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Acts 7:51-8:1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Conclusion. 51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors. 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. 53 You received the law as transmitted by angels, but you did not observe it.”

Stephen’s Martyrdom. 54 When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,[a] 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,[b] and rushed upon him together. 58 They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”[c] 60 Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Chapter 8

Now Saul was consenting to his execution.

Persecution of the Church. On that day, there broke out a severe persecution[d] of the church in Jerusalem, and all were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.[e]

Footnotes:

  1. 7:55 He…saw…Jesus standing at the right hand of God: Stephen affirms to the Sanhedrin that the prophecy Jesus made before them has been fulfilled (Mk 14:62).
  2. 7:57 Covered their ears: Stephen’s declaration, like that of Jesus, is a scandal to the court, which regards it as blasphemy.
  3. 7:59 Compare Lk 23:34, 46.
  4. 8:1–40 Some idea of the severity of the persecution that now breaks out against the Jerusalem community can be gathered from Acts 22:4 and Acts 26:9–11. Luke, however, concentrates on the fortunes of the word of God among people, indicating how the dispersal of the Jewish community resulted in the conversion of the Samaritans (Acts 8:4–17, 25). His narrative is further expanded to include the account of Philip’s acceptance of an Ethiopian (Acts 8:26–39).
  5. 8:1 All were scattered…except the apostles: this observation leads some modern scholars to conclude that the persecution was limited to the Hellenist Christians and that the Hebrew Christians were not molested, perhaps because their attitude toward the law and temple was still more in line with that of their fellow Jews (see the charge leveled against the Hellenist Stephen in Acts 6:13–14). Whatever the facts, it appears that the Twelve took no public stand regarding Stephen’s position, choosing, instead, to await the development of events.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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