Acts 6:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 6:7, NIV: So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Acts 6:7, ESV: And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

Acts 6:7, KJV: And 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.

Acts 6:7, NASB: The word of God kept spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Acts 6:7, NLT: So God's message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.

Acts 6:7, CSB: So the word of God spread, the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly in number, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.

What does Acts 6:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As Scripture describes Jesus' ministry, "disciple" sometimes means any of Jesus' followers, such as Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Lazarus, and Justus and Matthias, although it usually refers to the Twelve. Since the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), the word "disciple" has ceased to mean the Twelve and changed to mean all the Jesus-followers. "The Twelve" are called the apostles. A disciple is someone who repents, accepts Jesus as their Savior, and "devote[s] themselves to the apostles' teaching" (Acts 2:42). This group now includes thousands of people (Acts 2:47; 4:4; 5:14). The addition of priests, however, is extraordinary.

The Sanhedrin, comprised of priests, elders, and scribes, arrested Peter and John because the Sadducee contingent didn't like that they preached the resurrection from the dead. Peter and John firmly explained they would not stop preaching in Jesus' name (Acts 4:1–22).

Then the jealous Sanhedrin arrested many if not all the apostles. God sent an angel to let them escape, and they returned to the temple to preach that Jesus had risen from the grave. The temple guards escorted—rather than dragged—the apostles back to the Sanhedrin. The apostles went peacefully and, again, said they would not follow the Sanhedrin's restrictions on their preaching. The Sanhedrin beat them and released them, and the apostles rejoiced that they "were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name" (Acts 5:17–42).

Now, some of the priests, many of whom probably witnessed these two trials, come to a saving faith in Christ. Maybe they are convicted of what they did to Jesus. But maybe they see the confidence and freedom of Peter and the others who had fled when Jesus was arrested. Our faithfulness to Jesus can be a strong beacon to others, even if we've failed Him in the past.

"Word" is from the Greek root word logos which means an idea, a doctrine, and/or a message. John 1:1 identifies Jesus as the Word of God. Here, before the church has widely spread what becomes the New Testament books, the "word of God" does not yet have the meaning of Scripture. It does mean the total message God means to give mankind. This includes that Jesus is the Son of God, that He is the Savior, that He rose after His death, and that He is the core of salvation.