Acts 7:59


King James Version (KJV)

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

American King James Version (AKJV)

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

American Standard Version (ASV)

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

Basic English Translation (BBE)

And Stephen, while he was being stoned, made prayer to God, saying, Lord Jesus, take my spirit.

Webster's Revision

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

World English Bible

They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"

English Revised Version (ERV)

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

Clarke's Acts 7:59 Bible Commentary

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God - The word God is not found in any MS. or version, nor in any of the primitive fathers except Chrysostom. It is not genuine, and should not be inserted here: the whole sentence literally reads thus: And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! Here is a most manifest proof that prayer is offered to Jesus Christ; and that in the most solemn circumstances in which it could be offered, viz., when a man was breathing his last. This is, properly speaking, one of the highest acts of worship which can be offered to God; and, if Stephen had not conceived Jesus Christ to be God, could he have committed his soul into his hands?

We may farther observe that this place affords a full proof of the immateriality of the soul; for he could not have commended his spirit to Christ, had he believed that he had no spirit, or, in other words, that his body and soul were one and the same thing. Allowing this most eminent saint to have had a correct notion of theology, and that, being full of the Holy Ghost, as he was at this time, he could make no mistake in matters of such vast weight and importance, then these two points are satisfactorily stated in this verse:

1. That Jesus Christ is God; for Stephen died praying to him.

2. That the soul is immaterial; for Stephen, in dying, commends his departing spirit into the hand of Christ.

Barnes's Acts 7:59 Bible Commentary

Calling upon God - The word God is not in the original, and should not have been in the translation. It is in none of the ancient mss. or versions. It should have been rendered, "They stoned Stephen, invoking, or calling upon, and saying, Lord Jesus," etc. That is, he was engaged "in prayer" to the Lord Jesus. The word is used to express "prayer" in the following, among other places: 2 Corinthians 1:23, "I call God to witness"; 1 Peter 1:17, "And if ye call on the Father," etc.; Acts 2:21, "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord," etc.; Acts 9:14; Acts 22:16; Romans 10:12-14. This was, therefore, an act of worship; a solemn invocation of the Lord Jesus, in the most interesting circumstances in which a man can be placed - in his dying moments. And this shows that it is right to worship the Lord Jesus, and to pray to him. For if Stephen was inspired, it settles the question. The example of an inspired man in such circumstances is a safe and correct example. If it should be said that the inspiration of Stephen cannot be made out, yet the inspiration of Luke, who has recorded it, will not be called into question. Then the following circumstances show that he, an inspired man, regarded it as right, and as a proper example to be followed:

(1) He has recorded it without the slightest expression of an opinion that it was improper. On the contrary, there is every evidence that he regarded the conduct of Stephen in this case as right and praiseworthy. There is, therefore, this attestation to its propriety.

(2) the Spirit who inspired Luke knew what use would be made of this case. He knew that it would be used as an example, and as an evidence that it was right to worship the Lord Jesus. It is one of the cases which has been used to perpetuate the worship of the Lord Jesus in every age. If it was wrong, it is inconceivable that it should be recorded without some expression of disapprobation.

(3) the case is strikingly similar to that recorded in John 20:28, where Thomas offered worship to the Lord Jesus "as his God," without reproof. If Thomas did it in the presence of the Saviour without reproof, it was right. If Stephen did it without any expression of disapprobation from the inspired historian, it was right.

(4) these examples were used to encourage Christians and Christian martyrs to offer homage to Jesus Christ. Thus, Pliny, writing to the Emperor Trajan, and giving an account of the Christians in Bithynia, says that they were accustomed to meet and "sing hymns to Christ as to God" (Latriner).

(5) it is worthy of remark that Stephen, in his death, offered the same act of homage to Christ that Christ himself did to the Father when he died, Luke 23:46. From all these considerations, it follows that the Lord Jesus is a proper object of worship; that in most solemn circumstances it is right to call upon him, to worship him, and to commit our dearest interests to his hands. If this may be done, he is divine.

Receive my spirit - That is, receive it to thyself; take it to thine abode in heaven.

Wesley's Acts 7:59 Bible Commentary

7:59 And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit - This is the literal translation of the words, the name of God not being in the original. Nevertheless such a solemn prayer to Christ, in which a departing soul is thus committed into his hands, is such an act of worship, as no good man could have paid to a mere creature; Stephen here worshipping Christ in the very same manner in which Christ worshipped the Father on the cross.

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