4:1 While Peter and John1 were speaking to the people, the priests and the commander2 of the temple guard3 and the Sadducees4 came up5 to them, 4:2 angry6 because they were teaching the people and announcing7 in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 4:3 So8 they seized9 them and put them in jail10 until the next day (for it was already evening). 4:4 But many of those who had listened to11 the message12 believed, and the number of the men13 came to about five thousand.
4:5 On the next day,14 their rulers, elders, and experts in the law15 came together16 in Jerusalem.17 4:6 Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and others who were members of the high priest’s family.18 4:7 After19 making Peter and John20 stand in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or by what name21 did you do this?” 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit,22 replied,23 “Rulers of the people and elders,24 4:9 if25 we are being examined26 today for a good deed27 done to a sick man—by what means this man was healed28—4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ29 the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. 4:11 This Jesus30 is the stone that was rejected by you,31 the builders, that has become the cornerstone.32 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people33 by which we must34 be saved.”
4:13 When they saw the boldness35 of Peter and John, and discovered36 that they were uneducated37 and ordinary38 men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus. 4:14 And because they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against this.39 4:15 But when they had ordered them to go outside the council,40 they began to confer with one another, 4:16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For it is plain41 to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable miraculous sign42 has come about through them,43 and we cannot deny it. 4:17 But to keep this matter from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more44 to anyone in this name.” 4:18 And they called them in and ordered45 them not to speak or teach at all in the name46 of Jesus. 4:19 But Peter and John replied,47 “Whether it is right before God to obey48 you rather than God, you decide, 4:20 for it is impossible49 for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” 4:21 After threatening them further, they released them, for they could not find how to punish them on account of the people, because they were all praising50 God for what had happened. 4:22 For the man, on whom this miraculous sign51 of healing had been performed,52 was over forty years old.
tn Grk “While they”; the referents (Peter and John) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
tn Or “captain.”
sn The commander of the temple guard was the title of the officer commanding the Jewish soldiers responsible for guarding and keeping order in the temple courts in Jerusalem.
sn The Sadducees controlled the official political structures of Judaism at this time, being the majority members of the Sanhedrin. They were known as extremely strict on law and order issues (Josephus, J. W. 2.8.2 [2.119], 2.8.14 [2.164–166]; Ant. 13.5.9 [13.171–173], 13.10.6 [13.293–298], 18.1.2 [18.11], 18.1.4 [18.16–17], 20.9.1 [20.199]; Life 2 [10–11]). See also Matt 3:7; 16:1–12; 22:23–34; Mark 12:18–27; Luke 20:27–38; Acts 5:17; 23:6–8.
tn Or “greatly annoyed,” “provoked.”
tn Or “proclaiming.”
tn Grk “And” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the logical sequence of events.
tn Or “they arrested”; Grk “they laid hands on.”
tn Or “prison,” “custody.”
tn Or “had heard.”
tn Or “word.”
tn In the historical setting it is likely that only men are referred to here. The Greek term ἀνήρ (anēr) usually refers to males or husbands rather than people in general. Thus to translate “of the people” would give a false impression of the number, since any women and children were apparently not included in the count.
tn Grk “It happened that on the next day.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
tn Or “and scribes.” The traditional rendering of γραμματεύς (grammateus) as “scribe” does not communicate much to the modern English reader, for whom the term might mean “professional copyist,” if it means anything at all. The people referred to here were recognized experts in the law of Moses and in traditional laws and regulations. Thus “expert in the law” comes closer to the meaning for the modern reader.
sn Experts in the law would have been mostly like the Pharisees in approach. Thus various sects of Judaism were coming together against Jesus.
tn Or “law assembled,” “law met together.”
sn The high priest’s family. This family controlled the high priesthood as far back as a.d. 6. Annas, Caiaphas, and Alexander were all high priests at one time (though Alexander held that office after this event).
tn Grk “making them”; the referents (Peter and John) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
tn Grk “Spirit, said to them.”
tc The Western and Byzantine texts, as well as one or two Alexandrian witnesses, read τοῦ Ἰσραήλ (tou Israēl, “of Israel”) after πρεσβύτεροι (presbuteroi, “elders”; so D E Ψ 33 1739 𝔐 it), while most of the better witnesses, chiefly Alexandrian (𝔓74 א A B 0165 1175 vg sa bo), lack this modifier. The longer reading was most likely added by scribes to give literary balance to the addressees in that “Rulers” already had an adjunct while “elders” was left absolute.
tn This clause is a first class condition. It assumes for the sake of argument that this is what they were being questioned about.
tn Or “questioned.” The Greek term ἀνακρίνω (anakrinō) points to an examination similar to a legal one.
tn Or “for an act of kindness.”
tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”
tn Grk “This one”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
tn Here ἀνθρώποις (anthrōpois) has been translated as a generic noun (“people”).
sn Must be saved. The term used here (δεῖ, dei, “it is necessary”) reflects the necessity set up by God’s directive plan.
tn Or “courage.”
tn Or “and found out.”
sn Uneducated does not mean “illiterate,” that is, unable to read or write. Among Jews in NT times there was almost universal literacy, especially as the result of widespread synagogue schools. The term refers to the fact that Peter and John had no formal rabbinic training and thus, in the view of their accusers, were not qualified to expound the law or teach publicly. The objection is like Acts 2:7.
tn Or “nothing to say in opposition.”
tn Or “the Sanhedrin” (the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).
tn Or “evident.”
tn Here σημεῖον (sēmeion) has been translated as “miraculous sign” rather than simply “sign” or “miracle” since both components appear to be present in the context. It is clear that the healing of the lame man was a miracle, but for the Sanhedrin it was the value of the miraculous healing as a sign that concerned them because it gave attestation to the message of Peter and John. The sign “speaks” as Peter claimed in 3:11–16.
tn Or “has been done by them.”
tn Or “speak no longer.”
tn Or “commanded.”
sn In the name of Jesus. Once again, the “name” reflects the person. The person of Jesus and his authority is the “troubling” topic that, as far as the Jewish leadership is concerned, needs controlling.
tn Grk “answered and said to them.”
tn Grk “for we are not able not to speak about what we have seen and heard,” but the double negative, which cancels out in English, is emphatic in Greek. The force is captured somewhat by the English translation “it is impossible for us not to speak …” although this is slightly awkward.
tn Or “glorifying.”
tn Or “had been done.”