Can you form a mental picture of the stoning of Paul and Stephen?


Two of  the most interesting aspects of today’s first reading are first, the way the people of Lystra stoned Paul, leaving him for dead; and secondly, the way Paul and Barnabas  appointed presbyters.

The people stoned Paul leaving him  for dead. While they left Paul only seeming to be dead,  they had kept stoning Stephen until they were sure of it.

 If you were going to make a film of their stoning , how many people would you have throwing the stones, and where on their bodies and heads would you have the stones wounding Paul and killing Stephen?

Another interesting part of that first reading is the way Paul and Barnabas, after making converts in Derbe, Lystra and Iconioium, retraced their steps, appointing presbyteros in each place.

While our Catholic Bible translates presbyteros  as presbyters, other Bibles translate it as “elders.” However, there is a good argument for translating it as “priests.” If you look up the word “priest” in Webster, you will see that it is a contraction of the Greek word Presbyter. So. our ancestors saw them as the same.

The word presbyter has an interesting derivation. The byt  was the Indo-European word for an ox. So a presbyter is a lead ox. Priests should be out in front pulling the load , instead of sitting on the coach, cracking the whip.

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