Acts 5:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 5:32, NIV: We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.'

Acts 5:32, ESV: And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Acts 5:32, KJV: And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Acts 5:32, NASB: And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.'

Acts 5:32, NLT: We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him.'

Acts 5:32, CSB: We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."

What does Acts 5:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A large part of Jesus' ministry was preparing the Twelve to be His witnesses. He told them they would witness before courts, governors, and kings who would persecute them (Matthew 10:16–18). He said they would be His witnesses to the "end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The testimony they are to give witness to is that Jesus died and rose again after three days, and offers reconciliation with God, as the Old Testament said He would (Luke 24:45–48).

Their witness—and ours, as believers—is not pursued alone. The Holy Spirit equips them with words to say (Matthew 10:19–20), showing them the truth about Jesus (John 16:13), and reminding them of what Jesus taught them (John 14:26). He also bears witness of Jesus (John 15:26) and "He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit still bears witness in the hearts of Jesus-followers, giving us confidence that we are saved (Romans 8:16).

"Witness" comes from the Greek root word martys, which originally meant someone who explains what they have experienced; this was most often used in a legal or historical forum. Peter and John witnessed Jesus' transfiguration (2 Peter 1:16–18). Hundreds saw Jesus after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3–7). However, the connotation of martys changed throughout the years, very much due to the experiences of Jesus' earliest "witnesses."

Today, we express this concept through the term "martyr." Inherent in the job description of a witness of Jesus is the possibility—sometimes probability—of dying rather than going back on the testimony. Although the Bible only records the death of John's brother James (Acts 12:1–2), church tradition says all the apostles except John died for their faith, as did Paul. At the time described in this verse, they will just be beaten. But they will not be discouraged. They will rejoice, "that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name" (Acts 5:41).