Acts 5 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Ananias and Sapphira
5 There was a man named Ananias. His wife’s name was Sapphira. Ananias sold some land he had, 2 but he gave only part of the money to the apostles. He secretly kept some of the money for himself. His wife knew this, and she agreed with it.
3 Peter said, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill your mind with such an idea? You kept part of the money for yourself and lied about it to the Holy Spirit! 4 Before you sold the field, it belonged to you, right? And even after you sold it, you could have used the money any way you wanted. How could you even think of doing such a thing? You lied to God, not to us!”
5-6 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. Some young men came and wrapped his body. They carried it out and buried it. And everyone who heard about this was filled with fear.
7 About three hours later his wife came in. Sapphira did not know about what had happened to her husband. 8 Peter said to her, “Tell me how much money you got for your field. Was it this much?”
Sapphira answered, “Yes, that was all we got for the field.”
9 Peter said to her, “Why did you and your husband agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! Do you hear those footsteps? The men who buried your husband are at the door. They will carry you out in the same way.” 10 At that moment Sapphira fell down by his feet and died. The young men came in and saw that she was dead. They carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 The whole church and all the other people who heard about this were filled with fear.
Proofs From God
12 The apostles were given the power to do many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. They were together in Solomon’s Porch, and they all had the same purpose. 13 None of the other people dared to stand with the apostles, but everyone was saying wonderful things about them. 14 More and more people believed in the Lord, and many men and women were added to the group of believers. 15 So the people brought those who were sick into the streets and put them on little beds and mats. They were hoping that Peter’s shadow might fall on them as he walked by. 16 People came from all the towns around Jerusalem. They brought those who were sick or troubled by evil spirits. All of them were healed.
The Apostles Are Arrested
17 The high priest and all his friends, a group called the Sadducees, became very jealous. 18 They grabbed the apostles and put them in jail. 19 But during the night, an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail. The angel led the apostles outside and said, 20 “Go and stand in the Temple area. Tell the people everything about this new life.” 21 When the apostles heard this, they did what they were told. They went into the Temple area about sunrise and began to teach the people.
The high priest and his friends came together and called a meeting of the high council and all the older Jewish leaders. They sent some men to the jail to bring the apostles to them. 22 When the men went to the jail, they could not find the apostles there. So they went back and told the Jewish leaders about this. 23 They said, “The jail was closed and locked. The guards were standing at the doors. But when we opened the doors, the jail was empty!” 24 The captain of the Temple guards and the leading priests heard this. They were confused and wondered what it all meant.
25 Then another man came and told them, “Listen! The men you put in jail are standing in the Temple area teaching the people.” 26 The captain and his men went out and brought the apostles back. But the soldiers did not use force, because they were afraid of the people. They were afraid the people would stone them to death.
27 The soldiers brought the apostles in and made them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them. 28 He said, “We told you never again to teach using that name.[a] But look at what you have done! You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching. And you are trying to blame us for his death.”
29 Peter and the other apostles answered, “We must obey God, not you! 30 You killed Jesus by nailing him to a cross. But God, the same God our fathers had, raised Jesus up from death. 31 Jesus is the one God honored by giving him a place at his right side. He made him our Leader and Savior. God did this to give all the people of Israel the opportunity to change and turn to God to have their sins forgiven. 32 We saw all these things happen, and we can say that they are true. The Holy Spirit also shows that these things are true. God has given this Spirit to all those who obey him.”
33 When the council members heard this, they became very angry. They began to plan a way to kill the apostles. 34 But one member of the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, stood up. He was a teacher of the law, and all the people respected him. He told the men to make the apostles leave the meeting for a few minutes. 35 Then he said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful of what you are planning to do to these men. 36 Remember when Theudas appeared? He said he was an important man, and about 400 men joined him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and ran away. They were not able to do anything. 37 Later, during the time of the census, a man named Judas came from Galilee. Many people joined his group, but he was also killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 And so now I tell you, stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If their plan is something they thought up, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be fighting against God himself!”
The Jewish leaders agreed with what Gamaliel said. 40 They called the apostles in again. They beat them and told them not to speak anymore using the name of Jesus. Then they let them go free. 41 The apostles left the council meeting. They were happy because they were given the honor of suffering dishonor for Jesus. 42 The apostles did not stop teaching the people. They continued to tell the Good News—that Jesus is the Messiah. They did this every day in the Temple area and in people’s homes.