Acts 6:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 6:10, NIV: But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.

Acts 6:10, ESV: But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

Acts 6:10, KJV: And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

Acts 6:10, NASB: But they were unable to cope with his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking.

Acts 6:10, NLT: None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke.

Acts 6:10, CSB: But they were unable to stand up against his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking.

What does Acts 6:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Stephen is a Greek-speaking Jewish Christian, not native to Judea, who is debating with other Greek-speaking Jews about Jesus (Acts 6:8–9). It's even possible he is a member of one of the synagogues his adversaries attend (Acts 6:9). Stephen's argument is unassailable because he is relying on the Holy Spirit for his words and content. Jesus had told the Twelve Disciples before, "Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict" (Luke 21:14–15). Stephen proves this promise goes beyond the twelve apostles.

Still, despite his words of wisdom and verifying miracles (Acts 6:8), Stephen's audience rejects his argument and attacks him (Acts 6:11–14). They falsely accuse him before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, and eventually murder him (Acts 7:54–60). Stephen has all the right words and all the right strategies, but they aren't enough to avoid the hatred of the world.

Apologetics only succeeds as an evangelism tool if the Holy Spirit is working and the people are ready to hear. If that isn't the case, people will lie to themselves and others to justify their desire to reject the gospel. Jesus prepared the disciples for this, telling them to shake the dust off their feet when leaving those who refuse to listen (Matthew 10:14). More ominously, He warned them that those who rejected His message would persecute them (John 15:18–19).

But Stephen's efforts are not in vain. Nearly two thousand years later we learn from his example, and his historical apologetic message (Acts 7:1–53) is a part of the Holy Spirit's enduring work.