The nature and purpose of Stephen‟s speech to the Sanhedrin has been much debated by scholars and theologians. One of the troubling aspects of the speech is the relationship between it and the charges made against Stephen. A second issue is what to make of the polemical material in the speech. Many scholars view the speech as irrelevant to its setting, some even maintaining that the speech is a Lucan composition inserted into the story of Stephen‟s martyrdom. Other scholars are of the opinion that the polemical material must be eliminated in order to find the original form of the speech. The basis of the confusion regarding the speech is the relationship of the content of the speech with the charges brought against Stephen and also with the invective (counter-charges) brought by Stephen at the end of the speech.

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