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The Judgment on Ananias and Sapphira

Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. He[a] kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought[b] only part of it and placed it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled[c] your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of[d] the land? Before it was sold,[e] did it not[f] belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money[g] not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart?[h] You have not lied to people[i] but to God!”

When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped[j] all who heard about it. So the young men came,[k] wrapped him up,[l] carried him out, and buried[m] him. After an interval of about three hours,[n] his wife came in, but she did not know[o] what had happened. Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you[p] paid this amount[q] for the land?” Sapphira[r] said, “Yes, that much.” Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” 10 At once[s] she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great[t] fear gripped[u] the whole church[v] and all who heard about these things.

The Apostles Perform Miraculous Signs and Wonders

12 Now many miraculous signs[w] and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By[x] common consent[y] they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico.[z] 13 None of the rest dared to join them,[aa] but the people held them in high honor.[ab] 14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number,[ac] crowds of both men and women. 15 Thus[ad] they even carried the sick out into the streets, and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 16 A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits.[ae] They[af] were all[ag] being healed.

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  1. Acts 5:2 tn Grk “And he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
  2. Acts 5:2 tn The participle ἐνέγκας (enenkas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
  3. Acts 5:3 sn This is a good example of the Greek verb fill (πληρόω, plēroō) meaning “to exercise control over someone’s thought and action” (cf. Eph 5:18).
  4. Acts 5:3 tn The words “from the sale of” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied to clarify the meaning, since the phrase “proceeds from the land” could possibly be understood as crops rather than money from the sale.
  5. Acts 5:4 tn Grk “Remaining to you.”
  6. Acts 5:4 tn The negative interrogative particle οὐχί (ouchi) expects a positive reply to this question and the following one (“And when it was sold, was it not at your disposal?”).
  7. Acts 5:4 tn Grk “it”; the referent of the pronoun (the money generated from the sale of the land) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  8. Acts 5:4 tn Grk “How is it that you have [or Why have you] placed this deed in your heart?” Both of these literal translations differ from the normal way of expressing the thought in English.
  9. Acts 5:4 tn Grk “to men.” If Peter’s remark refers only to the apostles, the translation “to men” would be appropriate. But if (as is likely) the action was taken to impress the entire congregation (who would presumably have witnessed the donation or been aware of it) then the more general “to people” is more appropriate, since the audience would have included both men and women.
  10. Acts 5:5 tn Or “fear came on,” “fear seized”; Grk “fear happened to.”
  11. Acts 5:6 tn Or “arose.”
  12. Acts 5:6 tn The translation “wrapped up” for συνέστειλαν (sunesteilan) is suggested by L&N 79.119, but another interpretation is possible. The same verb could also be translated “removed” (see L&N 15.200), although that sense appears somewhat redundant and out of sequence with the following verb and participle (“carried him out and buried him”).
  13. Acts 5:6 sn Buried. Same day burial was a custom in the Jewish world of the first century (cf. also Deut 21:23).
  14. Acts 5:7 tn Grk “It happened that after an interval of about three hours.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  15. Acts 5:7 tn Grk “came in, not knowing.” The participle has been translated with concessive or adversative force: “although she did not know.” In English, the adversative conjunction (“but”) conveys this nuance more smoothly.
  16. Acts 5:8 tn The words “the two of” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied to indicate that the verb (ἀπέδοσθε, apedosthe) is plural and thus refers to both Ananias and Sapphira.
  17. Acts 5:8 tn Grk “so much,” “as much as this.”
  18. Acts 5:8 tn Grk “She”; the referent (Sapphira) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  19. Acts 5:10 tn Grk “And at once.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
  20. Acts 5:11 tn Grk “And great.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
  21. Acts 5:11 tn Or “fear came on,” “fear seized”; Grk “fear happened to.”
  22. Acts 5:11 sn This is the first occurrence of the term church (ἐκκλησία, ekklēsia) in Acts. It refers to an assembly of people.
  23. Acts 5:12 tn The miraculous nature of these signs is implied in the context.
  24. Acts 5:12 tn Grk “And by.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
  25. Acts 5:12 tn Or “With one mind.”
  26. Acts 5:12 tn Or “colonnade”; Grk “stoa.”sn Solomons Portico was a covered walkway formed by rows of columns supporting a roof and open on the inner side facing the center of the temple complex. Located beside the Court of the Gentiles, it was a very public area.
  27. Acts 5:13 tn Or “to associate with them.” The group was beginning to have a controversial separate identity. People were cautious about joining them. The next verse suggests that the phrase “none of the rest” in this verse is rhetorical hyperbole.
  28. Acts 5:13 tn Or “the people thought very highly of them.”
  29. Acts 5:14 tn Or “More and more believers were added to the Lord.”
  30. Acts 5:15 tn This is a continuation of the preceding sentence in Greek, but because this would produce an awkward sentence in English, a new sentence was begun here in the translation.
  31. Acts 5:16 sn Unclean spirits refers to evil spirits.
  32. Acts 5:16 tn Literally a relative pronoun, “who.” In English, however, a relative clause (“bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits, who were all being healed”) could be understood to refer only to the second group (meaning only those troubled by unclean spirits were being healed) or even that the unclean spirits were being healed. To avoid this ambiguity the pronoun “they” was used to begin a new English sentence.
  33. Acts 5:16 sn They were all being healed. Note how the healings that the apostles provided were comprehensive in their consistency.