College Notes
The Acts
Chapter 5

Ananias and Sapphira (5:1-11)

vs. 1
"Ananias and Sapphira his wife"

vs. 2
Pretended to bring all the money they had received for a possession -- a direct lie in itself. Why? The acts of selling it was for the ostensible purpose of bringing it into common stock.

Hypothetical: Sold it for $10,000 but told disciples they received only $5,000 for it.

vs. 4
Selling of land was voluntary

Two fold:

  1. First lie to God's ministry
  2. Simony

Note: It shows that the Church didn't force them to sell it!

vs. 5
"Gave up the ghost" -- improper translation! Should read: "falling down, he breathed his last."

Note: God struck him down, not Peter.

Point: You cannot buy your way into ministry via fraudulent behavior.

vs. 6
"wound him up" means wrapped him (in his or their robes).

vs. 10
God in his mercy made it quick and painless.

Note: Those once in the Church who have since left may come up in 2nd resurrection? Mr. Armstrong has alluded to it.

Miracles and Envy (5:12-42)
Signs (5:12-16)

vs. 13
Of the rest (?) Apparently had to do with wrong concepts of buying into ministry. Perhaps this act of Barnabas was one of many and the apostles begin to use him in the ministry and perhaps others in the congregation believed they could do similar acts to become part of the ministry.

"magnified" -- megalund (Greek) means to declare great. This irritated the high priest and the Sadducean Council. (vs. 17)

vs. 15
“Shadow of Peter.” Catholic Church developed doctrine and beliefs of saints -- bones, clothing, etc. had powers.

vs. 16
Miracles of healing by Peter decreased as time went by though the 1st century.   

Note: Can't presume all that were healed were converted.

Imprisonment (5:17-32)

vs. 17
High priest and Sadducees arrest apostles.

vs. 18
"common prison" -- too late in evening for a hearing.

vs. 19
"angel" -- angelos (Greek) means:

  1. Messenger (one who brings tidings)
  2. Angel

Guards didn't have keys. They would have to go to the chief jailer, (Warden) to get them.

vs. 20
Commanded to do this.

vs. 21
"council ... senate" = same body, i.e. the Sanhedrin.

vs. 23
When the angel miraculously opened the jail door he locked it again when they left.

vs. 24
Point: They knew God must have intervened

vs. 26
The apostles didn't resist arrest. Principle to be followed today.

vs. 28
"straitly" means strictly.

Peter again charged them with the death of Christ. Also vs. 30.

vs. 28-30
"Obey God rather than men!" BOLD. This man's blood. Why you make it sound like Jesus was an innocent man.

Peter denied Christ the first time. Now he and the other apostles are bold to speak.

The officers were afraid that people might try to stone them because the apostles were teaching that the Jewish leaders were responsible for killing Christ. These officers did not want Christ’s blood on them. However, that it exactly what they wanted before. Mat. 27:35 -- They had said, let his blood be on us.

vs. 32
The Holy Spirit is a witness to these things also.

There is an external witness and a internal witness.

vs. 34

  1. A Pharisee
  2. One of the most respected men in the field of law. Given title of Rabban = highest rank for a doctor of law.

Book: The Life and Epistles of St. Paul by W.J. Conybeare

3. Grandson of Hillel and son of Simeon.

4. Died a Jew, not a Christian.

Gamaliel steps forward . . .

vs. 34 (cont.)
Two rival schools:

  1. Hillel -- tradition making void the law.
  2. Shammai -- original law of Moses making void traditions.

Gamaliel's Speech (5:33-42)

vs. 36
"Theudas" = c. 10 yrs. earlier (according to Josephus). This man led an insurrection in Galilee and aimed at getting the sovereignty of Jews but was defeated and put to death.

In Antiquities, book XX, Ch.V, Par.1, Josephus writes:
"Now it came to pass, that while Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain magician, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it; and many were deluded by his words. However, Fadus did not permit them to make any advantage of his wild attempt, but sent a troop of horsemen out against them; who falling upon them unexpectedly, slew many of them, and took many of them alive. They also took Theudas alive, and cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem. This was what befell the Jews in the time of Cuspius Fadus's government....and besides this, the sons of Judas of Galilee were now slain; I mean of that Judas who caused the people to revolt, when Cyrenius came to take an account of the estates of the Jews"

vs. 37
"Judas of Galilee" = leader of religious group, i.e., Essenes according to Rabbi Abraham. However, Josephus says Judas only member this sect -- nevertheless, he failed at leading an insurrection against Cyrenius (also called Quirinius) as a result of Augustus' decree in 7 B.C. not being carried out.

Note: Taxing of Syria (as it was to the Romans) was done every 14 years, e.g. 7 B.C. /4 B.C. /6 A.D.

Josephus writes of this Judas in Antiquities, XVIII, I, I-6:
"Yet there was one Judas a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, who taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt, who said that this taxation was no
better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty; as if they could procure them happiness and security for what they possessed, and an assured enjoyment of a still greater good, which was that of the honour and glory they would thereby acquire for magnanimity...All sorts of misfortunes also sprang from these men, and the nation was infected with this doctrine to an incredible degree; one violent war came upon us after another, ...Judas and Sadduc, who excited a fourth philosophic sect among us ... agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty; and they say that God is to be their only ruler and Lord. They also do not value dying any kinds of death, not indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends nor can any such fear make them call any man Lord."

vs. 38 (-39)
Very profound statement from Gamaliel.

Point: Good advice for us!

vs. 40
"beaten them" -- illegally -- perhaps 39 stripes (40, save one).

vs. 42
"in every house" -- where God's people lived.

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