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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 5

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

7About three hours passed, and his wife came in, unaware of what had happened. 8Peter asked her, ‘Tell me, were you paid such and such a price for the land?’ ‘Yes,’ she replied, ‘that was the price.’ 9Peter said, ‘Why did the two of you conspire to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Those who buried your husband are there at the door, and they will carry you away.’ 10At once she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in, they found her dead; and they carried her out and burried her beside her husband.

11Great awe fell on the whole church and on all who heard of this. 12Many signs and wonders were done among the people by the apostles. All the believers used to meet by common consent in Solomon's Portico; 13no one from outside their number ventured to join them, yet people in general spoke highly of them. 14An ever-increasing number of men and women who believed in the Lord were added to their ranks. 15As a result the sick were carried out into the streets and laid there on beds and stretchers, so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on one or another as he passed by; 16and the people from the towns round Jerusalem flocked in, bringing those who were ill or harassed by unclean spirits, and all were cured.

17Then the high priest and his colleagues, the Sadducean party, were goaded by jealousy 18to arrest the apostles and put them in official custody. 19But during the night, an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, led them out, and said, 20‘Go, stand in the temple and tell the people all about this new life.’ 21Accordingly they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.

When the high priest arrived with his colleagues they summoned the Sanhedrin, the full Council of the Israelite nation, and sent to the jail for the prisoners. 22The officers 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 on opening them we found no one inside.’ 24When they heard this, the controller of the temple and the chief priests were at a loss to know what could have become of them, 25until someone came and reported: ‘The men you put in prison are standing in the temple teaching the people.’ 26Then the controller went off with the officers and fetched them, but without use of force, for fear of being stoned by the people.

27When they had been brought in and made to stand before the Council, the high priest began his examination. 28‘We gave you explicit orders’, he said, ‘to stop teaching in that name; and what has happened? You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are trying to hold us responsible for that man's death.’ 29Peter replied for the apostles: ‘We must obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus; after you had put him to death by hanging him on a gibbet, 31God exalted him at his right hand a 5:31 at his right hand: or with his right hand. as leader and saviour, to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are witnesses to all this, as is the Holy Spirit who is given by God to those obedient to him.’

33This touched them on the raw, and they wanted to put them to death. 34But 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 had the men put outside for a while, 35and then said, ‘Men of Israel, be very careful in deciding what to do with these men. 36Some time ago Theudas came forward, making claims for himself, and a number of our people, about four hundred, joined him. But he was killed and his whole movement was destroyed and came to nothing. 37After 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 movement was broken up. 38Now, my advice to you is this: keep clear of these men; let them alone. For if what is being planned and done is human in origin, it will collapse; 39but if it is from God, you will never be able to stamp it out, and you risk finding yourselves at war with God.’

40Convinced by this, 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. 41The apostles went out from the Council rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer humiliation for the sake of the name. 42And every day they went steadily on with their teaching in the temple and in private houses, telling the good news of Jesus the Messiah.

Notes:

a 5:31 at his right hand: or with his right hand.

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