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Acts 6Living Bible (TLB)

But with the believers multiplying rapidly, there were rumblings of discontent. Those who spoke only Greek complained that their widows were being discriminated against, that they were not being given as much food in the daily distribution as the widows who spoke Hebrew. So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers.

“We should spend our time preaching, not administering a feeding program,” they said. “Now look around among yourselves, dear brothers, and select seven men, wise and full of the Holy Spirit, who are well thought of by everyone; and we will put them in charge of this business. Then we can spend our time in prayer, preaching, and teaching.”

This sounded reasonable to the whole assembly, and they elected the following: Stephen (a man unusually full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolaus of Antioch (a Gentile convert to the Jewish faith, who had become a Christian).

These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them and laid their hands on them in blessing.

God’s message was preached in ever-widening circles, and the number of disciples increased vastly in Jerusalem; and many of the Jewish priests were converted too.

Stephen, the man so full of faith and the Holy Spirit’s power,[a] did spectacular miracles among the people.

But one day some of the men from the Jewish cult of “The Freedmen” started an argument with him, and they were soon joined by Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria in Egypt, and the Turkish provinces of Cilicia, and Asia Minor. 10 But none of them was able to stand against Stephen’s wisdom and spirit.

11 So they brought in some men to lie about him, claiming they had heard Stephen curse Moses, and even God.

12 This accusation roused the crowds to fury against Stephen, and the Jewish leaders[b] arrested him and brought him before the Council. 13 The lying witnesses testified again that Stephen was constantly speaking against the Temple and against the laws of Moses.

14 They declared, “We have heard him say that this fellow Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and throw out all of Moses’ laws.” 15 At this point everyone in the Council chamber saw Stephen’s face become as radiant as an angel’s!

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 6:8 full of faith and the Holy Spirit’s power, literally, “full of grace and truth”; see v. 5.
  2. Acts 6:12 the Jewish leaders, literally, “the elders and the scribes.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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