Acts 4-6 American Standard Version

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Peter and John before the Council

4 And as they spake unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2  being sore troubled because they taught the people, and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3  And they laid hands on them, and put them in ward unto the morrow: for it was now eventide. 4  But many of them that heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

5  And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6  and Annas the high priest [was there], and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest. 7  And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, By what power, or in what name, have ye done this? 8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders, 9  if we this day are examined concerning a good deed done to an impotent man, by what means this man is made whole; 10  be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] in him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11  He is the stone which was set at nought of you the builders, which was made the head of the corner. 12  And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved. 13  Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14  And seeing the man that was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

15  But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16  saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been wrought through them, is manifest to all that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17  But that it spread no further among the people, let us threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18  And they called them, and charged them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to hearken unto you rather than unto God, judge ye: 20  for we cannot but speak the things which we saw and heard. 21  And they, when they had further threatened them, let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people; for all men glorified God for that which was done. 22  For the man was more than forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was wrought.

The Believers Pray for Boldness

23  And being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said unto them. 24  And they, when they heard it, lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, O Lord, thou that didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is: 25  who by the Holy Spirit, [by] the mouth of our father David thy servant, didst say, Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples imagine vain things? 26  The kings of the earth set themselves in array, And the rulers were gathered together, Against the Lord, and against his Anointed: 27  for of a truth in this city against thy holy Servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together, 28  to do whatsoever thy hand and thy council foreordained to come to pass. 29  And now, Lord, look upon their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness, 30  while thy stretchest forth thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of thy holy Servant Jesus. 31  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken wherein they were gathered together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

All Things in Common

32  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul: and not one [of them] said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33  And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34  For neither was there among them any that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35  and laid them at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto each, according as any one had need. 36  And Joseph, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of exhortation), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, 37  having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Ananias and Sapphira

5 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2  and kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land? 4  While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God. 5  And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost: and great fear came upon all that heard it. 6  And the young men arose and wrapped him round, and they carried him out and buried him. 7  And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much. And she said, Yea, for so much. 9  But Peter [said] unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to try the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them that have buried thy husband are at the door, and they shall carry thee out. 10  And she fell down immediately at his feet, and gave up the ghost: and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband. 11  And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all that heard these things.

Many Signs and Wonders Performed

12  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. 13  But of the rest durst no man join himself to them: howbeit the people magnified them; 14  and believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of them and women; 15  insomuch that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that, as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some one of them. 16  And there also came together the multitudes from the cities round about Jerusalem, bring sick folk, and them that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

The Apostles Persecuted

17  But the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy, 18  and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public ward. 19  But an angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them out, and said, 20  Go ye, and stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this Life. 21  And when they heard [this], they entered into the temple about daybreak, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison-house to have them brought. 22  But the officers that came found them not in the prison; and they returned, and told, 23  saying, The prison-house we found shut in all safety, and the keepers standing at the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. 24  Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were much perplexed concerning them whereunto this would grow. 25  And there came one and told them, Behold, the men whom ye put in the prison are in the temple standing and teaching the people.

26  Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them, [but] without violence; for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. 27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28  saying, We strictly charged you not to teach in this name: and behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. 29  But Peter and the apostles answered and said, We must obey God rather than men. 30  The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, hanging him on a tree. 31  Him did God exalt with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins. 32  And we are witnesses of these things; and [so is] the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him. 33  But they, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and minded to slay them. 34  But there stood up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in honor of all the people, and commanded to put the men forth a little while. 35  And he said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves as touching these men, what ye are about to do. 36  For before these days rose up Theudas, giving himself out to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nought. 37  After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the enrolment, and drew away [some of the] people after him: he also perished; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad. 38  And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will be overthrown: 39  but if it is of God, ye will not be able to overthrow them; lest haply ye be found even to be fighting against God. 40  And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles unto them, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41  They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name. 42  And every day, in the temple and at home, they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus [as] the Christ.

The Appointment of the Seven

6 Now in these days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2  And the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not fit that we should forsake the word of God, and serve tables. 3  Look ye out therefore, brethren, from among you seven men of good report, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4  But we will continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the word. 5  And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus a proselyte of Antioch; 6  whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands upon them. 7  And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

The Arrest of Stephen

8  And Stephen, full of grace and power, wrought great wonders and signs among the people. 9  But there arose certain of them that were of the synagogue called [the synagogue] of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10  And they were not able to withstand the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spake. 11  Then they suborned men, who said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and [against] God. 12  And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and seized him, and brought him into the council, 13  and set up false witnesses, who said, This man ceaseth not to speak words against this holy place, and the law: 14  for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered unto us. 15  And all that sat in the council, fastening their eyes on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

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