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Acts 6 Worldwide English (New Testament) (WE)

At that time more and more people joined the disciples. Then there was trouble about a certain matter. The Jews who spoke the Greek language complained against the other Jews. They said that each day when the food was being divided, their women whose husbands were dead did not get their part.

Then the twelve apostles called all of the disciples together. They said, `It is not right for us to stop preaching God's word to divide the food.

So then, brothers, you choose seven men who you know are good men. Choose men who are full of the Holy Spirit and are wise. We will give them the work to divide the food.

But we ourselves will keep on talking with God and telling his word.'

This pleased all the people. The men they chose were Stephen, a man who believed God and was full of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus from Antioch who had joined the Jews.

These men were brought before the apostles. When the apostles had talked with God, they put their hands on their heads [to bless them].

The word of God spread further and further, and many people in Jerusalem believed. Many of the priests also believed.

Stephen received much blessing and power from God. He did many wonderful things and signs among the people.

But some of the Jews argued with Stephen, and said he was wrong. (They belonged to the meeting place of the Free Men. They were Jews who came from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia and Asia Minor.) They did not agree with Stephen.

10 But they could not say anything against his wise words and the Spirit by whom he spoke.

11 So they paid some people to say, `We have heard him say wrong things about Moses and God.'

12 They talked to the people, the leaders, and the scribes, and made them angry. They went quickly and caught Stephen and took him into the court.

13 They brought in the men who told lies about him. They said, `This man is always saying wrong things about this holy place and the laws.

14 We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will break down this place and that he will change the law which Moses gave us.'

15 Then all the judges who sat in the court looked at him and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Acts 6 New International Version (NIV)

The Choosing of the Seven

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a] among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Stephen Seized

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.

11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”

12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”

15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 6:1 That is, Jews who had adopted the Greek language and culture
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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