What does Acts 6:14 mean?
ESV: for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.”
NIV: For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.'
NASB: for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses handed down to us.'
CSB: For we heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us."
NLT: We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.'
KJV: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.
NKJV: for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us.”
Verse Commentary:
Stephen's martyrdom story parallels that of Jesus. The Jewish religious leaders had long wished to destroy Jesus, ever since the beginning of His ministry in Capernaum (Mark 3:6). They were finally able to arrest Him the night of the Passover but had nothing to charge Him with. Eventually, false witnesses accused Him of threatening to tear down the temple and rebuild it in three days (Mark 14:56–58). This would have been an effective accusation; not only would it have enflamed the Jewish people, who adored Jesus, desecration of a religious monument was against Roman law and punishable by death.

There were two immense problems with the Sanhedrin's campaign against Christ. The first was that the witnesses couldn't get their story straight about what Jesus had said (Mark 14:59). Second, Jesus never threatened the temple. He dared the Jewish leadership to destroy Him, promising that in three days, He would rise again (John 2:19–22). He proved this when He did rise again three days after the Jewish leaders had Him crucified.

We don't know exactly what Stephen and the Jews are debating. The Jews incite others to accuse Stephen of saying Jesus will destroy the temple and change the Mosaic law (Acts 6:11–13). But Stephen's defense explains that the temple is not necessary for proper God-worship (Acts 7:1–50). In fact, in less than forty years, the Roman army will burn the temple to the ground. A temple can't enclose God. God didn't even ask for a temple—a single building can't confine His followers' worship. As Jesus told the woman at the well, "The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father…God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:21, 24).

The Hellenist Jews know their argument is weak. They convince false witnesses to charge Stephen with nonsense (Acts 6:11) and even insult Jesus, calling Him "this Nazarene" (NASB). A common slur was that nothing good can come out of Nazareth (John 1:46). Fortunately for Stephen's accusers, most of the Sanhedrin is more interested in preserving their hold over the people than the truth.
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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