Slide 1

Acts Five

Arrested again (5:17-32)

Released by an angel

Commanded to preach in temple

A Pharisaic moderate’s support (5:17-32)

Slide 2

5:1-1: Addressing Sin in the Camp

One man’s sin brought judgment on all (Josh. 7)

How seriously do we take sin today? (holiness vs legalism)

DSS: Pythagoreans turnover possessions after trial period

Early Christians: voluntary, love

DSS excluded such as offender from communal meal for a year and reduced food rations by 25%; cf. Gehazi lying to God in 2 Kgs 5:20-27)

But God executes death sentence

Judgment because of pretense of commitment

Slide 3

5:3: Satan filled your heart:

accuser, tempter, deceiver

5:5: God striking those violating what’s holy: Lev 10:2: 2 Sam 6:7

5:6: immediate burial

-       Wrapped: protects honor of deceased

-       Carried out- as in Lev 10:4

-       Burials right away

-       Because land sold, no burial plot

-       Church acts as family, provides burial

-       (cf. burial association)

Slide 4

5:7: Sapphira looking for husband

Judean women (vs. old Athens) allowed to market, etc., if hair covered

5:11: great fear

Judgment miracles generated fear Num 16:34; 2Ki 1:13-14)

Executions: fear as a deterrent (Dt 13:11; 17:13; 19:20)

5:13: others afraid to join: i.e., to fake, like Ananias and Sapphira!

5:14: but far more converts in long run

Slide 5

Further Miracles (5:12-16)


Thought attached

Unclean if ones’ shadow overshadowed a corpse

Some: injuring shadow hurt person

Power as a substance: pagan magical concept

But cg. Also Lk 8: Ac 19:11

God touched them

Miracles force response:

Faith (5:14) or persecution (5:17-32)

Slide 6

5:17-32: Arrested Again

First warning ignored

Sadduccees’ honor now at stake

Sad’s not popular (vs. apostles, Pharisees)


“jealousy”: common charge in polit. Histories

Sadd’s as “sect” (Josephus; like Greek philosophic school)

Slide 7

5:18: Jails: detention until trial


Greek miraculous escape stories (Dionysus)

Pre-Christian story about Moses in Artapanus real life here, but audience will recall stories


gates of Temple open again at midnight

but the people returned only at daybreak

Law: hearing schedules for day


Jewish Levite guards

5:28: charge: inciting arrest against municipal aristocracy

5:32: God gives HS to obedient- not Sanhedrin!

Slide 8

5:33-42 A Pharisaic Moderate’s Support

5:33: leading priestly families used force

5:34-35 Gamaliel 1

most prominent pupil of the gentle Hillel

prob. most influential Pharisee

Jerusalem aristocrat as well

Josephus: his son Simon powerful

Later rabbis extolled his piety and learning

Slide 9


Little political power

But if Chr’s kept law of Moses they should not be punished

Slide 10

5:36: Theudas

c. AD 44- 10 years after Gamaliel’s speech

Lk may simply fill in names of most prominent revolutionary leaders known by his own period

Historical genre allowed

Jos: Jewish “magician” promised to part Jordan

Governor Fadus: beheaded Theudas

Slide 11

5:37 Judas the Galilean

led tax-revolt of AD 6

Romans destroyed Sepphoris

Judas’s son revolted in 66-70: crucified

Judas helped by Pharisee named Saddok

Sanhedrin: vested interests in Roman rule

Slide 12

5:38-39: “fighting against God”: like Pentheus! (kick vs goads)

comparing Jesus to Theudas and Judas:

misunderstandings as merely political

5:40: up to 39 Iashes (Jewish)


“Teaching”: primarily instruction

“preaching: saving gospel

Slide 13

The Seven Charity- Distributors

Acts 6:1-7

Complaining minorities generally repressed; heard here

Minority in church- may be bridge to church’s future

This could be good or bad- need HS

6:1: widows

OT: care for widows

Widows lacked other means of support if w/o families

Slide 14


meant those who absorbed Greek culture

Here prob. “foreign” Jews vs Judeans

Considered virtuous to be buried in Eretz Israel

-       thus many foreign Jews spent last days there, then left widows

-       one later trad; resurrected only in Israel; roll underground

-       not enough foreign-Jewish synagogues there (6-9) for all their widows

Do society’s problems ever spill in to the church today?

Slide 15

6:2-4: new leaders

Groups of 7 leaders (elders- judges)

Ex 18 allusion

-       Moses delegated administrative duties:

-       God- fearing and trustworthy (Ex 18:21)

-       So he could devote himself to prayer and to teaching (Ex 18: 19-20)

Reputation: public credibility (cf.1Timothy 3:7)

Slide 16

Electing officials

Greek practice

Essenes elected officials

Deut 1:13: people choose and leader ratifies choice

Full of HS and wisdom: so Joshua after Moses laid hands (Deut 34:9)

Slide 17

6:5 (the seven names)

Names: all 7 had Greek names

-many Jerusalemites had Greek names (inscr’s)

-even in Rome, less than 40% of Jews had any Greek in their name

-only or two of the 12 had Greek names

-Thus “hellenists” (6:1) obvious hellenists

One even had a proselyte: many proselytes in Antioch (cf. 11:19)

Slide 18

6:6: laying on hands

-       Blessing in Gen 48:14

-       Appointing Joshua as successor (Nu 27:18,23)

-       So he’s filled with spirit of wisdom (Deut 34:9)

-       Later rabbis: smicha (1Tim 4:14, 2Tim 1:6)

How important then social ministry?

Slide 19

Summary statement, 6:7

Summary statements often concluded sections

upper-class priests mainly, Sadducees

but not with poorer priests; some even Pharisees

Slide 20


Stephen Arraigned

-       Jesus commanded Gentile mission (1:8)

-       But apostles remained in Jerusalem as late as Acts 15:2

-       Bicultural minority within Jerusalem church that holds promise for future

-       Lk focuses on 2 examples (6:5)

a.    Stephen (ch 7)

b.    Phillip (ch 8)

Last modified: Sunday, April 7, 2019, 2:29 PM