A Short Ministry in Thessalonica
1 Then they traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica,(A) where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As usual, Paul went to the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures,(B) 3 explaining and showing that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead: “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah.”(C) 4 Then some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, including a great number of God-fearing Greeks, as well as a number(a) of the leading women.(D)
Riot in the City
5 But the Jews became jealous, and they brought together some scoundrels from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city. Attacking Jason’s house, they searched for them to bring them out to the public assembly.(E) 6 When they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too, 7 and Jason has received them as guests! They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees,(F) saying that there is another king—Jesus!”(G) 8 The Jews stirred up the crowd and the city officials who heard these things. 9 So taking a security bond from Jason and the others, they released them.
The Bereans Search the Scriptures
10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea.(H) On arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures(I) daily to see if these things were so. 12 Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica found out that God’s message had been proclaimed by Paul at Berea, they came there too, agitating and disturbing(b) the crowds. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul away to go to the sea, but Silas and Timothy(J) stayed on there. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving instructions for Silas and Timothy to come to him as quickly as possible, they departed.(K)
Paul in Athens
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was troubled within him when he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with those who worshiped God and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.(L) 18 Then also, some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him. Some said, “What is this pseudo-intellectual(c) trying to say?”Others replied, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign deities”—because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the Resurrection.(d)(M)
19 They took him and brought him to the Areopagus,(e) and said, “May we learn about this new teaching you’re speaking of?(N) 20 For what you say sounds strange to us, and we want to know what these ideas mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners residing there spent their time on nothing else but telling or hearing something new.
The Areopagus Address
22 Then Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that you are extremely religious in every respect. 23 For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed:TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it(O)—He is Lord of heaven and earth(P) and does not live in shrines made by hands.(Q) 25 Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything,(R) since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things.(S) 26 From one man(f) He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.(T) 27 He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.(U) 28 For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’(g)(V) 29 Being God’s offspring then, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination.(W)
30 “Therefore, having overlooked(X) the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”(Y)
32 When they heard about resurrection of the dead, some began to ridicule him. But others said, “We’d like to hear from you again about this.” 33 Then Paul left their presence. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
a. Acts 17:4: Lit as well as not a few
b. Acts 17:13: Other mss omit and disturbing
c. Acts 17:18: Lit this seed picker; = one who picks up scraps
d. Acts 17:18: = Gk Anastasis
e. Acts 17:19: Or Mars Hill, the oldest and most famous court in Athens with jurisdiction in moral, religious, and civil matters
f. Acts 17:26: Other mss read one blood
g. Acts 17:28: This citation is from Aratus, a third-century b.c. Gk poet.