Updated: Mar 7
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INTRODUCTION. After Stephen was stoned, devout men buried him and lamented him.
Then a great persecution by the Jews arose against the church at Jerusalem. As a result,
the members of the church scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, but the apostles
remained in Jerusalem. Saul, who had consented to Stephen's death and received the
garments of those who had stoned Stephen, created much distress for the church, entering the homes of the members and dragging men and women to prison (Acts 8:1-3).
The Jews who persecuted the church had hoped to crush and destroy this rising, new
religious movement, but instead, those members of the church who were scattered went everywhere preaching the gospel (Acts 8:4). Consequently, more souls were converted to Christ, and the church grew and spread beyond the borders of the city of Jerusalem.
One of the members of the church who left Jerusalem due to the persecution was Philip,
not the apostle Philip, for the apostles remained in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1). This man was one of the seven men chosen in Jerusalem to help with the daily ministration of the needy (Acts 6:1-6), and is later referred to as "Philip the evangelist" (Acts 21:8).