Acts 5:12-42 NIV
The Apostles Heal Many
12The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
The Apostles Persecuted
17Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.
19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.
20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”
21At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.
When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23“We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.
25Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.
27The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28“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.”
29Peter and the other apostles replied:
“We must obey God rather than human beings! 30The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—Whom you killed by hanging Him on a cross. 31God exalted Him to His Own Right Hand as Prince and Savior that He might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
33When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.
35Then he addressed the Sanhedrin:
“Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36Some 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. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered.
38Therefore, 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. 39But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
40His 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.
41The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
Gamaliel the Elder or Rabban Gamaliel I (רבן גמליאל הזקן; Greek: Γαμαλιήλ ο Πρεσβύτερος), was a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the mid-1st century CE. He was son of Simeon ben Hillel, and grandson of the great Jewish teacher Hillel the Elder, and died twenty years before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE).
He fathered a son, whom he called Simeon, after his father and a daughter, whose daughter (i.e., Gamaliel's granddaughter) married a priest named Simon ben Nathanael. The name Gamaliel is the Hebrew name meaning reward of God.
In the Christian tradition, Gamaliel is celebrated as a Pharisee doctor of Jewish Law. Acts of the Apostles speaks of Gamaliel as a man of great respect who spoke in favor of arrested Christian apostles and the Jewish Law teacher of Paul the Apostle.