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Bible Study Stephen Address The Sanhedrin

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Tuesday 11-5-19, Cheshvan 7, 5780 3rd. day of the weekly cycle, 44rd. Fall day,

5And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

Acts Six
King James Bible Par ▾
1 Timothy 3:8-13)

1And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Stephen Arrested

Acts Six 8-15

8And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 9Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. 11Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 12And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 14For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. 15And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Stephen Addresses the Sanhedrin:

1 Then said the high priest, Are these things so? 2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, 3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.

Acts 7
King James Bible Par ▾

Love always, Walter
 

JohnDB

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Now this story is one of my favorites.
And even though I like the Cambridge KJV...it doesn't exactly do the story Justice. You will see why in a minute.

Lets look at some of these sections of scripture that you have posted.

AC 6:1 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the 2 Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

So...we see Stephen chosen from amongst the Helenistic Jews...meaning a group of Jews that were Jewish but raised Greek in Greek society. They shaved and had short hair and wore Greek clothing. They were Jewish by birth...but were being discriminated against by everyone. Greeks never really liked the Jews to begin with. EVERYONE else had no problem accepting the new gods of the Greeks except for the Jews to begin with. Then on top of that the Jews practiced polygamy...Romans considered this to be completely distasteful even though many of their rich elite had consorts...whatever...right?

Then we see that Stephen (who can't read Hebrew) joins in with those "Followers of Jesus" and becomes even more discriminated against. The "Low Class" Jews were now discriminating against him... because he and the other Hellenistic Jews are considered even lower caste than themselves....Truly these guys are the "Lowest of the LOW"

So...
When Stephen is seized, the fix is in. It is apparent to Stephen that he isn't going to make it out alive from this "inquisition".
And he decides that "If I gotta go, I am going to go out WITH BELLS ON BABY!"

So, He preaches this sermon that covers most of Israeli history. And he does it with fast and loose quotes from not the Hebrew Tenakh but the Greek Septuagint. And even these quotes that he does...he does it in "Street slang style" where numbers are aproximated and everything is said with a couple of words that allude to a section...but its not direct quotes. This upsets the council even more so with his approximation quotations and references. He gets their intent correct every time...but the inaccurate quoting sets the council on edge even more...as if they hadn't already decided what they were going to do.

Now usually if someone is important enough, money is raised and a the services of an "Expert in the Law" is hired and many witnesses come forward to defend this guy in front of the council. But because Stephen is a "Hellenistic Jew" no one cares enough to do any of these things. Even the 11-12 seem to be busy elsewhere to even notice this has happened. Which is exactly why Herod (trying to please the Jews) grabbed Stephen to begin with. Stephen was popular enough to set a precedent and give off a message but not popular enough with the "right people" to make a difference in his defense.

Famous last words...

NOT these ones:
52 “ Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

These ones:

55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Now in the past we have always heard that Jesus was to sit at God the Father's right hand. But in this section we hear that Stephen saw Jesus standing. Kinda ODD.
BUT
Stephen was to be the FIRST martyr. The first of anything in Jewish society was always God's...from the firstborn to the number 1 in a list. You didn't touch it or count it...you always started at two.
BUT Stephen seen Jesus STANDING...and we think that maybe it isn't important or maybe Stephen got it wrong somehow....
AND THAT WOULD BE WRONG
Jesus is standing...to honor Stephen's arrival into Heaven....much like today we stand to honor an important person arriving on the scene. (President in Congress, Judge to his bench, and etc)

The lowest of the lowest of the low...now honored by the Highest of the Highest of the Highest.
and you simply can't make up stuff like this.


and now you know why I really really like this story.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
1,032
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
Now this story is one of my favorites.
And even though I like the Cambridge KJV...it doesn't exactly do the story Justice. You will see why in a minute.

Lets look at some of these sections of scripture that you have posted.

AC 6:1 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the 2 Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.

So...we see Stephen chosen from amongst the Helenistic Jews...meaning a group of Jews that were Jewish but raised Greek in Greek society. They shaved and had short hair and wore Greek clothing. They were Jewish by birth...but were being discriminated against by everyone. Greeks never really liked the Jews to begin with. EVERYONE else had no problem accepting the new gods of the Greeks except for the Jews to begin with. Then on top of that the Jews practiced polygamy...Romans considered this to be completely distasteful even though many of their rich elite had consorts...whatever...right?

Then we see that Stephen (who can't read Hebrew) joins in with those "Followers of Jesus" and becomes even more discriminated against. The "Low Class" Jews were now discriminating against him... because he and the other Hellenistic Jews are considered even lower caste than themselves....Truly these guys are the "Lowest of the LOW"

So...
When Stephen is seized, the fix is in. It is apparent to Stephen that he isn't going to make it out alive from this "inquisition".
And he decides that "If I gotta go, I am going to go out WITH BELLS ON BABY!"

So, He preaches this sermon that covers most of Israeli history. And he does it with fast and loose quotes from not the Hebrew Tenakh but the Greek Septuagint. And even these quotes that he does...he does it in "Street slang style" where numbers are aproximated and everything is said with a couple of words that allude to a section...but its not direct quotes. This upsets the council even more so with his approximation quotations and references. He gets their intent correct every time...but the inaccurate quoting sets the council on edge even more...as if they hadn't already decided what they were going to do.

Now usually if someone is important enough, money is raised and a the services of an "Expert in the Law" is hired and many witnesses come forward to defend this guy in front of the council. But because Stephen is a "Hellenistic Jew" no one cares enough to do any of these things. Even the 11-12 seem to be busy elsewhere to even notice this has happened. Which is exactly why Herod (trying to please the Jews) grabbed Stephen to begin with. Stephen was popular enough to set a precedent and give off a message but not popular enough with the "right people" to make a difference in his defense.

Famous last words...

NOT these ones:
52 “ Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”

These ones:

55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Now in the past we have always heard that Jesus was to sit at God the Father's right hand. But in this section we hear that Stephen saw Jesus standing. Kinda ODD.
BUT
Stephen was to be the FIRST martyr. The first of anything in Jewish society was always God's...from the firstborn to the number 1 in a list. You didn't touch it or count it...you always started at two.
BUT Stephen seen Jesus STANDING...and we think that maybe it isn't important or maybe Stephen got it wrong somehow....
AND THAT WOULD BE WRONG
Jesus is standing...to honor Stephen's arrival into Heaven....much like today we stand to honor an important person arriving on the scene. (President in Congress, Judge to his bench, and etc)

The lowest of the lowest of the low...now honored by the Highest of the Highest of the Highest.
and you simply can't make up stuff like this.


and now you know why I really really like this story.
Amen, yes I can see why you really like this story, but I would rather the king James Version, and other sources.

Love always, Walter
 

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