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Bible Commentaries

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Acts 7

Verses 1-60

The charge against Stephen was that he had spoken against the Temple and the Law. His reply consisted of a masterly review of the history of the nation from the calling of Abraham to the rejection of Jesus. He was careful not to speak disrespectfully of the Temple, notwithstanding that he reminded them that the history of the nation was of a God-governed people long before the Temple was erected. Thus reviewing the past, he declared the blindness and hardness of heart of the people, who in the old days, had turned to false gods.

Nothing can be clearer from a study of this defense than the new spiritual concept which had taken possession of these early Christians. The Temple and all its ceremonial were shown to be but incidental, and a passing method in the divine movement.

Such argument and directness could produce but one result. The people's rage was stirred against him. The picture of the martyrdom of Stephen is full of exquisite beauty. A vision of his Lord was granted to him in the hour of his suffering and death. He saw His Lord, not sitting, but standing, thus fulfilling one aspect of His great priesthood. This vision of Christ seems to have shut out the brutality of the mob from the eyes of Stephen, and he saw the mob only in its folly and sin. Committing himself to his Saviour, Stephen prayed that the sin of his murder might not be laid to the charge of his enemies.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Acts 7". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.