Acts 4 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Peter and John Are Brought in Front of the Council
4 The apostles were still talking to the people, when some priests, the captain of the temple guard, and some Sadducees arrived. 2 These men were angry because the apostles were teaching the people that the dead would be raised from death, just as Jesus had been raised from death. 3 It was already late in the afternoon, and they arrested Peter and John and put them in jail for the night. 4 But a lot of people who had heard the message believed it. So by now there were about five thousand followers of the Lord.
5 The next morning the leaders, the elders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses met in Jerusalem. 6 The high priest Annas was there, as well as Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other members of the high priest’s family. 7 They brought in Peter and John and made them stand in the middle while they questioned them. They asked, “By what power and in whose name have you done this?”
8 Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and told the nation’s leaders and the elders:
9 You are questioning us today about a kind deed in which a crippled man was healed. 10 But there is something we must tell you and everyone else in Israel. This man is standing here completely well because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You put Jesus to death on a cross, but God raised him to life. 11 He is the stone that you builders thought was worthless, and now he is the most important stone of all. 12 Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.
13 The officials were amazed to see how brave Peter and John were, and they knew that these two apostles were only ordinary men and not well educated. The officials were certain that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But they could not deny what had happened. The man who had been healed was standing there with the apostles.
15 The officials commanded them to leave the council room. Then the officials said to each other, 16 “What can we do with these men? Everyone in Jerusalem knows about this miracle, and we cannot say it didn’t happen. 17 But to keep this thing from spreading, we will warn them never again to speak to anyone about the name of Jesus.” 18 So they called the two apostles back in and told them that they must never, for any reason, teach anything about the name of Jesus.
19 Peter and John answered, “Do you think God wants us to obey you or to obey him? 20 We cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.”
21-22 The officials could not find any reason to punish Peter and John. So they threatened them and let them go. The man who was healed by this miracle was more than forty years old, and everyone was praising God for what had happened.
Peter and Others Pray for Courage
23 As soon as Peter and John had been set free, they went back and told the others everything that the chief priests and the leaders had said to them. 24 When the rest of the Lord’s followers heard this, they prayed together and said:
Master, you created heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. 25 And by the Holy Spirit you spoke to our ancestor David. He was your servant, and you told him to say:
“Why are all the Gentiles
27 Here in Jerusalem, Herod[a] and Pontius Pilate got together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel. Then they turned against your holy Servant[b] Jesus, your chosen Messiah. 28 They did what you in your power and wisdom had already decided would happen.
29 Lord, listen to their threats! We are your servants. So make us brave enough to speak your message. 30 Show your mighty power, as we heal people and work miracles and wonders in the name of your holy Servant [c] Jesus.
31 After they had prayed, the meeting place shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and bravely spoke God’s message.
32 The group of followers all felt the same way about everything. None of them claimed that their possessions were their own, and they shared everything they had with each other. 33 In a powerful way the apostles told everyone that the Lord Jesus was now alive. God greatly blessed his followers,[d] 34 and no one went in need of anything. Everyone who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money 35 to the apostles. Then they would give the money to anyone who needed it.
36-37 Joseph was one of the followers who had sold a piece of property and brought the money to the apostles. He was a Levite from Cyprus, and the apostles called him Barnabas, which means “one who encourages others.”
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