1 IN those days, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Greek-speaking Jews began to grumble at the Hebrew Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily service.
2 Then the twelve called the body of disciples together and said, "We do not wish to leave the message of God and wait on tables.
3 Therefore, brethren, pick out seven men from among you, men of reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, and we will appoint them to look after this need.
4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the message."
5 This proposal pleased the whole body. So 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 from Antioch.
6 These they presented before the apostles, who after prayer laid their hands upon them.
7 The message of God continued to spread and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly, and even a great body of the priests were obedient to the faith.
8 Stephen, full of grace and of power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.
9 But certain persons from what was called the synagogue of the Libyans and Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen;
10 yet they could not hold their own against the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
11 Then they got some men to say, "We have heard him speaking profane words against Moses and against God."
12 They excited the people and the elders and the scribes, and coming suddenly upon Stephen they arrested him and led him to the Council.
13 There they put forward false witnesses who said, "This man never ceases saying things against this holy place and the law.
14 We have heard him say that this Jesus, the Nazarene, will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed down to us."
15 All who were sitting in the Council as they looked at him saw that his face was like the face of an angel.