Acts 4:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 4:16, NIV: What are we going to do with these men?' they asked. 'Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it.

Acts 4:16, ESV: saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.

Acts 4:16, KJV: Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.

Acts 4:16, NASB: saying, 'What are we to do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.

Acts 4:16, NLT: 'What should we do with these men?' they asked each other. 'We can't deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it.

Acts 4:16, CSB: saying, "What should we do with these men? For an obvious sign has been done through them, clear to everyone living in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.

What does Acts 4:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter and John have healed a man lame from birth. More troubling to the Sanhedrin, however, is that they are teaching the power to do so came from Jesus of Nazareth and that Jesus rose from the dead. Most of the members of the Sanhedrin do not believe resurrection from the dead is possible. But the miracle of the lame man's healing clearly happened. Even so, they can't accept how it happened.

This is probably one of the most ironic verses in the Bible. The Sanhedrin admits this is a "notable sign," but instead of heeding it, they try to squelch it. They overtly recognize the implications of the event, and make a conscious effort to reject it for their own reasons. "Sign" is from the Greek root word sēmeion. It is a supernatural act performed by someone who God chooses to reveal His truth. Signs and healing identified the prophets in the Old Testament—prophets who communicated what God wanted from His people, the same prophets the people ignored and even killed (1 Kings 19:10; 2 Chronicles 36:16; Jeremiah 2:30).

The Sanhedrin did the same with Jesus. They even tried to kill Lazarus because he was proof that Jesus could raise the dead (John 12:9–11). They couldn't deny that Jesus raised Lazarus, and they can't deny that Peter and John miraculously healed a lame man. They can't even deny that Jesus rose from the dead (Matthew 28:11–15). All they can do is make threats.

The Sanhedrin will release Peter and John and then arrest all the apostles and consider killing them. Gamaliel, one of the foremost Jewish scholars, will tell them to wait: if the movement is from God, they can do nothing to stop it; if it isn't from God, it won't last (Acts 5:38–39). The apostles will continue to heal and continue to preach in Jesus' name. The Sanhedrin will continue to try to silence their message, thought they can't refute a single aspect of it.