College Notes
The Acts
Chapter 7

Stephen's Defense (7:l-53)
History of God with Men (7:1-50)

vs. 1
The sermon of Stephen

"high priest" = Caiaphas (A.D. 18-36)

vs. 2
Resume of the Old Testament:

  1. History of Church in the Wilderness.
  2. Apology means oratory.
  3. Today, the Jews are not allowed in Temple Mount!  Speech psychology:  Establishes a common ground.  Does not say one thing they could disagree with.

One of the finest speeches in history of man.


Solve these two contradictions by next class:

vs. 6
Apparent contradiction - Gal. 3:17 (430 years)

Paul is counting from the time that Isaac is born to the Exodus (430 years)

Where as Moses and Stephen are counting 400 years from the death of Abraham to the dividing of the Promised Land.

  1. Whether it is exact or not is irrelevant.  It is the difference in where one begins counting.
  2. Israelites lived in Egypt more than 200 years.  Israelites in actual slavery from 90-l00 years.


vs. 14
Total = 75, apparent contradiction:

Gen. 46:27 (70)

lst combo:  66 - Total that "came into" - Gen. 46:26 + 4 - Jacob, Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh = 70

2nd combo:  66 - Kindred (Gen. 46) + 9 - Jacob's sons' wives (Simeon's and Levi's wives are dead) = 75.

"All his kindred" Acts 7:l4.  Joseph and his wife already in Egypt and not counted.

vs. 15-16
Means Jacob was buried at Hebron in a cave which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23:l6).

Joseph was buried at Shechem in a piece of ground Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor (Josh. 24:32).

Point:  The two transactions are simply telescoped in these verses because of the pressure of Stephen's circumstances and need for brevity.

vs. 17
We feel that there were right around 2 l/2 million people coming out of Egypt.  Higher figures seem improbable.

Point:  Should have flexibility when we preach.

Exodus l2:37 -- 600,000 males came out of Egypt.  We can conclude that there was at least 2 l/2 million.

All of Israel during time of Exodus did not remember freedom.

vs. 38
"church" -- ekklesia (Greek) means a popular meeting, assembly or church.

Point:  Oracles are for us today.

vs. 42
Amos 5:21-27 - Paganism engulfed Israel; Amos warns of coming captivity.

Ezek. 20:21-25 - Rebellion of Israel

Ps. 81:12 - Paganism (walked in their own counsel)

Rom. 1:28 - God let them go their own way - didn't have Holy Spirit.  Did not retain God in their knowledge.

vs. 43
II Chron. 28:l-4 -- King of Judah passed his children through fire. 

Judah fell into a very low state of degeneracy.

vs. 45
Mistranslation.  Jesus = Joshua.

vs. 48
See also:  Acts 17:24 - dwells not in temples made with hands.

vs. 50-51
Abrupt change

Indictment (7:5l-53)

vs. 51
Contempt of court

vs. 53
Bold statement.  The Jews thought they had kept the law meticulously.

Stephen's Death (7:54-60)

vs. 54 -60
The stoning of Stephen

vs. 55
Fulfillment of prophecy

"standing" -- apparently Christ was very aware of the situation.

vs. 58
Tradition has it, Stephen was stoned at Solomon's Quarry.

Paul was upcoming Rabbinical student.  Was Paul ever married?  We don't know.  Probably not.  A member of Sanhedrin?  Doubtful.  Had to be 30, married and have children.

Index | Chapter 6 | Chapter 8