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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 6

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1 DURING this period, when disciples were growing in number, a grievance arose on the part of those who spoke Greek a 6:1 those who spoke Greek: lit. the Hellenists. , against those who spoke the language of the Jews b 6:1 those who spoke the language of the Jews: lit. the Hebrews. ; they complained that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution. 2The Twelve called the whole company of disciples together and said, ‘It would not be fitting for us to neglect the word of God in order to assist in the distribution. 3Therefore, friends, pick seven men of good repute from your number, men full of the Spirit and of wisdom, and we will appoint them for this duty; 4then we can devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’ 5This proposal proved acceptable to the whole company. They elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, along with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch, who had been a convert to Judaism, 6and presented them to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

7The word of God spread more and more widely; the number of disciples in Jerusalem was increasing rapidly, and very many of the priests adhered to the faith.

8Stephen, full of grace and power, began to do great wonders and signs among the people. 9Some members of the synagogue called the Synagogue of Freedmen, comprising Cyrenians and Alexandrians and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and argued with Stephen, 10but could not hold their own against the inspired wisdom with which he spoke. 11They then put up men to allege that they had heard him make blasphemous statements against Moses and against God. 12They stirred up the people and the elders and scribes, set upon him and seized him, and brought him before the Council. 13They produced false witnesses who said, ‘This fellow is for ever saying things against this holy place and against the law. 14For we have heard him say this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and alter the customs handed down to us by Moses.’ 15All who were sitting in the Council fixed their eyes on him, and his face seemed to them like the face of an angel.

Notes:

a 6:1 those who spoke Greek: lit. the Hellenists.

b 6:1 those who spoke the language of the Jews: lit. the Hebrews.

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