Acts 6:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

New Living Translation
Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith).

English Standard Version
And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.

Berean Study Bible
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, as well as Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

Berean Literal Bible
And the statement was pleasing before the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch, a convert,

New American Standard Bible
The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.

King James Bible
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The proposal pleased the whole company. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte from Antioch.

International Standard Version
This suggestion pleased the whole group. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a gentile convert to Judaism from Antioch.

NET Bible
The proposal pleased the entire group, so they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism from Antioch.

New Heart English Bible
And these words pleased the whole gathering. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And this statement was pleasing before all the people, and they chose Estephanos, a man who was full of faith and of The Spirit of Holiness, and Philippus, Procuros, Nicanor, Timon, Parmena and Nicholas, an Antiochene proselyte.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The suggestion pleased the whole group. So they chose Stephen, who was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and they chose Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, who had converted to Judaism in the city of Antioch.

New American Standard 1977
And the statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the saying pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip and Prochorus and Nicanor and Timon and Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch:

King James 2000 Bible
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus a proselyte of Antioch:

American King James Version
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

American Standard Version
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus a proselyte of Antioch;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the saying was liked by all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch.

Darby Bible Translation
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and [the] Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch,

English Revised Version
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

Webster's Bible Translation
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

Weymouth New Testament
The suggestion met with general approval, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch.

World English Bible
These words pleased the whole multitude. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch;

Young's Literal Translation
And the thing was pleasing before all the multitude, and they did choose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch,
Study Bible
The Choosing of the Seven
4and devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, as well as Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6They presented these seven to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.…
Cross References
Matthew 23:15
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You traverse land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 6:3
Therefore, brothers, select from among you seven men confirmed to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will appoint this responsibility to them

Acts 6:8
Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.

Acts 8:5
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them.

Acts 11:19
Meanwhile, those scattered by the persecution that began with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the message only to Jews.

Acts 11:20
But some of them, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks as well, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus.

Acts 11:22
When news of this reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, they sent Barnabas to Antioch.

Acts 11:24
Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

Acts 11:26
and when he found him, he brought him back to Antioch. So for a full year they met together with the church and taught large numbers of people. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.
Treasury of Scripture

And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

the saying.

Acts 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to …

Genesis 41:37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of …

Proverbs 15:1,23 A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger…

Proverbs 25:11,12 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver…

Stephen.

Acts 6:3,8,10 Why, brothers, look you out among you seven men of honest report, …

Acts 7:1-60 Then said the high priest, Are these things so…

Acts 8:1,2 And Saul was consenting to his death. And at that time there was …

Acts 11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and …

Micah 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, …

Philip.

Acts 8:5-13,26-40 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ to them…

Acts 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came …

Nicolas.

Revelation 2:6,15 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which …

a proselyte.

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets …

(5) And they chose Stephen.--The seven who were chosen all bear Greek names, and it is a natural, though not a necessary, inference, that they were all of the Hellenistic section of the Church, either because that section had a majority, or because the Hebrews generously voted for giving them special representatives of their own. The order of names may represent the actual order of election, Stephen obtaining the largest number of votes, and so on. The position occupied by the new teacher is so prominent that we should welcome anything that threw light on his previous training. Unhappily we cannot advance beyond the region of uncertain tradition, or, at best, of probable inference. The coincidences, however, which suggest that inference are not without interest. (1) The name of Stephanus was not a common one, and appears in few inscriptions. Like so many of the names in Romans 16, however, it is found in those of the Columbarium, or burial-place, of the household of the Empress Livia. The man bearing it is described as a goldsmith (Aurifaber), and as immunis--i.e., exempted from the religious obligations of his trade-guild. He is a freed-man or libertinus. Circumstances, such as the bequest by Herod the Great of his gold plate to Livia (Jos. Ant. xvi. 5, 1; xvii. 8, 1), indicate an intimate connection between him and the Imperial Court, and make it probable that the goldsmith Stephanus was a Jew. The business was one in which then, as in later ages, Jews conspicuously excelled, and the exemption just mentioned may well have been, as it were, of the nature of a "conscience-clause" in his favour. The name is found also on a tablet in the museum of the Collegio Romano. (2) It is obvious that the "strangers of Rome"--the Jews from the capital of the empire--were likely to be among the most prominent of the Hellenist at Jerusalem. It was antecedently probable that the name of one of that body should stand first on the list. (3) When Stephen becomes conspicuous as a teacher, the synagogue which is the most prominent scene of his activity is that of the Libertines, who can be none other than the freed-men or emancipated Jews from Rome. (See Note on Acts 6:9.) (4) Jews from Rome were, we have seen, present on the Day of Pentecost, and some conspicuous converts from among them had been made before Stephen appears on the scene. (See Note on Acts 4:37.) (5) The very appointment of the Seven has, as we have seen, its origin in the customs of the trade-guilds of Rome, such as that to which the goldsmith Stephanus had belonged. Taking all these facts together, there seems sufficient ground to believe that in the proto-martyr of the Church, whose teaching and whose prayers exercised so marvellous an influence in the history of the Church of Christ, we have one of the earliest representatives of Roman Christianity. A tradition accepted by Epiphanius in the fourth century leads to another conclusion. Stephen and Philip were both, it was said, of the number of the Seventy who were sent shortly after the last Feast of Tabernacles in our Lord's ministry into every city and village where He Himself would come. That mission, as has been said in the Note on Luke 10:1, was in its very form, symbolic of the admission of the Gentile nations to the kingdom of God; and it would seem from Luke 9:52; Luke 17:11, as if, at that time, Samaria had been the chief scene of our Lord's ministry, and therefore of that of the Seventy. In a mission of such a nature, it was not unlikely that Hellenistic Jews should be more or less prominent, and the assumption of some previous connection with Samaria gives an adequate explanation both of Philip's choice of that region as the scene of his work as an Evangelist (Acts 8:5) and of the general tendency of St. Stephen's speech; perhaps also of one of the real or apparent inaccuracies which criticism has noted as a proof of ignorance either in the speaker or the writer. (See Note on Acts 7:16.) Admitting the comparative lateness of the tradition mentioned by Epiphanius, it was still antecedently probable that men, who had been brought into prominence by their Lord's special choice, would not be passed over in such an election as that now before us; and if, as suggested in the Note on Luke 10:1, the Seventy were the representatives of the Prophets of the New Testament, then it was natural that men should turn to them when they wanted to find men "full of the Holy Ghost and of wisdom."

Philip.--The coincidence of name with that of the Apostle and with two of Herod's sons indicates that the name was as common as that of Stephen was rare. Of his previous history we know nothing, except the tradition that he also had belonged to the Seventy. His long-continued residence at Csarea just suggests the probability of an earlier connection with that city. The fact that he had four grown-up daughters when St. Paul came to Csarea makes it probable that he was married at the time of his appointment.

Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas.--Of these four nothing is known, nor are there any materials even for probable conjecture. The name of Nicanor was memorable as that of the great enemy of Judah, who died in battle fighting against Judas Maccabus. It appears, later on, as borne by a Jewish friend of Titus and Josephus (Wars, v. 6, 2). That of Timon had been made conspicuous by the philosopher of Phlius and the misanthrope of Athens.

Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch.--Next to the first two names on the list, the last is that to which greatest interest attaches. (1) It is the first appearance in the history of the Christian Church of the city which was afterwards to be the mother-church of the Gentiles. (On Antioch and its position, see Note on Acts 11:19.) Here it will be enough to note that there was a large Jewish population there, and that Herod had gained the favour of the city by building a splendid colonnade along the whole length of its chief street. (2) The name had been made memorable by Nicolaus of Damascus, who wrote a long and elaborate history of his own times, and pleaded for the Jews before Augustus and Agrippa (Jos. Ant. xii. 3, 2; xvi. 2, 3; 9, 4). He appeared at Rome again as counsel for Archelaus, and was for many years the confidential friend and adviser of Herod the Great (Jos. Ant. xvii. 9, 6; 11, 3). Finding, as we do, an adopted son of Herod's at Antioch (Acts 13:1), and a proselyte of that city bearing the name of his chosen companion, there seems some ground for assuming a link connecting the three together. (3) In any case Nicolas is memorable as the first person not of the race of Abraham named as admitted to full membership in the Church. He may have sacrificed to Apollo, or taken part in the licentious festivals of the grove of Daphne. The word "proselyte" is taken in its full sense, as including the acceptance of circumcision and the ceremonial law. He was, in technical language, a proselyte of Righteousness, not of the Gate. Had it been otherwise, his conversion would have anticipated the lesson taught afterwards by that of Cornelius. (4) The name of Nicolas has been identified by an early tradition as the founder of the sect of the Nicolaitanes condemned in Revelation 2:6. He, it was said, taught men "to misuse the flesh" (Clem. Alex. Strom, iii. 4, p. 187; Euseb. Hist. iii. 29). Some contended that he meant by this that it was to be subdued by a rigorous asceticism: others, that he held it to be a proof of spiritual progress to yield to sensuous impulses, and yet remain pure. The traditions are not of much value, and another interpretation of the name of the sect is now very generally adopted (see Revelation 2:6); but the fall of one of the Seven into the error of overstrained rigour, or a reaction from it, is not in itself inconceivable. In the New Testament we never come across his name again.

And the saying pleased the whole multitude,.... The speech the apostles made took with them; all things they proposed were universally approved of; the whole body of the church came into it at once unanimously; they all judged it highly reasonable, that the apostles should be eased of the burden in taking care of the poor, and that it should be transferred to some other persons, and they fixed on the following:

and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost; he was a man eminent for his faith in Christ, and his faithfulness to him, and in everything he was concerned, and for his courage and boldness in the cause of Christ and for other gifts and graces of the Spirit, with which he was filled; he was, it is very likely, the most eminent person of all the seven, and is therefore named first; he is afterwards taken notice of, and was the first that suffered martyrdom for Christ, with which he was crowned, answerable to his name, which signifies a crown:

and Philip; who was also an evangelist, and had four daughters that prophesied; and perhaps is the same that went down to Samaria, and preached Christ there with great success, and after that baptized the Ethiopian eunuch;

and Prochorus; of this and the rest, no other mention is made in the sacred writings. He is said by some to be a nephew of Stephen's, and first bishop of Nicomedia; but these are things not certain; and as for the life of the Apostle John, said to be written by him, it is a spurious and fabulous piece.

And Nicanor; of this man we have no other certain account; for that he suffered martyrdom with "Stephen" is not to be depended on. It is a Grecian name; there is one of this name who was a general in Demetrius's army, who was sent by him against the Jews,

"Then the king sent Nicanor, one of his honourable princes, a man that bare deadly hate unto Israel, with commandment to destroy the people.'' (1Mac 7:26)

and there was a gate of the temple, which was called the gate, of Nicanor:

and Timon; he is said to be afterwards bishop of Bersea; though others make him bishop, of Bostra; but with what truth cannot be asserted:

and Parmenus; of him no other account is given, than in the Roman martyrology, which is not to be depended upon, that he suffered martyrdom under Trajan:

and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch; who was first a Greek or Gentile, and then became a Jew, a proselyte of righteousness, and then a Christian, and now made a deacon. Some think, that from this man sprung the sect of the Nicolaitanes, spoken of in the Revelations; though others think, that that wicked set of men only covered themselves with his name, or that they abused some words of his, and perverted the right meaning of them; though was it certain he did turn out a wicked man, it is not to be wondered at, that since there was a devil among the twelve apostles, there should be a hypocrite and a vicious man among the first seven deacons. It is observable, that the names of all these deacons are Greek names; from whence, it seems, that they were of the Grecian or Hellenistic Jews; so that the church thought fit to chose men out of that part of them which made the complaint, in order to make them easy; which is an instance of prudence and condescension, and shows of what excellent spirits they were of. 5. Stephen, etc.—As this and the following names are all Greek, it is likely they were all of the "Grecian" class, which would effectually restore mutual confidence.6:1-7 Hitherto the disciples had been of one accord; this often had been noticed to their honour; but now they were multiplied, they began to murmur. The word of God was enough to take up all the thoughts, cares, and time of the apostles. The persons chosen to serve tables must be duly qualified. They must be filled with gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, necessary to rightly managing this trust; men of truth, and hating covetousness. All who are employed in the service of the church, ought to be commended to the Divine grace by the prayers of the church. They blessed them in the name of the Lord. The word and grace of God are greatly magnified, when those are wrought upon by it, who were least likely.
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