StephenThe first Christian martyr More is chosen as one of the deacons to help serve among Greek-speaking members of the Christian community. He is singled out by opponents of the believers as a target of their anger, framed as a blasphemer, and martyred.
This passage gives a glimpse of the struggles internal to the community and those generated in public life. A difficulty in the distribution of the goods held in common arises. The widows rely on the community for material support. Those Greek-speaking widows, a smaller group in Jerusalem, believe that they are not receiving an adequate amount of help compared with the Hebrew- or Aramaic-speaking widows. The community chooses seven men of “good standing,” full of the HolyHoly is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine More Spirit, to see to the proper care and administration in the Greek-speaking community. It is the first experience of the expansion of community leadership to meet the needs of the growing and quite diverse group.
One of the seven men chosen to care for the Greek-speaking widows, Stephen, is so empowered by the Spirit that he is able to do signs and wonders and speak with wisdomWisdom encompasses the qualities of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. The Old Testament book of Proverbs, which sometimes invokes a Woman as the personification of Wisdom, is a collection of aphorisms and moral teachings. Along with other biblical passages, it teaches, "The fear of the... More. Drawing the attention of some hostile persons, he is set up as a blasphemer and becomes the first Christian martyrTo be a martyr originally meant to be a witness in the legal sense - that is, to bear witness in legal proceedings. In the context of Christianity martyrdom indicates a person, like Stephen in the book of Acts, who was killed for maintaining his... More. This terrible act introduces the violence carried out against Christians in a very localized area. In addition, Stephen acts in parallel with JesusJesus is the Messiah whose life, death, and resurrection are God's saving act for humanity More (LukeThe "beloved physician" and companion of Paul More 23:34) by calling upon God to forgive his persecutors, even as he dies at their hands (Acts 7:60). The Spirit’s power flowed through Jesus and now flows in the same way through his followers.