What does Acts 6:5 mean?
ESV: And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.
NIV: This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
NASB: The announcement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.
CSB: This proposal pleased the whole company. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a convert from Antioch.
NLT: Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith).
KJV: And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
NKJV: And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,
Verse Commentary:
Faced with the task of discipling a church of thousands and evangelizing a city of tens of thousands, the apostles delegate the financial and practical side of ministry (Acts 6:1–2). The Jesus-followers have nominated seven men for the new office of deacon (Acts 6:3–4). The initial issue is that the Greek-speaking widows are not receiving daily meals. It makes sense that, judging by their names, six of the new deacons are Hellenist Jews, while the seventh is a Gentile proselyte. Two of the deacons have a significant role in the book of Acts.

The most famous of the deacons, Stephen, is the first recorded person to lose his life in service to Jesus (Acts 7). His death signals an open season of persecution on Jesus-followers. The Sanhedrin quickly commissions a Pharisee named Saul to track down believers and bring them to Jerusalem for trial (Acts 8:1–3; 9:1–2). The Jesus-followers flee Jerusalem, but they bring Jesus' message with them, spreading the gospel to Jews in Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Syrian Antioch.

Philip is neither the disciple Philip nor Herod Antipas' brother (Matthew 10:3; 14:3). He is the most-often mentioned of the deacons. After Saul persecutes and scatters the church (Acts 8:1–3), Philip becomes the first recorded to preach in Samaria (Acts 8:4–6, 12), and he participates in converting an Ethiopian official in Judea (Acts 8:26–40). He moves up the coastline to Caesarea Maritima where he and his four prophetess daughters meet Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles is on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 21:8–9).

The Bible doesn't give any more information on the others. Tradition says Prochorus becomes the apostle John's attendant. As a proselyte, Nicolaus is a Gentile who has fully converted to Judaism, including undergoing circumcision.

The Holy Spirit is slowly expanding what the Jewish Jesus-followers understand about the kingdom of God. Here, the apostles give Hellenist Jews leadership positions. Soon, Samaritans will come to follow Jesus (Acts 8:4–8). Philip will witness the conversion of a God-fearing Ethiopian (Acts 8:26–40). The church's most dangerous enemy will come to Christ (Acts 9:1–19). And then Peter will realize that Gentiles are welcome in God's kingdom (Acts 10). When God wants big changes in us, sometimes He lets them come in small steps.
Verse Context:
Acts 6:1–7 sees the early church in Jerusalem solve a problem caused by their rapid growth. The church is comprised of Jews from traditionally Jewish lands as well as nations to the east and Roman territories around the Mediterranean. As more people follow Jesus, those who are able donate to the apostles to care for those in need. Greek-speaking widows are less familiar to the local believers, and so they are not getting the same amount of support as those who speak Aramaic. Instead of taking on one more responsibility, the apostles commission seven men to manage the donations. One of these men is Stephen.
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.
Accessed 5/30/2024 6:26:45 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com