St. Stephen and the Glorification of Humanity

The story of St. Stephen, one of the first seven deacons and the first martyr for Christ told in Acts 6-7 is important for a number of reasons.¬† The formation of the diaconate gives important information regarding both the forms of church leadership at its earliest stage and the understanding of that leadership’s continuity with that of the old covenant assembly.¬† St. Stephen’s sermon given as both an apologia and as a gospel presentation reflects the way in which Second Temple traditions surrounding the Hebrew Scriptures were understood by the earliest Christians to be authoritative in understanding those Scriptures.¬† The role played in his death by Saul of Tarsus, soon to become St. Paul, reveals the depth of the transformation‚Ķ