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Seven Leaders Are Chosen

The number of ·followers [disciples] was ·growing [multiplying]. But during ·this same time [those days], the ·Greek-speaking followers [L Hellenists; C Jewish Christians who spoke primarily Greek and had returned to Israel after living abroad] ·had an argument with [began grumbling/complaining against] the ·other followers [L Hebrews; C Aramaic speaking Jewish Christians born in Israel]. The Greek-speaking widows were ·not getting their share [being neglected/overlooked in the distribution] of the food that was given out every day. The ·twelve apostles [Twelve] called the whole group of ·followers [L disciples] together and said, “It is not right for us to ·stop our work of teaching God’s word [L leave/abandon the word of God] in order to serve tables. So, ·brothers and sisters [or brothers; C uncertain whether women would have been included in that culture], choose seven of your own men who ·are good [have a good reputation], full of the Spirit and full of wisdom. We will ·put [appoint] them in charge of this ·work [responsibility; L need]. Then we [apostles] can ·continue [devote ourselves] to pray and to ·teach [L the ministry/service of] the word of God.”

The whole group ·liked [was pleased with] the idea, so they chose these seven men: Stephen (a man ·with great [L full of] faith and full of the Holy Spirit), Philip [C not the apostle of the same name], Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (a man from Antioch [C a major city in Syria] who ·had become a follower of the Jewish religion [L was a prosylete; C a Gentile convert to Judaism]. Then they ·put [presented] these men before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands [C a ritual of blessing and/or conferring of authority] on them.

The word of God was continuing to spread. The ·group [number] of ·followers [disciples] in Jerusalem [quickly; or greatly] ·increased [multiplied], and a great number of the Jewish priests ·believed and obeyed [L become obedient to the faith].

Stephen Is Accused

Stephen was ·richly blessed by God who gave him the power [L full of grace and power] to do great ·miracles [wonders] and signs among the people. But some people ·were [rose up] against him. They belonged to the synagogue of Free Men [C Jews who were freed slaves] (as it was called), which included people from Cyrene, Alexandria [C both in North Africa], Cilicia, and Asia [C both in Asia Minor, present-day Turkey]. They all ·came [rose up; came forward] and ·argued [debated; disputed] with Stephen.

10 But ·the Spirit was helping him to speak with wisdom, and his words were so strong that they could not argue with him [L they could not resist the wisdom and Spirit/spirit by which he spoke]. 11 So they ·secretly urged [or bribed] some men to say, “We heard Stephen ·speak [L speaking blasphemous words] against Moses and against God.”

12 They ·stirred up [roused; incited] the people, the elders, and the teachers of the law. They ·came [or confronted] and grabbed Stephen and brought him to ·a meeting of the leaders [L the Sanhedrin; 4:15]. 13 They brought in some ·people to tell lies about Stephen [L false witnesses], saying, “This man is always speaking against this holy place [C the Temple] and the law of Moses. 14 We heard him say that Jesus ·from Nazareth [or the Nazarene] will destroy this place and that Jesus will change the customs Moses gave us [C for a similar charge leveled against Jesus see Matt. 26:61; Mark 14:58].” 15 All the people [who sat] in the ·meeting [L Sanhedrin; 4:15] ·were watching Stephen closely [or stared intently at Stephen] ·and [or because they] saw that his face looked like the face of an angel.

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