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1 In those days, as the number of disciples was increasing, there occurred a murmuring of the Greeks against the Hebrews, because their widows were treated with disdain in the daily ministration.
2 And so the twelve, calling together the multitude of the disciples, said: "It is not fair for us to leave behind the Word of God to serve at tables also.
3 Therefore, brothers, search among yourselves for seven men of good testimony, filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom, whom we may appoint over this work.
4 Yet truly, we will be continually in prayer and in the ministry of the Word."
5 And the plan pleased the entire multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and with the Holy Spirit, and Philip and Prochorus and Nicanor and Timon and Parmenas and Nicolas, a new arrival from Antioch.
6 These they set before the sight of the Apostles, and while praying, they imposed hands on them.
7 And the Word of the Lord was increasing, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem was multiplied exceedingly. And even a large group of the priests were obedient to the faith.
8 Then Stephen, filled with grace and fortitude, wrought great signs and miracles among the people.
9 But certain ones, from the synagogue of the so-called Libertines, and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those who were from Cilicia and Asia rose up and were disputing with Stephen.
10 But they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
11 Then they suborned men who were to claim that they had heard him speaking words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.
12 And thus did they stir up the people and the elders and the scribes. And hurrying together, they seized him and brought him to the council.
13 And they set up false witnesses, who said: "This man does not cease to speak words against the holy place and the law.
14 For we have heard him saying that this Jesus the Nazarene will destroy this place and will change the traditions, which Moses handed down to us."
15 And all those who were sitting in the council, gazing at him, saw his face, as if it had become the face of an Angel.
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Seven Leaders Are Chosen
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.