Ananias and Sapphira
Ananias (pron.: //) and his wife Sapphira (pron.: //) were, according to the Acts of the Apostles, members of the Early Christian church in Jerusalem. The account records their sudden deaths after being accused of lying to the apostles about money.
Story summary 
Acts chapter 4:32 closes by stating that the first followers of Jesus did not consider their possessions to be their own, but they had all things in common to use what they had on behalf of those in want. Barnabas, a Levite from Cyprus, sold a plot of land and donated the profit to the apostles.
As told at the beginning of Acts chapter 5 Ananias and Sapphira, following Barnabas' example but not willing to give all, also sold their land but withheld a portion of the sales. Ananias presented his donation to Peter. Peter replied, "Why is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?" Peter pointed out that Ananias was in control of the money and could give or keep it as he saw fit, but that he had withheld it from Peter and lied about it, and stated that Ananias had not only lied to Peter, but also to God. Ananias died on the spot and was carried out. As a result, everyone who heard the incident feared the Lord. Three hours after Ananias' death his wife arrives, unaware of what has happened. Peter asks her the price of the sold land, and she verifies it. She also falls dead, apparently a punishment for deceiving God.
Patristic commentary 
Modern scholarship 
The morality of the incident has been the source of some commentary. Dunn (1996) describes it as 'one of the most unnerving episodes in the whole of the New Testament.' Many scholars have noted parallels with the story of Achan (Joshua 7), and Havelaar (1997) notes various parallel events in pagan literature, in particular one close parallel in an event recounted by Herodotus about a certain Glaucus who tried to tempt the gods at Delphi by lying about money he had taken, and was deprived of descendants.
- Rick Strelan - Strange acts: studies in the cultural world of the Acts of the Apostles 2004 Page 199 "Dunn thinks it is 'one of the most unnerving episodes in the whole of the New Testament' (1996: 62), ... The story parallels that of Achan (Josh. 7), as many scholars have noted, but also interesting are the parallels to which Henriette Havelaar (1997) draws attention. While many of the parallels she offers are not very close in details, there is a close parallel in Herodotus, who tells of a man who entrusted a large amount of money to a certain Glaucus. Later, the sons of the man came to redeem their..."
- Herodotus Histories III translated Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson - 1859 "As for Glaucus, he made a journey to Delphi, and there consulted the oracle. To his question if he should swear,8 and so make prize of the money, the Pythoness returned for answer these lines following : — ' Best for the present it were "
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Acts 4 at WikiSource
- Acts 5 at WikiSource
- King James Version Bible Commentary. 1831 pages. Thomas Nelson Publishing: 2005. ISBN 1-4185-0340-1.