About this time, as the number of disciples was increasing, complaints were made by the Greek-speaking Jews against the Hebrews because their widows were habitually overlooked in the daily ministration.
So the Twelve called together the general body of the disciples and said, "It does not seem fitting that we Apostles should neglect the delivery of God's Message and minister at tables.
Therefore, brethren, pick out from among yourselves seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, and we will appoint them to undertake this duty.
But, as for us, we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the delivery of the Message."
The suggestion met with general approval, and they selected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch.
These men they brought to the Apostles, and, after prayer, they laid their hands upon them.
Meanwhile God's Message continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem very greatly increased, and very many priests obeyed the faith.
And Stephen, full of grace and power, performed great marvels and signs among the people.
But some members of the so-called `Synagogue of the Freed-men,' together with some Cyrenaeans, Alexandrians, Cilicians and men from Roman Asia, were roused to encounter Stephen in debate.
They were quite unable, however, to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
Then they privately put forward men who declared, "We have heard him speak blasphemous things against Moses and against God."
In this way they excited the people, the Elders, and the Scribes. At length they came upon him, seized him with violence, and took him before the Sanhedrin.
Here they brought forward false witnesses who declared, "This fellow is incessantly speaking against the Holy Place and the Law.
For we have heard him say that Jesus, the Nazarene, will pull this place down to the ground and will change the customs which Moses handed down to us."
At once the eyes of all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin were fastened on him, and they saw his face looking just like the face of an angel.