Acts 7



This chapter is significant for Stephen's bold defense of the Christian faith and his martyrdom. It marks a turning point in the narrative, showing the escalating opposition faced by the early followers of Jesus and the spread of Christianity beyond the confines of Jerusalem.


  1. Stephen's Defense before the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:1-53): Stephen, one of the seven appointed to oversee the distribution of food, is brought before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, on charges of speaking against the temple and the law. In his defense, Stephen delivers a lengthy speech, recounting the history of Israel from Abraham to Solomon. He emphasizes God's faithfulness and how the people of Israel often resisted and rejected God's messengers. Stephen accuses the council of betraying and murdering the Righteous One (Jesus). The council becomes enraged.
  2. Stephen's Martyrdom (Acts 7:54-60): As Stephen concludes his defense, he sees a vision of the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. The enraged crowd covers their ears and drags Stephen out of the city to stone him. As he is being stoned, Stephen prays for forgiveness for his persecutors, echoing Jesus' words on the cross. He then peacefully dies, becoming the first Christian martyr.