Acts 17

Paul Preaches at Thessalonica

[When] they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was [his] custom, Paul went into [the synagogue] , and on three Sabbaths he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from [the] dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ,” [ he declared ] . Some of [the Jews] were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of God-fearing Greeks and [quite] a few leading women.

The Uproar in Thessalonica

The Jews, however, became jealous. [So] they brought in some troublemakers from the marketplace, formed a mob, [and] sent the city into an uproar. They raided Jason’s house in search of [Paul and Silas] , [hoping] to bring them out to the people. But when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting, “These [men] who have turned the world {upside down} have now come here, [and] Jason has welcomed them into his home. They {are} all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying there is another king, [ named ] Jesus!” On hearing this, the crowd and city officials were greatly disturbed. And after they had collected bond from Jason and the others, they released them.

The Character of the Bereans

10  As soon as night [had fallen] , the brothers sent Paul and Silas {away} to Berea. On arriving [there] , they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11  Now [the Bereans] were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, [for] they received the message with great eagerness [and] examined the Scriptures every day [to see] if these [teachings] were true. 12  As a result, many of them believed, along with [quite] a few prominent Greek women and men. 13  But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that Paul was also proclaiming the word of God in Berea, they went there themselves to incite and agitate the crowds. 14  The brothers immediately sent Paul to the [coast] , [but] Silas and Timothy remained [in Berea] . 15  Those who escorted Paul brought [him] to Athens and then [returned] with instructions for Silas and Timothy to [join] him as soon as possible.

Paul in Athens

16  [While] Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply disturbed in his spirit to see that the city was full of idols. 17  So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and God-fearing [Gentiles] , and in the marketplace with those he met each day. 18  Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also began to debate with him. Some [of them] asked, “What {is} this babbler trying to say?” while others [said] , “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” [They said this] because [Paul] was proclaiming the good news of Jesus and the resurrection. 19  So they took [Paul] [and] brought [him] to the Areopagus, [where] they asked [him] , “May we know what this new teaching [is] [that] you are presenting? 20  For you are bringing some strange notions to our ears, [and] we want to know what [they] mean.” 21  Now all [the] Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time [doing] nothing [more] than hearing and articulating new [ideas] .

Paul's Address Before the Areopagus

22  Then Paul stood up before the Areopagus [and] said, “Men [of] Athens, I see that in every way you [are] very religious. 23  For as I walked around and examined your objects of worship, I even found an altar with the inscription: To an unknown God. Therefore what you worship as something unknown, I [now] proclaim to you. 24  The God who made the world and everything in it is [the] Lord of heaven and earth [and] {does} not live in temples made by human hands. 25  Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, [because] He Himself gives all [men] life and breath and everything [else] . 26  From one [man] He made every nation of men, to inhabit the whole earth; and He determined [their] appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. 27  [ God intended that ] they would seek [Him] [and] perhaps reach out for Him and find [Him] , though He is not far from each one of us. 28  ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’
Probably a quote from the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
As some of your [own] poets have said, ‘ - We are [His] offspring.’
Probably from the poem 'Phainomena' by the Cilician philosopher Aratus
29  Therefore, being offspring of God, we should not think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by man’s skill and imagination. 30  Although God overlooked the ignorance of [earlier] times, He now commands all men everywhere to repent. 31  For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof [of this] to all men by raising Him from [the] dead.” 32  [When] they heard about [the] resurrection of [the] dead, some began to mock [him] , but [others] said, “We want to hear you again on this [topic] .” 33  At that, Paul left [the Areopagus] . 34  But some people joined him [and] believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others [who were] with them.
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