1. The early church in Jerusalem, 1:1-5:42

x] The arrest and trial of the disciples


The healing of the crippled man by Peter at the Beautiful Gate, and his subsequent sermon to the gathered crowd, 3:1-26, prompts a reaction from the Sadducees. Being politically aligned to the Roman government, the Sadducees do not sit easily with anything that might disturb the peace. So, they have both Peter and John arrested, and brought to trial before the Sanhedrin the next day. Peter leads the defence, impressing some of the religious authorities. Having heard Peter out, the two disciples are taken from the Sanhedrin while their supposed crime is discussed. The evidence of the cure, and the disciples' standing in the community, restrains further action against them, and so they are sent away with a warning not to preach or teach in the name of Jesus. Of course, Peter is his defiant self, telling the assembled authorities that "we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard."


Christianity is not Judaism for "Jesus is the sole agent of eschatological salvation for all humanity", Fitzmyer.


i] Context: See 1:1-11. Luke now presents us with a rapid sequence of events of life in the Jerusalem church where the apostles are brought before a hearing of the Sanhedrin, 4:1-22, after which they pray for, and receive, power for ministry, 4:23-31, progressing a powerful work among the people, 4:32-5:16, and inevitably finding themselves facing a second trial, 5:17-42.


ii] Structure: The arrest and trial of the disciples:

The disciples' arrest and overnight stay in jail, v1-4;

Their arraignment before the Sanhedrin, v5-7;

Peter's address, v8-12;

"salvation is found in no one else."

The deliberation of the religious authorities, v13-17;

Instruction given to Peter and John and their response, v18-20;

"we cannot help speaking about what we have seen ..."

The authorities back down, v21-22.


iii] Interpretation:

As is the case with many of the episodes in Acts, Luke "gives a dramatic presentation of apostolic courage and boldness", Fitzmyer. Barrett, on the other hand, argues that by the end of the episode, "three groups are clearly distinguished: the apostles and their company, the Jewish authorities, and the common people. This development is more important to Luke than his presentation of the personal courage of two Christian witnesses." In simple terms, Luke's message is that Christianity is not Judaism.

Of particular interest in the passage is the issue of authority for both the disciples and Israel's religious leaders. For Israel's religious leaders, the issue prompting the arrest and trial of the disciples is their teaching "in the name of Jesus", ie., proceeding with the assumption that Jesus has / had the authority to teach matters of theology. As far as the religious leaders are concerned, the teachings of Jesus are not authorised; they are not sanctioned for the education of God's people, Israel. This fact prompts the authorities to arrest Peter and John and shapes the instruction given to them, namely, "not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus", v18. In much the same way as Jesus confirmed the authority of the Son of Man to forgive sins by saying to the cripple man "take up your mat and walk", so Peter confirms the authority of Jesus in the healing of the lame man. Given this miracle, Jesus is obviously the rejected stone, now the cornerstone, and therefore "salvation is found in no one else."

This issue of authority explains the rather strange statement in v2, kataggellein en tw/ Ihsou thn anastasin thn ek nekrwn, "proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead." The issue of the resurrection of the dead is not raised at the meeting of the Sanhedrin because this apocalyptic hope was fully accepted by the Pharisees, even down to the use of a partitive ek serving to make the point that it is the righteous alone who are raised from all those who are dead. The Sadducees would not agree, but they have heard it all before. The issue concerns the apostles' teaching that the resurrection of the dead is "in Jesus." The preposition en, "in", is probably instrumental, expressing means, "by means of"; "by the name of Jesus" = "by the authority of Jesus." Of course, other interpretations are proposed, eg., "they were proclaiming by means of the story of Jesus the resurrection of the dead", Barrett;


Peter's third gospel sermon: Although Peter is addressing a question put to him by the religious authorities, his answer contains all four elements of the apostolic gospel / kerygma.

iIntroduction. Peter sets the ground for his gospel message, and also, by implication, the answer to the question "Who put you in charge here?", by grounding his apologia in the healing of the lame man.

iThe time is fulfilled. In presenting the gospel, particularly to Jews, the apostles established that "the time is fulfilled" by proof-texting messianic promises realised in the life and teachings of Jesus. Here, in v11, Peter uses Psalm 118:22 to remind his hearers that the messiah, although temporarily humiliated, is subsequently glorified. Although the verse originally referred to the nation Israel, it was later applied to the messiah, for he is viewed as a corporate figure, just as the king is a corporate figure. Jesus represents faithful Israel, humiliated, but inevitably glorified.

iThe kingdom of God is at hand. The fulfilment of the covenant promise of an eternal community under God, is realised in the resurrection of Jesus, v10 - a believer finds salvation / life eternal in the resurrection life of Christ, v13. Again, we see the centrality of the resurrection in the apostolic witness to Jesus. Jesus is alive, and even now giving life.

iRepent and believe. Directly calling on the religious leaders of Israel to repent, at this point in the proceedings, would be overly provocative. Yet, the implication is certainly present in v12. If Jesus is the messiah, evidenced in the sign of the healing of the crippled beggar at the Beautiful Gate, then the blessings promised to Abraham of a kingdom, of "salvation", can come to Israel by no other person than Jesus. As Jesus delivered the beggar, so Jesus can deliver Israel. To ignore this deliverance is to face judgement. A response is clearly implied.


iv] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 4:1

Peter and John before the Sanhedrin, v1-22: i] The disciples' arrest and their overnight stay in jail, v1-4; The issue of authority, and who should lead God's people, is evident in these opening verses. Moses, with signs and wonders, sought to lead the people of Israel, but was constantly frustrated. Jesus, with signs and wonders, even in rising from the dead, sought to lead God's people Israel, but was rejected. Now the apostles, with signs and wonders, stand up as God's authorised leaders of Israel. Some believe, even 5,000, but Israel's leadership typically rejects the authority of Christ's authorised leaders, and so arrests them.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

tou iJerou (on) gen. "temple [guard]" - [the priests and the captain] of the temple [and the sadducees]. The NIV treats the genitive as adjectival, attributive, limiting "guard"; "the chief of the temple police", Barclay.

autoiV dat. pro. "Peter and John" - [came up upon, approached] them. Dative of direct object after the epi prefix verb "to come up upon."

lalountwn (lalew) gen. pres. part. "while [they] were speaking" - [they] are speaking. The genitive participle and its genitive subject autwn, "they", forms a genitive absolute construction, best treated as temporal, as NIV.

proV + acc. "to [the people]" - toward [the people]. The preposition is used here instead of a dative of indirect object.


The religious authorities are diaponeomai, "exasperated, worn down", and this with particular reference to the Sadducees who deny the resurrection of the dead, cf., Lk.20:27. They are exasperated "because" (dia to + inf) the apostles are "teaching" and "proclaiming, preaching". Luke identifies the content of their word-ministry, specifically their "preaching", as the apostolic gospel / kerygma, summarised in phrase "the resurrection of the dead", which miracle is en tw/ Ihsou, "in Jesus."

diaponoumenoi (diaponeomai) pres. part. "they were greatly disturbed" - being exasperated. The participle is adverbial, modal, expressing manner, modifying the verb "to come up upon", v1.

dia to inf. "because" - because the [to teach the people and to proclaim]. Serving to introduce two causal clauses, explaining why the religious authorities are exasperated.

en + dat. "in [Jesus]" - in [jesus]. The preposition is possibly local, "announcing, in the case of Jesus, the resurrection ..", or possibly reference / respect, "announcing, with respect to Jesus, the resurrection ...", although Bruce, Barrett, Peterson D, Fitzmyer, .... argue for an instrumental sense, expressing means, "announcing, by means of the story of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead." Bock argues that it is the resurrection of Jesus himself that is the issue of concern to the authorities, not the resurrection as such. The issue of the resurrection was regularly debated between the Pharisees and Sadducees, but claiming a resurrection from the dead, in the case of Jesus / with respect to Jesus, is another matter. The apostolic gospel focuses on the resurrection of Jesus, and by extension, goes on to announce the promise of resurrection from the dead for all who believe in him.

ek + gen. "of [the dead]" - [the resurrection] from [the dead]. The preposition expresses source / origin, "from the dead", ESV, but possibly serving as a partitive genitive, "of the dead" - a resurrection for the righteous ones among the dead.


autoiV dat. pro. "Peter and John" - [and they lay on hands] to them. Dative of indirect object.

gar "because" - for [it was evening]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the authorities held them in custody rather than put them on trial.

eiV + acc. "until [the next day]" - [and put into jail] into [the tomorrow]. The preposition is used here to express purpose / goal / end-view; "their purpose was to deal with them on the following day", Cassirer. The article thn serves as a nominalizer, turning the adverb "tomorrow" into a substantive, "the next day."


Luke notes the approximate number of believers, either those converted on this day, or the total number of believers at this point of time. Either way, many of the common people have come to believe in Jesus, but the religious authorities are moving in the opposite direction.

de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative; "Many of those who had heard Peter's sermon became believers", Barclay.

twn akousantwn (akouw) gen. aor. part. "who heard [the message]" - [many] of the ones hearing [the word, believed]. The participle serves as a substantive, the genitive being adjectival, partitive. The NIV, as with most translations, takes ton logon, "the word", as the direct object of the participle, but it could also be the direct object of the verb "to believe."

twn andrwn (hr droV) gen. "[the number] of men" - [and became the number] of the men. The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic, specifying "number", "the number, namely of men who believed, grew ...", or verbal, objective, so Culy. The noun "men" is unlikely to be generic as it was normal practice to count males / heads of families, ie., it was the cultural practice of the time.

wJV "about" - as = about [five-thousand]. Variant. When this particle is used with quantities it expresses approximation.


ii] Peter and John's arraignment, v5-7. The Jewish authorities obviously expected the elimination of the sect of the Nazarene with the execution of Jesus, but they were wrong. At the hearing, the Sadducees are in the majority. Annas, the ex-high priest, and his mouthpiece son-in-law, Caiaphas, preside. Other members of the high priestly family are also present. John is probably Jonathan, son of Annas, who later succeeded Caiaphas. The disciples are asked by what authority they acted as they did on the previous day. Who gave them the authority to perform healings and make speeches in the temple precincts?

de "-" - but/and [it happened, it became]. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

epi + acc. "-" - upon. Temporal use of the preposition.

thn aurion "the next day" - the tomorrow. The accusative articular adverb serves as a substantive; "The next morning", CEV.

touV grammateiV (uV ewV) acc. "teachers of the law" - [the rulers and the elders and] the scribes. Along with the "[chief] priests / leaders" and "elders", "scribes" serves as the accusative subject of the infinitive, "to gather together." The three representative groups indicate that the gathering of the Sanhedrin is for a formal session. Best rendered "the Jewish authorities." The scribes are "specialists in the law of Moses."

autwn gen. pro. "-" - of them. The genitive is adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic / subordination. The antecedent is unspecified, but obviously "the Jewish people."

sunacqhnai (sunagw) aor. pas. inf. "met" - to be assembled, gathered together, convened [of them]. The infinitive serves as the subject of the verb egeneto, "it came about"; "on the next day the leaders, the elders and the scribes to be gathered of them came about / happened" = "on the next day a gathering of the religious authorities assembled in Jerusalem."

en + dat. "in" - in [jerusalem]. Local, expressing space.


Annas was high priest from AD 6 to 15, appointed to the position by the Roman governor Quirinius. Although only high priest for 9 years, he continued to wield authority through the numerous members of his family who were to hold the position. Caiaphas was appointed by Valerius Gratus in AD 18 and held the position for eighteen years until sacked by Vitellius in 36AD. The identity of John is unclear. The Western text has Jonathan following Josephus who mentions Jonathan, the son of Annas, the high priest who served for one year after Caiaphas in 36AD, cf., NJB. There is no extant record of Alexander.

ek + gen. "[others] of [the high priest's family]" - [and annas the high priest, and caiaphas, and john, and alexander, as many as were] from [the high priestly family]. The preposition is probably expressing source / origin, but possibly serves as a partitive genitive.


Most commentators are inclined to identify two issues here: First, the source of the power used by the apostles to heal the lame man; Second, the authority by which the apostles acted, both in healing and preaching. Peter's address to the Sanhedrin certainly seems to addresses these two issues. Yet, as Bock notes, the question seems more related to the apostles' preaching. The issue is not "power" and "authority", but "authority". The interrogation is not "through what power ...?" (ie., the issue is not the miracle), but "by / on the ground of what authority; by whose name (name = person = authority) have you done this (touto, "this" = teaching / preaching in the temple)?" "Who put you in charge here?" Peterson.

sthsanteV (isthmi) aor. part. "brought" - [and] having stood, placed [them]. The participle may be treated as adverbial, temporal, "and when they had set them in the midst", AV, or possibly causal, but also possibly attendant circumstance as NIV; "they made the men stand before them", Moffatt.

en + dat. "before" - in [the midst]. Local, expressing space. "In the middle" is literally correct in that the Sanhedrin met in a half-round.

epunqanonto (punqanomai) imperf. "began to question them" - they were enquiring. The imperfect, being durative, is possibly expressing ongoing action, although speech is often rendered by the imperfect tense. Here the imperfect may be inceptive, stressing the beginning of the action, as NIV.

en + dat. "by" - in = by. Instrumental, expressing means, as NIV.

dunamei (iV ewV) dat. "power" - [what kind of] authority, power. The sense is unclear. The authorities may be asking the disciples to identify the supernatural force that was used to achieve the healing of the lame man; "how is it that you were able to make the lame man walk?" Yet, it seems more likely that they are asking by what authority they are teaching in the temple.

onomati (a atoV) dat. "[what] name" - [in what kind of] name. The "name" bears a person's authority; "who gave you the right", TH. The prepositional phrase is introduced by the disjunctive h], and so serves as an alternate version of the question "by what authority"; "By what authority do you preach in the temple? Who gave you the authority to do this?" - dunamei and onomati "are used as almost synonymous", Dunn.

uJmeiV "you" - you [you did this]. The emphatic use of the pronoun "you" here implies scorn. "By what authority do people like you do this?"


iii] Peter's address, v8-12. Following Jesus' instructions, Peter answers boldly, cf., Lk.21:14f. As already noted, the point of the question, posed by the religious authorities, is not overly clear, but if it is "Who put you in charge here?", a question regarding authority, Peter doesn't initially answer it. In his defence, Peter sets his own ground for his apologia (here an exposition of the gospel) by confronting his accusers with the sign / miracle of a lame man walking; "If (for argument's sake) we have been brought here to trial today for healing a sick man ....", Peterson. Peter then goes on to make the point that Jesus the messiah, now risen from the dead, is the one responsible for healing this lame man (ou|toV, "this one" - the lame man is present either as a witness or prisoner), and that the apostles are acting in his "name", ie., under his authority.

tote adv. "Then" - then. Temporal adverb.

plhsqeiV (pimplhmi) aor. pas. part. "filled" - [peter] having been filled. The participle is most likely adjectival, attributive, limiting Peter, "Peter, who was filled with the Holy Spirit". The aorist indicating punctiliar action; Peter was filled then and there to enable him to fulfil a particular purpose, namely, to speak with authority. This phrase is constantly worked over in Christian theology and is often given a weight that it cannot carry. On numerous occasions in Acts, people are "filled" and speak. This is very much an Old Testament idea taken up by Luke. Such a use is obviously different to a person who is described as "full" (adjective) of the Spirit, in the sense of being a gifted person, eg., Stephen, 6:5.

pneumatoV (a atoV) gen. "with the [Holy] Spirit" - of the [holy] spirit. The genitive is adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic / of content; "filled full of."

proV + acc. "to [them]" - [said] toward [the rulers]. The preposition is used here instead of a dative of direct object. Peter's address to the Sanhedrin is respectful; "rulers of the people and Elders of Israel", Moffatt - always a good move when facing a hostile crowd, eg., "Friends, Romans and countrymen, ....."

tou laou (oV) gen. "of the people" - of the people [and elders]. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / subordination; "over the people."


ei + ind. "if" - if. Introducing a conditional clause 1st class, where the condition is assumed to be true for argument's sake; "if, as is the case for argument's sake, we are being examined today ........ (v10) then let it be known to all of you .........". Note the CEV which assumes an unequivocal statement, "You are questioning us today about a kind deed"; the NIV is to be preferred.

anakrinomeqa (anakrinw) pres. pas. "[we] are being called to account" - [we] are being examined, interrogated, questioned. "If today we are under examination", Barclay.

shmeron adv. "today" - today. Temporal adverb.

epi + dat. "for" - over / on account of [a kindness]. Here adverbial, expressing reference / respect; "with respect to a kindness." "A benefit we rendered to a cripple", Moffatt.

anqrwpou (oV) gen. "shown to a man [who was lame]" - of a [lame] man. The genitive is adjectival, verbal, objective, after the verbal noun euergesia, "a good deed, benefit, kindness"; "benevolent service to a cripple", Berkeley, "rendered to, shown to, ...."

en + dat. "and are being asked how" - to ascertain in = by [what]. Probably instrumental, expressing means; "by what means."

seswstai (swzw) perf. pas. "he was healed" - [this one] has been healed / saved. The word is used of being saved, rescued, but also of being saved / rescued from disease, so, in this context, "healed, cured".


uJmin dat. pro. "[know this], you" - [let it be known] to you [all]. Dative of indirect object. "If you wish to know, then here are the facts", Barrett.

Israhl "of Israel" - [and to all the people] of israel. This proper genitive is adjectival, possibly possessive / attributive, "the people who belong to the state of Israel", although Culy classifies it as a genitive of identification.

oti "-" - that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception, expressing what they need to take note of.

en + dat. "in [the name]" - in [the name of jesus christ]. Instrumental use of the preposition, expressing means; "it is by the authority of Jesus Christ.

tou Nazwraiou (oV) gen. "of Nazareth" - the nazarene. The genitive may be ablative, expressing source / origin, "from Nazareth" = IhsouV apo Nazaret, Mk.1:9, but here it technically stands in apposition to "Jesus Christ"; "Jesus Christ, the one who comes from Nazareth / the Nazarene."

o}n rel. pro. "whom" - [you crucified] whom. Accusative direct object of the verb "to crucify." Haenchen notes that the two relative clauses in this verse are creed-like formulations. Peter is directly apportioning blame to his audience. It's uJmeiV, "you", crucified, not "the Romans crucified." The "you" is emphatic by position and use.

hgeiren (egeirw) aor. "raised" - [god] raised, lifted up [whom]. As is typical of the apostolic preaching, the resurrection of Christ is central to the gospel.

"You did the messiah harm, but God vindicated him by raising him from the dead. Thus, he, the stone rejected, is the cornerstone, the glorified messiah, the king of the kingdom. Consequently, eschatological salvation is not going to be found anywhere else other than through him."

ek + gen. "from" - from [the dead]. Expressing separation; "away from."

en + dat. "-" - in = by. As above, instrumental, expressing means; "by this."

toutw/ dat. pro. "that this man" - this one. "This person", or "this name", or both = "it is by this person's authority that this man (one) stands ...."

ou|toV pro. "this man" - this one [has stood]. Demonstrative pronoun serving as the nominative subject of the verb "to stand." "It is by his power that this man at our side stands in your presence perfectly well", Phillips.

enwpion + gen. "before" - in front of, before. Spatial

uJgihV adj. "healed" - [you] healthy, whole. Modifying "has stood", so here the adjective serves as an adverb. "Perfectly well", Fitzmyer.


ou|toV pro. "he is / Jesus [is]" - this one [is]. Nominative subject of the verb to-be. It may read better if expanded, given that "Jesus Christ" is the antecedent of "this one"; "Jesus is the one of whom the scripture says", TEV.

oJ exouqenhqeiV (exouqenew) aor. pas. part. "rejected" - [the stone] the one having been disdained, despised, scorned, neglected [by you the builders]. The participle serves as a substantive standing in apposition to "the stone", "the stone, the one scorned", but it may also be treated as adjectival, attributive, limiting "the stone"; "the stone that was rejected", ESV - note how Luke has replaced the LXX apodokimow, "to reject", with the verb "to scorn", although the point is clear enough. "The stone that did not measure up to the builder's expectation has become the most important stone in the edifice", Fitzmyer. "The stone which was contemptuously rejected by you builders", Barclay. Note that the preposition uf (uJpo) + gen. expresses agency, "by you", with the genitive twn oikodomwn, "the ones building" standing in apposition to "you". Luke seems to have added "by you" to the original quote from Psalm 118:22, although he may be working off a particular LXX version.

oJ genomenoV (ginomai) aor. mid. part. "which has become" - the one having become. The participle is possibly adjectival, attributive, as NIV, or is serving as a substantive standing in apposition to "the stone"; "this person has become ..."

gwniaV (a) gen. "the capstone / cornerstone" - [the head] of the corner, corner stone. The genitive is adjectival, probably attributive, limiting "head stone", although Culy argues that it is partitive. This stone is the stone of stumbling that people trip over, and also the stone that falls and crushes. Jesus used this image, Mat.21:42ff, Lk.20:17ff, drawing on Isaiah's rejected stone that now trips people up, 8:14, and Daniel's stone that crushes, 2:35. Peter rightly picks up on the image in his preaching. As for the word itself, it can refer to the corner stone upon which a building is founded, a capstone / keystone at the highest corner of a building, or a keystone in an arch. Either way, it is an essential stone.


This sentence is somewhat awkward, with two clauses making the same point, the second explaining the first (gar, "for", used to provide reason). The "nothing other" in "salvation is in nothing other", is "no other name given humanity under heaven", namely, the name of Jesus, his person and authority, while "salvation" is explained as "by which it is necessary to be saved", ie., the business end of being saved physically, socially and spiritually. The noun swthria, "salvation", carries all these meanings, with the stress on "health" more evident in secular circles; "deliverance of human beings from evil, whether physical, political, cataclysmic, moral, or eschatological, and the restoration of them to a state of wholeness", Fitzmyer. Even though the healing / saving event performed on the lame man is still in mind, Luke uses the word here in its more particular theological sense of being rescued from this evil generation, 2:47, so as not to face divine retribution for sin.

en + dat. "in [no one else]" - [salvation is not] in [any other]. Expressing agency if allw/, "other, another", is taken as masculine, as NIV, "there is salvation through no one else (the person of Jesus)", Berkeley, but if allw/ is taken as neuter (onoma, "name" = authority, is neuter) then the preposition expresses means, "by no other means."

gar "for" - for [there is]. Here more reason than cause, introducing an explanation of the opening clause.

onoma "name" - [no other] name. The "name" represents the person and their abilities, power and authority, and although most translations transliterate the Greek text "no other name", the word "person" or "authority" makes more sense. "Salvation is found in no one else except Jesus, for there is no other person under heaven who has been given the authority to save mankind from the coming day of judgment."

uJpo + acc. "under" - under [heaven]. Spatial. The phrase is idiomatic, very similar to the English idiomatic phrase "under the sun." "No one else in all the world", TEV

to dedomenon (didwmi) perf. pas. part. "given" - having been given. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "name", "no other name [under heaven] that has been given .."; "has been granted", REB. Probably a theological / divine passive; "given by God."

en + dat. "to [mankind]" - in = among [men]. The NIV has assumed that a simple dative is intended, anqrwpoiV, "to men", "to / for men", dative of interest, advantage (the preposition en is missing in MS D and Latin texts). Local, expressing space / sphere is also possible; "among men." Culy suggests that didwmi en may be idiomatic, "to dole out / to distribute", which construction is followed by the dative of advantage "for mankind / people." Whatever the fine points of syntax, the sense is clear enough: "Christ is the only source and ground of salvation available for mankind", Barrett.

en + dat. "by" - in = by [which]. Instrumental, expressing means, as NIV.

swqhnai (swzw) aor. pas. inf. "[we must] be saved" - [you] to be saved [is necessary]. The infinitive "to be saved" serves as the subject of the verb "is necessary", with the pronoun uJmaV, "you", serving as its accusative subject; for a complementary classification, see plhrwqhnai, 1:16. Barrett makes the point that the intent is not well expressed. We virtually have a conditional clause where the protasis is not expressed; "if we are to be saved at all, it must be in this way, for there is no other." "Jesus Christ is the only source and ground of salvation available for mankind", Barrett. "It is by this name (person) we must be saved", Phillips.


iv] The deliberation of the religious authorities, v13-17; Peter has proclaimed a prophetic word to the authorities, and they are amazed, but not at the prophetic word, rather at the ability of uneducated men to argue on matters of theology. They would like to respond, but the evidence of the healing is standing in front of them, and so there is nothing they can say. Rather than address Peter's prophetic word, the authorities choose a political solution, and so seek to limit the apostolic kerygma. They command the apostles not to speak of Jesus any more.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the narrative.

qewrounteV (qewrew) pres. part. "when they saw" - seeing, observing. Along with katalabomenoi, "having taken = perceived", the participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal, as NIV.

Petrou (oV) gen. "of Peter" - [the boldness, courage] of peter [and john]. As also for "John", the genitive is adjectival, possessive, expressing the possession of a characteristic quality, "Peter's courage", or verbal, subjective, "when they saw the courage exhibited by Peter and John." "When they saw how Peter and John spoke without fear."

oJti "that [they were unschooled]" - [and having perceived] that [they are unlearned, unschooled men and untrained, lay-persons, amateurs]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what the authorities perceived.

oJti "that [these men]" - [they were marvelling and were knowing them] that [they were with jesus]. "They were marvelling" = "They were staggered", Phillips. The pronoun autouV, "them", serves as the direct object of the imperfect verbs "were marvelling" and "were knowing", with oJti introducing an object clause, complement of "them", serving as a dependent statement of perception expressing what the authorities know about "them", namely that what training they had in theological matters came from "outside the official circle, something the reader of Luke-Acts knows the details of because of Luke's gospel", Bock. Culy classifies oJti here as epexegetic of autouV.


The inability of the authorities to mount an argument against the apostles fulfils Jesus' words in Luke 21:15. Given the evidence standing before them, there is little they can say.

bleponteV (blepw) "since they could see" - [and] seeing [the man]. The participle is adverbial and treated as causal by the NIV, so also Kellum, but possibly temporal, so Culy; "but as they saw the man", Moffatt.

ton teqerapeumenon (qeraperw) perf. mid. part. "who had been healed" - the one having been healed. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "man", as NIV.

eJstwta (iJsthmi) perf. part. "standing there" - standing. The participle serves as the accusative complement of the object "man", standing in a double accusative construction, and asserting a fact about the object.

sun + dat. "with" - with [them]. Expressing association / accompaniment.

anteipein (antilegw) aor. inf. "they could say" - [they had nothing] to say in response. The infinitive is epexegetic, specifying "nothing"; "they were unable ........ to say anything by way of contradiction", Cassirer.


keleusanteV (kalew) aor. part. "they ordered" - [but/and] having commanded. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal, "when they commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another", ESV.

apelqein (apercomai) aor. inf. "to withdraw" - [them] to go away, depart [outside the sanhedrin]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what the authorities "commanded." The accusative subject of the infinitive is autouV, "them"; "The religious authorities commanded that they leave the Sanhedrin."

proV + acc. "-" - [they were considering, conferring] toward [one another]. Here the preposition expresses association / accompaniment. The NIV has the action of conferring as sequential in time; "and then conferred together." Culy notes that an imperfect verb following an aorist, as here, can carry this temporal sense.


legonteV (legw) pres. part. "-" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to confer"; a Semitic redundant form serving to introduce direct speech.

tiv + subj. "what [are we going to do]" - what [should we do]. The interrogative pronoun tiv with the deliberative subjunctive poihswmen introduces the rhetorical question, "What shall we do ......?"

toiV anqrwpoiV (oV) dat. "with [these] men" - to [these] men. The dative is adverbial, reference / respect, "What shall we do with respect to these men?" The use of the demonstrative pronoun toutoiV, "these", is probably derogative; "these fellows."

oJti "-" - that. The function of this conjunction is unclear. At first glance it presents as causal, so Zerwick, but then what of gar, "for" (possibly transitional, or emphatic)? Both Culy and Kellum suggest that it introduces a nominal clause, subject of an assumed verb to-be, with the adjective faneron, "knowing" = "evident", serving as a predicate nominative; "For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident ....", ESV. It could possibly be epexegetic, given that the verse certainly specifies the quandary evident in the question posed by religious authorities.

gar "-" - for. Possibly expressing reason, introducing an explanation of the quandary evidenced in the authorities' question, but it may be linked with the men / de construction, serving to reinforce a concessive sense, "for indeed ........., but ......", BDAG 629d, so Kellum.

men ..... alla "......, but ...." - on the one hand ....... (v17), but on the other hand. Forming an adversative comparative construction where alla is used instead of de. In gauging the situation, the authorities realise that everyone in Jerusalem may well be aware of the miracle, but at the same time, to limit its impact, they really do need to restrict further public communication on the subject by the apostles.

di (dia) + gen. "-" - [a known sign has become] through [them]. Expressing agency.

toiV katoikousin (katoikew) "living" - to [all] the ones living in [jerusalem is manifest]. If the adjective pasin, "all", is treated as a substantive, "everyone", as NIV, then the articular participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "everyone"; "everyone who dwells in Jerusalem." If, as ESV, "all the inhabitants of Jerusalem", then the participle serves as a substantive. The dative is a dative of interest, advantage; "that a remarkable sign has occurred for all the inhabits of Jerusalem is obvious to all."

arneisqai (arneomai) pres. inf. "[we cannot] deny [it]" - [and we are not able] to deny what has happened. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to be able." "What can we do with these men? By now it's known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute it", Peterson.


all (alla) "but" - but. See men .... alla above.

iJna mh + subj. "to [stop]" - that not, lest [it may spread]. Introducing a negated final clause expressing purpose; "in order that it may not spread further ..."

epi + acc. "any further" - upon = yet [more]. The preposition epi + an accusative of measure, expresses the limit of the measure, here with the sense "no further."

eiV + acc. "among [the people]" - into [the people]. This preposition expresses movement toward and arrival at.

apeilhswmeqa (apeilew) aor. mid. subj. "we must warn" - we may warn [them]. Hortatory subjunctive.

lalein (lalew) pres. inf. "to speak" - [no more] to speak [upon this name]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech, expressing what the apostles are warned not to do, namely, "never again to speak to anyone in the name of this person Jesus", Barclay, ie., not to address the people on matters of religion epi, "upon" = "reliant upon", "this name" = reliant upon the personal authority of this name = person = Jesus.

mhdeni dat. adj. "to anyone" - to no one. The adjective serves as a substantive, dative of indirect object.

anqrwpwn (oV) gen. "-" - of men. The genitive is adjectival, partitive / wholative.


v] The instruction given to Peter and John and their response, v18-20;. Given the significance of the miracle (the man has been a cripple for more than forty years), and the enthusiastic support of the common people for the apostles, the religious authorities limit their response to commanding that the apostles stop their preaching about Jesus. Maybe they thought that their spiritual authority carried enough weight to silence the apostles. Of course, both Peter and John defiantly resist their threats. The apostles may be theologically illiterate laymen and the Sanhedrin made up of professional theologians, but the apostles have been with Jesus for some three years, and now, risen from the dead, he is still at work; their task is to serve as witnesses, and to this end, they are not going to stop preaching and teaching about Jesus. If obeying Jesus requires disobeying and defying the Sanhedrin, so be it.

kai "then" - and. Coordinating conjunction; "So they called them in", Barclay.

kalesanteV (kalew) aor. part. "they called" - having called [them, they commanded]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to command"; "they called them and charged them", ESV.

fqeggesqai (fqeggomai) pres. inf. "[not] to teach" - [not] to speak [nor to teach at all upon the name of jesus]. As with "to teach", the infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech, expressing what the authorities commanded.


oJ de "but" - but/and he. Transitional, here indicating a change in subject from the authorities to Peter and John.

apokriqenteV (apokrinomai) aor. pas. part. "replied" - [peter and john] having answered [said]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to say"; redundant, but serving as an idiomatic Semitic construction introducing direct speech.

proV + acc. "-" - toward [them]. Used here instead of a dative of direct object.

ei + ind. "-" - if [it is right before god]. Introducing a 1st. class conditional clause where the proposed condition is assumed to be true; "if, as is the case, it is right .........., then you decide."

akouein (akouw) pres. inf. "to listen" - to listen to [you is right before god]. The infinitive serves as the subject of the verb to-be, with dikaion, "right", the predicate nominative of the verb to-be.

mallon h] "or" - more = rather than. The comparative adverb mallon, "more", and the comparative use of the particle h], when used together, form a coordinate construction of two alternatives: "x rather than / instead of y."

tou qeou (oV)" to God" - to listen to god, then [you decide]. Genitive of direct object after the assumed infinitive "to listen to."


gar "as for us" - for. Here introducing a causal clause explaining why Peter and John cannot obey the Sanhedrin's instructions; "because ....."

ou ..... mh "[we can]not ...." - [we are] not [able] not. A litotes, the use of a double negative for a positive; "We are only telling what, personally, we have witnessed", Junkins.

lalein (lalew) pres. inf. "speaking" - to speak [what we saw and heard]. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to be able."


vi] The authorities back down, v21-22. Given the confines of the law and the support of the people, the religious authorities can do no more than to again warn the apostles and then let them go. Luke makes a point again of contrasting the stubbornness of the authorities and the positive response of the people, and also, the significance of the sign (the man had been a cripple for over forty years).

oiJ de "-" - but/and they. Transitional, indicating a change in subject from Peter and John to the religious authorities.

prosapeilhsamenoi (prosapeilew) aor. mid. part. "after further threats" - having threatened further [they released them]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal, as NIV; "When they had further threatened them", ESV.

mhden euJriskonteV (euJriskw) pres. part. "they could not decide" - finding nothing. The participle is adverbial, best treated as causal, "because"; "they let them go since they were unable, because of the people ......, to devise any other means of punishing them", Cassirer.

to "-" - the [how they might punish them]. The article serves as a nominalizer, turning the interrogative clause, pwV + the deliberative subjunctive, "how might we punish them?", into a substantive, accusative object of the participle "finding."

dia + acc. "because" - because [all the people were glorifying god]. The preposition is causal, introducing a causal clause.

epi + dat. "for" - upon. Here the preposition is probably causal, "on account of what had happened."

tw/ gegonoti (ginomai) dat. perf. part. "what had happened" - the thing having happened. The participle serves as a substantive, dative after epi.


It seems likely that there is an ellipsis (missing words) in this verse; "Because the man, upon whom the sign of healing was performed, was a cripple for more than forty years." This is particularly the case if we take gar as causal, "because". Why would the crowd be praising God "because" the healed man was forty years old? What has age got to do with it? They certainly would be praising God if the healed man had been a cripple for over forty years - that's certainly miraculous. Culy suggests that the man's state (crippled) is implicit, but Kellum argues for the traditional exegesis offered by Barrett, "the man was of more years (genitive of definition) than forty (genitive of comparison)."

gar "for" - for [the man]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the crowd is praising God for the healing.

ef (epi) + acc. "-" - upon [whom]. Local, expressing space, identifying where the action of healing was performed.

thV iasewV (iV ewV) "[miraculously] healed" - [the sign] of healing [had happened]. The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic, specifying "the sign"; "the sign which consisted of of healing"

etwn (oV) gen. "years" - [was a cripple] of years. Emphatic by position at the beginning of the sentence. The genitive is adjectival, descriptive, idiomatic / extent of times, limiting an assumed "cripple", so Culy; "for the man ........ was a cripple over a period of years, more than forty." "For the man ....... had been that way over the course of more than forty years!", Culy.

pleionwn gen. adj. "over" - of more [of forty]. Genitive adjective in agreement with "years", with tesserakonta, "forty", a genitive of comparison after pleionwn, "years more than forty"; "more than forty years old."


Acts Introduction.


Exegetical Commentaries


[Pumpkin Cottage]