Blasphemy, Falsely Accused
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So they [secretly] instigated and instructed men to say, We have heard this man speak, using slanderous and abusive and blasphemous language against Moses and God.
Now Stephen, full of grace (divine blessing and favor) and power (strength and ability) worked great wonders and signs (miracles) among the people. However, some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (freed Jewish slaves), as it was called, and [of the synagogues] of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of those from Cilicia and [the province of] Asia, arose [and undertook] to debate and dispute with Stephen. But they were not able to resist the intelligence and the wisdom and [the inspiration of] the Spirit with which and by Whom he spoke.read more.
So they [secretly] instigated and instructed men to say, We have heard this man speak, using slanderous and abusive and blasphemous language against Moses and God. [Thus] they incited the people as well as the elders and the scribes, and they came upon Stephen and arrested him and took him before the council (Sanhedrin). And they brought forward false witnesses who asserted, This man never stops making statements against this sacred place and the Law [of Moses]; For we have heard him say that this Jesus the Nazarene will tear down and destroy this place, and will alter the institutions and usages which Moses transmitted to us. Then all who sat in the council (Sanhedrin), as they gazed intently at Stephen, saw that his face had the appearance of the face of an angel.
Again the Jews brought up stones to stone Him. Jesus said to them, My Father has enabled Me to do many good deeds. [I have shown many acts of mercy in your presence.] For which of these do you mean to stone Me?
And in the letters she said, Proclaim a fast and set Naboth up high among the people. And set two men, base fellows, before him, and let them bear witness against him, saying, You cursed and renounced God and the king. Then carry him out and stone him to death.
Now some of the scribes were sitting there, holding a dialogue with themselves as they questioned in their hearts, Why does this Man talk like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins [ remove guilt, remit the penalty, and bestow righteousness instead] except God alone?
And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason and question and argue, saying, Who is this [Man] Who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?
Then the high priest tore his clothes and exclaimed, He has uttered blasphemy! What need have we of further evidence? You have now heard His blasphemy. What do you think now? They answered, He deserves to be put to death.
Then the high priest tore his garments and said, What need have we for more witnesses? You have heard His blasphemy. What is your decision? And they all condemned Him as being guilty and deserving of death.
The Jews replied, We are not going to stone You for a good act, but for blasphemy, because You, a mere Man, make Yourself [out to be] God. Jesus answered, Is it not written in your Law, I said, You are gods? So men are called gods [by the Law], men to whom God's message came -- "and the Scripture cannot be set aside or cancelled or broken or annulled -- "read more.
[If that is true] do you say of the One Whom the Father consecrated and dedicated and set apart for Himself and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God?
They proclaimed a fast and set Naboth on high among the people. Two base fellows came in and sat opposite him and they charged Naboth before the people, saying, Naboth cursed and renounced God and the king. Then he was carried out of the city and stoned to death.
And Jesus, getting into a boat, crossed to the other side and came to His own town [Capernaum]. And behold, they brought to Him a man paralyzed and prostrated by illness, lying on a sleeping pad; and when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven and the penalty remitted. And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, This man blasphemes [He claims the rights and prerogatives of God]!