Peter and John before the Council
1While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them,2much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead.3So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.4But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.5The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem,6with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.7When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?”8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,9if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed,10let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.11This Jesus is
‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.’12There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus.14When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.15So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another.16They said, “What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it.17But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.”18So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.19But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God's sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge;20for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.”21After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened.22For the man on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old.The Believers Pray for Boldness
23After they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.24When they heard it, they raised their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and everything in them,25it is you who said by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant:
‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples imagine vain things?26The kings of the earth took their stand,
and the rulers have gathered together
against the Lord and against his Messiah.’27For in this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed,28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.29And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness,30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”31When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.The Believers Share Their Possessions
32Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.33With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.35They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.36There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”).37He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.Chapter 5Ananias and Sapphira
1But 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.7After 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
12Now 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
17Then 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.27When 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.”33When 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.
Chapter 6Seven Chosen to Serve
1Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food.2And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables.3Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task,4while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.”5What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.6They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.7The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.The Arrest of Stephen
8Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.9Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen.10But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.11Then they secretly instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.”12They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council.13They set up false witnesses who said, “This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law;14for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.”15And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.