Did Peter kill Ananias and Sapphira?


Acts 5

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

So who killed them? God? Peter?


From the text it appears their death was supernatural in origin. It says they “fell down and died” but doesn’t say Peter did anything - except reprimand them maybe - to cause it.


It just seems weird that Peter portends the death of Sapphira. Also, this is some Ild Testament stuff right here. Why is God striking people down for lying?


Here are the footnotes of the Douay-Rheims Study Bible

3. Peter said. St. Peter, as you see here, without man's relation, knew this fraud and the thoughts of Ananias, and as head of the college and of the whole Church, against which this robbery was committed, executed this heavy sentence of excommunication both against him, and his wife consenting to the sacrilege: for it was excommunication by St. Augustine’s judgment, (li. 3. cont. ep. parm. c. 1. to 7) and had this corporeal miraculous death joined withal, as the excommunication that St. Paul gave out against the incestuous and others, had the corporeal vexation of Satan incident to it.

4. In your power. If it pleased God, said St. Augustine, to withdraw part of the money they had vowed to God, how is he angry when chastity is vowed, and not performed; for to such may be said that which St. Peter said of the money — Your virginity remaining did it not remain to you, and before you did vow, was it not in your own power? For whosoever have vowed such things, and have not paid them, let them not think to be condemned to corporeal deaths, but everlasting fire. (St. Augustine Serm. 10. de diversis) And St. Gregory to the same purpose writes thus: Ananias had vowed money to God, which afterwards, overcome with devilish persuasion, he withdrew; but with what death he was punished, you know. If then he were worthy of that death, who took away the money that he had given to God, consider what great peril in God's judgment you shall be worthy of, who have withdrawn, not money, but yourself from Almighty God, to whom you had vowed yourself under the habit or weed of a monk.

Lied to men, but. To take from the Church, or the governors thereof, things dedicated to their use and the service of God, or to lie unto God's ministers, is so judged of before God, as if the lie were made, and the fraud done to the Holy Spirit himself, who is the Church's president and protector.


[quote="LaSainte, post:3, topic:329908"]
It just seems weird that Peter portends the death of Sapphira. Also, this is some Ild Testament stuff right here. Why is God striking people down for lying?


Let us remember the history here. Judas carried the shared purse for the apostles, and for a sum of thirty silver that would be his own, he betrayed our Lord.

Ananias, for the same love of money seen in Judas, adds his wealth to the shared purse of the early Church. And in order to have a portion that would be his own, he stole back some of what he promised. He betrayed the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, and God.

Like Judas, he died from sin.


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