Acts 5:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 5:28, NIV: We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,' he said. 'Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood.'

Acts 5:28, ESV: saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”

Acts 5:28, KJV: Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.

Acts 5:28, NASB: saying, 'We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this Man’s blood upon us.'

Acts 5:28, NLT: 'Didn't we tell you never again to teach in this man's name?' he demanded. 'Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him, and you want to make us responsible for his death!'

Acts 5:28, CSB: "Didn't we strictly order you not to teach in this name? Look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."

What does Acts 5:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Sanhedrin had ordered Peter and John to stop preaching in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18). After praying for boldness (Acts 4:29–31), Peter and John returned to the temple courtyard with all the apostles and continued their ministry (Acts 5:12–16). One would think that the priests, elders, and scribes would notice the miraculous healings the apostles were performing and reconsider their venomous reaction. Instead, the council only sees rebellion against their authority.

At first, the chief priests, who were mostly Sadducees, didn't like what the apostles were teaching about the resurrection (Acts 4:1–2). Then they were jealous of the apostles' popularity (Acts 5:17). Now, they're couching their charge in terms of the Ninth Commandment: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Exodus 20:16). They may bring it up because they're afraid the public will realize they killed Jesus under false pretenses; they could lose their power and influence. Or it may be a greater fear. In Roman law, if you wrongfully charge someone of a crime, you are legally liable to receive the punishment of that crime. Pilate knows they had no real reason to have him kill Jesus; if the truth comes out, the members of the Sanhedrin could be crucified.

The Sanhedrin has already voluntarily accepted Jesus' blood on their hands (Matthew 27:25) while putting the responsibility on the Romans (John 18:29–31). When Peter confronted the crowd at Pentecost with Jesus' death, they were "cut to the heart" and asked the apostles what their response should be—and most of them likely weren't even in Jerusalem when Jesus died (Acts 2:9–11, 37). They repented, chose to follow Jesus, and became the first wave of believers (Acts 2:38–41). The members of the Sanhedrin, who have access to the prophets who very specifically predicted Jesus, should do the same.