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Seven Men are Chosen to Help the Apostles

In those days, as the number of the disciples was growing larger and larger, a complaint was made by the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebraic Jews that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve called the whole group of disciples together and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect messages from[a] God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, brothers, appoint seven men among you who have a good reputation, who are full of the Spirit and wisdom, and we’ll put them in charge of this work. Then we’ll devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

This suggestion pleased the whole group. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a gentile convert to Judaism from Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

So the word of God[b] continued to spread, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem continued to grow rapidly. Even a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Stephen is Arrested

Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men who belonged to the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), as well as some Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and men from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and began to debate with Stephen. 10 But they could neither refute the wisdom nor withstand the Spirit by which he kept speaking. 11 So they secretly got some men to say, “We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes. Then they rushed at Stephen,[c] grabbed him, and brought him before the Council.[d]

13 They had false witnesses stand up and say, “This man never stops saying things against this Holy Place and against the Law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus from Nazareth[e] will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.” 15 Then everyone who was seated in the Council[f] glared at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.


  1. Acts 6:2 Lit. neglect the word of
  2. Acts 6:7 Other mss. read of the Lord
  3. Acts 6:12 Lit. him
  4. Acts 6:12 Or Sanhedrin
  5. Acts 6:14 Or Jesus the Nazarene; the Gk. Nazoraios may be a word play between Heb. netser, meaning branch (cf. Isa 11:1), and the name Nazareth.
  6. Acts 6:15 Or Sanhedrin