What does Acts 6:10 mean?
ESV: But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
NIV: But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
NASB: But they were unable to cope with his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking.
CSB: But they were unable to stand up against his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking.
NLT: None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke.
KJV: And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
NKJV: And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
Verse Commentary:
Stephen is a Greek-speaking Jewish Christian, not native to Judea, who is debating with other Greek-speaking Jews about Jesus (Acts 6:8–9). It's even possible he is a member of one of the synagogues his adversaries attend (Acts 6:9). Stephen's argument is unassailable because he is relying on the Holy Spirit for his words and content. Jesus had told the Twelve Disciples before, "Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict" (Luke 21:14–15). Stephen proves this promise goes beyond the twelve apostles.

Still, despite his words of wisdom and verifying miracles (Acts 6:8), Stephen's audience rejects his argument and attacks him (Acts 6:11–14). They falsely accuse him before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, and eventually murder him (Acts 7:54–60). Stephen has all the right words and all the right strategies, but they aren't enough to avoid the hatred of the world.

Apologetics only succeeds as an evangelism tool if the Holy Spirit is working and the people are ready to hear. If that isn't the case, people will lie to themselves and others to justify their desire to reject the gospel. Jesus prepared the disciples for this, telling them to shake the dust off their feet when leaving those who refuse to listen (Matthew 10:14). More ominously, He warned them that those who rejected His message would persecute them (John 15:18–19).

But Stephen's efforts are not in vain. Nearly two thousand years later we learn from his example, and his historical apologetic message (Acts 7:1–53) is a part of the Holy Spirit's enduring work.
Verse Context:
Acts 6:8–15 gives a short explanation of why the Jews get angry with Stephen and bring him before the Sanhedrin. Scripture does not record exactly what he says that enrages his audience. When they cannot defeat him with logic, they falsely accuse him of threatening the temple, which is the same charge the Sanhedrin tried to use against Jesus (Mark 14:57–59). Like Jesus, Stephen has said no such thing. And, like Jesus, Stephen's message is far more radical—radical enough for the mob to kill him (Acts 7).
Chapter Summary:
Acts 6 introduces us to a Jesus-follower named Stephen. The apostles affirmed the choice of Stephen, along with six others, to make sure every Christian in Jerusalem has what they need. But Stephen is also a skilled debater. As a Greek-speaking Jew from outside Judea, Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, and modern-day Asia Minor would naturally gravitate toward him. These travelers cannot defeat Stephen's logic, but they reject his message. They falsely accuse Stephen and bring him before the Sanhedrin.
Chapter Context:
Acts 6 introduces us to a Jesus-follower named Stephen. The apostles affirmed the choice of Stephen, along with six others, to make sure every Christian in Jerusalem has what they need. But Stephen is also a skilled debater. As a Greek-speaking Jew from outside Judea, Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, and modern-day Asia Minor would naturally gravitate toward him. These travelers cannot defeat Stephen's logic, but they reject his message. They falsely accuse Stephen and bring him before the Sanhedrin.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
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