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Acts 12 is the twelfth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the death of the first apostle, James, son of Zebedee, followed by the miraculous escape of Peter from prison, the death of Herod Agrippa I, and the early ministry of Barnabas and Paul of Tarsus. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.[1]

Acts 12
Uncial 0244 (GA) recto.jpg
Acts 11:29–12:2 on the recto side of Uncial 0244 (Gregory-Aland) from the 5th century.
BookActs of the Apostles
CategoryChurch history
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part5



Acts 12:3–5 on the verso side of Uncial 0244 (Gregory-Aland) from the 5th century.

The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 25 verses.

Textual witnessesEdit

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:


Places mentioned in this chapter

This chapter mentions the following places:


Meyer estimated that these events took place in 44 AD, [2] the year of the death of Herod Agrippa, at the same time as the prophets from Jerusalem travelled to Antioch and returned with aid for the Judean church.[3] The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges suggests 43 AD.[4]

Peter Freed from PrisonEdit

This part of the chapter tells that Peter was put into prison by King Herod, but the night before his trial an angel appeared to him, and told him to leave. Peter's chains fell off, and he followed the angel out of prison, thinking it was a vision (verse 9). The prison doors opened of their own accord, and the angel led Peter into the city.

Verse 7Edit

Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands.[5]

This verse is referred to in Charles Wesley's hymn And Can It Be.[6]

Verse 12Edit

So, when he (Simon Peter) had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.[7]

Verse 23Edit

Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him (Herod), because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.[8]

Verse 25Edit

And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  2. ^ Meyer's NT Commentary, accessed 30 August 2015
  3. ^ Acts 11:27–30
  4. ^ accessed 30 August 2015
  5. ^ Acts 12:7 NKJV
  6. ^ Blair Gilmer Meeks, Expecting the Unexpected: An Advent Devotional Guide (Upper Room Books, 2006), 38.
  7. ^ Acts 12:12 NKJV
  8. ^ Acts 12:23
  9. ^ Acts 12:25

External linksEdit