New International Version
The Apostles Persecuted
17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party(A) of the Sadducees,(B) were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.(C) 19 But during the night an angel(D) of the Lord opened the doors of the jail(E) and brought them out.(F) 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”(G)
21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.
When the high priest and his associates(H) arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin(I)—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there.(J) So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests(K) were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.
25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people(L) would stone them.
27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin(M) to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,”(N) he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”(O)
29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!(P) 30 The God of our ancestors(Q) raised Jesus from the dead(R)—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.(S) 31 God exalted him to his own right hand(T) as Prince and Savior(U) that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.(V) 32 We are witnesses of these things,(W) and so is the Holy Spirit,(X) whom God has given to those who obey him.”
33 When they heard this, they were furious(Y) and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel,(Z) a teacher of the law,(AA) who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census(AB) and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.(AC) 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”(AD)
40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged.(AE) Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing(AF) because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.(AG) 42 Day after day, in the temple courts(AH) and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news(AI) that Jesus is the Messiah.(AJ)
The Choosing of the Seven
6 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,(AK) the Hellenistic Jews[a](AL) among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows(AM) were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.(AN) 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples(AO) together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God(AP) in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters,(AQ) choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit(AR) and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them(AS) 4 and will give our attention to prayer(AT) and the ministry of the word.”
5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen,(AU) a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit;(AV) also Philip,(AW) Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed(AX) and laid their hands on them.(AY)
8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs(BB) among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene(BC) and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia(BD) and Asia(BE)—who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.(BF)
12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.(BI) 13 They produced false witnesses,(BJ) who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place(BK) and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place(BL) and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”(BM)
15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin(BN) looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
- Acts 6:1 That is, Jews who had adopted the Greek language and culture