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Stephen, who was a man full of grace and supernatural power, performed many astonishing signs and wonders and mighty miracles among the people.[a] This upset some men belonging to a sect who called themselves the Men Set Free.[b] They were Libyans,[c] Egyptians,[d] and Turks.[e]

They all confronted Stephen to argue[f] with him. 10 But the Holy Spirit gave Stephen remarkable wisdom to answer them. His words were prompted by the Holy Spirit, and they could not refute what he said.

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  1. Acts 6:8 Stephen was not an apostle, yet he worked miracles of power through his ministry. The miraculous is not for the few, but for the many.
  2. Acts 6:9 Or “the Synagogue of the Freedmen.” Although most expositors view these as former Hebrew slaves, the Aramaic is “Libertines.” It is possible that these were pagan cult members who followed a Roman mythical hero named Liber. From this word we get the English word liberty. They emphasized drunkenness and promiscuity. They boasted in their freedom from all moral laws as the Men Set Free to do whatever they desired. They were so hedonistic that even other pagans viewed them as wicked. These Libertines were the antithesis to the true freedom that comes through Christ (John 8:36).
  3. Acts 6:9 Or “Cyrene,” a region of eastern Libya.
  4. Acts 6:9 Or “Alexandria,” a large Egyptian city on the Mediterranean.
  5. Acts 6:9 Or “Cilicia” (southeastern coastal area of Turkey) and “the province of Asia” (that is, yet he prom-Asia Minor, comprised of western and southwestern Turkey). Both regions are included in the word Turks.
  6. Acts 6:9 The Aramaic is “word wrestle.”

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