The Seven, often known as the Seven Deacons, were leaders elected by the Early Christian church to minister to the community of believers in Jerusalem, to enable the Apostles to concentrate on 'prayer and the Ministry of the Word' and to address a concern raised by Greek-speaking believers about their widows being overlooked in the daily diakonia or ministry. The words food or funds never appear in any Greek manuscript of the New Testament. The words first make their appearance in translations of the Bible from the 1940s onwards. In the context of chapter six of Acts the daily diakonia may refer to the ministry of the Word and not food or funds. It is equally plausible that "daily diakonia" deals with the material needs of these widows, given the context provided in Acts 6:2:
Jerusalem's role in first-century Christianity, during the ministry of Jesus and the Apostolic Age, as recorded in the New Testament, gives it great importance.
"And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables."
The word redered "tables"(τραπεζαις ) is used 14 times in the New Testament and in each occurrence deals with either food or money. In verse two, the twelve are specifically appointing these seven disciples for the care of the Hellenists ( ελληνιστων ) so that they, the twelve, can continue preaching the word, instead of working to both preach and provide for the material needs of the Christian community.
The section concludes by stating that the word of God continued to spread and makes no mention of widows receiving more food or funds. The ministry to be undertaken is preaching the word to Greek speakers. The works of Stephen and Philip are the only two recorded and their works concern preaching, catechising and baptising. Philip is simply referred to as "the evangelist" in chapter 18. Their appointment is described in chapter 6 of the Acts of the Apostles ( Acts 6:1-6 ). According to a later tradition they are supposed to have also been among the Seventy Disciples who appear in the Gospel of Luke ( Luke 10:1, 10:17 ). Although the Seven are not called 'deacons' in the New Testament, their role is described as 'diaconal' (διακονειν τραπεζαις in Greek), and they are therefore often regarded as the forerunners of the Christian order of deacons.
The Acts of the Apostles, often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian church and the spread of its message to the Roman Empire.
The Gospel According to Luke, also called the Gospel of Luke, or simply Luke, is the third of the four canonical Gospels. It tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.
A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state.
The Seven Deacons were:
Stephen, traditionally venerated as the protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity, was according to the Acts of the Apostles a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy at his trial, he made a long speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who would later become a follower of Jesus and known as Paul the Apostle.
Prochorus was one of the Seven Deacons chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem. According to later tradition he was also one of the Seventy Disciples sent out by Jesus in Luke 10.
Nicanor was one of the Seven Deacons. He was martyred in 76.
According to the narrative in Acts, they were identified and selected by the community of believers on the basis of their reputation and wisdom, being 'full of the Holy Spirit', and their appointment was confirmed by the Apostles.
Holy Spirit is understood differently among the Abrahamic religions. The term is also used to describe aspects of other religions and belief structures.
Only Stephen and Philip are discussed in much detail in Acts; tradition provides nothing further about Nicanor or Parmenas. Stephen became the first martyr of the church when he was killed by a mob, and whose death was agreed to by Saul of Tarsus, the future Apostle Paul (Acts 8:1). Philip evangelized in Samaria, where he converted Simon Magus and an Ethiopian eunuch, traditionally beginning the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a religious belief or cause as demanded by an external party. In the martyrdom narrative of the remembering community, this refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of an actor by an alleged oppressor. Accordingly, the status of the 'martyr' can be considered a posthumous title as a reward for those who are considered worthy of the concept of martyrdom by the living, regardless of any attempts by the deceased to control how they will be remembered in advance. Originally applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs, the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political cause.
Samaria is a historical and biblical name used for the central region of the ancient Land of Israel, also part of Palestine, bordered by Galilee to the north and Judaea to the south. For the beginning of the Common Era, Josephus set the Mediterranean Sea as its limit to the west, and the Jordan River as its limit to the east. Its territory largely corresponds to the biblical allotments of the tribe of Ephraim and the western half of Manasseh; after the death of Solomon and the splitting-up of his empire into the southern Kingdom of Judah and the northern Kingdom of Israel, this territory constituted the southern part of the Kingdom of Israel. The border between Samaria and Judea is set at the latitude of Ramallah.
Simonthe Knowledgeable or Simon the Sorcerer, or Simon the Magician, is a religious figure whose confrontation with Peter is recorded in Acts 8:9–24. The act of simony, or paying for position and influence in the church, is named after Simon. Simon believed, among other things that human beings can perform what is normally attributable to miracles in Christianity, such as flying.
Tradition calls Prochorus the nephew of Stephen and a companion of John the Evangelist, who consecrated him bishop of Nicomedia in Bithynia (modern-day Turkey). He was traditionally ascribed the authorship of the apocryphal Acts of John, and was said to have ended his life as a martyr in Antioch in the 1st century. [ citation needed ]According to Caesar Baronius' Annales Ecclesiastici , now considered historically inaccurate, Nicanor was a Cypriot Jew who returned to his native island and died a martyr in 76. Other accounts say he was martyred in "Berj," an unidentified place possibly confused with Botrys. Timon was said to have been a Hellenized Jew who became a bishop in Greece or in Bosra, Syria; in the latter account, his preaching brought the ire of the local governor, who martyred him with fire. After preaching for years in Asia Minor, where Hippolytus of Rome claimed he was bishop of Soli (Pompeiopolis; though he may have been referring to Soli, Cyprus), Parmenas was said to have settled down in Macedonia, where he died at Philippi in 98 during Trajan's persecutions.
John the Evangelist is the name traditionally given to the author of the Gospel of John. Christians have traditionally identified him with John the Apostle, John of Patmos, or John the Presbyter, although this has been disputed by modern scholars.
Nicomedia was an ancient Greek city in what is now Turkey. In 286 Nicomedia became the eastern and most senior capital city of the Roman Empire, a status which the city maintained during the Tetrarchy system (293–324).
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine Sea. It bordered Mysia to the southwest, Paphlagonia to the northeast along the Pontic coast, and Phrygia to the southeast towards the interior of Asia Minor.
Nicholas, who came from Antioch, was described in Acts as a convert to Judaism.He was not remembered fondly by some early writers. According to Irenaeus' Adversus Haereses , the Nicolaitanes, a heretical sect condemned as early as the Book of Revelation, took their name from the deacon. In Philosophumena , Hippolytus writes he inspired the sect through his indifference to life and the pleasures of the flesh; his followers took this as a licence to give in to lust. The Catholic Encyclopedia records a story that after the Apostles reproached Nicholas for mistreating his beautiful wife on account of his jealousy, he left her and consented to anyone else marrying her, saying the flesh should be maltreated. In the Stromata , Clement of Alexandria says the sect corrupted Nicholas' words, originally designed to check the pleasures of the body, to justify licentiousness. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that the historicity of the story is debatable, though the Nicolaitanes themselves may have considered Nicholas their founder.
Barnabas, born Joseph, was according to tradition an early Christian, one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem. According to Acts 4:36, Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers. They traveled together making more converts, and participated in the Council of Jerusalem. Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" Gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of Anatolia.
Polycarp was a 2nd-century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body. Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. His name 'Polycarp' means 'much fruit' in Greek.
John the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. Generally listed as the youngest apostle, he was the son of Zebedee and Salome or Joanna. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. The Church Fathers identify him as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, and testify that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one to die of natural causes. The traditions of most Christian denominations have held that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament, although this has been disputed by scholars.
Nicolaism was an early Christian sect mentioned twice in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament. The adherents were called Nicolaitans, Nicolaitanes, or Nicolaites. They were considered heretical by the mainstream Church. According to Revelation 2:6 and 15, they were known in the cities of Ephesus and Pergamum. In this chapter, the church at Ephesus is commended for "[hating] the works of the Nicolaites, which I also hate"; and the church in Pergamos is rebuked: "So thou hast also some [worshiping in their midst] who hold the teaching of the Nicolaites".
Philip the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to New Testament. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia.
Cerinthus was an early gnostic Christian, who was prominent as a heresiarch in the view of the early Church Fathers. Contrary to the Church Fathers, he used the Gospel of Cerinthus, and denied that the Supreme God made the physical world. In Cerinthus' interpretation, the Christ descended upon Jesus at baptism and guided him in ministry and the performing of miracles, but left him at the crucifixion. Similarly to the Ebionites, he maintained that Jesus was not born of a virgin, but was a mere man, the biological son of Mary and Joseph.
Saint Philip the Evangelist appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles. He was one of the Seven chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem. He preached and reportedly performed miracles in Samaria, and met and baptised an Ethiopian man, a eunuch, on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, traditionally marking the start of the Ethiopian Church. Later, Philip lived in Caesarea Maritima with his four daughters who foretold, where he was visited by Paul the Apostle.
The seventy disciples or seventy-two disciples were early emissaries of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. According to Luke, the only gospel in which they appear, Jesus appointed them and sent them out in pairs on a specific mission which is detailed in the text.
Ananias was a disciple of Jesus at Damascus mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, which describes how he was sent by Jesus to restore the sight of "Saul, of Tarsus" and provide him with additional instruction in the way of the Lord.
January 3 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - January 5
The calendar of saints and commemorations in the Church of the Province of Melanesia is a continually developing list. Both old and new, universal and local saints and worthies are celebrated.
James, son of Alphaeus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, appearing under this name in all three of the Synoptic Gospels' lists of the apostles. He is often identified with James the Less and commonly known by that name in church tradition. He is also labelled "the minor", "the little", "the lesser", or "the younger", according to translation. He is distinct from James, son of Zebedee and in some interpretations also from James, brother of Jesus. He appears only four times in the New Testament, each time in a list of the twelve apostles.
The calendar of the Anglican Church of Australia follows Anglican tradition with the addition of significant people and events in the church in Australia.
Aristobulus of Britannia is a Christian saint named by Hippolytus of Rome (170-235) and Dorotheus of Gaza (505-565) as one of the Seventy Disciples mentioned in Luke 10:1–24 and as the first bishop in Roman Britain.
December 27 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - December 29
Acts 6 is the sixth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the ordination of the first seven deacons and the work of one of them, Stephen. The book containing this chapter is anonymous but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.
The early relationship between Samaritans and Christianity is murky.
The Daughters of Philip were 4 women briefly mentioned in the Bible.