Acts 8:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 8:2, NIV: Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.

Acts 8:2, ESV: Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him.

Acts 8:2, KJV: And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

Acts 8:2, NASB: Some devout men buried Stephen, and mourned loudly for him.

Acts 8:2, NLT: (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.)

Acts 8:2, CSB: Devout men buried Stephen and mourned deeply over him.

What does Acts 8:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Stephen was a Hellenistic Jew: one who grew up in a Greek or Roman culture outside of the Jewish homeland of Judea and Galilee. His reputation in the church was such that he was chosen as one of the first deacons, charged with collecting the donations believers made to the church and distributing that charity to the needy (Acts 6:1–6).

Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit's grace and power and performed miracles as he spread the gospel in Jerusalem. He was such a good apologist that other Hellenistic Jews could not refute his arguments that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Jewish Messiah. In response, the Jews lied and accused him of threatening to destroy the temple—a crime which demanded execution according to the Roman law (Acts 6:8–15).

Stephen was allowed to give his defense before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council (Acts 7:1–53). His words were true but extremely provocative, and his accusers dragged him outside the city gates and stoned him (Acts 7:54–60). This heralds the persecution of the young Christian church in Jerusalem. Saul—later Paul (Acts 13:9)—leads the attack, and the Jesus-followers either flee Jerusalem or risk arrest (Acts 8:1, 3).

Meanwhile, Stephen's friends mourn. People who died via capital punishment under traditional Jewish law were allowed to be buried but not publicly mourned. Not everyone feels Stephen's death was just.