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Acts 6:11

ESV Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.”
NIV Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, 'We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.'
NASB Then they secretly induced men to say, 'We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.'
CSB Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God."
NLT So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, 'We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God.'
KJV Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

What does Acts 6:11 mean?

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen has dominated a debate with Hellenist Jews in Jerusalem. Instead of listening to Stephen's words, his opponents respond with treachery.

The passage doesn't say exactly what Stephen and the Hellenist Jews are arguing about. In Acts 6:14, Stephen's adversaries accuse him of following a man—Jesus—who threatened to destroy the temple. This is a complete misunderstanding of what Jesus said (John 2:18–22), although the Sanhedrin used the charge against Him (Mark 14:57–59). Stephen's sermon does address this charge; he points out that a building made by human hands cannot contain God or His people's worship of Him (Acts 7:48).

In Acts 6:14, Stephen's opponents also claim Jesus disrespected the Mosaic law. Jesus certainly had many run-ins with the Pharisees on the topic. Most of their arguments centered around what work the Law permitted on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23–28; 3:1–6), along with extra-biblical traditions the Pharisees enforced like fasting and ceremonial handwashing (Mark 2:18–19; 7:1–5).

But Jesus also strongly said that He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, not even the smallest mark; He came to fulfill them because we are not capable of following the Law perfectly (Matthew 5:17–20). Because He is the perfect sacrifice for our sins, we can be reconciled to God. Jesus showed nothing but respect for Moses and the Mosaic law (Matthew 8:4; Mark 7:10; 10:3). He also used Moses to address this very situation: "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead" (Luke 16:31). As Stephen later points out, it is his opponents who reject the true message of Moses and other prophets, not the Jesus-followers (Acts 7:52).
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