Questions about A.D. Episode 4 – The Wrath

By: Dillon Burroughs; ©2015
Starting on Easter of 2015, NBC began broadcasting a 12 part epic miniseries entitled A.D. This production will tell the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity by following the Gospels and the book of Acts. Dillon Burroughs answers questions each week concerning the current episode of A.D.

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s television series Exploring AD continued this week with episode 4 “The Wrath.” We asked for your questions. The following are brief responses to top questions.

Find video clips related to this episode and additional resources at Exploring A.D..

Did Ananias and Sapphira really fall down dead like in A.D.?

This episode shared the account of Ananias and Sapphira found in Acts 5:1-11. The account reads:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

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? 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.”

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

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

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.”

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. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

The scenario is short and straightforward: Ananias and Sapphira sold a field, gave part of the money to the apostles, and pretended they had given all of it. They clearly lied to the apostles and the entire church.

Harsh judgment came upon both of them as a result. Further, we find the Holy Spirit referred to as God in this passage, affirming the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Trinity.

The A.D. series adds others elements, but this core story remains as the essential theme of the episode.

How did Pontius Pilate die?

The historian Josephus recorded that Pilate committed suicide during the reign of Caius or Caligula:

It is worthy of note that Pilate himself, who was governor in the time of our Savior, is reported to have fallen into such misfortunes under Caius, whose times we are recording, that he was forced to become his own murderer and executioner; and thus divine vengeance, as it seems, was not long in overtaking him. This is stated by those Greek historians who have recorded the Olympiads, together with the respective events which have taken place in each period. (Flavius Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews, 18.4.2.)

How many people did Peter actually heal?

Peter likely healed some people during the time Jesus ministered (Luke 10). In Acts, Peter preached at Pentecost and 3,000 were baptized (Acts 2). Other noted miracles by Peter included:

  1. Many miracles were performed by the apostles (2:43).
  2. Peter healed the lame man at the Temple (3:7-11).
  3. A miraculous earthquake (4:31).
  4. Ananias and Sapphira were slain by the Lord (5:5-10).
  5. Signs and wonders continued to be done by the apostles (5:12).
  6. Peter healed many from various cities (5:12-16).
  7. The prison doors were opened by an angel (5:19).
  8. Peter healed Aeneas (9:32-35).
  9. In Joppa, Peter raised Dorcus from the dead (9:39-42).
  10. A prison gate was miraculously opened (12:10).

Did Peter live in a camp like on A.D.?

Not likely. Though Peter’s home was in Capernaum, the early apostles likely stayed in the homes of friends and early believers in Jerusalem as they did in Acts 1.

Did Pilate really kill ten Jewish men in his search for the man who attempted to kill him?

This is not mentioned historically. Instead, it is an added storyline that shows Pilate as a ruthless leader out to destroy early Christianity.

Were the apostles beaten like in Exploring AD?

Acts 4:3 simply reads, “They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.” They were released the next day after their trial. No record is made of the apostles being beaten at this time, though they were persecuted physically at other times.

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  1. Donna on September 13, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    my son was murdered while changing a flat tire in Houston Texas on June 15, 2015. He was only 20 years old. He was brought up and a Christian atmosphere, but as he grew older he was busy with work and life. He was in no way perfect as not one of us is except Jesus Christ himself. I have been reading up on Hell. As I have always believed in hell this has made me reevaluate my entire belief system. I don’t know how a loving God could punish someone for eternity because everyone had such a young age thinks they are invincible. He was just turning his life around, but he was never baptized and I don’t know if he ever asked the Lord into his heart at an older age. I know no one knows the answer, but I don’t want to worship a God that has Hell hanging over our heads. I know we all have free choice, but if you look at it we really don’t if we only have the decision of burning in hell for eternity or the alternative. So that if I would’ve been taken at 20 years old I would have went straight to hell. Therefore, I am struggling with the different concepts of hell because in some languages as in the Old Testament it is Hades. I would hate to think that my precious son is burning in hell for eternity because I did not impress upon him about the importance of asking Jesus into your heart and turning from your sins. He was shot in the head and died he mediately. You never think you were going to bury your son or child. Why did God create the devil in the first place when he knew what that that beautiful angel Lucifer and a third of his angels we do before he even created them? What does hell mean to you? I am starting to become a universalist because I can’t understand or even fad them my son burning and brimstone and fire for eternity. I know you say the Bible is accurate, but I believe there are many books left out and as I said above hell had different meanings. Please give me your take on the situation. As I am in hell right now. I thank you in advance to your quick response to my questions…. And then and Psalms it says he knows our soul before we are born then why let someone be born if he knows they are going to hell? He knows everything before it’s going to happen. He’s in all knowing and loving God. I want to go wherever my son is. I want my all my questions about a burning he’ll answer whether good or bad. Again, thank you advance. I googled the 500 questions about God and Christianity and it makes perfect since. Thank you again, Donna

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