5:17 Now the high priest rose up, and all those with him (that is, the religious party of the Sadducees 1 ), 2 and they were filled with jealousy. 3 5:18 They 4 laid hands on 5 the apostles and put them in a public jail. 5:19 But during the night an angel of the Lord 6 opened 7 the doors of the prison, 8 led them out, 9 and said, 5:20 “Go and stand in the temple courts 10 and proclaim 11 to the people all the words of this life.” 5:21 When they heard this, they entered the temple courts 12 at daybreak and began teaching. 13
Now when the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they summoned the Sanhedrin 14 – that is, the whole high council 15 of the Israelites 16 – and sent to the jail to have the apostles 17 brought before them. 18 5:22 But the officers 19 who came for them 20 did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 21 5:23 “We found the jail locked securely and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, 22 we found no one inside.” 5:24 Now when the commander 23 of the temple guard 24 and the chief priests heard this report, 25 they were greatly puzzled concerning it, 26 wondering what this could 27 be. 5:25 But someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts 28 and teaching 29 the people!” 5:26 Then the commander 30 of the temple guard 31 went with the officers 32 and brought the apostles 33 without the use of force 34 (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people). 35
5:27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, 36 and the high priest questioned 37 them, 5:28 saying, “We gave 38 you strict orders 39 not to teach in this name. 40 Look, 41 you have filled Jerusalem 42 with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood 43 on us!” 5:29 But Peter and the apostles replied, 44 “We must obey 45 God rather than people. 46 5:30 The God of our forefathers 47 raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 48 5:31 God exalted him 49 to his right hand as Leader 50 and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 51 5:32 And we are witnesses of these events, 52 and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey 53 him.”
5:33 Now when they heard this, they became furious 54 and wanted to execute them. 55 5:34 But a Pharisee 56 whose name was Gamaliel, 57 a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up 58 in the council 59 and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 5:35 Then he said to the council, 60 “Men of Israel, 61 pay close attention to 62 what you are about to do to these men. 5:36 For some time ago 63 Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He 64 was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 65 5:37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, 66 and incited people to follow him in revolt. 67 He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 5:38 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, 68 it will come to nothing, 69 5:39 but if 70 it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 71 fighting against God.” He convinced them, 72 5:40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. 73 Then 74 they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 5:41 So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy 75 to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 76 5:42 And every day both in the temple courts 77 and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news 78 that Jesus was the Christ. 79
2 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
3 sn Filled with jealousy. In Acts, the term “jealousy” (ζήλος, zhlos) occurs only here and in Acts 13:45. It is a key term in Judaism for religiously motivated rage (1 Macc 2:24; 1QH 14:13-15; m. Sanhedrin 9:5). It was a zeal motivated by a desire to maintain the purity of the faith.
4 tn Grk “jealousy, and they.” In the Greek text this is a continuation of the previous sentence, but a new sentence has been started here in the translation for stylistic reasons.
5 tn Or “they arrested.”
6 tn Or “the angel of the Lord.” Linguistically, “angel of the Lord” is the same in both testaments (and thus, he is either “an angel of the Lord” or “the angel of the Lord” in both testaments). For arguments and implications, see ExSyn 252; M. J. Davidson, “Angels,” DJG, 9; W. G. MacDonald argues for “an angel” in both testaments: “Christology and ‘The Angel of the Lord’,” Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation, 324-35.
7 tn Grk “opening the doors of the prison.” The participle ἀνοίξας (anoixa") has been translated as a finite verb due to the requirements of contemporary English style.
9 tn Or “brought them out.” Grk “and leading them out, said.” The participle ἐξαγαγών (exagagwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
sn Led them out. The action by God served to vindicate the apostles. It showed that whatever court the Jewish leaders represented, they did not represent God.
10 tn Grk “the temple.” This is actually a reference to the courts surrounding the temple proper, and has been translated accordingly.
11 tn Or “speak.”
12 tn Grk “the temple.” See the note on the same phrase in the preceding verse.
13 tn The imperfect verb ἐδίδασκον (edidaskon) has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.
14 tn Or “the council” (the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).
15 tn A hendiadys (two different terms referring to a single thing) is likely here (a reference to a single legislative body rather than two separate ones) because the term γερουσίαν (gerousian) is used in both 1 Macc 12:6 and Josephus, Ant. 13.5.8 (13.166) to refer to the Sanhedrin.
16 tn Grk “sons of Israel.”
17 tn Grk “have them”; the referent (the apostles) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
18 tn The words “before them” are not in the Greek text but are implied.
19 tn The Greek term ὑπηρέτης (Juphreth") generally means “servant,” but in the NT is used for many different types of servants, like attendants to a king, the officers of the Sanhedrin (as here), assistants to magistrates, and (especially in the Gospel of John) Jewish guards in the Jerusalem temple (see L&N 35.20).
20 tn The words “for them” are not in the Greek text but are implied.
21 tn Grk “reported, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in English and has not been translated.
22 tn The word “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the modern English reader.
23 tn Or “captain.”
24 tn Grk “the official of the temple,” a title for the commander of the Jewish soldiers guarding the temple (thus the translation, “the commander of the temple guard”). See L&N 37.91.
25 tn Grk “heard these words.”
26 tn Grk “concerning them,” agreeing with the plural antecedent “these words.” Since the phrase “these words” was translated as the singular “this report,” the singular “concerning it” is used here.
27 tn The optative verb here expresses confused uncertainty.
28 tn Grk “the temple.” This is actually a reference to the courts surrounding the temple proper, and has been translated accordingly.
30 tn Or “captain.”
31 tn Grk “the official [of the temple],” a title for the commander of the Jewish soldiers guarding the temple (thus the translation, “the commander of the temple guard”). See L&N 37.91.
33 tn Grk “brought them”; the referent (the apostles) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
34 tn Or “without violence.” It is clear, as well, that the apostles did not resist arrest.
35 tn Grk “for they feared lest they be stoned by the people.” The translation uses a less awkward English equivalent. This is an explanatory note by the author.
36 tn Or “the Sanhedrin” (the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).
37 tn Or “interrogated,” “asked.”
38 tc ‡ The majority of
39 tn Grk “We commanded you with a commandment” (a Semitic idiom that is emphatic).
40 sn The name (i.e., person) of Jesus is the constant issue of debate.
41 tn Grk “And behold.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
43 sn To bring this man’s blood on us is an idiom meaning “you intend to make us guilty of this man’s death.”
44 tn Grk “apostles answered and said.”
46 tn Here ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") has been translated as a generic noun (“people”).
47 tn Or “ancestors”; Grk “fathers.”
48 tn Or “by crucifying him” (“hang on a tree” is by the time of the first century an idiom for crucifixion). The allusion is to the judgment against Jesus as a rebellious figure, appealing to the language of Deut 21:23. The Jewish leadership has badly “misjudged” Jesus.
49 tn Grk “This one God exalted” (emphatic).
50 tn Or “Founder” (of a movement).
51 tn Or “to give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.”
52 tn Or “things.” They are preaching these things even to the hostile leadership.
53 sn Those who obey. The implication, of course, is that the leadership is disobeying God.
56 sn A Pharisee was a member of one of the most important and influential religious and political parties of Judaism in the time of Jesus. There were more Pharisees than Sadducees (according to Josephus, Ant. 17.2.4 [17.42] there were more than 6,000 Pharisees at about this time). Pharisees differed with Sadducees on certain doctrines and patterns of behavior. The Pharisees were strict and zealous adherents to the laws of the OT and to numerous additional traditions such as angels and bodily resurrection.
57 sn Gamaliel was a famous Jewish scholar and teacher mentioned here in v. 34 and in Acts 22:3. He had a grandson of the same name and is referred to as “Gamaliel the Elder” to avoid confusion. He is quoted a number of times in the Mishnah, was given the highest possible title for Jewish teachers, Rabba (cf. John 20:16), and was highly regarded in later rabbinic tradition.
58 tn Grk “standing up in the council, ordered.” The participle ἀναστάς (anasta") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
59 tn Or “the Sanhedrin” (the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).
60 tn Grk “said to them”; the referent (the council) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
61 tn Or “Israelite men,” although this is less natural English. The Greek term here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which only exceptionally is used in a generic sense of both males and females. In this context, it is highly unlikely that this is a generic usage, since Gamaliel was addressing the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high council, which would have been exclusively male.
62 tn Or “men, be careful.”
63 tn Grk “For before these days.”
64 tn Grk “who.” The relative pronoun was replaced by the pronoun “he,” and a new sentence was begun in the translation at this point.
65 tn Grk “and they came to nothing.” Gamaliel’s argument is that these two insurrectionists were taken care of by natural events.
66 tn Or “registration.”
68 tn Here ἀνθρώπων (anqrwpwn) has been translated as a generic noun (“people”).
69 tn Or “it will be put to an end.”
71 tn According to L&N 39.32, the verb εὑρεθῆτε (Jeureqhte, an aorist passive subjunctive) may also be translated “find yourselves” – “lest you find yourselves fighting against God.” The Jewish leader Gamaliel is shown contemplating the other possible alternative about what is occurring.
72 tn Grk “They were convinced by him.” This passive construction was converted to an active one (“He convinced them”) in keeping with contemporary English style. The phrase “He convinced them” is traditionally placed in Acts 5:40 by most English translations; the standard Greek critical text (represented by NA27 and UBS4) places it at the end of v. 39.
73 sn Had them beaten. The punishment was the “forty lashes minus one,” see also Acts 22:19; 2 Cor 11:24; Mark 13:9. The apostles had disobeyed the religious authorities and took their punishment for their “disobedience” (Deut 25:2-3; m. Makkot 3:10-14). In Acts 4:18 they were warned. Now they are beaten. The hostility is rising as the narrative unfolds.
74 tn The word “Then” is supplied as the beginning of a new sentence in the translation. The construction in Greek has so many clauses (most of them made up of participles) that a continuous English sentence would be very awkward.
77 tn Grk “temple.” This is actually a reference to the courts surrounding the temple proper and has been translated accordingly.
79 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”
sn See the note on Christ in 2:31.