Keeping a Close Watch on Jewish Communities
& Organizations Worldwide
Top: Jewish Murders of
Christians: Saint Stephen The First Martyr
(Gr. Stephanos, crown). top of page One of the
seven appointed to look after the daily distribution to the poor in the
early church (Acts 6:1-6). He performed great wonders and signs, taught
in the synagogue, and there debated with Jews of the Dispersion. Acts 7
records Stephen's remarkable apologia before the council. Stephen's exclamation
at the close of his speech is particularly important to a proper understanding
of it: "Look . . . I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at
the right hand of God" (7:56). This is the only occurrence of the title
"Son of Man" in the NT on the lips of anyone other than Jesus
himself and reveals Stephen's messianic understanding of the term. Such
radical thinking was too much for the listening Sanhedrin. Stephen was stoned
to death. top of page
Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Bible NIV
Murder of Stephen,
Acts Chapter 7 top of page
51"You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You
are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52Was there
ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who
predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and
murdered him-- 53you who have received the law that was put into effect
through angels but have not obeyed it."
54When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.
55But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the
glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56"Look,"
he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right
hand of God."
57At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices,
they all rushed at him, 58dragged him out of the city and began to stone
him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young
man named Saul.
59While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive
my spirit." 60Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord,
do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell
asleep.81And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem,
and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.
2Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3But Saul began to
destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women
and put them in prison. top of page
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