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Acts 6Expanded Bible (EXB)

Seven Leaders Are Chosen

The number of ·followers [disciples] was ·growing [multiplying]. But during ·this same time [those days], the ·Greek-speaking followers [L Hellenists; C Jewish Christians who spoke primarily Greek and had returned to Israel after living abroad] ·had an argument with [began grumbling/complaining against] the ·other followers [L Hebrews; C Aramaic speaking Jewish Christians born in Israel]. The Greek-speaking widows were ·not getting their share [being neglected/overlooked in the distribution] of the food that was given out every day. The ·twelve apostles [Twelve] called the whole group of ·followers [L disciples] together and said, “It is not right for us to ·stop our work of teaching God’s word [L leave/abandon the word of God] in order to serve tables. So, ·brothers and sisters [or brothers; C uncertain whether women would have been included in that culture], choose seven of your own men who ·are good [have a good reputation], full of the Spirit and full of wisdom. We will ·put [appoint] them in charge of this ·work [responsibility; L need]. Then we [apostles] can ·continue [devote ourselves] to pray and to ·teach [L the ministry/service of] the word of God.”

The whole group ·liked [was pleased with] the idea, so they chose these seven men: Stephen (a man ·with great [L full of] faith and full of the Holy Spirit), Philip [C not the apostle of the same name], Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (a man from Antioch [C a major city in Syria] who ·had become a follower of the Jewish religion [L was a prosylete; C a Gentile convert to Judaism]. Then they ·put [presented] these men before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands [C a ritual of blessing and/or conferring of authority] on them.

The word of God was continuing to spread. The ·group [number] of ·followers [disciples] in Jerusalem [quickly; or greatly] ·increased [multiplied], and a great number of the Jewish priests ·believed and obeyed [L become obedient to the faith].

Stephen Is Accused

Stephen was ·richly blessed by God who gave him the power [L full of grace and power] to do great ·miracles [wonders] and signs among the people. But some people ·were [rose up] against him. They belonged to the synagogue of Free Men [C Jews who were freed slaves] (as it was called), which included people from Cyrene, Alexandria [C both in North Africa], Cilicia, and Asia [C both in Asia Minor, present-day Turkey]. They all ·came [rose up; came forward] and ·argued [debated; disputed] with Stephen.

10 But ·the Spirit was helping him to speak with wisdom, and his words were so strong that they could not argue with him [L they could not resist the wisdom and Spirit/spirit by which he spoke]. 11 So they ·secretly urged [or bribed] some men to say, “We heard Stephen ·speak [L speaking blasphemous words] against Moses and against God.”

12 They ·stirred up [roused; incited] the people, the elders, and the teachers of the law. They ·came [or confronted] and grabbed Stephen and brought him to ·a meeting of the leaders [L the Sanhedrin; 4:15]. 13 They brought in some ·people to tell lies about Stephen [L false witnesses], saying, “This man is always speaking against this holy place [C the Temple] and the law of Moses. 14 We heard him say that Jesus ·from Nazareth [or the Nazarene] will destroy this place and that Jesus will change the customs Moses gave us [C for a similar charge leveled against Jesus see Matt. 26:61; Mark 14:58].” 15 All the people [who sat] in the ·meeting [L Sanhedrin; 4:15] ·were watching Stephen closely [or stared intently at Stephen] ·and [or because they] saw that his face looked like the face of an angel.

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Acts 6New 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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