Acts 5:3
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?

King James Bible
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Darby Bible Translation
But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled thy heart that thou shouldest lie to the Holy Spirit, and put aside for thyself a part of the price of the estate?

World English Bible
But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Young's Literal Translation
And Peter said, 'Ananias, wherefore did the Adversary fill thy heart, for thee to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back of the price of the place?

Acts 5:3 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But Peter said ... - Peter could have known this only by "revelation." It was the manifest design of Ananias to deceive; nor was there any way of detecting him but by its being revealed to him by the Spirit of God. As it was an instance of enormous wickedness, and as it was very important to detect and punish the crime, it was made known to Peter directly by God.

Why hath Satan - Great deeds of wickedness in the Scripture are traced to the influence of Satan. Compare Luke 23:3; John 13:27. Especially is Satan called the "father of lies," John 8:44-45. Compare Genesis 3:1-5. As this was an act of "falsehood," or an attempt to deceive, it is with great propriety traced to the influence of Satan. The sin of Ananias consisted in his "yielding" to the temptation. Nowhere in the Bible are people supposed to be free from guilt from the mere fact that they have been "tempted" to commit it. God requires them to "resist" temptation; and if they "yield" to it, they must be punished.

Filled thine heart - A man's "heart" or "mind" is "full" of a thing when he is "intent on it"; when he is strongly "impelled to it"; or when he is fully occupied with it. The expression here means that he was "strongly impelled" or "excited" by Satan to this crime.

To lie to - To attempt to deceive. The deception which he meant to practice was to keep back a "part" of the price, while he "pretended" to bring the whole of it; thus "tempting" God, and supposing that he could not detect the fraud.

The Holy Ghost - τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον to pneuma to hagion. The main inquiry here is, whether the apostle Peter intended to designate in this place the "third person" of the Trinity; or whether he meant to speak of God "as God," without any reference to the distinction of persons; or whether he referred to the "divine influence" which inspired the apostles, without reference to the special offices which are commonly ascribed to the Holy Spirit. Or, in other words, is there a "distinction" here recognized between the Father and the Holy Spirit? That there "is," will be apparent from the following considerations:

(1) If no such distinction is "intended," it is remarkable that Peter did not use the usual and customary "name" of God. It does not appear why he guarded it so carefully as to denote that this offence was committed against the "Holy Spirit," and "the Spirit of the Lord," Acts 5:9.

(2) the name used here is the one employed in the Scriptures to designate the third person of the Trinity, as implying a distinction from the Father. See Matthew 3:16; Matthew 1:18, Matthew 1:20; Matthew 3:11; Matthew 12:32; Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:8; Mark 3:29; Mark 12:36; Luke 12:10; John 14:26; John 7:39; John 20:22; Acts 4:8; Acts 5:32, etc.

(3) Peter intended, doubtless, to designate an offence as committed particularly against the person, or influence, by which he and the other apostles were inspired. Ananias supposed that he could escape detection, and the offence was one, therefore, against the Inspirer of the apostles. Yet that was the Holy Spirit as "distinct from the Father." See John 14:16-17, John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7-11; John 20:22. Compare Acts 5:32. The offence, therefore, being against him who was "sent" by the Father, and who was appointed to a particular work, clearly supposes that the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Father.

(4) a further incidental proof of this may be found in the fact that the sin here committed was one of special magnitude - so great as to be deemed worthy of the immediate and signal vengeance of God. Yet the sin against the Holy Spirit is uniformly represented to be of this description. Compare Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-29. As these sins evidently coincide in enormity, it is clear that the same class of sins is referred to in both places; or, in other words, the sin of Ananias was against the third person of the Trinity. Two remarks may be made here:

(1) The Holy Spirit is a distinct Person from the Father and the Son; or, in other words, there is a distinction of some kind in the divine nature that may be designated by the word "person." This is clear from the fact that sin is said to have been committed against him - a sin which it was supposed could not be detected. "Sin" cannot be committed against an "attribute" of God, or an "influence" from God. We cannot "lie unto" an attribute, or against wisdom, or power, or goodness; nor can we "lie unto" an "influence," merely, of the Most High. Sin is committed against a "Being," not against an "attribute"; and as a sin is here charged on Ananias against "the Holy Spirit," it follows that the Holy Spirit has a "personal" existence, or that there is such a distinction in the divine essence that it may be proper to "specify" a sin as committed especially against him. In the same way sin may be represented as committed especially against the "Father" when his "name" is blasphemed; when his "dominion" is denied; when his mercy in sending his Son is called in question. Sin may be represented as committed against "the Son" when his atonement is denied; his divinity assailed; his character derided, or his invitations slighted. And thus sin may be represented as committed against "the Holy Spirit" when his office of renewing the heart, or sanctifying the soul, is called in question, or when "his" work is ascribed to some malign or other influence. See Mark 3:22-30. And as sin against the Son proves that he is in some sense distinct from the Father, so does sin against the Holy Spirit prove that in some sense he is distinct from the Father and the Son.

(2) the Holy Spirit is divine. This is proved, because he is represented here as being able to search the heart, and to detect insincerity and hypocrisy. Compare Jeremiah 17:10; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 1 Corinthians 2:10, "The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God"; Revelation 2:23. And he is expressly "called" God. See the notes on Acts 5:4.

Acts 5:3 Parallel Commentaries

Whom to Obey, --Annas or Angel?
'Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18. And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20. Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 21. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

On Zeal
"It is good to be always zealously affected in a good thing." Gal. 4:18. 1. There are few subjects in the whole compass of religion, that are of greater importance than this. For without zeal it is impossible, either to make any considerable progress in religion ourselves, or to do any considerable service to our neighbour, whether in temporal or spiritual things. And yet nothing has done more disservice to religion, or more mischief to mankind, than a sort of zeal which has for several ages prevailed,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Whether Human Law Binds a Man in Conscience?
Objection 1: It would seem that human law does not bind man in conscience. For an inferior power has no jurisdiction in a court of higher power. But the power of man, which frames human law, is beneath the Divine power. Therefore human law cannot impose its precept in a Divine court, such as is the court of conscience. Objection 2: Further, the judgment of conscience depends chiefly on the commandments of God. But sometimes God's commandments are made void by human laws, according to Mat. 15:6: "You
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Devil is Directly the Cause of Man's Sinning?
Objection 1: It would seem that the devil is directly the cause of man's sinning. For sin consists directly in an act of the appetite. Now Augustine says (De Trin. iv, 12) that "the devil inspires his friends with evil desires"; and Bede, commenting on Acts 5:3, says that the devil "draws the mind to evil desires"; and Isidore says (De Summo Bono ii, 41; iii, 5) that the devil "fills men's hearts with secret lusts." Therefore the devil is directly the cause of sin. Objection 2: Further, Jerome says
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Matthew 4:10
Then Jesus said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'"

Luke 22:3
And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve.

John 13:2
During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him,

John 13:27
After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."

Acts 5:2
and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet.

Acts 5:4
"While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."

Acts 5:9
Then Peter said to her, "Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well."

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