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4. Peter and John Before Sanhedrin
1And as they spake unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2being sore troubled because they taught the people, and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3And they laid hands on them, and put them in ward unto the morrow: for it was now eventide. 4But many of them that heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. 5And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest. 7And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, By what power, or in what name, have ye done this? 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders, 9if we this day are examined concerning a good deed done to an impotent man, by what means this man is made whole; 10be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even in him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11He is the stone which was set at nought of you the builders, which was made the head of the corner. 12And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved. 13Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14And seeing the man that was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been wrought through them, is manifest to all that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17But that it spread no further among the people, let us threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18And they called them, and charged them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to hearken unto you rather than unto God, judge ye: 20for we cannot but speak the things which we saw and heard. 21And they, when they had further threatened them, let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified God for that which was done. 22For the man was more than forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was wrought. 23And being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said unto them. 24And they, when they heard it, lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, O Lord, thou that didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is: 25who by the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David thy servant, didst say,
Why did the Gentiles rage,
And the peoples imagine vain things?
26The kings of the earth set themselves in array,
And the rulers were gathered together,
Against the Lord, and against his Anointed:
27for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, 28to do whatsoever thy hand and thy council foreordained to come to pass. 29And now, Lord, look upon their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness, 30while thy stretchest forth thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of thy holy Servant Jesus. 31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken wherein they were gathered together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul: and not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35and laid them at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto each, according as any one had need. 36And Joseph, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of exhortation), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, 37having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.
5. It is a thing worthy to be noted in this place, that the wicked do omit no subtilty that they may blot out the gospel and the name of Christ, and yet do they not obtain that which they hoped for; because God doth make their counsels frustrate. For they make an assembly, wherein they do all things so tyrannously, that yet, notwithstanding, lust beareth a show of right, and liberty is driven far away, and at length the truth may seem to be condemned by good right. But the Lord bringeth upon them a sudden fear, so that they dare not do that which they can, and which they do most of all desire. Whatsoever the apostles shall bring in defense of their cause, that shall remain buried and shut up with the walls, where there is none which doth bear them any favor. And therefore there is no place left for the truth. Yet we see how the Lord bringeth their counsel to nought, whilst that being kept back with fear of the people, they stay themselves and bridle their fury, to the end they may avoid envy. But I marvel much why Luke doth make Annas the highest priest in this place, seeing that it appeareth by Josephus, that this honor was not taken from Caiaphas until Vitellius had entered Jerusalem to bear rule, after that Pilate was commanded to depart unto Rome. All men grant that the Lord was crucified in the eighteenth year of Tiberius. And that empire [the reign of Tiberius] did continue four years longer. And it must needs be, that there were three years complete, after the death of Christ, before Pilate was put from the office of the pro-consul. For when Tiberius was dead he came to Rome; so that Caiaphas was high priest yet three years after the death of Christ. Wherefore it is to be thought, that that whereof Luke speaketh in this place did not happen immediately after the resurrection of Christ; although the doubt cannot thus be answered. 204204 “Quanquam nec sic quidem soluta erit tota difficultas,” although not even in this way will the whole difficulty be solved. For Josephus reporteth, that Jonathas was chosen into the place of Caiaphas; but because this Jonathas was the son of Annas, it is a thing not unlike to be true, that the son was called by the name of the father; as Caiaphas also had two names; for they did also call him Joseph.