Chapter 3

  1. And the multitude of them who believed were of one heart and of one soul, neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them who lacked, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles’ feet, and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joseph, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas — which is (being interpreted) the son of consolation — a Levite and of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
  2. But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession and kept back part of the price — his wife also being privy to it — and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the holy ghost and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own power? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and gave up the ghost; and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up and carried him out, and buried him.
  3. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether you sold the land for so much. And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that you have agreed together to test the spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them who have buried your husband are at the door and shall carry you out. Then she fell down immediately at his feet and yielded up the ghost, and the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her forth buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
  4. And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. And of the rulers dared no man join himself to them, but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks and them who were vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed, every one.
  5. Then the high priest rose up, and all they who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord, by night, opened the prison doors and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called together the council and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came and found them not in the prison, they returned and told, saying, The prison we truly found shut with all safety, and the keepers standing outside before the doors; but when we had opened, we found no man within.
  6. Now when the high priest, and the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they were perplexed of them — what this would grow unto. Then one came and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people. Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence — for they feared the people (lest they should have been stoned).
  7. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, Did we not officially command you that you should not teach in this name? And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you slew and hung on a tree. Him has God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the holy ghost, which God has given to them who obey him.
  8. When they heard that, they were cut to the heart and took counsel to slay them. Then there stood up one in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel — a doctor of the law, respected among all the people — and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space, and said unto them, You men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do as touching these men; for before these days rose up Theudas — boasting himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves — who was slain. And all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered and brought to naught. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the taxing, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say unto you, refrain from these men and let them alone, for if this counsel or this work is of men, it will come to naught; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it. Be careful therefore, lest you be found even to fight against God. And to him they agreed.
  9. And when they had called the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily, in the temple and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.