New American Standard Bible
Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.
King James Bible
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
Darby Bible Translation
But in those days, the disciples multiplying in number, there arose a murmuring of the Hellenists against the Hebrews because their widows were overlooked in the daily ministration.
World English Bible
Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, a complaint arose from the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily service.
Young's Literal Translation
And in these days, the disciples multiplying, there came a murmuring of the Hellenists at the Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily ministration,
Acts 6:1 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
In those days ... - The first part of this chapter contains an account of the appointment of "deacons." It may be asked, perhaps, why the apostles did not appoint these officers at the first organization of the church? To this, question we may reply, that it was better to defer the appointment until an occasion should occur when it would appear to be manifestly necessary and proper. When the church was small, its alms could be distributed by the apostles themselves without difficulty But when it was greatly increased when its charities were multiplied; and when the distribution might give rise to contentions, it was necessary that this matter should be entrusted to the hands of "laymen," and that the "ministry" should be freed from all embarrassment, and all suspicions of dishonesty and unfairness in regard to pecuniary matters. It has never been found to be wise that the temporal affairs of the church should be entrusted in any considerable degree to the clergy, and they should be freed from such sources of difficulty and embarrassment.
A murmuring - A complaint - as if there had been partiality in the distribution.
Of the Grecians - There has been much diversity of opinion in regard to these persons, whether they were "Jews" who had lived among the Gentiles, and who spoke the Greek language, or whether they were proselytes from the Gentiles. The former is probably the correct opinion. The word used here is not what is commonly employed to designate the inhabitants of Greece, but it properly denotes those who "imitate" the customs and habits of the Greeks, who use the Greek language, etc. In the time when the gospel was first preached, there were two classes of Jews - those who remained in Palestine, who used the Hebrew language, and who were appropriately called "Hebrews"; and those who were scattered among the Gentiles, who spoke the Greek language, and who used in their synagogues the Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint. These were called "Hellenists," or, as it is in our translation, "Grecians." See the notes on John 7:35. These were doubtless the persons mentioned here - not those who were proselyted from Gentiles, but those of Jewish origin who were not natives of Judea, who had come up to Jerusalem to attend the great festivals. See Acts 2:5, Acts 2:9-11. Dissensions would be very likely to arise between these two classes of persons. The Jews of Palestine would pride themselves much on the fact that they dwelt in the land of the patriarchs and the land of promise; that they used the language which their fathers spoke, and in which the oracles of God were given; and that they were constantly near the temple, and regularly engaged in its solemnities. On the other hand, the Jews from other parts of the world would be suspicious, jealous, and envious of their brethren, and would be likely to charge them with partiality, or of taking advantage in their contact with them. These occasions of strife would not be destroyed by their conversion to Christianity, and one of them is furnished on this occasion.
Because their widows ... - The property which had been contributed, or thrown into common stock, was understood to be designed for the equal benefit of "all" the poor, and particularly, it would seem, for the poor widows. The distribution before this seems to have been made by the apostles themselves - or possibly, as Mosheim conjectures (Commentary de rebus Christianorum ante Constantinum, pp. 139, 118), the apostles committed the distribution of these funds to the Hebrews, and hence, the Grecians are represented as complaining against them, and not against the apostles.
In the daily ministration - In the daily distribution which was made for their needs. Compare Acts 4:35. The property was contributed doubtless with an understanding that it should be "equally" distributed to all classes of Christians that had need. It is clear from the Epistles that "widows" were objects of special attention in the primitive church, and that the first Christians regarded it as a matter of indispensable obligation to provide for their needs, 1 Timothy 5:3, 1 Timothy 5:9-10, 1 Timothy 5:16; James 1:27.
LibraryFilled with the Spirit
'Men ... full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.' ... 'A man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost....' 'Stephen, full of faith and power.'--ACTS vi. 3, 5, 8. I have taken the liberty of wrenching these three fragments from their context, because of their remarkable parallelism, which is evidently intended to set us thinking of the connection of the various characteristics which they set forth. The first of them is a description, given by the Apostles, of the sort of man whom they conceived to be fit to …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
The Acts of the Apostles
The Seven Deacons
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
and lay them at the apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.
So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.
The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death.
So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.
And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
Jump to PreviousCare Complained Complaint Complaints Daily Disciples Distribution Grecian Grecians Greek Greek-Speaking Habitually Hebrews Hellenistic Hellenists Increasing Jews Ministration Multiplied Multiplying Murmuring Native Neglected Overlooked Part Protests Service Serving Time Widows
Jump to NextCare Complained Complaint Complaints Daily Disciples Distribution Grecian Grecians Greek Greek-Speaking Habitually Hebrews Hellenistic Hellenists Increasing Jews Ministration Multiplied Multiplying Murmuring Native Neglected Overlooked Part Protests Service Serving Time Widows
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