What does Acts 5:28 mean?
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."
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."
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.'
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."
NLT: We gave you strict orders never again to teach in this man’s name!' he said. 'Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him, and you want to make us responsible for his death!'
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.
NKJV: saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Acts 5:27–42 occurs in the aftermath of a miraculous jailbreak. The chief priests arrested the apostles for teaching and healing in Jesus' name (Acts 5:17–18). On the morning of the inquiry, the guards find the prison cells empty and the apostles, again, preaching in the temple courtyard (Acts 5:22, 25). The guards bring the apostles back, and the Sanhedrin questions them. When the apostles insist Jesus is alive, the priests want them killed. But a Pharisee, Gamaliel, calms the situation. The Sanhedrin do flog the apostles before releasing them, starting the long history of physical persecution against Christ-followers. Verse 29 is a cornerstone of Christian ethics: that God's will is worth suffering for.
Chapter Summary:
The apostles continue to make hard decisions in the name of Jesus, both inside and outside the church. When Ananias and Sapphira lie to God, the Holy Spirit inspires Peter to pronounce God's judgment on them, protecting the church from the love of the world. Despite the Sanhedrin's watchful eye—and direct orders (Acts 4:17–18)—the apostles continue to preach and heal openly. The guards arrest the apostles, but the Sanhedrin settles for beating them instead of capital punishment. The apostles consider it an honor to suffer on behalf of their Savior.
Chapter Context:
In Acts 5, persecution from unbelievers begins to accelerate. The Sanhedrin has become aware the apostles teach that Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 4). Now, they start to push back in earnest, arresting and beating the apostles. Soon, a mob will kill Stephen, a deacon (Acts 7:54–60), and the Sanhedrin will empower Saul to run down and arrest any Jesus-follower he can find (Acts 8:1–3). The apostles will stay in Jerusalem. Other Jesus-followers will carry His offer of forgiveness and reconciliation with God into the Roman Empire and beyond. The apostles' faithfulness and submission to the Holy Spirit is why we have the gospel message today.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 6/13/2024 1:50:49 PM
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