Acts 5:40 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 5:40, NIV: His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Acts 5:40, ESV: and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Acts 5:40, KJV: And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Acts 5:40, NASB: They followed his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them.

Acts 5:40, NLT: The others accepted his advice. They called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go.

Acts 5:40, CSB: After they called in the apostles and had them flogged, they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them.

What does Acts 5:40 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Sanhedrin has several different reasons to hate that Jesus' following continues despite His death. Jesus spent His entire ministry defying the Pharisees (Mark 2:18–22, 24–28; 3:1–6; 8:11–13; 12:13–17), the scribes (Mark 3:22–29; 7:1–23; 12:38–40), the priests (Mark 11:15–18, 27–33), and the Sadducees (Mark 12:18–27). He is recorded giving at least one long, scathing argument against the Pharisees and scribes (Matthew 23:1–36).

The Pharisees and followers of Herod Antipas have been trying to destroy Jesus since shortly after His ministry began in Galilee (Mark 3:6). Eventually, they reached solidarity with the priests, scribes, and elders—the formal members of the Sanhedrin (Mark 12:12). The Sanhedrin manipulated the Roman government (John 19:12–13) and a hapless crowd (Mark 15:9–15) to see Jesus crucified. They know, however, Jesus' body is gone (Matthew 28:11–15).

After Jesus' death, His followers stayed quiet. Suddenly, on the Day of Pentecost, they started speaking in different languages and preaching that Jesus is alive (Acts 2). The majority of the Sanhedrin were from the sect of the Sadducees and didn't believe resurrection was possible. For them, the idea that someone they worked so hard to kill has come back to life is unthinkable.

When the priests heard Peter and John were teaching that Jesus had risen from the dead, they arrested them, but had no justification for anything beyond questioning. The two had just healed a man born lame and the Jewish rulers were, as always, afraid of a public backlash if they went too far (Acts 3:1–10; 4:1–22; 5:26). During that interaction, they ordered Peter and John to stop preaching in Jesus' name. Now that all the apostles have disobeyed that order, the Sanhedrin can legally justify strong action.