Christian Apologetics Society

Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."
- Matthew 22:29

Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it
Gen 1:3
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light
Matthew 26:26
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body."
Malachi 1:11
My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
John 20:23
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Luke 20:38
For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.
Rev 21:27
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
1 Cor 3:15
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
1 Timothy 3:15
but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Acts 22:16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

1611 KJV Liturgical Calendar - Feast of Stephen

According to the online 1611 King James Bible, today is the feast of Stephen. You may have heard the feast of Stephen mentioned in the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas.

"Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen"

Thus, Good King Wenceslas (Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia, 907-935 AD) looked out on December 26th. But who was Stephen and why do present day Christians remember Stephen and continue to name our children after him?

Stephen was the first Christian martyr.

In Acts 6 we read that there was a "murmuring" among Greek Christians against Hebrew Christians concerning the care of widows. The Apostles chose Stephen and several others to attend to the problem.

    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: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
    Acts 6:5-8

Acts 6 goes to state that a dispute arose in one of the synagogues and charges were brought against Stephen:

    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.

    And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

    Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

    And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,

    And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:

    For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

    And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
    Acts 6:9-15

Acts 7 begins with the elders asking Stephen if the charges are true. Stephen then launches into his famous soliloquy. Stephen's soliloquy is unique due to Stephen experiencing a theophany, or vision of a deity. Just before he is to be martyred, Stephen is granted a vision of Christ:

    And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
    Acts 7:56

Acts 7 ends with the stoning of Stephen:

    Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

    And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

    And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

    And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
    Acts 7:57-60

By the way, the Saul mentioned in verse 58 above,is the future missionary and epistilist Paul. Acts 8 informs us that Saul, who had not yet had his road to Damascus event, consented to the stoning of Stephen and then made such as havoc as to "scatter" the Christians abroad.

    And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

    And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

    As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

    Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
    Acts 8:1-4

For those inspired by the story of Stephen and wishing to name a son after him, you may like to know that "Stephen" has Greek roots and means "crown." Also Eastern Christians (Greek Orthodox, Chaldean Catholics, etc.) commemorate Stephen on December 27th.

Related Posts:
1611 KJV Liturgical Calendar - Feast of Stephen
12 Days of Christmas Myth
Baptists Don't Celebrate Christmas

Source: Acts 7 (King James Version)

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