The Choosing of the Seven

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

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

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

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Footnotes

  1. Acts 6:1 That is, Jews who had adopted the Greek language and culture

Peter Explains His Actions

11 The apostles and the believers(A) throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.(B) So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers(C) criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”(D)

Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision.(E) I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

“I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’

“The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’(F) 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea(G) stopped at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told(H) me to have no hesitation about going with them.(I) These six brothers(J) also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel(K) appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message(L) through which you and all your household(M) will be saved.’

15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on(N) them as he had come on us at the beginning.(O) 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with[a] water,(P) but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.’(Q) 17 So if God gave them the same gift(R) he gave us(S) who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”(T)

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Footnotes

  1. Acts 11:16 Or in
  2. Acts 11:16 Or in

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