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Acts 6

Complaints and Threats

The Word of God

It is not proper for us to neglect the word of God (Acts 6:2).

The “word of God” referred to here is what we know as the Old Testament. The apostles were committed to studying and teaching the Scriptures because they revealed God’s will and prophesied of Jesus. This Yemenite Torah scroll contains the five books of Moses, and it was photographed at The Master’s Seminary in California.

Nicolaus of Antioch

And they chose . . . Nicolaus, a proselyte from Antioch (Acts 6:5).

The city of Antioch (also known as Antioch on the Orontes) played a large role in the early spread of the Gospel of Christ. After many of its residents embraced Jesus as the Messiah, the church here became a significant launching point for missionaries traveling to spread the Gospel.

The Synagogue of the Freedmen

But there rose up certain men of the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called) (Acts 6:9).

On the basis of an uncovered inscription, scholars believe that the synagogue of the Freedmen was located in the City of David south of the Temple Mount—particularly near the spot occupied by the red-roofed structure near the lower edge of the photograph.  

Ephesus

. . . and of those from Cilicia and Asia (Acts 6:9).

In the New Testament period, the largest and most important city of Asia was Ephesus. This city would later be a significant center in the ministries of Paul, Timothy, and John. Today, it is also one of Turkey’s most impressive archaeological sites.

Jesus the Nazarene

We have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place (Acts 6:14).

Jesus’s enemies did not refer to Him as the Christ (Messiah), but by the place where he came from. Given Nazareth’s apparent low status (cf. John 1:46), this could have been a pejorative expression. This American Colony photograph was taken in 1932.

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