This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen,1 a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit;2 also Philip,3 Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed4 and laid their hands on them.5
So the word of God spread.6 The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly,7 and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs8 among the people.
Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)--Jews of Cyrene9 and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia10 and Asia.11 These men began to argue with Stephen,
but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.12
Then they secretly13 persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God."14
So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.15
They produced false witnesses,16 who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place17 and against the law.
For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place18 and change the customs Moses handed down to us."19
All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin20 looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
(New International Version Bible Online)