The Appointment of the First Seven Deacons
6:1 Now in those1 days, when the disciples were growing in number,2 a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews3 against the native Hebraic Jews,4 because their widows5 were being overlooked6 in the daily distribution of food.7 6:2 So the twelve8 called9 the whole group10 of the disciples together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables.11 6:3 But carefully select from among you, brothers,12 seven13 men who are well-attested,14 full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge15 of this necessary task.16 6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 6:5 The17 proposal pleased the entire group, so18 they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with19 Philip,20 Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism21 from Antioch.22 6:6 They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed23 and placed24 their hands on them. 6:7 The word of God continued to spread,25 the number of disciples in Jerusalem26 increased greatly, and a large group27 of priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen is Arrested
6:8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs28 among the people. 6:9 But some men from the Synagogue29 of the Freedmen (as it was called),30 both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia,31 stood up and argued with Stephen. 6:10 Yet32 they were not able to resist33 the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 6:11 Then they secretly instigated34 some men to say, “We have heard this man35 speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 6:12 They incited the people, the36 elders, and the experts in the law;37 then they approached Stephen,38 seized him, and brought him before the council.39 6:13 They brought forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop saying things against this holy place40 and the law.41 6:14 For we have heard him saying that Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place and change the customs42 that Moses handed down to us.” 6:15 All43 who were sitting in the council44 looked intently at Stephen45 and saw his face was like the face of an angel.46