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Ananias and Sapphira


But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; 2with his wife’s knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3“Ananias,” Peter asked, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God!” 5Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it. 6The young men came and wrapped up his body, then carried him out and buried him.

7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price.” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” 9Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things.

The Apostles Heal Many

12 Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. 13None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, 15so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he came by. 16A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.

The Apostles Are Persecuted

17 Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, 18arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, 20“Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.” 21When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.

When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22But when the temple police went there, they did not find them in the prison; so they returned and reported, 23“We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering what might be going on. 25Then someone arrived and announced, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” 26Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” 29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. 30The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35Then he said to them, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. 36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. 37After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; 39but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!”

They were convinced by him, 40and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 42And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.


30. The God of our fathers. They descend unto the matter whereof they are to speak, that they may declare that they made small account of the commandment of the priests, not without cause, nor yet unadvisedly. For (as I have already said) the comparison between God and man taketh no place save only when there is some contrariety. Therefore they prove by this, that they are enforced by the fear of God to refuse the commandment of the priests; because God commandeth that which they forbid. Therefore, first of all, they say that God had raised up Christ, after the common custom of the Scriptures. For this speech is common, that God raised up prophets or judges, or rather ministers, whom he determined to use into some great work; which importeth as much as that all excellency of nature is weak, unless God do furnish those with singular gifts whom he preferreth unto any excellent office. Peradventure, also they allude unto that famous place of Moses, which Peter cited in his first sermon, (Deuteronomy 18:15, above 3:22.) They cite the God of the fathers by name, as the author, that they may declare that they bring in no new form of religion, neither yet will they enforce upon the people any new god. For they were to make answer to that false slander, that they went about to lead away the people from the law and the prophets. Not that they allow all that worship which was used by the fathers, as profane men are content with this only argument, that the fathers taught thus, that they do all things according to the custom and decree of their ancestors; but the apostles speak in this place of those fathers with whom God hath made his covenant, who followeth right and pure doctrine, who embraceth the promise of salvation with true faith; finally, who had their beginning of the heavenly Father, and who, through the only begotten Son of God, were the children of God together with their posterity.

Whom ye. In this member the apostles declare unto them plainly that they were the enemies of God who would have the chief honor given them as unto the governors and prelates of the Church. Whereupon it followeth that they are unworthy even of the smallest authority. Although there is also a prevention, being a token of boldness, when as he speaketh of that thing boldly and freely which they did account a shameful thing, to wit, lest any part of Christ’s glory should seem to be diminished because he suffered a slanderous 271271     “Ignominosam,” ignominious. death upon the cross; as if it had been said, You have slain him. Neither was your cruelty satisfied with a plain and common death; for he was hanged upon a tree. But neither could death extinguish his power; neither could that shame and reproach which he suffered amongst you take away his honor. Therefore the calling of God continueth firm and stable. Therefore, as the apostles hit the priests in the teeth with that wickedness and heinous offense which they had committed, so they prevent, by a granting, to express the manner of the reproachful death which Christ suffered, lest the authors of the wickedness triumph as having gotten the victory.

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