Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party1 of the Sadducees,2 were filled with jealousy.
They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.3
But during the night an angel4 of the Lord opened the doors of the jail5 and brought them out.6
"Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life."7
At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates8 arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin9--the full assembly of the elders of Israel--and sent to the jail for the apostles.
But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there.10 So they went back and reported,
"We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside."
On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests11 were puzzled, wondering what would come of this.
Then someone came and said, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people."
At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people12 would stone them.
Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin13 to be questioned by the high priest.
"We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,"14 he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."15
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!16
The God of our fathers17 raised Jesus from the dead18--whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.19
God exalted him to his own right hand20 as Prince and Savior21 that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.22
We are witnesses of these things,23 and so is the Holy Spirit,24 whom God has given to those who obey him."
When they heard this, they were furious25 and wanted to put them to death.
But a Pharisee named Gamaliel,26 a teacher of the law,27 who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.
Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men.
Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing.
After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census28 and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered.
Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.29
But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."30
His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged.31 Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing32 because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.33
Day after day, in the temple courts34 and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news35 that Jesus is the Christ.36