Acts 17
Berean Study Bible

Paul Preaches at Thessalonica

1When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbaths he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining 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. 4Some 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

5The 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. 6But 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, 7and Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying there is another king, named Jesus!”

8On hearing this, the crowd and city officials were greatly disturbed. 9And after they had collected bond from Jason and the others, they released them.

The Character of the Bereans

10As soon as night had fallen, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11Now 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. 12As a result, many of them believed, along with quite a few prominent Greek women and men.

13But 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. 14The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy remained in Berea. 15Those 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

16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply disturbed in his spirit to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, and in the marketplace with those he met each day.

18Some 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.

19So 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? 20For you are bringing some strange notions to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.” 21Now all the Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing more than hearing and articulating new ideas.

Paul Before the Areopagus

22Then Paul stood up before the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For 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.

24The 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. 25Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From 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.

27God 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.’a As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’b 29Therefore, 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.

30Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all men everywhere to repent. 31For 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.”

32When 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.” 33At that, Paul left the Areopagus. 34But some people joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others who were with them.

a 28 Probably a quote from the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
b 28 Probably from the poem 'Phainomena' by the Cilician philosopher Aratus

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