Reference: Sanhedrin Or Sanhedrim
The Greek word is ?????????, 'a sitting together': it is always translated 'council' in the A.V. There appears to be no Hebrew equivalent to the name. The Jews trace its origin to the seventy elders chosen to assist Moses, Nu 11:16-17; but nothing is said of such a council in the time of the kingdom; and it is probable that it was instituted in the time of the Maccabees. The early writers do not say how it was composed; from the N.T. we find it consisted of the chief priests, or heads of the twenty-four courses, the elders, lawyers, and the scribes. It was the highest court of the Jews, acting 'in all causes, and over all persons, ecclesiastical and civil.' Its decisions were binding on Jews everywhere. Its powers were curtailed by Herod and afterwards by the Romans, who prevented the Jews from putting any one to death legally. Joh 18:31. The Lord, Lu 22:66; Peter and John, Ac 4:1-23; 5:17-41; Stephen, Ac 6:12-15; and Paul, Ac 22:30; 23:1-10; were arraigned before the Sanhedrin.
And when it became daylight, the body of [Jewish] elders of the people, [consisting of] both leading priests and experts in the law of Moses, was gathered together. Then they led Jesus away to their Council [called the "Sanhedrin"], and asked Him,
So, Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him according to your [own] law." [But] the Jews replied to him, "It is not permissible for us to put anyone to death."
As they were speaking to the [crowd of] people, the [Jewish] priests, the captain of the Temple [guard] and the Sadducees [i.e., a sect of the Jewish religion] approached them and were greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that Jesus had been raised from the dead. read more. So, these [Jewish] leaders arrested Peter and John and put them in jail until the next day because it was [already] evening. But many of the people who heard the message [of God] believed [in Jesus] and the number of men [alone] came to be about five thousand. And the next day the [Jewish] rulers, elders and teachers of the law of Moses gathered together in Jerusalem. [They were]: Annas, the head priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all the head priest's family [members]. And when these men had Peter and John brought before them, they asked, "By whose authority or in what name have you done this thing [i.e., healed the crippled man]?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, saying, "Rulers and elders of the people, if we are being questioned today concerning how this man with a serious handicap was made completely well, we want you men and all the people of Israel to know that this man was made completely well through the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. [He is the One] whom you people put to death on the cross, but God raised from the dead. He is that [Psa. 118:22], 'stone that was rejected by you builders but was made the principal stone by which the entire building is aligned.' And there is salvation in no other One [than Jesus] for there is no other Name in the whole world, proclaimed by men, by which [a person] can be saved." Now when these men saw how boldly Peter and John spoke, and perceived that they were uneducated and [even] ignorant men, they were quite surprised; then they recognized that they had been with Jesus. And when they saw the healed man standing there with Peter and John, there was nothing they could say [to refute the obvious miracle]. But when the Council [of Jewish leaders] made Peter and John leave [the meeting], they discussed the matter among themselves, saying, "What should we do to these men? For we cannot deny that a significant miracle was performed by them, and everybody living in Jerusalem knows it. But we do not want this [teaching] to spread any further so let us threaten them [and demand] that they do not speak to anyone about Jesus anymore." And so they called Peter and John in and warned them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus [anymore]. But Peter and John replied, "You decide whether it is right before God to listen to you men or to Him; we cannot help but speak about the things we have seen and heard." And when the Council had threatened them some more, they [finally] released them because they could not find any reason to punish them. [Actually] they were worried about how the people felt [about the matter], since everybody was giving honor to God for the miracle that had been performed. Now the man who was healed was over forty years old. So, after Peter and John were released, they went [back to the other disciples] and reported everything the leading priests and elders [of the Jews] had said to them.
But the head priest and the Jewish sect of the Sadducees became very jealous, and arrested the apostles and put them in jail. read more. But an angel from the Lord one night [miraculously] opened the jail doors and released them, saying, "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]. 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]. But when the officers arrived at the jail the apostles were gone, so they returned to the Council and reported, "We found the jail securely locked, with guards on duty at the doors, but when we went inside there was no one there!" 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. [Just then] someone came in and said, "Look, the men you put in jail are [now] standing in the Temple teaching people." [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. And so they brought them in [to their headquarters] to appear before the Council [for questioning]. The head priest spoke to them, [saying], "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." But Peter and the apostles answered them, "We must obey God instead of [you] men [in this situation]. 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]. 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]. We apostles are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to every person who obeys Him." But when the Jewish officials heard this, they were deeply convicted in their hearts and determined to kill the apostles. 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. And he said [to the Council members], "Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these men. 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. 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. 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, 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." 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. When the apostles left the Council meeting, they were rejoicing over being considered worthy to suffer [such] shame for the name [of Jesus].
And they stirred up the people, the elders and the teachers of the law of Moses and searched for him, seized him and brought him before the Council. They had arranged for the false witnesses to say, "This man will not stop speaking against the Temple and the law of Moses, read more. for we [ourselves] heard him saying that this Jesus from Nazareth would destroy the Temple and change the customs handed down to us by Moses." Then, as all the Council members stared at Stephen, his face appeared to them like an angel's.
But the next day the commander released Paul [from the chains] because he wanted to know what specific charges the Jews has against him. So, he ordered the leading priests and the entire [Jewish] Council to assemble, then brought Paul down and placed him in front of them.
Paul [then] looked intently at the Council [i.e., the Jewish supreme court called the "Sanhedrin"] and spoke [in his defense]: "Brothers, I have lived before God with a good conscience all my life." [Upon hearing this], the head priest Ananias ordered that those standing closest to Paul hit him on the mouth. read more. Then Paul said to the head priest, "God will hit you, you white-washed wall [i.e., you hypocrite]. Are you sitting in judgment over me according to the law of Moses and [yet] do you order me to be hit contrary to that law?" Those who stood nearby replied, "Are you insulting God's head priest?" Paul said, "Brothers, I did not know that he was the head priest, for it is written [Ex. 22:28], 'You shall not speak evil about a leader of your people.' " When Paul realized that part [of the Sanhedrin] were Sadducees and the other part were Pharisees, he lifted up his voice before the Council and said, "Brothers, I am a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. And it is concerning our hope that the dead will be raised that I have been brought to trial." When he said this it stirred up a dispute between the Pharisees and Sadducees and the assembly became divided. For the Sadducees believe there is no resurrection, angels or spirits, but the Pharisees accept all of them [to be true]. A loud commotion developed [in the Council meeting]. Some of the teachers of the law of Moses who belonged to the Pharisee party stood up and argued, saying, "We can find nothing wrong with this man. What if an angel or spirit did speak to him?" And when a serious debate broke out, the commander was afraid that Paul might [virtually] be torn apart by the mob, so he ordered his soldiers to go down [to the Council meeting] and forcibly remove Paul and take him to the battalion headquarters.