Acts 17:12
Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
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(12) Therefore many of them believed.—The narrator dwells with satisfaction on the fact that at Berœa there were many Jewish as well as Gentile converts. Among the latter there were, as at Thessalonica, women of the upper class.

17:10-15 The Jews in Berea applied seriously to the study of the word preached unto them. They not only heard Paul preach on the sabbath, but daily searched the Scriptures, and compared what they read with the facts related to them. The doctrine of Christ does not fear inquiry; advocates for his cause desire no more than that people will fully and fairly examine whether things are so or not. Those are truly noble, and likely to be more and more so, who make the Scriptures their rule, and consult them accordingly. May all the hearers of the gospel become like those of Berea, receiving the word with readiness of mind, and searching the Scriptures daily, whether the things preached to them are so.Therefore many of them believed - As the result of their examination. This result will commonly follow when people search the Scriptures. Much is gained when people can be induced to examine the Bible. We may commonly take it for granted that such an examination will result in their conviction of the truth. The most prominent and usual cause of infidelity is found in the fact that people will not investigate the Scriptures. Many infidels have confessed that they had never carefully read the New Testament. Thomas Paine confessed that he wrote the first part of the Age of Reason without having a Bible at hand, and without its being possible to procure one where he then was (in Paris). "I had," says he, "neither Bible nor Testament to refer to, though I was writing against both; nor could I procure an" (Age of Reason, p. 65, ed. 1831; also p. 33). None, it may safely be affirmed, have ever read the Scriptures with candor, and with the true spirit of prayer, who have not been convinced of the truth of Christianity, and been brought to submit their souls to its influence and its consolations. The great thing which Christians desire their fellow-men to do is candidly to search the Bible, and when this is done they confidently expect that they will be truly converted to God.

Of honourable women - See the notes on Acts 13:50.

12. Therefore many of them believed—convinced that Jesus of Nazareth whom Paul preached was indeed the great Promise and Burden of the Old Testament. From this it is undeniable, (1) that the people, no less than the ministers of the Church, are entitled and bound to search the Scriptures; (2) that they are entitled and bound to judge, on their own responsibility, whether the teaching they receive from the ministers of the Church is according to the word of God; (3) that no faith but such as results from personal conviction ought to be demanded, or is of any avail.

of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men—which were Greeks.

not a few—"The upper classes in these European-Greek and Romanized towns were probably better educated than those of Asia Minor" [Webster and Wilkinson].

God blessing his own gifts, and giving still unto them that had, and made use of them. And would we also lay aside all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the ingrafted word, which is able to save our souls, Jam 1:21, we should find the hand of the Lord not to be shortened, but his word as powerful, as piercing, as converting as ever.

Therefore many of them believed,.... What the apostle preached, and in Jesus of Nazareth, as the true Messiah, and professed their faith in him, upon finding, through reading and searching the Scriptures, that the characters of the Messiah agreed in him, and that what the apostle delivered were entirely consonant to those writings:

also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men not a few; besides the Jews, there were Gentiles also, both men and women; who were proselytes to the Jewish religion, and who were persons of figure and credit, especially the women, who were also converted and believed in Christ. These converts were the beginning of a Gospel church state in this place, which continued many ages after. Timon, one of the first seven deacons of the church at Jerusalem, is said to be bishop of Berea; though, according to others, Onesimus, the servant of Philemon, was the first bishop of this church: even in the fifth century mention is made of Lucas, bishop of Berea, who was present in the synods of Chalcedon and Ephesus; yea, in the ninth century, there were Christians dwelling in this place (p).

(p) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 5. c. 10. p. 666. cent. 9. c. 2. p. 4.

Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
Acts 17:12. See critical note and Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, u. s. As at Thessalonica, so here the Apostles’ work extended beyond the limits of the synagogue. Ἑλληνίδων: the term relates to the men as well as to the women—the Jewish men had already been included in the first word πολλοί, see Alford, Weiss, Wendt, Zöckler.—εὐσχημόνων, see above on Acts 13:50. Blass refers the term to ἀνδρῶν also, and points out that Sopater of Berœa alone in Acts is named πατρόθεν according to Greek custom, cf. Acts 20:4 (R.V., W.H[308], Weiss, Wendt). See also Orr, Neglected Factors in the Early Progress of Christianity, p. 107.

[308] Westcott and Hort’s The New Testament in Greek: Critical Text and Notes.

12. also of honourable women] The same word is found Acts 13:50, of the women of Antioch in Pisidia, and signifies that they were of honourable estate, distinguished for their position, influence and wealth.

which were Greeks] The adjective refers specially to the women, but it probably is intended to define the men too. The Jewish converts had been mentioned as examiners of the Scriptures. The men and women mentioned afterwards were probably all Gentiles.

Acts 17:12. Ἐξ αὐτῶν, of them) the Jews.—γυναικῶν, women) who were followed by the men.

Verse 12. - Many... therefore for therefore many, A.V.; the Greek women of honorable estate for honorable women which were Greeks, A.V. Honorable; εὐσχημόνων, as Acts 13:50, where it is coupled with τοὺς πρώτους τῆς πόλεως (see ver. 4; comp. Mark 15:43). Meyer thinks that it is meant that the men were Greeks too; but this is uncertain. The only Beraean convert whose name we know is Sopater (Acts 20:4), or Sosipater, who is probably the same (Romans 16:21). If so, he was apparently a Jew, whose Hebrew name may have been Abishua. Acts 17:12Honorable women

See on Acts 17:4, and Mark 15:43.

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