1 Now a certain married couple named Ananias and Sapphira sold a piece of property 2 and brought [only] a part of the selling price and gave it to the apostles; but the man and his wife had kept this a secret.
3 But Peter said to Ananias, "Why has Satan filled your heart [causing you] to deceive the Holy Spirit by keeping back part of the selling price of the land [while representing it as the full price]? 4 While you owned it, was it not yours? Then after you sold it, did you not [still] have control over [what you did with] the money? Why did you decide in your heart to do such a thing? You [really] have not lied to men, but to God [about this matter]." 5 When Ananias heard these words he fell dead [instantly] and his spirit left his body, [causing] everyone who heard [about it] to be gripped with fear. 6 Then young men wrapped up his body and took him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later Sapphira came in, not knowing what had happened [to her husband]. 8 And Peter said to her, "Tell me, did you sell the land for such and such a price?" She answered, "Yes, we did."
9 Then Peter said to her, "Why did you agree together [with your husband] to put the Holy Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the ones who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out [to bury you, too]."
10 And instantly she fell dead right in front of him, and her spirit left her body. [Just then the] young men came in and found her dead. They carried her out and buried her with her husband. 11 So, the whole church and everyone else who heard about these things were filled with great fear.
12 And many [miraculous] signs and wonders were performed through the apostles' hands in front of the people. And all [the disciples] were united together in "Solomon's Portico" [See 3:11]. 13 But none [of the outsiders] dared to associate with the disciples, yet the [majority of the] people commended them. 14 And more and more believers were [being] added to the [people of the] Lord. 15 [One of the miracles performed was that] sick people were even carried into the streets on beds and couches so that, as he passed them, Peter's shadow would fall on someone [in hope of it producing a miraculous healing]. 16 Large crowds also came from the towns surrounding Jerusalem, bringing people who were sick and those troubled by evil spirits, and all of them were [miraculously] healed.
17 But the head priest and the Jewish sect of the Sadducees became very jealous, 18 and arrested the apostles and put them in jail. 19 But an angel from the Lord one night [miraculously] opened the jail doors and released them, saying, 20 "You men, go and stand in the Temple and speak to all the people words about this Life [i.e., about Jesus]." [See John 14:6]. 21 And when the apostles heard this, they entered the Temple about dawn and began teaching [about Jesus]. [A little later] the head priest and the Sadducees [see verse 17] called the Council [i.e., the Sanhedrin] and all of the ruling body of Jewish leaders together and sent to the jail to have the apostles brought in to them [for further questioning]. 22 But when the officers arrived at the jail the apostles were gone, so they returned to the Council and reported, 23 "We found the jail securely locked, with guards on duty at the doors, but when we went inside there was no one there!" 24 Now when the captain of the Temple [guard] and the leading priests heard about this, they became frustrated over how far this [teaching] would [eventually] spread.
25 [Just then] someone came in and said, "Look, the men you put in jail are [now] standing in the Temple teaching people." 26 [Immediately] the captain, with his officers, went [to the Temple] and brought the apostles back again, but did not use any violence because they feared that the people might stone them. 27 And so they brought them in [to their headquarters] to appear before the Council [for questioning]. The head priest spoke to them, [saying], 28 "We strictly commanded you not to teach in this name [i.e., the name of Jesus] and look [what you have done]; you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to hold us responsible for this man's [i.e., Jesus'] death."
29 But Peter and the apostles answered them, "We must obey God instead of [you] men [in this situation]. 30 The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus [from the dead], whom you put to death by hanging Him on a tree [i.e., the cross]. 31 But God exalted Him at His right side to be a Prince and Savior and to give the people of Israel [an opportunity] to repent [i.e., change their hearts and lives] and [receive] forgiveness of [their] sins [through Him]. 32 We apostles are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to every person who obeys Him."
33 But when the Jewish officials heard this, they were deeply convicted in their hearts and determined to kill the apostles. 34 But [then] Gamaliel, a Council member, who was a Pharisee [i.e., a strict sect of the Jewish religion], and an expert in the law of Moses and highly regarded by all the people, stood up and ordered the apostles to step outside [of the Council meeting] briefly. 35 And he said [to the Council members], "Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these men. 36 For [remember that] some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone [important], and that about four hundred people rallied [to his cause], but he was killed and all his men left him and nothing ever came of it. 37 Later on another man, named Judas of Galilee, appeared during the census [Note: The time and circumstances of this census were probably known to the original readers], and led [a group of] people away after him, but he also was killed and all of his followers were scattered. 38 And so now I say, hold off your accusations and let these men alone, for if their planning and effort is [merely] of human origin, it will be defeated, 39 but if [it happens to be] of God, you will not be able to defeat them. And [if you try to], you may [actually] be fighting against [the work of] God." 40 And so the Council agreed [with Gamaliel's advice] and when they called the apostles back in, they had them beaten and ordered them never to speak in the name of Jesus [again]; then they released them. 41 When the apostles left the Council meeting, they were rejoicing over being considered worthy to suffer [such] shame for the name [of Jesus]. 42 So, every day, they never stopped teaching and preaching that Jesus was the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one], in the Temple and in private homes.