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Chapter 5

1But a man named Ananias, who, with his wife Sapphira, had sold a piece of property, 2with his wife’s connivance appropriated some of the price received, and brought only a part of it to put at the disposal of the apostles. 3And Peter said,

“Ananias, why has Satan taken such possession of your heart that you should lie to the holy Spirit, by appropriating part of the price of your land? 4As long as it was unsold was it not yours, and after it was sold was not the money under your control? How could you think of doing such a thing? You did not lie to men but to God!”

5When Ananias heard these words he fell down and expired, and everyone who heard them spoken was appalled. 6The younger men got up and wrapping his body up carried it out and buried it. 7About three hours later, his wife came in, without having learned what had happened. 8Peter said to her,

“Tell me, did you sell the land for such and such a sum?”

“Yes,” she said, “that was it.”

9Peter said to her,

“How could you two agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? There at the door are the footsteps of the men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out also.”

10She instantly fell down at his feet and expired. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And the whole church and all who heard this were appalled. 12They would all meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13None of the others dared to associate with them, but the people made much of them, 14and men and women in increasing numbers believed in the Lord and joined them.

Signs and wonders in great numbers continued to be done among the people by the apostles, 15so that people would carry their sick out into the streets, and lay them down on beds and mats, to have at least Peter’s shadow fall on some of them as he went by. 16Even from the towns around Jerusalem crowds would come in bringing sick people and those who were troubled with foul spirits, and they were all cured.

17This aroused the high priest and all his supporters, the party of the Sadducees, and filled them with jealousy, 18and they had the apostles arrested and put in the common jail. 19But an angel of the Lord opened the jail doors in the night and let them out, and said to them,

20“Go, take your stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new life.”

21And they obeyed, and about daybreak went into the Temple and began to teach. The high priest and his party came over and called together the council and indeed the whole senate of the Israelites, and sent to the prison to have the apostles brought in. 22But the attendants who went for them could not find them in the jail, and they came back and reported,

23“We found the prison securely locked up, with the sentries on duty at the doors, but on opening the doors we found no one inside.”

24When the commander of the Temple and the high priests heard this report, they were very much at a loss as to what would come of it. 25Someone came over and reported to them,

“The men that you put in jail are standing right here in the Temple, teaching the people!”

26Then the commander and his men went and brought them back, but without using violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people. 27So they brought them before the council. The high priest called on them for an explanation.

28“We strictly forbade you,” he said, “to teach on this authority, and here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and propose to hold us responsible for this man’s death!”

29Peter and the apostles answered,

“We must obey God rather than men. 30The God of our forefathers raised Jesus to life when you had hung him on a cross and killed him. 31God took him up to his right hand as our leader and savior, in order to give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We and the holy Spirit which God has given to those who obey him are witnesses to these things.”

33When they heard this, they were furious, and wanted to kill them. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law highly regarded by all the people, got up in the council and ordered the men to be removed for a while, 35and then said,

“Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. 36For some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be a person of importance, and a group of men numbering some four hundred joined him. But he was killed and all his followers were dispersed and disappeared. 37After him, at the time of the census, Judas of Galilee appeared, and raised a great following, but he too perished, and all his followers were scattered. 38So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this idea or movement is of human origin, it will come to naught, 39but if it is from God, you will not be able to stop it. You may actually find yourselves fighting God!”

40They were convinced by him, and they called the apostles in and had them flogged, and warned them not to speak about the name of Jesus, and then let them go. 41So they went out from before the council, glad that they had been thought worthy to bear disgrace for the sake of Jesus, 42and they did not for a single day stop teaching and preaching in the Temple and in private houses the good news of Jesus, the Christ.

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