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1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,

13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:

14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Commentary for Acts 6

The appointment of deacons. (1-7) Stephen falsely accused of blasphemy. (8-15)1-7 Hitherto the disciples had been of one accord; this often had been noticed to their honour; but now they were multiplied, they began to murmur. The word of God was enough to take up all the thoughts, cares, and time of the apostles. The persons chosen to serve tables must be duly qualified. They must be filled with gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, necessary to rightly managing this trust; men of truth, and hating covetousness. All who are employed in the service of the church, ought to be commended to the Divine grace by the prayers of the church. They blessed them in the name of the Lord. The word and grace of God are greatly magnified, when those are wrought upon by it, who were least likely.

8-15 When they could not answer Stephen's arguments as a disputant, they prosecuted him as a criminal, and brought false witnesses against him. And it is next to a miracle of providence, that no greater number of religious persons have been murdered in the world, by the way of perjury and pretence of law, when so many thousands hate them, who make no conscience of false oaths. Wisdom and holiness make a man's face to shine, yet will not secure men from being treated badly. What shall we say of man, a rational being, yet attempting to uphold a religious system by false witness and murder! And this has been done in numberless instances. But the blame rests not so much upon the understanding, as upon the heart of a fallen creature, which is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Yet the servant of the Lord, possessing a clear conscience, cheerful hope, and Divine consolations, may smile in the midst of danger and death.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Acts 6

  • Rita
    The issue that arose btwn Stephen n the members of the synagogue was the same issue that we witness today-I only want a form of holiness. Christians today r very worldly n their hearts. They have no desire to b like Christ only to hold to standards of people who also just claim to love the Lord. I by no means mean to say that any of us, especially me, r perfect, but a Christian is supposed to b battling their carnality not reveling n it or changing n ignoring scripture to stay blind n sinful. Our world is full of just as many sadducees n pharisees as it was then n they stone us to death daily n their hearts. Pray for my manifestation of deliverance from all ungodliness n worldly lusts. This world needs a great awakening n refreshing of the Spirit.
  • Olga Anderson
    Verse14,they were not willing to change their tradition for the new doctrin of Jesus Christ.
  • Joe
    To me it sounds as thought the dispute was about Jesus Christ and his doctrine. Verse 10 seems to say it all - they could not resist the wisdom spirit.
  • Anonymous for verse 9
    What was the dispute between stephen and the members of the freedmen synagogue?
  • Bozki
    Prayer is the earthly license to let heaven interfere to earth...God Bless...
  • Paul Melvin for verse 4
    Prayer tenderizes the heart of the one praying, leads to confession of sin, drives us to desire to submit to God Rom.12:1, 2 , unites the brethren to be of one mind, empowers the believer, and prepares the hearts of those who will hear. Finally, it brings the Word to life imparting faith to the lost, and holiness to the saved.Prayer drives us to the Word, and the Word drives us to pray.He who prays well studies well lives well and dies well.

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Bible Trivia

How did the leaders of the synagogue stir up the people against Stephen?
  • With inspiring speeches
  • With solid evidence
  • With lies
  • With honest witnesses