The Need for Assistants. 1 j 2, 45; 4, 34–35. * At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 * So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. 3Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, 4whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 k 1, 24; 13, 3; 14, 23. * They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. 7 l 9, 31; 12, 24; 16, 5; 19, 20; 28, 30–31. The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
Accusation against Stephen. 8 * Now Stephen,filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. 9Certain members of the so‐called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, 10 m Lk 21, 15 . but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. 11 n Mt 26, 59–61; Mk 14, 55–58; Acts 21, 21 . Then they instigated some men to say, “We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 * They presented false witnesses who testified, “This man never stops saying things against [this] holy place and the law. 14 o Mt 26, 59–61; 27, 40; Jn 2, 19 . For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.” 15All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.