katapi New Study Bible - New English Bible - New Testament

katapi HOME | references | Search---> the New English Bible New Testament | The beginnings of the church (Ch.1) | The church moves outwards (Ch.6) | The church breaks barriers (Ch.13) | Paul leads the advance (Ch.15) | From Jerusalem to Rome (Ch.21) | → parallel NEB || Greek ← |

. Chapter 7.

Stephen's Speech (Jerusalem)

1 Then the High Priest asked, 'Is this so?' 2 And he said, 'My brothers, fathers of this nation, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to Abraham our ancestor while he was in Mesopotamia, before he had settled in Harran, 3 [ Gn.12.1, Gn.48.4. ] and said: "Leave your country and your kinsfolk and come away to a land that I will show you." 4 Thereupon he left the land of the Chaldaeans and settled in Harran. From there, after his father's death, God led him to migrate to this land where you now live. 5 [ Dt.2.5. ] He gave him nothing in it to call his own, not one yard; but promised to give it in possession to him and his descendants after him, though he was then childless. 6 [ Gn.15.13-14, Ex.3.12, Ex.12.40. ] God spoke in these terms: "Abraham's descendants shall live as aliens in a foreign land, held in slavery and oppression for four hundred years. 7 And I will pass judgement", said God, "on the nation whose slaves they are; and after that they shall come out free, and worship me in this place." 8 He then gave him the covenant of circumcision, and so, after Isaac was born, he circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob the twelve patriarchs.

9 'The patriarchs out of jealousy sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt, 10 [ Gn.41.37-39, Gn.41.40, Ps.105.21. ] but God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. He also gave him a presence and powers of mind which so commended him to Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he appointed him chief administrator for Egypt and the whole of the royal household.

11 [ Gn.41.54, Gn.42.5. ] 'But famine struck the whole of Egypt and Canaan, and caused great hardship; and our ancestors could find nothing to eat. 12 But Jacob heard that there was food in Egypt and sent our fathers there. This was their first visit. 13 On the second visit Joseph was recognized by his brothers, and his family connexions were disclosed to Pharaoh. 14 So Joseph sent an invitation to his father Jacob and all his relatives, seventy-five persons altogether; 15 and Jacob went down into Egypt. There he ended his days, as also our forefathers did. 16 Their remains were later removed to Shechem and buried in the tomb which Abraham had bought and paid for from the clan of Emmor at Shechem.

17 'Now as the time approached for God to fulfil the promise he had made to Abraham, our nation in Egypt grew and increased in numbers. 18 At length another king, who knew nothing of Joseph, ascended the throne of Egypt. 19 He made a crafty attack on our race, and cruelly forced our ancestors to expose their children so that they should not survive. 20 At this time Moses was born. He was a fine child, and pleasing to God. For three months he was nursed in his father's house, and when he was exposed, 21 Pharaoh's daughter herself adopted him and brought him up as her own son. 22 So Moses was trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, a powerful speaker and a man of action.

23 'He was approaching the age of forty, when it occurred to him to look into the conditions of his fellow-countrymen the Israelites. 24 He saw one of them being ill-treated, so he went to his aid, and avenged the victim by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He thought his fellow-countrymen would understand that God was offering them deliverance through him, but they did not understand. 26 The next day he came upon two of them fighting, and tried to bring them to make up their quarrel. "My men," he said, "you are brothers; why are you ill-treating one another?" 27 [ Lk.12.14. ] But the man who was at fault pushed him away. "Who set you up as a ruler and judge over us?" he said. 28 "Are you going to kill me like the Egyptian you killed yesterday?" 29 At this Moses fled the country and settled in Midianite territory. There two sons were born to him.

30 [ Ex.3.2, Dt.33.16. ] 'After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the flame of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. 31 Moses was amazed at the sight. But as he approached to look closely, the voice of the Lord was heard: 32 [ Ex.3.6. ] "I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Moses was terrified and dared not look. 33 [ Ex.3.5. ] Then the Lord said to him, "Take off your shoes; the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 [ Ex.3.7-10, Ex.2.24. ] I have indeed seen how my people are oppressed in Egypt and have heard their groans; and I have come down to rescue them. Up, then; let me send you to Egypt."

35 [ Ex.2.14. ] 'This Moses, whom they had rejected with the words, "Who made you ruler and judge?"—this very man was commissioned as ruler and liberator by God himself, speaking through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 It was Moses who led them out, working miracles and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and for forty years in the desert. 37 [ Dt.18.15. ] It was he again who said to the Israelites, "God will raise up a prophet for you from among yourselves as he raised me." [Or: like me.] 38 He it was who, when they were assembled there in the desert, conversed with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our forefathers; he received the living utterances of God, to pass on to us.

39 'But our forefathers would not accept his leadership. They thrust him aside. They wished themselves back in Egypt, 40 [ Ex.32.1, Ex.32.23. ] and said to Aaron, "Make us gods to go before us. As for that Moses, who brought us out of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." 41 That was when they made the bull-calf, and offered sacrifice to the idol, and held a feast in honour of the thing their hands had made. 42 [ Am.5.25-27. ] But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the hosts of heaven, as it stands written in the book of the prophets: "Did you bring me victims and offerings those forty years in the desert, you house of Israel? 43 [ Ex.27.21, Ex.25.40. ] No, you carried aloft the shrine of Moloch, and the star of the god Rephan, the images which you had made for your adoration. I will banish you beyond Babylon."

44 'Our forefathers had the Tent of the Testimony in the desert, as God commanded when he told Moses to make it after the pattern which he had seen. 45 Our fathers of the next generation, with Joshua, brought it with them when they dispossessed the nations whom God drove out before them, and there it was until the time of David. 46 David found favour with God and asked to be allowed to provide a dwelling-place for the God of Jacob; [Some witnesses read: for the house of Jacob.] 47 but it was Solomon who built him a house. 48 However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men: 49 [ Is.66.1-2. ] as the prophet says, "Heaven is my throne and earth my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord; where is my resting-place? 50 Are not all these things of my own making?"

51 'How stubborn you are, heathen still at heart and deaf to the truth! You always fight against the Holy Spirit. Like fathers, like sons. 52 Was there ever a prophet whom your fathers did not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One; and now you have betrayed him and murdered him, 53 you who received the Law as God's angels gave it to you, and yet have not kept it.'

The Stoning of Stephen (Jerusalem)

54 This touched them on the raw and they ground their teeth with fury. 55 But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, and gazing intently up to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand. 56 'Look,' he said, 'there is a rift in the sky; I can see the Son of Man standing at God's right hand!' 57 At this they gave a great shout and stopped their ears. Then they made one rush at him and, 58 flinging him out of the city, set about stoning him. The witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 So they stoned Stephen, and as they did so, he called out, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried aloud, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them', and with that he died.

<< | Acts: 7 | >>

NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.