Acts 6:1-8

Acts 6:1-4-8-10 The Message (MSG)

During this time, as the disciples were increasing in numbers by leaps and bounds, hard feelings developed among the Greek-speaking believers—“Hellenists”—toward the Hebrew-speaking believers because their widows were being discriminated against in the daily food lines. So the Twelve called a meeting of the disciples. They said, “It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we’ll assign them this task. Meanwhile, we’ll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word.” The congregation thought this was a great idea. They went ahead and chose— Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolas, a convert from Antioch. Then they presented them to the apostles. Praying, the apostles laid on hands and commissioned them for their task. The Word of God prospered. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased dramatically. Not least, a great many priests submitted themselves to the faith. Stephen, brimming with God’s grace and energy, was doing wonderful things among the people, unmistakable signs that God was among them. But then some men from the meeting place whose membership was made up of freed slaves, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and some others from Cilicia and Asia, went up against him trying to argue him down. But they were no match for his wisdom and spirit when he spoke.

Acts 6:1-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now about this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, a complaint was made by the Hellenists (Greek-speaking Jews) against the [native] Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the Twelve called the disciples together and said, “It is not appropriate for us to neglect [teaching] the word of God in order to serve tables and manage the distribution of food. Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men with good reputations [men of godly character and moral integrity], full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will [continue to] devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The suggestion pleased the whole congregation; and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith [in Christ Jesus], and [filled with and led by] the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (Nikolaos), a proselyte (Gentile convert) from Antioch. They brought these men before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them [to dedicate and commission them for this service]. And the message of God kept on growing and spreading, and the number of disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem; and a large number of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith [accepting Jesus as Messiah and acknowledging Him as the Source of eternal salvation]. Now Stephen, full of grace (divine blessing, favor) and power, was doing great wonders and signs (attesting miracles) among the people.

Acts 6:1-8 The Passion Translation (TPT)

During those days the number of Jesus’ followers kept multiplying greatly. But a complaint was brought against those who spoke Aramaic by the Greek-speaking Jews, who felt their widows were being overlooked during the daily distribution of food. The twelve apostles called a meeting of all the believers and told them, “It is not advantageous for us to be pulled away from the word of God to wait on tables. We want you to carefully select from among yourselves seven godly men. Make sure they are honorable, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and we will give them the responsibility of this crucial ministry of serving. That will enable us to give our full attention to prayer and preaching the word of God.” Everyone in the church loved this idea. So they chose seven men. One of them was Stephen, who was known as a man full of faith and overflowing with the Holy Spirit. Along with him they chose Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas from Antioch, who had converted to Judaism. All seven stood before the apostles, who laid their hands on them and prayed for them, commissioning them to this ministry. God’s word reigned supreme and kept spreading. The number of Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem quickly grew and increased by the day. Even a great number of Jewish priests became believers and were obedient to the faith! Stephen, who was a man full of grace and supernatural power, performed many astonishing signs and wonders and mighty miracles among the people.