Study Guide

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Preach, Brother Stephen

  • Then Stephen gets his chance to speak and goes on for a really long time. His topic? The Hebrew Bible.
  • The whole speech is kind of a summary of the story of the Jewish people. He goes through highlights on Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon all in one chapter. Whew! It's not easy packing all of history into one lecture.
  • The point of all of this is that the folks from the temple are just as stubborn as their ancestors were. Just like the ancient Israelites didn't always welcome God's prophets and chosen ones with open arms, these guys are doing the same thing to poor Stephen. We guess it's true. Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.
  • Stephen tells them that they're "uncircumcised in heart and ears" (oh, burn!) and that they're opposing God. They've been given God's law, but they're tossing it aside because they're too pig-headed to recognize the truth.

They Don't Call Him The First Christian Martyr For Nothing

  • Okay, so Bible stories aside, this last assessment does not make the people feel very warm and fuzzy about Stephen.
  • When Stephen looks up into the sky and says that he sees Jesus in the heavens, it's just too much for them.
  • The crowd grabs him and drags him into the city to stone him. (Which is just another way to say he was bludgeoned to death by big freakin' rocks.)
  • Between peltings, Stephen prays that God will receive his spirit and also asks God not to hold this whole stoning thing against the crowd. Wow. Talk about forgiveness.
  • Stephen finally dies from rock-related injuries. Break out the tissues.
  • All the while, there's a guy named Saul hanging around thinking all of this is a-okay. He'll become pretty important later.

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