|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:1-9 The drift and scope of Paul's preaching and arguing, was to prove that Jesus is the Christ. He must needs suffer for us, because he could not otherwise purchase our redemption for us; and he must needs have risen again, because he could not otherwise apply the redemption to us. We are to preach concerning Jesus that he is Christ; therefore we may hope to be saved by him, and are bound to be ruled by him. The unbelieving Jews were angry, because the apostles preached to the Gentiles, that they might be saved. How strange it is, that men should grudge others the privileges they will not themselves accept! Neither rulers nor people need be troubled at the increase of real Christians, even though turbulent spirits should make religion the pretext for evil designs. Of such let us beware, from such let us withdraw, that we may show a desire to act aright in society, while we claim our right to worship God according to our consciences.
Verse 4. - Were persuaded for believed, A.V. (ἐπείσθησαν). Consorted with; προσεκληρώθησαν a word only found here in the New Testament, but, like so many other words in St. Luke's vocabulary, found also in Pintarch, in the sense of being "associated with," or "attached to" any one; literally, to be assigned to any one by lot (comp. the use of the simple verb ἐκληρώθημεν, Ephesians 1:11). Of the devout Greeks. Observe the frequent proofs of the influence the synagogues had in bringing heathen to the knowledge of the true God (see ver. 12; Acts 10:2; Acts 11:21; Acts 13:48; Acts 14:1, etc.). The chief women (τῶν πρώτων). So in Acts 13:50 τοὺς πρώτους τῆς πολέως means "the chief men of the city." And Lake 19:49, οἱ πρῶτοι τοῦ λαοῦ are "the chief of the people" (" the principal men," R.V.) It has been already remarked that St. Lake especially notices the instances of female piety. In ver. 12 we have τῶν εὐσχημόνων in the same sense as the τῶν πρώτων in this verse.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And some of them believed,.... That is, some of the Jews, power went along with the word, and faith came by it, and they believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah, and that what the apostle preached concerning him was the truth; and this they received in the love of it, and cordially embraced it, and made a profession of it:
and consorted with Paul and Silas; associated with them, and privately conversed with them, as well as publicly attended their ministry; for when souls are converted, they love to be in company with believers, and especially with the ministers of the Gospel, to hear their discourses, and learn from them the doctrines of grace:
and of the devout Greeks a great multitude; these were Gentiles who were proselytes to the Jewish religion; and these in greater numbers believed, and joined themselves to the apostles, and became followers of them, than there were of the Jews, who were the most averse to the Gospel, and were more hardened, and incredulous:
and of the chief women not a few; some of the wives of the principal men of the city were become proselytes to the Jews, and these attending synagogue worship, and hearing the discourses of Paul from time to time, were convinced and converted, and professed faith in Christ Jesus; and these converts laid the foundation of a Gospel church in Thessalonica, of which church Silvanus is said to be the first bishop; See Gill on Luke 10:1. In the "second" century there were martyrs for Christ here; and to the inhabitants of this place, Antonintus Pius the emperor wrote in behalf of the Christians there, to give them no disturbance (f): in the "third" century there was a church here; Tertullian (g) makes mention of it: in the "fourth" century (h) Theodosius the emperor was baptized at Thessalonica, by Acholius bishop of that place; who first asked him what faith he professed, to which he replied, that he embraced and professed that faith which the churches in Illyricum, who were not yet infected with the Arian heresy, namely the same which was of old delivered by the apostles, and afterwards confirmed at the synod at Nice; in this century Ireminus, Paulinus, and Alexander, were bishops of Thessalonica: in the "fifth" century it was a metropolitan of Macedonia, and Anysius was bishop of it, and so were Rufus and Anastasius: and that there was a church here in the "sixth" century is manifest from hence, that their bishops, for fear of the emperor Anastasius, agreed with Timothy bishop of Constantinople, whom the council at Chalcedon had anathematized; and in this age Pope Gregory, among others, wrote to Eusebius bishop of Thessalonica, that he would not receive any of a military habit into monasteries within three years: in the "seventh" century a bishop of this place assisted at the sixth council at Constantinople; and in the same age it was the seat of an archbishop: in the "eighth" century there was one Thomas bishop of this place, and also Theophilus, who was present at the Nicene synod; in the ninth century a bishop of Thessalonica was beaten with two hundred stripes, for being against image worship.
(f) Euseb. Eccles. Hist. l. 4. c. 26. (g) De Praescript. Heret. c. 36. (h) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccl. cent. 4. c. 3. p. 82. & c. 10. p. 659. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. c. 7. p. 418. cent. 6. c. 2. p. 7. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 5. c. 7. p. 115. cent. 8. c. 2. p. 7. cent. 9. c. 3. p. 15.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. consorted—cast in their lot.
with Paul and Silas—Compare 2Co 8:5.
of the chief women—female proselytes of distinction. From the First Epistle to the Thessalonians it appears that the converts were nearly all Gentiles; not only such as had before been proselytes, who would be gained in the synagogue, but such as up to that time had been idolaters (1Th 1:9, 10). During his stay, while Paul supported himself by his own labor (1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:7-9), he received supplies once and again from the Philippians, of which he makes honorable acknowledgment (Php 4:15, 16).
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