This March 12, 2014, meeting of the Wednesday Bible Study Club was hosted by Mrs. Robbie Pierson at the Black Horse Restaurant. Mrs. Yvonne Vaughan led the study of the sixth chapter of Acts.
Although the sixth chapter of Acts is a short chapter, it is a chapter that contains “progress reports” of the early Church.
At this point, the Church was entirely Jewish; but there were two groups of Jews within the fellowship. These were the Grecian Jews, called “Hellenists,” who were born in lands other than Palestine and they spoke the Greek language and their attitudes and outlook were more Grecian than Hebraic.
The second group was the Hebraic Jews who spoke Aramaic and/or Hebrew and preserved the Jewish culture and customs.
Both of these groups had one thing in common: they had all become believers in Jesus as the Messiah or “Christians,” as they would later be called.
The Twelve Apostles were all Hebrews. They were a small group – a group that was overworked. There were no government food stamps nor unemployment checks nor Social Security. The Church considered it a privilege to carry this responsibility.
The Aramaic speaking “Hebrews” always considered themselves a superior class and the Hellenists were ultra-sensitive to any imagined or real discrimination. The Hellenistic Jews felt that the daily alms were not being distributed fairly and that widows of Greek-speaking Jews were being – possibly deliberately – neglected.
That has been true of any two or more groups of people since the beginning of time. But the Apostles didn’t want to ignore this danger of disunity in the Church (today we would call it a “split”). Jesus Himself had said, “This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”
Also, the Apostles did not want their attention distracted from their primary mission.