1At this time, when the number of believers was increasing rapidly, the Greek-speaking believers started arguing with the Aramaic-speaking believers.#6:1. Literally, “Hellenists” and “Hebrews.” They complained that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.
2The twelve apostles called all the believers together, and told them, “It's not appropriate for us to give up spreading the word of God so we can wait at tables. 3Brothers, choose from among you seven trustworthy men full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will hand this responsibility over to them. 4We ourselves will give our full attention to prayer and the ministry of spreading the word.”
5Everybody was happy with the arrangement, and they chose Stephen, (a man full of trust in God and of the Holy Spirit), Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus (originally a Jewish convert from Antioch). 6These men were presented to the apostles who prayed for them and placed their hands on them in blessing. 7The word of God continued to spread, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem greatly increased, with a large number of priests committing themselves to trusting in Jesus.
8Stephen, full of grace and God's power, performed wonderful miracles among the people. 9But some started arguing with him. They were from the synagogue called “the Free,”#6:9. Presumably a synagogue made up of former slaves. as well as Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia Minor. 10But they weren't able to stand against Stephen's wisdom or the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11So they bribed some men to say, “We heard this man blaspheme Moses, and God too!”
12They stirred up the people, and together with the elders and the teachers of the law, they came and arrested him. They brought him before the council, 13and called false witnesses who testified against him.
“This man is always slandering the holy Temple#6:13. Literally, “this holy place,” also in 6:14. and the law,” they said. 14“We've heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple, and will change the laws#6:14. Also translated “customs”; however in the context this has far more to do with legal and ceremonial requirements. we received from Moses.”
15Everyone sitting on the council looked closely at Stephen, and his face shone like the face of an angel.