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Acts 6:6

    Acts 6:6 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands upon them.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    These they took to the Apostles, who, after prayer, put their hands on them.

    Webster's Revision

    whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands upon them.

    World English Bible

    whom they set before the apostles. When they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 6:6

    And when they had prayed - Instead of και, and, the Codex Bezae reads οἱτινες, who, referring the act of praying to the apostles, which removes a sort of ambiguity. The apostles prayed for these persons, that they might in every respect be qualified for their office, and be made successful in it. And, when they had done this, they laid their hands upon them, and by this rite appointed them to their office. So then, it plainly appears that the choice of the Church was not sufficient: nor did the Church think it sufficient; but, as they knew their own members best, the apostles directed them, Acts 6:3, to choose those persons whom they deemed best qualified, according to the criterion laid down by the apostles themselves, that they should be of honest report, and full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom. Let us examine the process of this business:

    1. There was an evident necessity that there should be more helpers in this blessed work

    2. The apostles called the disciples together, that they might consider of this necessity and provide for it, Acts 6:3.

    3. They directed the disciples to choose out from among themselves such persons as they judged the most proper for the work.

    4. They gave them the criterion by which their choice should be directed; not any man, not every man, not their nearest relative, or best beloved friend; but such as were of honest report, whose public character was known to be unblemished; and men who were full of the Holy Ghost, the influence of which would keep all right within, and direct their hearts into all truth; and men who were known to be men of prudence and economy, for not every good and pious man may be proper for such a work.

    5. Seven persons being chosen by the disciples, according to this criterion, are presented to the apostles for their approbation and confirmation.

    6. The apostles, receiving them from the hands of the Church, consecrated them to God by prayer, imploring his blessing on them and their labor.

    7. When this was done, they laid their hands upon them in the presence of the disciples, and thus appointed them to this sacred and important work; for it is evident they did not get their commission merely to serve tables, but to proclaim, in connection with and under the direction of the apostles, the word of life.

    Let no man say that any of the things here enumerated was unnecessary, and let no Church pretend or affect to do without them.

    1. No preacher or minister should be provided till there is a place for him to labor in, and necessity for his labor.

    2. Let none be imposed upon the Church of Christ who is not of that Church, well known and fully approved by that branch of it with which he was connected.

    3. Let none be sent to publish salvation from sin, and the necessity of a holy life, whose moral character cannot bear the strictest scrutiny among his neighbors and acquaintance.

    4. Let none, however moral, or well reported of, be sent to convert souls, who has not the most solid reason to believe that he is moved thereto by the Holy Ghost.

    5. Let those who have the power to appoint see that the person be a man of wisdom, i.e. sound understanding - for a witling or a blockhead, however upright, will never make a Christian minister; and that he be a man of prudence, knowing how to direct his own concerns, and those of the Church of God, with discretion.

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 6:6

    And when they had prayed - Invoking in this manner the blessing of God to attend them in the discharge of the duties of their office.

    They laid their hands ... - Among the Jews it was customary to lay hands on the head of a person who was set apart to any particular office, Numbers 27:18; Compare Acts 8:19. This was done, not to impart any power or ability, but to "designate" that they received their authority or commission from those who thus laid their hands on them, as the act of laying hands on the sick by the Saviour was an act signifying that the power of healing came from him, Matthew 9:18; compare Mark 16:18. In such cases the laying on of the hands conveyed of itself no healing power, but was a sign or token that the power came from the Lord Jesus. Ordination has been uniformly performed in this way. See 1 Timothy 5:22. Though the seven deacons had been chosen by the church to this work, yet they derived their immediate commission and authority from the apostles.
    Book: Acts