1 Now when they [Note: A change from the use of "we" to "they" suggests that the writer Luke remained behind in Philippi at this point] had traveled through the [Macedonian] towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to [the city of] Thessalonica where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, [and] for three Sabbath days [in a row] he taught them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and declaring that it was necessary for Christ to suffer and [then] rise again from the dead. Paul was saying, "This Jesus, whom I am proclaiming to you, is the Christ." 4 Some of the Jews were convinced [that Jesus was the Messiah] and so joined with Paul and Silas. Also, a large number of devoted Greeks [i.e., Gentiles] and leading women [joined their group].
5 But [other] Jews became jealous and, recruiting certain ungodly riffraff, they gathered a mob and brought the city to near-riot conditions. They [even] attacked Jason's house and attempted to bring Paul and Silas before the [assembly of] people. 6 When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials and shouted, "These men have turned the world upside down [i.e., disrupted society by their preaching] and have [now] come here also [i.e., to do the same thing in our community]. 7 Jason has welcomed them and [now] all of them [i.e., Paul, Silas, Jason and the others] are going against the [Roman] laws of Caesar by saying that someone else is [our] king; that Jesus is [king]!" 8 When they heard [these charges], the crowds and [even] the city officials became very disturbed [by the situation stirred up by the Jews]. 9 They made Jason and the others post bail, then released them.
10 The brothers [then] immediately sent Paul and Silas away at night to Berea [i.e., a town in Macedonia]. When they got there they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these people [in Berea] had more character than those in Thessalonica because they [not only] received the message with an open mind but [also] examined the [Old Testament] Scriptures every day to see if what they had heard was really true. 12 Many people therefore became believers [in Christ], including a number of leading Greek women and also a number of men. 13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that Paul was proclaiming the message of God at Berea also, they went there too, and incited and upset the crowds. 14 So, immediately the brothers sent Paul clear over to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained there [at Berea]. 15 But those who escorted Paul took him to Athens [i.e., in Greece] and, after being directed to have Silas and Timothy join him there as soon as possible, they left.
16 Now while Paul was waiting for them [to arrive] in Athens, he was deeply stirred in his spirit when he saw the city so full of idols. 17 So, he debated in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing people [i.e., Gentile proselytes], as well as in the open shopping market with others who met with him there. 18 Also certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers approached him for discussion. Some asked, "What will this know-it-all have to say?" Others said, "He seems to be advocating [a belief in] some different gods." [They said this] because he was proclaiming Jesus and the resurrection [of the dead].
19 So, they led him to the Areopagus [i.e., an elevated assembly place called "the Hill of Mars"] and asked him, "Could we learn [more] about this new teaching you are speaking of? 20 You are telling us some very unusual things and we would like to know what they mean." 21 (Now the local people of Athens, along with foreigners who lived there, spent [about] all their time telling about or listening to some new idea.)
22 Then Paul stood up in the Areopagus and said, "You men of Athens, I noticed that you are an extremely religious people in all your ways. [See verse 16] 23 For as I traveled along [your streets] and observed what you are worshiping, I saw an altar with the inscription: [DEDICATED] TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So, what you are worshiping ignorantly is what I am telling you about. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in hand-made temples. 25 Neither is He waited on by men's hands as though He needed anything, since it is He who gives to all people their life and breath and everything [they need]. 26 He made every race of people living throughout the earth from one [family] and determined when [they would rise in history] and where they would live. 27 He wanted these people to search for God in hope that, by groping for Him, they might [eventually] find Him, even though He is not [really] very far from [any of] us. 28 For in [the strength of] God we [all] live, move around and have our [personal] identity, just as a certain one of your [Athenian] poets [once] said, 'For we too are His children.' 29 Since therefore we are God's children, we should not think that the Deity is like gold, silver or stone, to be carved [into an idol] by the design and skill of men.
30 Now God made allowance for the times when people were still uninformed [about His complete will], but now [in the Gospel age] He requires all people everywhere to repent [i.e., change their hearts and lives]. 31 For He has appointed a [certain] day when He will judge the people of the world according to [a standard of] true justice by the man [i.e., Jesus] whom He has appointed [as Judge, See II Tim. 4:8]. [And] He has given assurance to all people [that He will do this] by raising Jesus from the dead."
32 Now when the people heard about the resurrection from the dead, some of them made fun of it, but others said, "We would like to hear [more] from you about this again." 33 So, Paul left [the Areopagus]. 34 But certain men continued to listen to him and became believers [in Jesus]. Among them was Dionysius, [an official] of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris and others with them.