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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

Acts 5:1-42

5  But a certain man, Hananiah by name, with his wife Shappirah, sold a piece of property 2  and pocketed some of the price, the wife also being in the secret, and brought a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3  But Peter said “Hananiah, why has Satan filled your heart to play false with the Holy Spirit and pocket part of the price of the lot? 4  While you kept it was it not in your possession, and when it was sold was it not at your disposal? how came it you resolved on this thing? you did not lie to men but to God.” 5  And Hananiah, hearing these words, fell down and expired; and great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6  And the juniors rose and wrapped him up, and carried him out and buried him. 7  And after an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened; 8  and Peter answered her “Tell me if you sold the lot for so much,” and she said “Yes, so much.” 9  And Peter said to her “How came it you agreed with each other to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? there are the feet of those who buried your husband coming to the door, and they shall carry you out.” 10  And immediately she fell down at his feet and expired; and the young men came in and found her dead, and carried her out and buried her with her husband. 11  And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. 12  And through the agency of the apostles many tokens and wonders were done among the people; and they were one and all in Solomon’s Portico backing each other up. 13  And of the rest nobody dared connect himself with them; but the people held them in high regard, 14  and there were more and more additions of masses of both men and women, believing in the Lord, 15  so that they even carried the sick out into the squares and laid them on cots and pallets in order that when Peter came at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. 16  And the populace of the suburbs of Jerusalem also came together, bringing sick people and people harassed by unclean spirits, of whom one and all were cured. 17*  But Annas the high priest and all those who were with him, who constituted the Sadducee party, were seized with jealousy 18  and laid hands on the apostles and put them in custody. 19  But an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison and brought them out and said 20  “Go stand forward in the temple-precinct and speak to the people all the words that proclaim this life”; 21  and, hearing this, they went into the temple-precinct at dawn and taught there. But when the high priest arrived, and those who were with him, they called together the Sanhedrin and all the senate of the sons of Israel, and sent to the lockup to have them brought. 22  But the officers who came did not find them in the prison, but brought back word 23  “We found the lockup most securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but on opening it we found nobody inside.” 24  And when the provost of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were puzzled about them, to know what it was that had happened. 25  But someone came and reported to them “Here, the men you put in the prison are in the temple-precinct, standing there and teaching the people.” 26  Then the provost went with the officers and brought them; not with violence, for they were afraid of the people, that they would be stoned. 27  And they brought them to the Sanhedrin and set them before it; and the high priest questioned them, 28**  saying “We positively enjoined you not to teach in this name, and here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are wanting to make us responsible for this man’s blood.” 29  And Peter and the apostles answered “We must obey God rather than men. 30  The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you made away with by hanging him on a tree; 31  him God has raised on high by his right hand as supreme lord and savior, to give Israel repentance and the pardon of sins. 32  And we are witnesses of these matters, and the Holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.” 33  And at hearing it they were nettled and wanted to take their lives. 34  But a certain Pharisee in the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel by name, a teacher of the law highly honored by all the people, gave the word to put the men out a little while, 35  and said to them “Men of Israel, take care what you are going to do in the matter of these men. 36  For a while ago Theudas stood up, saying he was somebody; whose cause some four hundred men espoused, but who lost his life, and all who had put faith in him disbanded, and nothing came of it. 37  And after him Judas the Galilean stood up during the time of the registration, and induced a set to go off with him; he too perished, and all who had put faith in him were dispersed. 38  And this time I say keep clear of these men and let them be, because if this plan or this doing be from men it will break down, 39  but if it is from God you will not be able to break them down; you may turn out to be at war with God.” 40  And they took his advice, and called in the apostles, and gave them a beating and enjoined them not to speak in Jesus’s name, and let them go. 41  So they went from the presence of the Sanhedrin rejoicing because they were held worthy to suffer insult for the Name; 42  and every day, in the temple-precinct and at home, they never left off teaching and telling the gospel of Christ Jesus.


5:17 The best copies of the Greek read But the high priest and . . . stood up and were seized with jealousy
5:28 Var. Did we not positively enjoin you not to teach in this name? and
5:28 Lit. to bring this man’s blood on us