Acts 6:1-2 Soup kitchen or distribution of cash?

Not open for further replies.


Puritan Board Senior
In the NASV the suggestion is made that there is a distribution of food made on a daily basis. The use of the term "waiting tables" also has the idea of a counter - a brokers office for distributing money.

In either event it is a daily distribution of/for food. Does this alter how we percieve the line "Give us this day our daily bread?

How had the Apostles failed in distributing the money for the poor? Was it that there was a distribution by the different congregations Hebrew and Hellenistic? If so did the "retiral" of widows from the Diaspora to Jerusalem (Marshall's commentary p 126) would lead to a disproportionate burden on the Hellenistic congregation. Were they in effect asking for a more generous allocation?

Did the Apostles see to the needs of any widows or was it just those within their fellowships? Given the "rules" we have in the 1 Timothy 5 it is more probable that it was the latter.

If there was a disproportionate burden was it a complaint or a request? - is it always easy to tell the difference! :um:
Last edited:

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
It was fairly common in the first century for Hellenistic (Diaspora) Jewish widows to move to Jerusalem in old age. In the church, however, it appears that the Hebraic widows were getting preferential treatment by the church (I am not sure about the exact nature of the care provided). A complaint arose, and the Apostles instructed the congregation to select 7 deacons (apparently, this was a synagogue practice as well) to solve the problem (which, while important, should have been easily handled sooner -- if the church cannot take care of its neediest members, who can it take care of?). Interestingly, all 7 have Hellenistic names, which may tell you something about the nature of the problem.


Puritan Board Doctor
This is the main function of the deacons and the deacons' court: welfare.

I sometimes wonder if I Timothy 3:11 doesn't refer to the wives of deacons, or to ordained deaconnesses, but to women who helped the male deacons, in cooking food and making and mending clothes (e.g. Acts 9:39)

There should be ongoing welfare work in each congregation of Christ's Church as the pattern has been laid down in the NT Scriptures. The welfare work of the "omnicompotent" state shouldn't mean that the Church can or should neglect her duties. It was Christ's will that there be deacons. The Church is meant to be the central and salvific organisation, not the state.

The evangelical church has been reduced to gnosticism by her conceeding of responsibility for health, welfare and education to the now secularised state in once Christian nations.
Not open for further replies.