Acts 4
Contemporary English Version

Peter and John Are Brought in Front of the Council

1The apostles were still talking to the people, when some priests, the captain of the temple guard, and some Sadducees arrived. 2These men were angry because the apostles were teaching the people that the dead would be raised from death, just as Jesus had been raised from death. 3It was already late in the afternoon, and they arrested Peter and John and put them in jail for the night. 4But a lot of people who had heard the message believed it. So by now there were about 5,000 followers of the Lord.

5The next morning the leaders, the elders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses met in Jerusalem. 6The high priest Annas was there, as well as Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other members of the high priest's family. 7They brought in Peter and John and made them stand in the middle while they questioned them. They asked, “By what power and in whose name have you done this?”

8Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and told the nation's leaders and the elders:

9You are questioning us today about a kind deed in which a man who could not walk was healed. 10But there is something we must tell you and everyone else in Israel. This man is standing here completely well because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You put Jesus to death on a cross, but God raised him to life. 11 He is the stone you builders thought was worthless, and now he is the most important stone of all. 12Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.

13The officials were amazed to see how brave Peter and John were, and they knew that these two apostles were only ordinary men and not well educated. The officials were certain these men had been with Jesus. 14But they could not deny what had happened. The man who had been healed was standing there with the apostles.

15The officials commanded them to leave the council room. Then the officials said to each other, 16“What can we do with these men? Everyone in Jerusalem knows about this miracle, and we cannot say it didn't happen. 17But to keep this thing from spreading, we will warn them never again to speak to anyone about the name of Jesus.” 18So they called the two apostles back in and told them they must never, for any reason, teach anything about the name of Jesus.

19Peter and John answered, “Do you think God wants us to obey you or to obey him? 20We cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.”

21-22The officials could not find any reason to punish Peter and John. So they threatened them and let them go. The man who was healed by this miracle was more than 40 years old, and everyone was praising God for what had happened.

Peter and Others Pray for Courage

23As soon as Peter and John had been set free, they went back and told the others everything the chief priests and the leaders had said to them. 24 When the rest of the Lord's followers heard this, they prayed together and said:

Master, you created heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. 25 And by the Holy Spirit you spoke to our ancestor David. He was your servant, and you told him to say:

“Why are all the Gentiles

so furious?

Why do people

make foolish plans?

26The kings of earth

prepare for war,

and the rulers

join together

against the Lord

and his Messiah.”

27 Here in Jerusalem, Herod+ and Pontius Pilate got together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel. Then they turned against your holy Servant+ Jesus, your chosen Messiah. 28They did what you in your power and wisdom had already decided would happen.

29Lord, listen to their threats! We are your servants. So make us brave enough to speak your message. 30Show your mighty power, as we heal people and work miracles and wonders in the name of your holy Servant+ Jesus.

31After they had prayed, the meeting place shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and bravely spoke God's message.

Sharing Possessions

32 The group of followers all felt the same way about everything. None of them claimed that their possessions were their own, and they shared everything they had with each other. 33In a powerful way the apostles told everyone that the Lord Jesus was now alive. God greatly blessed his followers,+ 34and no one went in need of anything. Everyone who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money 35to the apostles. Then they would give the money to anyone in need.

36-37Joseph was one of the followers who had sold a piece of property and brought the money to the apostles. He was a Levite from Cyprus, and the apostles called him Barnabas, which means “one who encourages others.”


4.27 Herod: Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great.
4.27 Servant: See the note at 3.13.
4.30 Servant: See the note at 3.13.
4.33 God greatly blessed his followers: Or “Everyone highly respected his followers.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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