A Short Ministry in Thessalonica

17 Then they traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica,(A) where there was a Jewish synagogue. As usual, Paul went to the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures,(B) explaining and showing that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead: “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah.”(C) Then some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, including a great number of God-fearing Greeks, as well as a number[a] of the leading women.(D)

Riot in the City

But the Jews became jealous, and they brought together some scoundrels from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city. Attacking Jason’s house, they searched for them to bring them out to the public assembly.(E) When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too, and Jason has received them as guests! They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees,(F) saying that there is another king—Jesus!”(G) The Jews stirred up the crowd and the city officials who heard these things. So taking a security bond from Jason and the others, they released them.

The Bereans Search the Scriptures

10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea.(H) On arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures(I) daily to see if these things were so. 12 Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica found out that God’s message had been proclaimed by Paul at Berea, they came there too, agitating and disturbing[b] the crowds. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul away to go to the sea, but Silas and Timothy(J) stayed on there. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving instructions for Silas and Timothy to come to him as quickly as possible, they departed.(K)

Paul in Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was troubled within him when he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with those who worshiped God and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.(L) 18 Then also, some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him. Some said, “What is this pseudo-intellectual[c] trying to say?”

Others replied, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign deities”—because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the Resurrection.[d](M)

19 They took him and brought him to the Areopagus,[e] and said, “May we learn about this new teaching you’re speaking of?(N) 20 For what you say sounds strange to us, and we want to know what these ideas mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners residing there spent their time on nothing else but telling or hearing something new.

The Areopagus Address

22 Then Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that you are extremely religious in every respect. 23 For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed:

TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.

Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it(O)—He is Lord of heaven and earth(P) and does not live in shrines made by hands.(Q) 25 Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything,(R) since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things.(S) 26 From one man[f] He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.(T) 27 He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.(U) 28 For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’[g](V) 29 Being God’s offspring then, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination.(W)

30 “Therefore, having overlooked(X) the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”(Y)

32 When they heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to ridicule him. But others said, “We’d like to hear from you again about this.” 33 Then Paul left their presence. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 17:4 Lit as well as not a few
  2. Acts 17:13 Other mss omit and disturbing
  3. Acts 17:18 Lit this seed picker; = one who picks up scraps
  4. Acts 17:18 = Gk Anastasis
  5. Acts 17:19 Or Mars Hill, the oldest and most famous court in Athens with jurisdiction in moral, religious, and civil matters
  6. Acts 17:26 Other mss read one blood
  7. Acts 17:28 This citation is from Aratus, a third-century b.c. Gk poet.

In Thessalonica

17 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica,(A) where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue,(B) and on three Sabbath(C) days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,(D) explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer(E) and rise from the dead.(F) “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,”(G) he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas,(H) as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city.(I) They rushed to Jason’s(J) house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[a] But when they did not find them, they dragged(K) Jason and some other believers(L) before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world(M) have now come here,(N) and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.”(O) When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. Then they made Jason(P) and the others post bond and let them go.

In Berea

10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas(Q) away to Berea.(R) On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.(S) 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica,(T) for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures(U) every day to see if what Paul said was true.(V) 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.(W)

13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea,(X) some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers(Y) immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas(Z) and Timothy(AA) stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens(AB) and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.(AC)

In Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue(AD) with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news(AE) about Jesus and the resurrection.(AF) 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus,(AG) where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching(AH) is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians(AI) and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus(AJ) and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.(AK) 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship(AL)—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it(AM) is the Lord of heaven and earth(AN) and does not live in temples built by human hands.(AO) 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.(AP) 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.(AQ) 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.(AR) 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b](AS) As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.(AT) 30 In the past God overlooked(AU) such ignorance,(AV) but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.(AW) 31 For he has set a day when he will judge(AX) the world with justice(AY) by the man he has appointed.(AZ) He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”(BA)

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead,(BB) some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus,(BC) also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 17:5 Or the assembly of the people
  2. Acts 17:28 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
  3. Acts 17:28 From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus

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