They therefore (hoi men oun). Demonstrative hoi as often (Act 1:6, etc.) though it will make sense as the article with the participle diasparentes. The general statement is made here by men and a particular instance (de) follows in Act 8:5. The inferential particle (oun) points back to Act 8:3, the persecution by young Saul and the Pharisees. Jesus had commanded the disciples not to depart from Jerusalem till they received the Promise of the Father (Act 1:4), but they had remained long after that and were not carrying the gospel to the other peoples (Act 1:8). Now they were pushed out by Saul and began as a result to carry out the Great Commission for world conquest, that is those “scattered abroad” (diasparentes, second aorist passive participle of diaspeirō). This verb means disperse, to sow in separate or scattered places (dia) and so to drive people hither and thither. Old and very common verb, especially in the lxx, but in the N.T. only in Act 8:1, Act 8:4; Act 11:19.
Went about (diēlthon). Constative second aorist active of dierchomai, to go through (from place to place, dia). Old and common verb, frequent for missionary journeys in the Acts (Act 5:40; Act 8:40; Act 9:32; Act 11:19; Act 13:6).
Preaching the word (euaggelizomenoi ton logon). Evangelizing or gospelizing the word (the truth about Christ). In Act 11:19 Luke explains more fully the extent of the labours of these new preachers of the gospel. They were emergency preachers, not ordained clergymen, but men stirred to activity by the zeal of Saul against them. The blood of the martyrs (Stephen) was already becoming the seed of the church. “The violent dispersion of these earnest disciples resulted in a rapid diffusion of the gospel” (Alvah Hovey).