New International Version

Acts 4

Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin

1The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.

The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’[a]

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”

18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.

The Believers Pray

23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

“‘Why do the nations rage
    and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
against the Lord
    and against his anointed one.[b][c]

27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 4:11 Psalm 118:22
  2. Acts 4:26 That is, Messiah or Christ
  3. Acts 4:26 Psalm 2:1,2

New International Reader's Version

Acts 4

Peter and John Are Taken to the Sanhedrin

1Peter and John were speaking to the people. The priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees came up to the apostles. They were very upset by what the apostles were teaching the people. The apostles were saying that people can be raised from the dead. They said this can happen because Jesus rose from the dead. So the temple authorities arrested Peter and John. It was already evening, so they put them in prison until the next day. But many who heard the message believed. The number of men who believed grew to about 5,000.

The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas, the high priest, was there. So were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and other people in the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought to them. They wanted to question them. “By what power did you do this?” they asked. “And through whose name?”

Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people! Are you asking us to explain our actions today? Do you want to know why we were kind to a man who couldn’t walk? Are you asking how he was healed? 10 Then listen to this, you and all the people of Israel! You nailed Jesus Christ of Nazareth to the cross. But God raised him from the dead. It is through Jesus’ name that this man stands healed in front of you. 11 Scripture says that Jesus is

“ ‘the stone you builders did not accept.
    But it has become the most important stone of all.’ (Psalm 118:22)

12 You can’t be saved by believing in anyone else. God has given people no other name under heaven that will save them.”

13 The leaders saw how bold Peter and John were. They also realized that Peter and John were ordinary men with no training. This surprised the leaders. They realized that these men had been with Jesus. 14 The leaders could see the man who had been healed. He was standing there with them. So there was nothing they could say. 15 They ordered Peter and John to leave the Sanhedrin. Then they talked things over. 16 “What can we do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed an unusual miracle. We can’t say it didn’t happen. 17 We have to stop this thing. It must not spread any further among the people. We have to warn these men. They must never speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.”

18 Once again the leaders called in Peter and John. They commanded them not to speak or teach at all in Jesus’ name. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right from God’s point of view? Should we listen to you? Or should we listen to God? You be the judges! 20 There’s nothing else we can do. We have to speak about the things we’ve seen and heard.”

21 The leaders warned them again. Then they let them go. They couldn’t decide how to punish Peter and John. They knew that all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 The man who had been healed by the miracle was over 40 years old.

The Believers Pray

23 Peter and John were allowed to leave. They went back to their own people. They reported everything the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 The believers heard this. Then they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Lord and King,” they said, “you made the heavens, the earth and the sea. You made everything in them. 25 Long ago you spoke by the Holy Spirit. You spoke through the mouth of our father David, who served you. You said,

“ ‘Why are the nations angry?
    Why do the people make useless plans?
26 The kings of the earth rise up.
    The rulers of the earth gather together
against the Lord
    and against his anointed king.’ (Psalm 2:1,2)

27 In fact, Herod and Pontius Pilate met with the Gentiles in this city. They also met with the people of Israel. All of them made plans against your holy servant Jesus. He is the one you anointed. 28 They did what your power and purpose had already decided should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider the bad things they say they are going to do. Help us to be very bold when we speak your word. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal. Do signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. They were bold when they spoke God’s word.

The Believers Share What They Own

32 All the believers were agreed in heart and mind. They didn’t claim that anything they had was their own. Instead, they shared everything they owned. 33 With great power the apostles continued their teaching. They were telling people that the Lord Jesus had risen from the dead. And God’s grace was working powerfully in all of them. 34 So there were no needy persons among them. From time to time, those who owned land or houses sold them. They brought the money from the sales. 35 They put it down at the apostles’ feet. It was then given out to anyone who needed it.

36 Joseph was a Levite from Cyprus. The apostles called him Barnabas. The name Barnabas means Son of Help. 37 Barnabas sold a field he owned. He brought the money from the sale. He put it down at the apostles’ feet.