Acts 6:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 6:5, NIV: This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

Acts 6:5, ESV: And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.

Acts 6:5, KJV: And 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 6:5, NASB: The announcement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.

Acts 6:5, NLT: Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith).

Acts 6:5, CSB: This proposal pleased the whole company. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a convert from Antioch.

What does Acts 6:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Faced with the task of discipling a church of thousands and evangelizing a city of tens of thousands, the apostles delegate the financial and practical side of ministry (Acts 6:1–2). The Jesus-followers have nominated seven men for the new office of deacon (Acts 6:3–4). The initial issue is that the Greek-speaking widows are not receiving daily meals. It makes sense that, judging by their names, six of the new deacons are Hellenist Jews, while the seventh is a Gentile proselyte. Two of the deacons have a significant role in the book of Acts.

The most famous of the deacons, Stephen, is the first recorded person to lose his life in service to Jesus (Acts 7). His death signals an open season of persecution on Jesus-followers. The Sanhedrin quickly commissions a Pharisee named Saul to track down believers and bring them to Jerusalem for trial (Acts 8:1–3; 9:1–2). The Jesus-followers flee Jerusalem, but they bring Jesus' message with them, spreading the gospel to Jews in Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Syrian Antioch.

Philip is neither the disciple Philip nor Herod Antipas' brother (Matthew 10:3; 14:3). He is the most-often mentioned of the deacons. After Saul persecutes and scatters the church (Acts 8:1–3), Philip becomes the first recorded to preach in Samaria (Acts 8:4–6, 12), and he participates in converting an Ethiopian official in Judea (Acts 8:26–40). He moves up the coastline to Caesarea Maritima where he and his four prophetess daughters meet Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles is on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 21:8–9).

The Bible doesn't give any more information on the others. Tradition says Prochorus becomes the apostle John's attendant. As a proselyte, Nicolaus is a Gentile who has fully converted to Judaism, including undergoing circumcision.

The Holy Spirit is slowly expanding what the Jewish Jesus-followers understand about the kingdom of God. Here, the apostles give Hellenist Jews leadership positions. Soon, Samaritans will come to follow Jesus (Acts 8:4–8). Philip will witness the conversion of a God-fearing Ethiopian (Acts 8:26–40). The church's most dangerous enemy will come to Christ (Acts 9:1–19). And then Peter will realize that Gentiles are welcome in God's kingdom (Acts 10). When God wants big changes in us, sometimes He lets them come in small steps.