Acts 4 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
Peter and John at the Council
4 While Peter and John were speaking to the people, a group of men came up to them. There were Jewish priests, the captain of the soldiers that guarded the Temple, and some Sadducees. 2 They were upset because the two apostles were teaching the people. Peter and John were preaching that people will rise from death through the power of Jesus. 3 The Jewish leaders grabbed Peter and John and put them in jail. It was already night, so they kept them in jail until the next day. 4 But many of those who heard Peter and John preach believed the things they said. There were now about 5,000 men in the group of believers.
5 The next day the Jewish rulers, the Jewish elders, and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander were there. Everyone from the high priest’s family was there. 7 They made Peter and John stand before them. The Jewish leaders asked them: “By what power or authority did you do this?”
8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He said to them, “Rulers of the people and you elders, 9 are you questioning us about a good thing that was done to a crippled man? Are you asking us who made him well? 10 We want all of you and all the Jewish people to know that this man was made well by the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth! You nailed him to a cross, but God raised him from death. This man was crippled, but he is now well and able to stand here before you because of the power of Jesus! 11 Jesus is
12 Jesus is the only One who can save people. No one else in the world is able to save us.”
13 The Jewish leaders saw that Peter and John were not afraid to speak. They understood that these men had no special training or education. So they were amazed. Then they realized that Peter and John had been with Jesus. 14 They saw the crippled man standing there beside the two apostles. They saw that the man was healed. So they could say nothing against them. 15 The Jewish leaders told them to leave the meeting. Then the leaders talked to each other about what they should do. 16 They said, “What shall we do with these men? Everyone in Jerusalem knows that they have done a great miracle! We cannot say it is not true. 17 But we must warn them not to talk to people anymore using that name. Then this thing will not spread among the people.”
18 So they called Peter and John in again. They told them not to speak or to teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “What do you think is right? What would God want? Should we obey you or God? 20 We cannot keep quiet. We must speak about what we have seen and heard.” 21-22 The Jewish leaders could not find a way to punish them because all the people were praising God for what had been done. (This miracle was a proof from God. The man who was healed was more than 40 years old!) So the Jewish leaders warned the apostles again and let them go free.
The Believers’ Prayer
23 Peter and John left the meeting of Jewish leaders and went to their own group. They told them everything that the leading priests and the Jewish elders had said to them. 24 When the believers heard this, they prayed to God with one purpose. They prayed, “Lord, you are the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in the world. 25 Our father David was your servant. With the help of the Holy Spirit he said:
‘Why are the nations so angry?
27 These things really happened when Herod, Pontius Pilate, the non-Jewish people, and the Jewish people all came together against Jesus here in Jerusalem. Jesus is your holy Servant. He is the One you made to be the Christ. 28 These people made your plan happen; it happened because of your power and your will. 29 And now, Lord, listen to what they are saying. They are trying to make us afraid! Lord, we are your servants. Help us to speak your word without fear. 30 Help us to be brave by showing us your power; make sick people well, give proofs, and make miracles happen by the power of Jesus, your holy servant.”
31 After they had prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke God’s word without fear.
The Believers Share
32 The group of believers were joined in their hearts, and they had the same spirit. No person in the group said that the things he had were his own. Instead, they shared everything. 33 With great power the apostles were telling people that the Lord Jesus was truly raised from death. And God blessed all the believers very much. 34 They all received the things they needed. Everyone that owned fields or houses sold them. They brought the money 35 and gave it to the apostles. Then each person was given the things he needed.
36 One of the believers was named Joseph. The apostles called him Barnabas. (This name means “one who encourages.”) He was a Levite, born in Cyprus. 37 Joseph owned a field. He sold it, brought the money, and gave it to the apostles.
Acts 4 New International Version (NIV)
Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin
4 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2 They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
The Believers Pray
23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
The Believers Share Their Possessions
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.