Exegesis : The Martyrdom Of Stephen

1744 Words Dec 5th, 2014 7 Pages
Jessica Morton
December 10, 2014
Heen/ NT 1

The Martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 7:54-8:3) The death of Stephen in Acts chapters seven and eight is an interesting passage that can leave readers quite perplexed – so much takes place in such a short narrative. Stephen’s martyrdom bears an uncanny similarity to the death of Christ in Luke chapter twenty-three; it seems as if the Greek-speaking Jews that condemned Stephen are the same as those who were in favor of executing Christ. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this passage though, is the introduction of Saul, who appears in the narrative almost unexpectedly, leaving the reader wondering about his significance in the death of Stephen. Through this transitional story, Luke shows the pivotal movement from institutional persecution of Christ followers to persecution by the larger public sphere, both within and outside the city of Jerusalem. It is important when focusing on this particular pericope to also be aware of the larger focus of the book of Acts. Acts was written in order to authenticate Christ and his followers. As Desilva writes, “Luke wants to show the legitimacy of the Christian movement as it had taken shape by the end of its first generation.” Luke has the intention of showing the people that God is behind the movement of Christianity; he discusses the conflicts between the disciples and the temple leaders as a struggle over which group has been chosen by God to lead God’s people. It is shown in the…

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