Acts 6

Peter and John Before the Council

And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and lthe captain of the temple and mthe Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming nin Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and oput them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and pthe number of the men came to about five thousand.

On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with qAnnas the high priest and rCaiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, sBy what power or tby what name did you do this? Then Peter, ufilled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today vconcerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that wby the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, xwhom God raised from the deadby him this man is standing before you well. 11 yThis Jesus1 is the stone that was zrejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.2 12 And there is asalvation bin no one else, for cthere is no other dname under heaven given among men3 by which we must be saved.

13 eNow when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 But seeing the man who was healed fstanding beside them, gthey had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, hWhat shall we do with these men? For that ia notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them jto speak no more to anyone in this name. 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, kWhether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for lwe cannot but speak of what mwe have seen and heard. 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, nbecause of the people, for all were praising God ofor what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

The Believers Pray for Boldness

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices ptogether to God and said, Sovereign Lord, qwho made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,4 said by the Holy Spirit,

rWhy did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

26  The kings of the earth set themselves,

and sthe rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his tAnointed5

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your uholy servant Jesus, vwhom you anointed, both wHerod and xPontius Pilate, along ywith the Gentiles and zthe peoples of Israel, 28 ato do whatever your hand and byour plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, clook upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all dboldness, 30 while eyou stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed fthrough the name of your gholy servant Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, hthe place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and ithey were all filled with the Holy Spirit and jcontinued to speak the word of God with boldness.

They Had Everything in Common

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of kone heart and lsoul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but mthey had everything in common. 33 And with great npower the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and ogreat grace was upon them all. 34 pThere was not a needy person among them, for qas many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and rlaid it at the apostles' feet, and sit was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means tson of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and ulaid it at the apostles' feet.

Ananias and Sapphira

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge vhe kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and wlaid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why has xSatan filled your heart to lie yto the Holy Spirit and zto keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but ato God. When Ananias heard these words, he bfell down and breathed his last. And cgreat fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and dwrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, Tell me whether you1 sold the land for so much. And she said, Yes, for so much. But Peter said to her, How is it that you have agreed together eto test fthe Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out. 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And ggreat fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Many Signs and Wonders Done

12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people hby the hands of the apostles. And they were all itogether in jSolomon's Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but kthe people held them in high esteem. 14 And lmore than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 mso that they even ncarried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by oat least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, pbringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

The Apostles Arrested and Freed

17 But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of qthe Sadducees), and filled with rjealousy 18 they arrested the apostles and sput them in the public prison. 19 But during the night tan angel of the Lord uopened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all vthe words of wthis xLife. 21 And when they heard this, ythey entered the temple zat daybreak and began to teach.

Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council, all the senate of the people of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23 We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside. 24 Now when athe captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. 25 And someone came and told them, Look! The men whom you put in prison bare standing in the temple and teaching the people. 26 Then cthe captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for dthey were afraid of being stoned by the people.

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, eWe strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you fintend to bring this man's blood upon us. 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, gWe must obey God rather than men. 30 hThe God of our fathers iraised Jesus, jwhom you killed by hanging him on ka tree. 31 God exalted lhim at his right hand as mLeader and nSavior, oto give prepentance to Israel and oforgiveness of sins. 32 And qwe are witnesses to these things, and rso is the Holy Spirit, swhom God has given to those who obey him.

33 When they heard this, they twere enraged and wanted to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee in the council named uGamaliel, va teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35 And he said to them, Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36 For wbefore these days Theudas rose up, xclaiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of ythe census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for zif this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39 but aif it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You bmight even be found opposing God! So they took his advice, 40 and cwhen they had called in the apostles, dthey beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, erejoicing that they were counted worthy fto suffer dishonor for gthe name. 42 And every day, hin the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and ipreaching jthat the Christ is Jesus.

Seven Chosen to Serve

Now in these days kwhen the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists1 arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in lthe daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. mTherefore, brothers,2 pick out from among you seven men nof good repute, ofull of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But pwe will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, qa man full of faith and rof the Holy Spirit, and sPhilip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, ta proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and uthey prayed and vlaid their hands on them.

And wthe word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests xbecame obedient to ythe faith.

Stephen Is Seized

And Stephen, full of grace and zpower, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But athey could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then bthey secretly instigated men who said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God. 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they cset up false dwitnesses who said, This man never ceases to speak words against ethis holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth fwill destroy this place and will gchange hthe customs that Moses delivered to us. 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face iwas like the face of an angel.

Stephen's Speech

And the high priest said, Are these things so? And Stephen said:

jBrothers and fathers, hear me. kThe God lof glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, mbefore he lived in Haran, and said to him, nGo out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you. mThen he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And oafter his father died, pGod removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised qto give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, rthough he had no child. And God spoke to this effectthat shis offspring would tbe sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them ufour hundred years. But vI will judge the nation that they serve, said God, and after that they shall come out wand worship me in this place. And xhe gave him the covenant of circumcision. And yso Abraham became the father of Isaac, and zcircumcised him on the eighth day, and aIsaac became the father of Jacob, and bJacob of the twelve patriarchs.

And the patriarchs, cjealous of Joseph, dsold him into Egypt; but eGod was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and fgave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, gwho made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Now hthere came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. 12 iBut when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. 13 And jon the second visit kJoseph made himself known to his brothers, and lJoseph's family became known to Pharaoh. 14 And mJoseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, nseventy-five persons in all. 15 And oJacob went down into Egypt, and phe died, he qand our fathers, 16 and rthey were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that sAbraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 But tas the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, uthe people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until there arose over Egypt another king vwho did not know Joseph. 19 wHe dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, xso that they would not be kept alive. 20 yAt this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God's sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father's house, 21 and zwhen he was exposed, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. 22 And Moses awas instructed in ball the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was cmighty in his words and deeds.

23 When he was forty years old, it came into his heart dto visit his brothers, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 eAnd on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other? 27 But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, fWho made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday? 29 At this retort gMoses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, hwhere he became the father of two sons.

30 Now when forty years had passed, ian angel appeared to him jin the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: 32 kI am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. 33 Then the Lord said to him, lTake off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 mI have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and nhave heard their groaning, and oI have come down to deliver them. pAnd now come, I will send you to Egypt.

35 This Moses, whom they rejected, qsaying, Who made you a ruler and a judge?this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer rby the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 sThis man led them out, performing twonders and signs uin Egypt and vat the Red Sea and win the wilderness for xforty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, God will raise up for you ya prophet like me from your brothers. 38 This is the one zwho was in the congregation in the wilderness with athe angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. bHe received cliving doracles to give to us. 39 Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and ein their hearts they turned to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, fMake for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. 41 And gthey made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and hwere rejoicing in ithe works of their hands. 42 But jGod turned away and kgave them over to worship lthe host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:

mDid you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices,

nduring the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?

43  You took up the tent of oMoloch

and the star of your god Rephan,

the images that you made to worship;

and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.

44 Our fathers had pthe tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses qdirected him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn rbrought it in with Joshua when they sdispossessed the nations tthat God drove out before our fathers. So it was uuntil the days of David, 46 vwho found favor in the sight of God and wasked to find a dwelling place for xthe God of Jacob.1 47 But it was ySolomon who built a house for him. 48 zYet the Most High does not dwell ain houses made by hands, as the prophet says,

49  bHeaven is my throne,

cand the earth is my footstool.

What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,

or what is the place of my rest?

50  Did not my hand make all these things?

51 dYou stiff-necked people, euncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. fAs your fathers did, so do you. 52 gWhich of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of hthe Righteous One, iwhom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law jas delivered by angels and kdid not keep it.

The Stoning of Stephen

54 Now when they heard these things lthey were enraged, and they mground their teeth at him. 55 But he, nfull of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw othe glory of God, and Jesus standing pat the right hand of God. 56 And he said, Behold, I see qthe heavens opened, and rthe Son of Man standing pat the right hand of God. 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together2 at him. 58 Then sthey cast him out of the city and tstoned him. And uthe witnesses laid down their garments vat the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, whe called out, Lord Jesus, xreceive my spirit. 60 And yfalling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, zLord, do not hold this sin against them. And when he had said this, ahe fell asleep.

Saul Ravages the Church

And bSaul capproved of his execution.

And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and dthey were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But eSaul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he fdragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

Philip Proclaims Christ in Samaria

Now gthose who were scattered went about preaching the word. hPhilip went down to the city1 of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. iAnd the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him jand saw the signs that he did. For kunclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So lthere was much joy in that city.

Simon the Magician Believes

But there was a man named Simon, mwho had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, nsaying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, oThis man is the power of God that is called pGreat. 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had qamazed them with his magic. 12 But when rthey believed Philip as he preached good news sabout the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, rthey were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And tseeing signs and ugreat miracles2 performed, vhe was amazed.

14 Now when wthe apostles at Jerusalem heard that xSamaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them ythat they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for zhe had not yet afallen on any of them, but bthey had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then cthey laid their hands on them and dthey received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit. 20 But Peter said to him, eMay your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God fwith money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for gyour heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, hif possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in ithe gall3 of bitterness and in jthe bond of iniquity. 24 And Simon answered, kPray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.

25 Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, lpreaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

26 Now man angel of the Lord said to Philip, Rise and go toward the south4 to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an nEthiopian, a oeunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, pwho was in charge of all her treasure. qHe had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, Go over and join this chariot. 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, Do you understand what you are reading? 31 And he said, rHow can I, unless someone sguides me? And the invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

uLike a sheep he was led to the slaughter

and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,

so he opens not his mouth.

33  In his vhumiliation justice was denied him.

Who can describe his generation?

For his life is taken away from the earth.

34 And the eunuch said to Philip, About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and wbeginning with this Scripture xhe told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, See, here is water! yWhat prevents me from being baptized?5 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, zthe Spirit of the Lord acarried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.