Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business…
And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch (Acts 6:3,5).
I’m almost done with the book of Acts. But when I read this chapter several weeks ago, and came across this passage, a few things stood out to me. The phrase, “choose seven men of good reputation“. The original word in Greek for good reputation is martureó, meaning to give a good testimony. In a practical sense, it means people whose lives are a testimony of a holy lifestyle. In the context of this passage in Acts, it probably also means the men they were choosing had been eye-witnesses or ear-witnesses to the life of Christ.
Also, whenever I read a list of names in the Bible, I’m always curious to know the meaning of the names. So I’m going to explore the names of these seven men and see what they each stand for. Knowing the meaning of the names will help form a type of mental profile of these seven men in the Biblical and historical text.
Some of the more popular names like Philip or Stephen, I already kind of knew, but it really enhances the text to know more about all the names or the background of what you are reading!
~ The Seven Men of Good Reputation ~
Philip– “lover of horses”
Prochorus – “leader of the chorus”
Nicanor – “conqueror”
Timon – “honorable”
Parmenas – “abiding”
Nicolas – “victor of the people”
Now isn’t that so interesting! These were the names of the deacons in the first church. Who would’ve thought that Nicanor means “conqueror” for example, or Timon “honorable”? And there are so many names in the Bible that have intriguing meanings!
What are you favorite Biblical names?