The Choosing of the Seven1 In those days [when] the disciples were increasing in number, the Grecian [Jews] ▼
▼ Or Hellenistsbegan to grumble against the Hebraic [Jews] , because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution [ of food ] . 2 So the Twelve summoned all the disciples [and] said, “It is unacceptable [for] us to neglect the word of God [in order] to wait on tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, select from among you seven men confirmed to be full of [the] Spirit and wisdom. We will appoint this responsibility [to them] 4 and devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5 [This] proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and [of the] Holy Spirit, as well as Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented [these seven] to the apostles, [who] prayed [and] laid [their] hands on them. 7 [So] the word of God continued to spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem grew rapidly, and a great number of priests became obedient to the faith.
The Arrest of Stephen8 Now Stephen, [who was] full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 But resistance arose from what was called [the] Synagogue of the Freedmen, including Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and men from [the provinces of] Cilicia and Asia. They began to argue with Stephen, 10 [but] they could not stand up to [his] wisdom [or] the Spirit by whom he spoke. 11 Then they prompted [some] men to say, “We heard [Stephen] speak words of blasphemy against Moses and [against] God.” 12 [So] they stirred up the people and elders and scribes. They seized [Stephen] and brought [him] before the Sanhedrin. 13 They presented false witnesses [who] said, “This man never stops speaking against this holy place and [against] the Law. 14 For we have heard him say that Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.” 15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at [Stephen] , [and] they saw that his face [was] like [the] face of an angel.
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