Stephen’s Defense

Now the high priest said, “Are these things so?”

And [a]Stephen said, “Listen to me, (A)[b]brothers and fathers! (B)The God of glory (C)appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in [c]Haran, and He said to him, ‘(D)Go from your country and your relatives, and come to the land which I will show you.’ (E)Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in [d]Haran. And (F)from there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living. But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, (G)He promised that He would give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him, even though he had no child. But (H)God spoke to this effect, that his descendants would be strangers in a land that was not theirs, and [e]they would enslave and mistreat them for four hundred years. And whatever nation to which they are enslaved I Myself will judge,’ said God, ‘and (I)after that they will come out and [f]serve Me in this place.’ And He (J)gave him [g]the covenant of circumcision; and so (K)Abraham fathered Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and (L)Isaac fathered Jacob, and (M)Jacob, the twelve (N)patriarchs.

“The patriarchs (O)became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and (P)granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and his entire household.

11 “Now (Q)a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers [h]could find no food. 12 But (R)when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. 13 And on the second visit, (S)Joseph [i]made himself known to his brothers, and (T)Joseph’s family was revealed to Pharaoh. 14 Then (U)Joseph sent word and invited his father Jacob and all his relatives to come to him, (V)seventy-five [j](W)people in all. 15 And (X)Jacob went down to Egypt, and he and our fathers died there. 16 And they were brought back from there to [k](Y)Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of [l]Hamor in [m]Shechem.

17 “But as the (Z)time of the promise which God had assured to Abraham was approaching, (AA)the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, 18 until (AB)another king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. 19 It was he who (AC)shrewdly took advantage of our nation and mistreated our fathers in order that they would (AD)abandon their infants in the Nile, so that they would not survive. 20 At this time (AE)Moses was born; and he was beautiful to God. He was nurtured for three months in his father’s home. 21 And after he had been put outside, (AF)Pharaoh’s daughter [n]took him away and nurtured him as her own son. 22 Moses was educated in all (AG)the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was proficient in [o]speaking and action. 23 But when he was approaching the age of forty, (AH)it entered his [p]mind to visit his countrymen, the sons of Israel. 24 And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended and took vengeance for the oppressed man by fatally striking the Egyptian. 25 And he thought that his brothers understood that God was granting them [q]deliverance [r]through him; but they did not understand. 26 (AI)And on the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting each other, and he tried to reconcile them to peace, by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers, why are you injuring each other?’ 27 But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ‘(AJ)Who made you a ruler and judge over us? 28 (AK)You do not intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?’ 29 At this remark, (AL)Moses fled and became a stranger in the land of [s]Midian, where he (AM)fathered two sons.

30 “After forty years had passed, (AN)an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was astonished at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, the voice of the Lord came: 32 (AO)I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses shook with fear and did not dare to look closely. 33 (AP)But the Lord said to him, ‘[t](AQ)Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. 34 (AR)I have certainly seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them; and (AS)now come, I will send you to Egypt.’

35 “This Moses whom they (AT)disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God [u]sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the [v]help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. 36 (AU)This man led them out, performing (AV)wonders and [w]signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea, and in the (AW)wilderness for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘(AX)God will raise up for you a prophet [x]like me from your countrymen.’ 38 This is the one who was in (AY)the [y]assembly in the wilderness together with (AZ)the angel who spoke to him at length on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received (BA)living (BB)words to pass on to you. 39 Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him; on the contrary they (BC)rejected him and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 40 (BD)saying to Aaron, ‘Make us [z]a god who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egyptwe do not know what happened to him.’ 41 [aa]At that time (BE)they made a [ab]calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in (BF)the works of their hands. 42 But God (BG)turned away and gave them over to [ac]serve the heavenly [ad]lights; as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘(BH)You did not offer Me victims and sacrifices (BI)for forty years in the wilderness, did you, house of Israel? 43 (BJ)You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of your god [ae]Rompha, the images which you made to worship. I also will deport you beyond Babylon.’

44 “Our fathers had (BK)the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it (BL)according to the pattern which he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn received it, and they also (BM)brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the [af]nations that God drove out from our fathers, until the time of David. 46 [ag](BN)David found favor in God’s sight, and (BO)asked that he might [ah]find a dwelling place for the [ai]house of Jacob. 47 But it was (BP)Solomon who built a house for Him. 48 However, (BQ)the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:

49 (BR)Heaven is My throne,
And the earth is the footstool of My feet;
What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord,
Or what place is there for My rest?
50 (BS)Was it not My hand that made all these things?’

51 “You men who are (BT)stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 (BU)Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of (BV)the Righteous One, and (BW)you have now become betrayers and murderers of Him; 53 you who received the Law as (BX)ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

Stephen Put to Death

54 Now when they heard this, they were (BY)infuriated, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. 55 But he, being (BZ)full of the Holy Spirit, (CA)looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing (CB)at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the (CC)heavens opened and (CD)the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they shouted with loud voices, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one [aj]mind. 58 When they had (CE)driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and (CF)the witnesses (CG)laid aside their cloaks at the feet of (CH)a young man named Saul. 59 They went on stoning Stephen as he (CI)called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then he (CJ)fell on his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, (CK)do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he [ak](CL)fell asleep.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 7:2 Lit he
  2. Acts 7:2 Lit men, brothers
  3. Acts 7:2 Gr Charran
  4. Acts 7:4 Gr Charran
  5. Acts 7:6 I.e., the people of the land (Egypt)
  6. Acts 7:7 Or worship
  7. Acts 7:8 Or a
  8. Acts 7:11 Lit were not finding
  9. Acts 7:13 Or was made known
  10. Acts 7:14 Lit souls
  11. Acts 7:16 Gr Sychem
  12. Acts 7:16 Gr Emmor
  13. Acts 7:16 Gr Sychem
  14. Acts 7:21 Or adopted him
  15. Acts 7:22 Lit his words and actions
  16. Acts 7:23 Lit heart
  17. Acts 7:25 Or salvation
  18. Acts 7:25 Lit through his hand
  19. Acts 7:29 Gr Madiam
  20. Acts 7:33 Lit Untie the sandal of your
  21. Acts 7:35 Lit has sent
  22. Acts 7:35 Lit hand
  23. Acts 7:36 I.e., confirming miracles
  24. Acts 7:37 Or as He raised up me
  25. Acts 7:38 Gr ekklesia
  26. Acts 7:40 Lit gods, plural, but prob. refers to a singular deity
  27. Acts 7:41 Lit in those days
  28. Acts 7:41 Or young bull
  29. Acts 7:42 Or worship
  30. Acts 7:42 Lit host
  31. Acts 7:43 Other mss spell it: Romphan, Rempham, Raiphan; or Rephan
  32. Acts 7:45 Or Gentiles
  33. Acts 7:46 Lit He who
  34. Acts 7:46 I.e., build the temple
  35. Acts 7:46 I.e., the people of Israel
  36. Acts 7:57 Or purpose
  37. Acts 7:60 I.e., died

Saul Persecutes the Church

(A)Now Saul approved of putting [a]Stephen to death.

And on that day a great persecution [b]began against (B)the church in Jerusalem, and they were all (C)scattered throughout the regions of Judea and (D)Samaria, except for the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and mourned loudly for him. But (E)Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and he would (F)drag away men and women and put them in prison.

Philip in Samaria

Therefore, those (G)who had been scattered went through places [c](H)preaching the word. (I)Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming the [d]Christ to them. The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what was being said by Philip, as they heard and saw the [e]signs which he was performing. For in the case of many who had (J)unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been (K)paralyzed or limped on crutches were healed. So there was (L)much rejoicing in that city.

Now a man named Simon had previously been practicing (M)magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, (N)claiming to be someone great; 10 and all the people, from small to great, were paying attention to him, saying, “(O)This man is the Power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they were paying attention to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his (P)magic arts. 12 But when they believed Philip (Q)as he was preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were being (R)baptized. 13 Now even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed (S)signs and (T)great miracles taking place, he was repeatedly amazed.

14 Now when (U)the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them (V)Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them (W)that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 16 (For He had (X)not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been (Y)baptized [f]in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then they (Z)began laying their hands on them, and they were (AA)receiving the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could (AB)acquire the gift of God with money! 21 You have (AC)no part or share in this [g]matter, for your heart is not (AD)right before God. 22 Therefore, repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, (AE)if possible, the intention of your heart will be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are [h]in the gall of bitterness and in (AF)the [i]bondage of unrighteousness.” 24 But Simon answered and said, “(AG)Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

An Ethiopian Receives Christ

25 So, when they had solemnly (AH)testified and spoken (AI)the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were (AJ)preaching the gospel to many villages of the (AK)Samaritans.

26 But (AL)an angel of the Lord spoke to (AM)Philip, saying, “Get ready and go [j]south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to (AN)Gaza.” ([k]This is a desert road.) 27 So he got ready and went; and [l](AO)there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of [m]Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he (AP)had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and he was returning and sitting in his [n]chariot, and was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then (AQ)the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this [o]chariot.” 30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this:

(AR)He was led like a sheep to slaughter;
And like a lamb that is silent before its shearer,
So He does not open His mouth.
33 (AS)In humiliation His justice was taken away;
Who will [p]describe His [q]generation?
For His life is taken away from the earth.”

34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself, or of someone else?” 35 Then Philip (AT)opened his mouth, and (AU)beginning from this Scripture he (AV)preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! (AW)What prevents me from being baptized?”[r] 38 And he ordered that the [s]chariot stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, (AX)the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, [t]but went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip [u]found himself at [v](AY)Azotus, and as he passed through he (AZ)kept preaching the gospel to all the cities, until he came to (BA)Caesarea.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 8:1 Lit him
  2. Acts 8:1 Lit occurred
  3. Acts 8:4 Or bringing the good news of
  4. Acts 8:5 I.e., Messiah
  5. Acts 8:6 I.e., confirming miracles
  6. Acts 8:16 Lit into
  7. Acts 8:21 Or teaching; lit word
  8. Acts 8:23 Or doomed to the
  9. Acts 8:23 Lit bond
  10. Acts 8:26 Or at about noon to
  11. Acts 8:26 Or This city is deserted
  12. Acts 8:27 Lit behold, an Ethiopian
  13. Acts 8:27 Possibly an Ethiopian title: the Candace
  14. Acts 8:28 Or carriage
  15. Acts 8:29 Or carriage
  16. Acts 8:33 Or relate
  17. Acts 8:33 Or family history
  18. Acts 8:36 Late mss add as v 37: And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
  19. Acts 8:38 Or carriage
  20. Acts 8:39 Lit for he was going
  21. Acts 8:40 Or was found
  22. Acts 8:40 OT: Ashdod