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

Acts 6:6, NIV: They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

Acts 6:6, ESV: These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.

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

Acts 6:6, NASB: And they brought these men before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.

Acts 6:6, NLT: These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.

Acts 6:6, CSB: They had them stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

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

When presented with a problem by the culturally Greek members of the church, the Aramaic-speaking apostles empowered the church to solve it (Acts 6:1–2). The church chooses men who have a good reputation, wisdom, and an abundance of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3). Although the apostles will have to rely on "prayer and…the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4) regarding the integration of Gentiles into a Jewish-based religion later (Acts 11:1–18), the presence of the Holy Spirit and the character of a person should always be more important than cultural similarities.

The wording here resembles passages where Jesus-followers lay money and resources before the apostles (Acts 4:34–37). The congregation is dedicating these seven men to minister as the apostles see fit. The apostles turn around and give the men authority to decide how they will address the problem. The apostles can do this because of their dedication to prayer and because they know the character of the men and their relationship with the Holy Spirit.

The Bible speaks of laying hands on another often. Jesus laid His hands on the children (Matthew 19:13). Jairus begged Jesus to lay hands on his dying daughter (Mark 5:23). In Jesus' ministry, laying on of hands is related to blessing and healing. In the church, some receive the Holy Spirit when an apostle lays his hands on them (Acts 8:16–19; 9:17–18; 19:5–6), but most receive the Holy Spirit without the ritual. Jesus did not commission the apostles by laying His hands on them, but the early church does ordain those set aside for a special ministry with the laying on of hands (Acts 13:3; 1 Timothy 4:14). It appears the laying on of hands is a cultural practice, as the Bible describes it but doesn't command it.