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    Saint Stephen in Wikipedia Saint Stephen (Koine Greek: Στέφανος, Stephanos), known as the protomartyr of Christianity, is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Stephen means "wreath" or "crown" in Greek...

    Stephen in Easton's Bible Dictionary one of the seven deacons, who became a preacher of the gospel. He was the first Christian martyr. His personal character and history are recorded in Acts 6. "He fell asleep" with a prayer for his persecutors on his lips (7:60). Devout men carried him to his grave (8:2). It was at the feet of the young Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, that those who stoned him laid their clothes (comp. Deut. 17:5-7) before they began their cruel work. The scene which Saul then witnessed and the words he heard appear to have made a deep and lasting impression on his mind (Acts 22:19, 20). The speech of Stephen before the Jewish ruler is the first apology for the universalism of the gospel as a message to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. It is the longest speech contained in the Acts, a place of prominence being given to it as a defence.

    Stephen in Fausset's Bible Dictionary The first of the seven appointed to minister as a deacon in distributing alms, so that the Grecian widows should not be neglected while the Hebrew widows were served (Acts 6; 7). (See DEACON.) His Grecian name (meaning "crown"; by a significant coincidence he was the first who received the crown of martyrdom) and his anti-Judaistic speech indicate that he was a Hellenist or Greek speaking foreign Jew as contrasted with a home born Hebrew speaking Jew. frontGRECIAN.) "He did great miracles and wonders among the people," in confirmation of the gospel. He was, like the rest of the seven, "of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom"; also "full of faith and power," so that the disputants of the synagogue of the Libertines, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, Cilicians, all like himself Grecian Jews, "were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke." So they charged him before the Sanhedrin by suborned witnesses with speaking against Moses and God, the temple and the law, and asserting that, Jesus of Nazareth should destroy the temple and change the customs that Moses had delivered...

    Stephen in Hitchcock's Bible Names same as Stephanas

    Stephen in Naves Topical Bible -(A Christian martyr) -Appointed one of the committee of seven to oversee the daily ministration Ac 6:3,5,6 -Faith and power of Ac 6:5,8-10 -False charges against Ac 6:11-15 -Defense of Ac 7 -Stoned Ac 7:54-60; 8:1; 22:20 -Burial of Ac 8:2 -Gentle and forgiving spirit of Ac 7:59,60

    Stephen in Smiths Bible Dictionary the first Christian martyr, was the chief of the seven (commonly called Deacons) appointed to rectify the complaints in the early Church of Jerusalem, made by the Hellenistic against the hebrew Christians. His Greek name indicates his own Hellenistic origin. His importance is stamped on the narrative by a reiteration of emphatic, almost superlative, phrases: "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost," Ac 6:5 "full of grace and power," ibid. Ac 6:8 irresistible "spirit and wisdom," ibid Ac 6:10 "full of the Holy Ghost." Ac 7:55 He shot far ahead of his six companions, and far above his particular office. First, he arrests attention by the "great wonders and miracles that he did." Then begins a series of disputations with the Hellenistic Jews of north Africa, Alexandria and Asia Minor, his companions in race and birthplace. The subject of these disputations is not expressly mentioned; but from what follows it is obvious that he struck into a new vein of teaching, which evidently caused his martyrdom. Down to this time the apostles and the early Christian community had clung in their worship, not merely to the holy land and the holy city but to the holy place of the temple. This local worship, with the Jewish customs belonging to it, Stephen denounced. So we must infer from the accusations brought against him confirmed as they are by the tenor of his defence. He was arrested at the instigation of the Hellenistic Jews, and brought before the Sanhedrin. His speech in his defence, and his execution by stoning outside the gates of Jerusalem, are related at length in Acts 7. The frame work in which his defence is cast is a summary of the history of the Jewish Church. In the facts which he selects from his history he is guided by two principles. The first is the endeavor to prove that, even in the previous Jewish history, the presence and favor of God had not been confined to the holy land or the temple of Jerusalem. The second principle of selection is based on the at tempt to show that there was a tendency from the earliest times toward the same ungrateful and narrow spirit that had appeared in this last stage of their political existence. It would seem that, just at the close of his argument, Stephen saw a change in the aspect of his judges, as if for the first time they had caught the drift of his meaning. He broke off from his calm address, and tumult suddenly upon them in an impassioned attack, which shows that he saw what was in store for him. As he spoke they showed by their faces that their hearts "were being sawn asunder," and they kept gnashing their set teeth against him; but still, though with difficultly, restraining themselves. He, in this last crisis of his fate, turned his face upward to the; open sky, and as he gazed the vault of heaven seemed to him to part asunder; and the divine Glory appeared through the rending of the earthly veil --the divine Presence, seated on a throne, and on the right hand the human form of Jesus. Stephen spoke as if to himself, describing the glorious vision; and in so doing, alone of all the speakers and writers in the New Testament except, only Christ himself, uses the expressive phrase "the Son of man." As his judges heard the words, they would listen no longer. They broke into, a loud yell; they clapped their hands to their ears; they flew as with one impulse upon him, and dragged him out of the city to the place of execution. Those who took the lead in the execution were the persons wile had taken upon themselves the responsibility of denouncing him. De 17:7 comp. John 8:7...

    Stephen in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE ste'-vn (Stephanos, "crown" (Acts 6:5 through 8:12)): 1. His Personal Antecedents 2. His Character and Activity 3. His Teaching 4. His Arraignment before the Sanhedrin 5. His Defence before the Sanhedrin (1) Personal Defence (2) Defense of His Teaching 6. Martyrdom of Stephen LITERATURE Known best as the proto-martyr of the Christian church, introducing the heroic period of persecutions. He deserves as well to be called the first great apologist for Christianity, since it was this that brought on his death as a martyr (circa 36 or 37 AD). 1. His Personal Antecedents: As his name and his relations in the church at Jerusalem seem to imply (Acts 6:3 ff), he was a Hellenist, i.e. a Greek-speaking Jew. Thus he belonged to that class of Jews usually residing outside of Israel who, though distinguished from the orthodox Palestinian Jew by a broader outlook on life due to a more liberal education, were Jews none the less, the original Jewish element predominating in their character, and who might be true Israelites indeed, as Stephen was. Of his conversion to Christianity we know nothing, though there is a tradition that he was among the Seventy. As Stephen by his life and work marks a period of transition in the development of the early Christian church, so his name is connected with an important new departure within the organization of the church itself, namely, the institution of the office of the Seven (Acts 6:1 ff), who were entrusted with the administration of the work of relief in the church at Jerusalem--the foundation of the diaconate (Iren., Haer., i.26; Cyprian, Epist., iii.3). Of the seven men, all Hellenists, elected to this office at the occasion of a grievance of the Hellenistic Christians in the Jerusalem church against the Hebrew Christians, to the effect that in the distribution of alms their widows were being discriminated against, Stephen, who heads the list, is by far the most distinguished...

    Stephen Scripture - Acts 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

    Stephen Scripture - Acts 6:5 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:

    Stephen Scripture - Acts 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called [the synagogue] of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.