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But there was a man named Ananias (with his wife Sapphira) who sold some property and brought only part of the money, claiming it was the full price. (His wife had agreed to this deception.)

But Peter said, “Ananias, Satan has filled your heart. When you claimed this was the full price, you were lying to the Holy Spirit. The property was yours to sell or not, as you wished. And after selling it, it was yours to decide how much to give. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us, but to God.”

As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor, dead! Everyone was terrified, and the younger men covered him with a sheet and took him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Did you people sell your land for such and such a price?”

“Yes,” she replied, “we did.”

And Peter said, “How could you and your husband even think of doing a thing like this—conspiring together to test the Spirit of God’s ability to know what is going on?[a] Just outside that door are the young men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out too.”

10 Instantly she fell to the floor, dead, and the young men came in and, seeing that she was dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Terror gripped the entire church and all others who heard what had happened.

12 Meanwhile, the apostles were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Hall, and they did many remarkable miracles among the people. 13 The other believers didn’t dare join them, though, but all had the highest regard for them. 14 And more and more believers were added to the Lord, crowds both of men and women. 15 Sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow would fall across some of them as he went by! 16 And crowds came in from the Jerusalem suburbs, bringing their sick folk and those possessed by demons; and every one of them was healed.

17 The High Priest and his relatives and friends among the Sadducees reacted with violent jealousy 18 and arrested the apostles, and put them in the public jail.

19 But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail and brought them out. Then he told them, 20 “Go over to the Temple and preach about this Life!”

21 They arrived at the Temple about daybreak and immediately began preaching! Later that morning[b] the High Priest and his courtiers arrived at the Temple, and, convening the Jewish Council and the entire Senate, they sent for the apostles to be brought for trial. 22 But when the police arrived at the jail, the men weren’t there, so they returned to the Council and reported, 23 “The jail doors were locked, and the guards were standing outside, but when we opened the gates, no one was there!”

24 When the police captain[c] and the chief priests heard this, they were frantic, wondering what would happen next and where all this would end! 25 Then someone arrived with the news that the men they had jailed were out in the Temple, preaching to the people!

26-27 The police captain went with his officers and arrested them (without violence, for they were afraid the people would kill them if they roughed up the disciples) and brought them in before the Council.

28 “Didn’t we tell you never again to preach about this Jesus?” the High Priest demanded. “And instead you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring the blame for this man’s death on us!”

29 But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our ancestors brought Jesus back to life again after you had killed him by hanging him on a cross. 31 Then, with mighty power, God exalted him to be a Prince and Savior, so that the people of Israel would have an opportunity for repentance, and for their sins to be forgiven. 32 And we are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to all who obey him.”

33 At this, the Council was furious and decided to kill them. 34 But one of their members, a Pharisee named Gamaliel (an expert on religious law and very popular with the people), stood up and requested that the apostles be sent outside the Council chamber while he talked.

35 Then he addressed his colleagues as follows:

“Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men! 36 Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be someone great. About four hundred others joined him, but he was killed, and his followers were harmlessly dispersed.

37 “After him, at the time of the taxation, there was Judas of Galilee. He drew away some people as disciples, but he also died, and his followers scattered.

38 “And so my advice is, leave these men alone. If what they teach and do is merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. 39 But if it is of God, you will not be able to stop them, lest you find yourselves fighting even against God.”

40 The Council accepted his advice, called in the apostles, had them beaten, and then told them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and finally let them go. 41 They left the Council chamber rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer dishonor for his name. 42 And every day, in the Temple and in their home Bible classes, they continued to teach and preach that Jesus is the Messiah.


  1. Acts 5:9 to test the Spirit of God’s ability to know what is going on, literally, “to try the Spirit of the Lord.”
  2. Acts 5:21 Later that morning, implied.
  3. Acts 5:24 the police captain, literally, “the captain of the Temple.”

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