5 Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. 2 He 1 kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought 2 only part of it and placed it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled 3 your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of 4 the land? 4 Before it was sold, 5 did it not 6 belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money 7 not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? 8 You have not lied to people 9 but to God!”
5 When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped 10 all who heard about it. 6 So the young men came, 11 wrapped him up, 12 carried him out, and buried 13 him. 7 After an interval of about three hours, 14 his wife came in, but she did not know 15 what had happened. 8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you 16 paid this amount 17 for the land?” Sapphira 18 said, “Yes, that much.” 9 Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” 10 At once 19 she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great 20 fear gripped 21 the whole church 22 and all who heard about these things.
12 Now many miraculous signs 23 and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By 24 common consent 25 they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 26 13 None of the rest dared to join them, 27 but the people held them in high honor. 28 14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, 29 crowds of both men and women. 15 Thus 30 they even carried the sick out into the streets, and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 16 A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem 31 also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. 32 They 33 were all 34 being healed.
17 Now the high priest rose up, and all those with him (that is, the religious party of the Sadducees 35 ), 36 and they were filled with jealousy. 37 18 They 38 laid hands on 39 the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord 40 opened 41 the doors of the prison, 42 led them out, 43 and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple courts 44 and proclaim 45 to the people all the words of this life.” 21 When they heard this, they entered the temple courts 46 at daybreak and began teaching. 47
Now when the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they summoned the Sanhedrin 48 – that is, the whole high council 49 of the Israelites 50 – and sent to the jail to have the apostles 51 brought before them. 52 22 But the officers 53 who came for them 54 did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 55 23 “We found the jail locked securely and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, 56 we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the commander 57 of the temple guard 58 and the chief priests heard this report, 59 they were greatly puzzled concerning it, 60 wondering what this could 61 be. 25 But someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts 62 and teaching 63 the people!” 26 Then the commander 64 of the temple guard 65 went with the officers 66 and brought the apostles 67 without the use of force 68 (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people). 69
27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, 70 and the high priest questioned 71 them, 28 saying, “We gave 72 you strict orders 73 not to teach in this name. 74 Look, 75 you have filled Jerusalem 76 with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood 77 on us!” 29 But Peter and the apostles replied, 78 “We must obey 79 God rather than people. 80 30 The God of our forefathers 81 raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 82 31 God exalted him 83 to his right hand as Leader 84 and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 85 32 And we are witnesses of these events, 86 and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey 87 him.”
33 Now when they heard this, they became furious 88 and wanted to execute them. 89 34 But a Pharisee 90 whose name was Gamaliel, 91 a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up 92 in the council 93 and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35 Then he said to the council, 94 “Men of Israel, 95 pay close attention to 96 what you are about to do to these men. 36 For some time ago 97 Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He 98 was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 99 37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, 100 and incited people to follow him in revolt. 101 He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, 102 it will come to nothing, 103 39 but if 104 it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 105 fighting against God.” He convinced them, 106 40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. 107 Then 108 they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 41 So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy 109 to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 110 42 And every day both in the temple courts 111 and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news 112 that Jesus was the Christ. 113
6 Now in those 1 days, when the disciples were growing in number, 2 a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews 3 against the native Hebraic Jews, 4 because their widows 5 were being overlooked 6 in the daily distribution of food. 7 2 So the twelve 8 called 9 the whole group 10 of the disciples together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. 11 3 But carefully select from among you, brothers, 12 seven 13 men who are well-attested, 14 full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge 15 of this necessary task. 16 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 The 17 proposal pleased the entire group, so 18 they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with 19 Philip, 20 Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism 21 from Antioch. 22 6 They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed 23 and placed 24 their hands on them. 7 The word of God continued to spread, 25 the number of disciples in Jerusalem 26 increased greatly, and a large group 27 of priests became obedient to the faith.
8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs 28 among the people. 9 But some men from the Synagogue 29 of the Freedmen (as it was called), 30 both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, 31 stood up and argued with Stephen. 10 Yet 32 they were not able to resist 33 the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 11 Then they secretly instigated 34 some men to say, “We have heard this man 35 speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 They incited the people, the 36 elders, and the experts in the law; 37 then they approached Stephen, 38 seized him, and brought him before the council. 39 13 They brought forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop saying things against this holy place 40 and the law. 41 14 For we have heard him saying that Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place and change the customs 42 that Moses handed down to us.” 15 All 43 who were sitting in the council 44 looked intently at Stephen 45 and saw his face was like the face of an angel. 46
7 Then the high priest said, “Are these things true?” 1 2 So he replied, 2 “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our forefather 3 Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your country and from your relatives, and come to the land I will show you.’ 4 4 Then he went out from the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God 5 made him move 6 to this country where you now live. 5 He 7 did not give any of it to him for an inheritance, 8 not even a foot of ground, 9 yet God 10 promised to give it to him as his possession, and to his descendants after him, 11 even though Abraham 12 as yet had no child. 6 But God spoke as follows: ‘Your 13 descendants will be foreigners 14 in a foreign country, whose citizens will enslave them and mistreat them for four hundred years. 15 7 But I will punish 16 the nation they serve as slaves,’ said God, ‘and after these things they will come out of there 17 and worship 18 me in this place.’ 19 8 Then God 20 gave Abraham 21 the covenant 22 of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him when he was eight days old, 23 and Isaac became the father of 24 Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. 25 9 The 26 patriarchs, because they were jealous of Joseph, sold 27 him into Egypt. But 28 God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his troubles, and granted him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made 29 him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Then a famine occurred throughout 30 Egypt and Canaan, causing 31 great suffering, and our 32 ancestors 33 could not find food. 12 So when Jacob heard that there was grain 34 in Egypt, he sent our ancestors 35 there 36 the first time. 13 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers again, and Joseph’s family 37 became known to Pharaoh. 14 So Joseph sent a message 38 and invited 39 his father Jacob and all his relatives to come, seventy-five people 40 in all. 15 So Jacob went down to Egypt and died there, 41 along with our ancestors, 42 16 and their bones 43 were later moved to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a certain sum of money 44 from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
17 “But as the time drew near for God to fulfill the promise he had declared to Abraham, 45 the people increased greatly in number 46 in Egypt, 18 until another king who did not know about 47 Joseph ruled 48 over Egypt. 49 19 This was the one who exploited 50 our people 51 and was cruel to our ancestors, 52 forcing them to abandon 53 their infants so they would die. 54 20 At that time Moses was born, and he was beautiful 55 to God. For 56 three months he was brought up in his father’s house, 21 and when he had been abandoned, 57 Pharaoh’s daughter adopted 58 him and brought him up 59 as her own son. 22 So Moses was trained 60 in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful 61 in his words and deeds. 23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind 62 to visit his fellow countrymen 63 the Israelites. 64 24 When 65 he saw one of them being hurt unfairly, 66 Moses 67 came to his defense 68 and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He thought his own people 69 would understand that God was delivering them 70 through him, 71 but they did not understand. 72 26 The next day Moses 73 saw two men 74 fighting, and tried to make peace between 75 them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why are you hurting one another?’ 27 But the man who was unfairly hurting his neighbor pushed 76 Moses 77 aside, saying, ‘Who made 78 you a ruler and judge over us? 28 You don’t want to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ 79 29 When the man said this, 80 Moses fled and became a foreigner 81 in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
30 “After 82 forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the desert 83 of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 84 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and when he approached to investigate, there came the voice of the Lord, 32 ‘I am the God of your forefathers, 85 the God of Abraham, Isaac, 86 and Jacob.’ 87 Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look more closely. 88 33 But the Lord said to him, ‘Take the sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 89 34 I have certainly seen the suffering 90 of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. 91 Now 92 come, I will send you to Egypt.’ 93 35 This same 94 Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ 95 God sent as both ruler and deliverer 96 through the hand of the angel 97 who appeared to him in the bush. 36 This man led them out, performing wonders and miraculous signs 98 in the land of Egypt, 99 at 100 the Red Sea, and in the wilderness 101 for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 102 ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 103 38 This is the man who was in the congregation 104 in the wilderness 105 with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, 106 and he 107 received living oracles 108 to give to you. 109 39 Our 110 ancestors 111 were unwilling to obey 112 him, but pushed him aside 113 and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go in front of us, for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt 114 – we do not know what has happened to him!’ 115 41 At 116 that time 117 they made an idol in the form of a calf, 118 brought 119 a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing 120 in the works of their hands. 121 42 But God turned away from them and gave them over 122 to worship the host 123 of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices 124 forty years in the wilderness, was it, 125 house of Israel? 43 But you took along the tabernacle 126 of Moloch 127 and the star of the 128 god Rephan, 129 the images you made to worship, but I will deport 130 you beyond Babylon.’ 131 44 Our ancestors 132 had the tabernacle 133 of testimony in the wilderness, 134 just as God 135 who spoke to Moses ordered him 136 to make it according to the design he had seen. 45 Our 137 ancestors 138 received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, 139 until the time 140 of David. 46 He 141 found favor 142 with 143 God and asked that he could 144 find a dwelling place 145 for the house 146 of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built a house 147 for him. 48 Yet the Most High 148 does not live in houses made by human hands, 149 as the prophet says,
49 ‘Heaven is my throne,
and earth is the footstool for my feet.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is my resting place? 150
50 Did my hand 151 not make all these things?’ 152
51 “You stubborn 153 people, with uncircumcised 154 hearts and ears! 155 You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors 156 did! 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors 157 not persecute? 158 They 159 killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, 160 whose betrayers and murderers you have now become! 161 53 You 162 received the law by decrees given by angels, 163 but you did not obey 164 it.” 165
54 When they heard these things, they became furious 166 and ground their teeth 167 at him. 55 But Stephen, 168 full 169 of the Holy Spirit, looked intently 170 toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing 171 at the right hand of God. 56 “Look!” he said. 172 “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 But they covered their ears, 173 shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. 58 When 174 they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, 175 and the witnesses laid their cloaks 176 at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They 177 continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then he fell 178 to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” 179 When 180 he had said this, he died. 181