Acts 4:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 4:15, NIV: So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together.

Acts 4:15, ESV: But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another,

Acts 4:15, KJV: But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,

Acts 4:15, NASB: But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another,

Acts 4:15, NLT: So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves.

Acts 4:15, CSB: After they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, they conferred among themselves,

What does Acts 4:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, has arrested Peter and John after they healed a lame man and told a crowd the power to do so came from Jesus. Specifically, they taught the crowd that Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 4:1–2). The Sanhedrin is made up of chief priests, elders of the community, and legal scribes. Most of these are Sadducees while Pharisees hold the minority position. Sadducees do not believe in resurrection from the dead or life after death. They believe people cease to exist when they die.

It's easy to understand why they fear the idea that Jesus rose again. The belief that people can live in a better world after death is very attractive; the more people believe Jesus' disciples, the less power and influence the Sadducees have. Their worldview is that they will never receive anything more than what they have in this life. If they lose their position with the people, they've lost everything.

It's thought that the idea of the Sanhedrin came from God's commandment to Moses to gather seventy elders to handle the smaller issues in the Israelites' camp (Numbers 11:16–17). Although each town was to have judges (Deuteronomy 16:18), the Sanhedrin was the supreme court in Jerusalem. These are not irrational or unintelligent men. They are among the best-educated and most successful in the nation. Proverbs 15:22 says, "Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." But they use their high rank in the religion for their own ends; they are blind to the way God is working in their own community. Despite all their education, they ignore the prophets in their own Scriptures (John 5:39–47; Matthew 23:29–36).

And so the Sanhedrin not only completely misses what God is doing in front of them, they try to keep the truth from the people they are meant to serve and lead (Acts 4:17–18).