But to keep this matter from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more 44 to anyone in this name.” 18 And they called them in and ordered 45 them not to speak or teach at all in the name 46 of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, 47 “Whether it is right before God to obey 48 you rather than God, you decide, 20 for it is impossible 49 for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After threatening them further, they released them, for they could not find how to punish them on account of the people, because they were all praising 50 God for what had happened. 22 For the man, on whom this miraculous sign 51 of healing had been performed, 52 was over forty years old.
The Followers of Jesus Pray for Boldness
23 When they were released, Peter and John 53 went to their fellow believers 54 and reported everything the high priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind 55 and said, “Master of all, 56 you who made the heaven, the earth, 57 the sea, and everything that is in them, 25 who said by the Holy Spirit through 58 your servant David our forefather, 59
‘Why do the nations 60 rage, 61
and the peoples plot foolish 62 things?
26 The kings of the earth stood together, 63
and the rulers assembled together,
against the Lord and against his 64 Christ.’ 65
27 “For indeed both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together in this city against 66 your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, 67 28 to do as much as your power 68 and your plan 69 had decided beforehand 70 would happen. 29 And now, Lord, pay attention to 71 their threats, and grant 72 to your servants 73 to speak your message 74 with great courage, 75 30 while you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs 76 and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 When 77 they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, 78 and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak 79 the word of God 80 courageously. 81
Conditions Among the Early Believers
32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, 82 and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 83 33 With 84 great power the apostles were giving testimony 85 to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 34 For there was no one needy 86 among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling 87 them 88 and bringing the proceeds from the sales 35 and placing them at the apostles’ feet. The proceeds 89 were distributed to each, as anyone had need. 36 So Joseph, a Levite who was a native of Cyprus, called by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), 90 37 sold 91 a field 92 that belonged to him and brought the money 93 and placed it at the apostles’ feet.
The Judgment on Ananias and Sapphira
5 Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. 2 He 1 kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought 2 only part of it and placed it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled 3 your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of 4 the land? 4 Before it was sold, 5 did it not 6 belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money 7 not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? 8 You have not lied to people 9 but to God!”
5 When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped 10 all who heard about it. 6 So the young men came, 11 wrapped him up, 12 carried him out, and buried 13 him. 7 After an interval of about three hours, 14 his wife came in, but she did not know 15 what had happened. 8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you 16 paid this amount 17 for the land?” Sapphira 18 said, “Yes, that much.” 9 Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” 10 At once 19 she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great 20 fear gripped 21 the whole church 22 and all who heard about these things.
The Apostles Perform Miraculous Signs and Wonders
12 Now many miraculous signs 23 and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By 24 common consent 25 they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 26 13 None of the rest dared to join them, 27 but the people held them in high honor. 28 14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, 29 crowds of both men and women. 15 Thus 30 they even carried the sick out into the streets, and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 16 A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem 31 also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. 32 They 33 were all 34 being healed.
Further Trouble for the Apostles
17 Now the high priest rose up, and all those with him (that is, the religious party of the Sadducees 35 ), 36 and they were filled with jealousy. 37 18 They 38 laid hands on 39 the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord 40 opened 41 the doors of the prison, 42 led them out, 43 and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple courts 44 and proclaim 45 to the people all the words of this life.” 21 When they heard this, they entered the temple courts 46 at daybreak and began teaching. 47
Now when the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they summoned the Sanhedrin 48 – that is, the whole high council 49 of the Israelites 50 – and sent to the jail to have the apostles 51 brought before them. 52 22 But the officers 53 who came for them 54 did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 55 23 “We found the jail locked securely and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, 56 we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the commander 57 of the temple guard 58 and the chief priests heard this report, 59 they were greatly puzzled concerning it, 60 wondering what this could 61 be. 25 But someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts 62 and teaching 63 the people!” 26 Then the commander 64 of the temple guard 65 went with the officers 66 and brought the apostles 67 without the use of force 68 (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people). 69
27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, 70 and the high priest questioned 71 them, 28 saying, “We gave 72 you strict orders 73 not to teach in this name. 74 Look, 75 you have filled Jerusalem 76 with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood 77 on us!” 29 But Peter and the apostles replied, 78 “We must obey 79 God rather than people. 80 30 The God of our forefathers 81 raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 82 31 God exalted him 83 to his right hand as Leader 84 and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 85 32 And we are witnesses of these events, 86 and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey 87 him.”
33 Now when they heard this, they became furious 88 and wanted to execute them. 89 34 But a Pharisee 90 whose name was Gamaliel, 91 a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up 92 in the council 93 and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35 Then he said to the council, 94 “Men of Israel, 95 pay close attention to 96 what you are about to do to these men. 36 For some time ago 97 Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He 98 was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 99 37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, 100 and incited people to follow him in revolt. 101 He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, 102 it will come to nothing, 103 39 but if 104 it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 105 fighting against God.” He convinced them, 106 40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. 107 Then 108 they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 41 So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy 109 to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 110 42 And every day both in the temple courts 111 and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news 112 that Jesus was the Christ. 113
The Appointment of the First Seven Deacons
6 Now in those 1 days, when the disciples were growing in number, 2 a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews 3 against the native Hebraic Jews, 4 because their widows 5 were being overlooked 6 in the daily distribution of food. 7 2 So the twelve 8 called 9 the whole group 10 of the disciples together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. 11 3 But carefully select from among you, brothers, 12 seven 13 men who are well-attested, 14 full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge 15 of this necessary task. 16 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 The 17 proposal pleased the entire group, so 18 they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with 19 Philip, 20 Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism 21 from Antioch. 22 6 They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed 23 and placed 24 their hands on them. 7 The word of God continued to spread, 25 the number of disciples in Jerusalem 26 increased greatly, and a large group 27 of priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen is Arrested
8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs 28 among the people. 9 But some men from the Synagogue 29 of the Freedmen (as it was called), 30 both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, 31 stood up and argued with Stephen. 10 Yet 32 they were not able to resist 33 the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 11 Then they secretly instigated 34 some men to say, “We have heard this man 35 speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 They incited the people, the 36 elders, and the experts in the law; 37 then they approached Stephen, 38 seized him, and brought him before the council. 39 13 They brought forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop saying things against this holy place 40 and the law. 41 14 For we have heard him saying that Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place and change the customs 42 that Moses handed down to us.” 15 All 43 who were sitting in the council 44 looked intently at Stephen 45 and saw his face was like the face of an angel. 46