Acts 5:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 5:11, NIV: Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Acts 5:11, ESV: And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Acts 5:11, KJV: And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

Acts 5:11, NASB: And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard about these things.

Acts 5:11, NLT: Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.

Acts 5:11, CSB: Then great fear came on the whole church and on all who heard these things.

What does Acts 5:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

It is easy and common for groups of modern believers to get caught up in spiritual highs and forget the holiness of God. Until this point of the book of Acts, the church has been characterized by fellowship (Acts 2:42), miracles (Acts 2:43), and an intense unity that extends from hearts to possessions (Acts 2:44). We must be careful to ensure our joy is based not only on God's love but also on God's holiness.

News of Ananias and Sapphira affect how the non-Christians see the church as well. Until this time, the unity of the church and the miracles performed by the apostles have led the non-Christian Jews to show favor to the new sect (Acts 2:47). Now, they see that the power and authority of Jesus are tools for holiness as well as blessing. That scares them and perhaps sets the stage for Stephen's arrest and murder (Acts 6:8—7:60) and Paul's widescale persecution of the church (Acts 8:1–3). As yet, however, the public is still impressed enough by the miracles that they respect the apostles (Acts 5:12–13).

This fear does not stop people from coming to Jesus, however. "More than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women" (Acts 5:14). Proverbs 1:7 says that "fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge."