1In those days the number of believers was growing. The Jews who followed Greek practices complained against the Jews who followed only Jewish practices. They said that the widows of men who followed Greek practices were not being taken care of. They weren't getting their fair share of food each day.2So the Twelve gathered all the believers together. They said, “It wouldn't be right for us to give up teaching God's word in order to wait on tables.3Brothers, choose seven of your men. They must be known as men who are wise and full of the Holy Spirit. We will turn this important work over to them.4Then we can give our attention to prayer and to teaching the word.”5This plan pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen. He was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon and Parmenas were chosen too. The group also chose Nicolas from Antioch. He had accepted the Jewish faith.6The group brought them to the apostles. Then the apostles prayed and placed their hands on them.7So God's word spread. The number of believers in Jerusalem grew quickly. Also, a large number of priests began to obey Jesus' teachings.
Stephen Is Arrested
8Stephen was full of God's grace and power. He did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.9But members of the group called the Synagogue of the Freedmen began to oppose him. Some of them were Jews from Cyrene and Alexandria. Others were Jews from Cilicia and Asia Minor. They all began to argue with Stephen.10But he was too wise for them. They couldn't stand up against the Holy Spirit who spoke through him.11Then in secret they talked some men into lying about Stephen. They said, “We heard Stephen speak evil things against Moses. He also spoke evil things against God.”12So the people were stirred up. The elders and the teachers of the law were stirred up too. They arrested Stephen and brought him to the Sanhedrin.13They found people who were willing to tell lies. The false witnesses said, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place. He also speaks against the law.14We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place. He says Jesus will change the practices that Moses handed down to us.”15All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked right at Stephen. They saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
English Standard Version
Seven Chosen to Serve
1Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. (Ac 2:41; Ac 2:47; Ac 4:4; Ac 4:35; Ac 5:14; Ac 6:7)2And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.3Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. (De 1:13; Lu 1:15; Lu 4:1; Ac 6:5; Ac 7:55; Ac 11:24; 1Ti 3:7)4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Ac 1:14)5And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. (Mt 23:15; Ac 2:11; Ac 6:3; Ac 8:5; Ac 11:24; Ac 13:43; Ac 21:8)6These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. (Ac 1:24; Ac 8:17; Ac 9:17; Ac 13:3; Ac 19:6; 1Ti 4:14; 1Ti 5:22; 2Ti 1:6; Heb 6:2)7And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Ac 12:24; Ac 13:8; Ac 14:22; Ac 16:5; Ac 19:20; Ro 1:5; Col 1:5)
Stephen Is Seized
8And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. (Ac 1:8)9Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen.10But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. (Lu 21:14)11Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” (1Ki 21:10; 1Ki 21:13; Mt 26:59)12And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council,13and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, (Mt 24:15; Ac 6:11; Ac 7:58; Ac 21:28; Ac 25:8)14for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” (Da 9:26; Mt 5:17; Mt 26:61; Ac 15:1; Ac 21:21)15And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel. (Jud 13:6; Ec 8:1)