Acts 4


In Acts 4:15-17 the Sadducees are talking among themselves trying to determine what to do with Peter and John in regards to preaching in Jesus’ name and healing a crippled beggar. If this was as it seems the Sadducees and no one else how is this information in the Christian bible? How did the writer of this part of Acts get this knowledge of what they had said? Thank you for any help on this. Take care-stay safe.


Obviously any Sadducee who was at the discussion could have talked about this, either as a convert afterward, or just as historical information provided to Luke afterward by Jewish people he interviewed. People like to talk, and Luke says he talked to as many eyewitnesses to events as he could.

If there’s a fraught political situation and people regret their actions afterward, sometimes they clam up and say nothing, but sometimes they want to talk about it. What were we thinking? What were our mistakes? What could we have done differently? If people who used to be Nazis have been willing to talk to documentary filmmakers and historians, why wouldn’t a Sadducee have talked to Luke?

Also, tradition says that Luke was a doctor. He may have had a heckuva bedside manner, and just been the kind of guy who gets people to tell him things.

Second, a lot of discussions in the ancient world took place in semi-public areas. If you were at somebody’s house, the servants were around to bring snacks, or the kids might be listening in, or the women might have been working somewhere in earshot. Not a lot of privacy. And if you’re talking things over at the Sanhedrin or your weekly club meeting or at a porch over at the Temple, a lot of people are around.


Mintaka gives some plausible explanations. I’ll offer another.

In Acts 5, we see some of the apostles again in front of the Sanhedrin (which was a council of not only Sadducees but also some Pharisees). At that time, one of the members of the Sanhedrin stands up and speaks. His name is Gamaliel.

Gamaliel was also the teacher of another Pharisee named Saul, who history knows better as St. Paul. At the time of Acts 4 and 5, Saul was not yet converted.

And, of course, Luke who wrote the Acts of the Apostles was a friend and traveling companion of St. Paul.

So even within Scripture itself, we see a connection between the Sanhedrin and the author of the book.

It seems likely to me that on their long travels together, St. Paul would have recounted many things to St. Luke.


Divine revelation. Where the authors wrote while guided by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit filled the gaps where human knowledge was limited. God spoke directly to prophets and certain people and many times through angels, visions and dreams. When these authors whom God had chosen to speak through their pen, no doubt the Spirit of God revealed certain things to these men where otherwise they had no other way of knowing.


There’s that aspect, too. :slight_smile: Though, in this case, I can see where Luke could have heard of the conversation through natural means. But we cannot rule out the possibility of the supernatural either.


Luke tells us where he learned everything.

Luke wrote the third Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. They were originally one book and he himself tells us where he got his information…

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent The-oph’ilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed. (Luke 1:1-4)

“Eyewitnesses and ministers of the word” means Apostles. The Apostles taught him all that he himself was not a witness to.



Thank you all for your input. It appears I jumped to conclusions by not thinking things through and meditating on the chapter very well. I need to work on that a bit it seems. All of the natural means seem quite plausible and probable. Inspired to know these things by god also seems possible- hadn’t thought of that either. Peace-be well.


Don’t sweat it. It was a good question. Usually, it takes time and feedback from others to start to think through these things in such ways. I could think of an answer for this one, but there are plenty of other questions that have me scratching my head until someone points out to me what then seems obvious. :o


That was me. Scratching away. Then as I read the responses ,they seemed so obvious. Peace-be well.


Remember, too, that Jesus had his “secret” disciples amongst the high-born and members of the Sanhedrin- so they, too, could have been the source.

In fact, that is probably why Caiaphas- the year before- sent Jesus before Pilate for execution. Caiaphas could have had Jesus stoned by edict from the Sanhedrin, as Pilate himself pointed out to the priests who brought Jesus over, but Caiaphas knew he was not likely to get anything close to a consensus. Besides, the Second Temple had probably been paying off Pilate in the style of the day, and he “owed” them.


:rotfl: Oh no! There must’ve been a leak in the Sadducee conference. :whacky:Quick, form a committee and a special prosecutor to investigate this.


You guys are making it way too complicated. It is very simple.

Luke wrote Acts of the Apostles and the third Gospel. Luke tells us exactly where he got the information in the opening lines of his Gospel. It was “delivered” to him by the Apostles who were eyewitnesses to everything. Peter, James, John and the other Apostles who were there told him about these events.

Luke himself tells us. Why do we have to make it so complicated when it isn’t?



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