Gospel begins to spread
Persecution promotes expansion (6:1-9:31)
Deacons Ordained (6:1-7)
"Grecians" means Hellenists or Greek-speaking Jews who lived (that is temporarily) in Jerusalem.
"Hebrews" = native Jews; Aramaic speaking.
"widows neglected . . ." means the needy. The Aramaic speaking Jews looked down on (nationalistic prejudices) the foreign Jews. Thus, they were being neglectful in the distribution of alms and in caring for the physical needs of Grecians.
The church created this office based upon biblical principles and physical needs. In one sense the office of a Deacon should not have been needed. It was created because of a failure of the Brethren to serve one another. Christ hadn't commanded them to appoint officers.
Jerusalem divided into seven wards by the Jews previously.
Note: All seven had Greek names, not Jewish.
Out of the Jewish priesthood came converted Church members. Did they have to give up their profession? We don't know.
"libertines" = freedmen or descendants of freedmen.
Jerusalem = national synagogues. These people hired and bribed people to speak against Stephen! We think may have been over-zealous.
"suborned" means secretly instigated.
"they" being ethnic Jews.
"the council" means the Jewish ruling Sanhedrin.
Stephen, probably speaking to change Mosaic customs, i.e. thee rituals of Moses.
New Testament Church and Christ never, as far as the Bible indicates, offered sacrifices.
His face began to glow as the face of an angel. Was to show that Stephen had not spoken blasphemous of Moses.
Index | Chapter 5 | Chapter 7