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Lesson 176: Stephen - The First Recorded Christian Martyr

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

Acts 6; 7

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INTRODUCTION. As the church continued to grow, the apostles were unable to look after the wants of all the believers. As a result some needy widows were neglected and complaints arose among the Grecian Jews against the Hebrew Jews. Grecian Jews were Jews who were born and raised in foreign lands, spoke the Greek language, and read the scriptures in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures. Hebrew Jews were Jews who were born and reared in Palestine, spoke the Aramaic language, and read the Old Testament scriptures in the Hebrew language.

The apostles could not give their time to the daily ministrations of the needy and continue to preach the gospel. Therefore, seven men were chosen to take care of the daily distribution of goods to the needy. The men chosen were of good report, full of the Spirit, and full of wisdom. One of the men chosen was Stephen.

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