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Their crime is that they have lied to God. In the early Christian church in Jerusalem, the believers were so close they sold their excess land or possessions and donated the money so no one would go hungry. © 2014 by the Theology of Work Project, Inc. Kept back part. See options for interpretation in Joseph A. Fitzmyer, For a full treatment of this narrative with respect to economic and communal implications, see Aaron J. Kuecker, “The Spirit and the ‘Other,’ Satan and the ‘Self’: Economic Ethics as a consequence of Identity Transformation in Luke-Acts,” in, Theology of Work Project Online Materials, 10 Key Points About Work in the Bible That Every Christian Should Know, Beyond Rank and Power: What Philemon Tells Us About Leadership, The Beginning of God's New World (Acts 1-4), An Orienting Vocation for the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:8), A Christian Identity as God's Kingdom Witnesses in Daily Life (Acts 2:1-41), An Orienting Community That Practices the Ways of God's Kingdom: Acts 2:42-4:32, The Economics of Radical Generosity (Acts 2:45; 4:34-35), The Holy Spirit Empowers Radical Generosity With Every Kind of Resource (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-38), A Just Community Is a Witness to the World (Acts 2:47; 6:7), A Clash of Kingdoms: Community and Power (Acts 5-7), Ananias and Sapphira: A Case of Malicious Identity (Acts 5:1-11), Serving the Word and Serving Tables Are Equally Valuable (Acts 6:2-4), The Work of Community Leadership Is a Work of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3), A Clash of Kingdoms: Community and Powerbrokers (Acts 13-19), Vocation in the Context of Community (Acts 13:1-3), Leadership and Decision Making in the Christian Community (Acts 15), The Community of the Spirit Confronts the Brokers of Power (Acts 16 and 19), Confrontation Over the Liberation of a Slave Girl in Philippi (Acts 16:16-24), Confrontation Over the Disruption of Trade in Ephesus (Acts 19:21-41), Engaging the Culture With Respect (Acts 17:16-34), Tent Making and Christian Life (Acts 18:1-4), The Gospel and Limits to Vocation and Engagement (Acts 19:17-20), 4 Attributes of Paul's Leadership as Witness (Acts 20-28), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Moreover, their lie about their stewardship of resources is interpreted by Peter as a lie to the Holy Spirit and to God (Acts 5:3-4). Obviously the lives of Ananias and Sapphira did not consist of their possessions. Acts Chapter 5 opens on the heels of the the Apostles witnessing throughout Jerusalem of the resurrection of Jesus and the coming judgement upon Jerusalem (Acts 2:16-20).The 1st century Jews understood the warnings of Jesus. Posted on: November 6th, 2011. The apostles imprisoned, but set free by an angel. 1. How striking that a lie to the community is equated with a lie to the Spirit of God! (Acts 5:1-2). Ananias and Sapphira: A Case of Malicious Identity (Acts 5:1-11) Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project. Ananias and Sapphira on the Brescia Casket, late 4th century (middle register, centre and right) Acts chapter 4:32 closes by stating that the first followers of Jesus did not consider their possessions to be their own but rather held in common, in order to use what they had on behalf of those in want. Think of it like the temple: the closer you are to the holy place, the more significant is every blemish. The deaths of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) are nothing if not frightful and puzzling. With your gift of any size, you’ll enable us to continue equipping Christians with high-quality biblically-based content. It would prevent the increase of, false professors. Sapphira’s name means “beautiful” or “pleasant,” the same name given to that precious stone of deep purple blue, the sapphire. They had tried to deceive the apostles, but Peter pointed out that they were guilty of trying to deceive God. But Ananias did want more, and so did Sapphira. ə s /) and his wife Sapphira ( / s æ ˈ f aɪər ə /) were, according to the Acts of the Apostles, members of the Early Christian church in Jerusalem. / he says. Ananias and Sapphira. (8) And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” The apostles testify to Christ before the council. It was only when Ananias brought the money to the apostles representing it as the full price of the … He put the hands of the clock to the right time, but left the mainspring broken and the pendulum still 1. This is a sober reminder of the serious stakes connected to the Christian community and to our own participation within it. Their deceit demonstrates that they are still functioning as members of the Roman patronage system, while they pretend to have become members of the Christian love-of-neighbor system. This brings us onto the story of Ananias and Sapphira. Ananias and Sapphira were indeed free to do whatever they wished with the proceeds of their land. Ananias immediately dropped dead. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Commentary on Acts 4-5 (Ananias and Sapphira) July 10, 2017 Bill Pratt Leave a comment The verses of Acts 4:32-35 describe the situation of the … Peter acknowledges that they were under no obligation to donate the money: “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? Bible Commentary The Bible doesn't have to be daunting! Three hours later, Sapphira came to Peter not knowing what had happened. Ever had questions about the story of Ananias and Sapphira? The apostles testify to Christ before the council. He fell to the ground, took his last breath, and died. The reason they drop dead is not because this happens to all hypocrites. About this commentary: The two, a married couple, sell a piece of property and publicly give the proceeds to … He along with the Father and the Son is eternal God. Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. Did Ananias and Sapphira die because they rejected a primitive form of communism, or is there something else going on in this passage? Ananias and Sapphira on the Brescia Casket, late 4th century (middle register, centre and right) Acts chapter 4:32 closes by stating that the first followers of Jesus did not consider their possessions to be their own but rather held in common, in order … Acts 5 - In-depth verse-by-verse Bible study and commentary of Acts chapter 5 in plain English. But we can see that it is possible for a Christian to sin unto death (1 John 5:16-17), and we have New Testament examples of saved Christians being judged by being “brought home” in death (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). Let us learn hence how hateful falsehood is to the God of truth, and not only shun a direct lie, but all advantages from the use of doubtful expressions, and double meaning in our speech. 2. And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal?” (Acts 5:4). Ananias had no time to respond. Ananias and Sapphira were indeed free to do whatever they wished with the proceeds of their land. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. This sharing of resources was not a formal requirement of the church, but those who participated were looked upon favorably 4While it remained, was it not your own? The power which accompanied the preaching of the gospel. Ananias’ name, in fact, means, “God is … It is a glimpse of the future judgment for all who share in the heart of Ananias and Sapphira. (Ac 5:12-16). The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was, that they were ambitious of being thought eminent disciples, when they were not true disciples. On November 16, 2020 November 12, 2020 By Jeff Crippen In Churches/Church Response. So Ananias and Sapphira's deed was deliberate, willfully ignoring the Master's commands, as well as His warning to "be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."5. The apostles imprisoned, but set free by an angel. Ananias and Sapphira. Ananias ( / ˌ æ n ə ˈ n aɪ. The account records their sudden deaths after lying to the apostles about money. The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was, that they were ambitious of being thought eminent disciples, when they were not true disciples. 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