Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



He began speaking boldly in the synagogue and when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and proceeded to explain to him God's way more accurately [than he had known].

After this happened Paul left Athens and went to Corinth [i.e., a principal city of Greece]. There he met a certain Jewish man named Aquila, a native of Pontus, [in northern Asia Minor] who, with his wife Priscilla, had recently come from Rome, because Claudius [the Roman Emperor] had ordered all Jews out of that city. Paul met this couple and, because they followed the same trade of tentmaking, he stayed with them and went to work [for them].

After this [incident] Paul remained [in Corinth] for some time before leaving the brothers and sailing for Syria with Priscilla and Aquila. Paul shaved his head while in Cenchrea as part of a vow he had taken. When they arrived at Ephesus, Paul left Priscilla and Aquila there. He then went into the [Jewish] synagogue and held discussions with the Jews.


Then after some days Paul suggested to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we proclaimed the message of the Lord, to see how they are doing." Barnabas [agreed, and] wanted to take John Mark [his cousin, See Col. 4:10] with them. But Paul was not at all in favor of taking someone who had left them and refused to continue on in the work [of preaching the Gospel] when they were in Pamphylia. [See 13:13]. read more.
A heated discussion developed [over this matter] so that Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways [over it], with Barnabas sailing for Cyprus and taking [John] Mark with him. But Paul chose Silas and, after being commended to the [care and] favor of the Lord by the brothers, he left, traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches [along the way]. When Paul came to Derbe and [then] to Lystra, he met a certain disciple named Timothy, whose mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek [i.e., Gentile]. This young man had a very good reputation among the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted him to travel with him [on a preaching mission] so he had him circumcised in order to avoid prejudice by the Jews in that area, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek. And as they traveled through the towns [of Asia Minor] they presented [to each church] the requirements they were to observe that had been decided on by the apostles and elders of the Jerusalem church. So, the churches [of the region] were being [spiritually] strengthened in the faith and grew in number daily. And then Paul, Silas, Timothy [and perhaps others by now] traveled through the districts of Phrygia and Galatia [i.e., provinces of central Asia Minor] because [an inspired message from] the Holy Spirit would not permit them to proclaim the message in Asia [i.e., the westernmost province of Asia Minor]. When they came near Mysia [i.e., a northwestern province of Asia Minor] they attempted to travel into Bythinia [i.e., a northern province of Asia Minor] but [an inspired message from] the Holy Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to, so they went on through Mysia and came down to Troas, [i.e., a seaport on the Aegean Sea, from which they sailed over to Europe]. Then one night [while asleep] Paul had a vision [i.e., an inspired dream] in which a man from Macedonia [i.e., northern Greece] stood in front of him begging, "Come over to Macedonia to help us." After seeing [the man in] the vision, we immediately made every effort to go to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news [about Jesus] to the people there. [Note: This is first use of "we" and "us" in the book of Acts and indicates that Luke, the writer of Acts, joined the party at this point. See 1:1 with Luke 1:1-3]. After setting sail from Troas we headed straight for Samothrace [i.e., an island in the Aegean Sea] and the next day we went on to Neapolis [i.e., a seaport in Macedonia], and from there to Philippi, a city of the principal district of Macedonia, [which was] a Roman colony. We stayed in this city for a number of days. On a [particular] Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to a place beside a river where we thought people gathered for prayer. We sat down and began speaking [about the Lord] to some women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, from the town of Thyatira, who sold purple cloth [for a living], was there. She was a worshiper of God and when she heard us [telling about salvation through Christ], the Lord opened her heart to respond to the message being spoken by Paul. And when she was immersed [into Christ], along with her household [i.e., possibly relatives and/or employees] she urged us, saying, "If you consider me to be a faithful disciple of the Lord, come and stay at my house." And she insisted that we go [to her house]. At a later time, when we were going to that [same] place of prayer, we met a certain young woman who was dominated by an [evil] spirit, [claiming to be] able to tell people's fortunes. This [claimed] power was the source of considerable income for the girl's slave-owner. She followed Paul and us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Supreme God and they are proclaiming to you the way to be saved." And she kept this up for a number of days. But Paul was very disturbed [over what she was doing] and [finally] turned [to her] and said to the spirit [in the girl], "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And the evil spirit did come out [of her] immediately. But when the girl's slave-owners saw that their prospects for income [from her activities] were [now] gone, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them to the open shopping market, in front of the authorities. And when they brought them before the city officials, they made this charge [against them]: "These Jewish men are causing too much trouble in our city, and they are teaching people to observe customs which we Romans are not permitted to accept or practice." Then the large crowd began attacking them, and the city officials had their clothes ripped off and ordered them to be beaten. After beating them severely, they threw them in jail and ordered the jailor to have them securely guarded. After receiving these orders, the jailor threw them into the maximum security cell and had their feet securely fastened in wooden restraints. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God while the [other] prisoners listened. Suddenly there was a terrible earthquake which violently shook the foundation of the jail. Immediately all the [cell] doors swung open and everyone's chains fell off. The jailor, who was awakened from sleep [by the commotion] saw the jail doors open so drew his [short] sword and prepared to kill himself, assuming that all the prisoners had escaped. [Note: He would have faced a humiliating execution himself if he had allowed capital offense criminals to escape. With that prospect in view, it was considered honorable by the Romans for a person to commit suicide]. But Paul shouted out, "Do not hurt yourself, for everyone is [still] here." The jailor called for torches [to be brought], then rushed in [to the cell block], shaking with fear, and fell down [on his knees] before Paul and Silas. After bringing them out [of the jail area] he said, "Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved?" Paul and Silas said, "You and your family can be saved if you [all] believe in the Lord Jesus." Then they [continued to] speak the message of the Lord to him and everyone [else] in his household. The jailor immediately took Paul and Silas, and cleansed [and soothed] their wounded [backs] and then he and his [believing] household were immersed [into Christ]. Then he brought them up into his house and prepared a meal for them. So, he and everyone in his household, who had believed in God [and were immersed], rejoiced greatly. The next morning the city officials sent their officers [to the jailor] with the message, "Release those men." The jailor then informed Paul [of the officials' decision], saying, "The city officials have decided to release you so you may leave the jail [if] you go peacefully." But Paul responded to the officials, "These city officials had us innocent Roman citizens publicly beaten and thrown in jail. Are they now trying to release us privately? No indeed! Let the officials themselves come and [publicly] release us." So, the officers reported what Paul had said and the city officials became fearful when they learned that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. So, they came and appealed to them [to leave peacefully]. Then the authorities themselves accompanied them out [of the jail] and asked them to leave the city. When Paul and Silas left the jail they went to Lydia's house and, after seeing the brothers [and sisters gathered there] and encouraging them, they went on their way. 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. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, [and] for three Sabbath days [in a row] he taught them from the Scriptures, 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." 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]. 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. 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]. 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]!" When they heard [these charges], the crowds and [even] the city officials became very disturbed [by the situation stirred up by the Jews]. They made Jason and the others post bail, then released them. 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. 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. Many people therefore became believers [in Christ], including a number of leading Greek women and also a number of men. 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. So, immediately the brothers sent Paul clear over to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained there [at Berea]. 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. 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. 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. 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]. 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? You are telling us some very unusual things and we would like to know what they mean." (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.) 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] 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. The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in hand-made temples. 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]. 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. 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. 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.' 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. 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]. 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." 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." So, Paul left [the Areopagus]. 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. After this happened Paul left Athens and went to Corinth [i.e., a principal city of Greece]. There he met a certain Jewish man named Aquila, a native of Pontus, [in northern Asia Minor] who, with his wife Priscilla, had recently come from Rome, because Claudius [the Roman Emperor] had ordered all Jews out of that city. Paul met this couple and, because they followed the same trade of tentmaking, he stayed with them and went to work [for them]. Every Sabbath day Paul held discussions in the synagogues, trying to convince [both] Jews and Greeks [i.e., Gentiles, that Jesus was the Messiah]. But when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia [i.e., from the town of Berea], Paul began devoting his full time to declaring the message to Jews that Jesus was the Christ. When the Jews resisted [Paul's efforts] and spoke against him and his message, he shook out his clothing [i.e., an expression of rejection and contempt] and said to them "Let your blood be on your own heads [i.e., you are responsible for whatever harm comes from your action]; I am not responsible. From now on I will go [and preach] to the Gentiles [only]." So, he left [this assembly of Jews] and went to the house of a certain man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was right next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and all of his family became believers in the Lord. [And] many of the Corinthians who heard [Paul's message] believed [in the Lord] and were immersed [into Christ]. Then the Lord spoke to Paul in a night vision [i.e., a divinely given dream]: "Do not be afraid, but speak up and do not hold [anything] back, for I will be with you [See Matt. 28:20] and no one will attack you or hurt you, for I have many people in this city [i.e., who will be converted]." So, Paul lived there [in Corinth] for eighteen months, teaching God's message among the inhabitants [of the city]. But when Gallio was magistrate of Achaia [i.e., the southern province of Greece] the Jews joined forces to attack Paul and brought him before the court of justice, and said [about him], "This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law [of Moses]." When Paul was about to respond [to this charge], Gallio said to the Jews, "[My] Jewish [constituents], if it were a simple case of wrongdoing or some serious crime, there would be good reason for me to consider your charge [against this man]. But if it is only a dispute over words, titles and your [religious] law, tend to it yourselves; I refuse to pass judgment on such [trivial] matters." And he had them thrown out of the courtroom. Then, all of them [Note: This "all" could refer to the Greeks, the Jews or the Roman officers. Since the text does not specify, it seems most reasonable to suggest it was the Romans] grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the court of justice. But Gallio showed no interest in the whole affair. After this [incident] Paul remained [in Corinth] for some time before leaving the brothers and sailing for Syria with Priscilla and Aquila. Paul shaved his head while in Cenchrea as part of a vow he had taken. When they arrived at Ephesus, Paul left Priscilla and Aquila there. He then went into the [Jewish] synagogue and held discussions with the Jews. When they asked him to stay [and continue the discussions] longer, he declined. So, he left them, saying, "I will come back to you if it is God's will." Then He sailed from Ephesus. And when he landed at Ceasarea, he went up [Note: This would mean either up to Ceasarea or up to Jerusalem] and greeted the church [there], then went down to Antioch [in Syria].


After this happened Paul left Athens and went to Corinth [i.e., a principal city of Greece]. There he met a certain Jewish man named Aquila, a native of Pontus, [in northern Asia Minor] who, with his wife Priscilla, had recently come from Rome, because Claudius [the Roman Emperor] had ordered all Jews out of that city. Paul met this couple and, because they followed the same trade of tentmaking, he stayed with them and went to work [for them].


Then after some days Paul suggested to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we proclaimed the message of the Lord, to see how they are doing." Barnabas [agreed, and] wanted to take John Mark [his cousin, See Col. 4:10] with them. But Paul was not at all in favor of taking someone who had left them and refused to continue on in the work [of preaching the Gospel] when they were in Pamphylia. [See 13:13]. read more.
A heated discussion developed [over this matter] so that Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways [over it], with Barnabas sailing for Cyprus and taking [John] Mark with him. But Paul chose Silas and, after being commended to the [care and] favor of the Lord by the brothers, he left, traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches [along the way]. When Paul came to Derbe and [then] to Lystra, he met a certain disciple named Timothy, whose mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was a Greek [i.e., Gentile]. This young man had a very good reputation among the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted him to travel with him [on a preaching mission] so he had him circumcised in order to avoid prejudice by the Jews in that area, for everyone knew that his father was a Greek. And as they traveled through the towns [of Asia Minor] they presented [to each church] the requirements they were to observe that had been decided on by the apostles and elders of the Jerusalem church. So, the churches [of the region] were being [spiritually] strengthened in the faith and grew in number daily. And then Paul, Silas, Timothy [and perhaps others by now] traveled through the districts of Phrygia and Galatia [i.e., provinces of central Asia Minor] because [an inspired message from] the Holy Spirit would not permit them to proclaim the message in Asia [i.e., the westernmost province of Asia Minor]. When they came near Mysia [i.e., a northwestern province of Asia Minor] they attempted to travel into Bythinia [i.e., a northern province of Asia Minor] but [an inspired message from] the Holy Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to, so they went on through Mysia and came down to Troas, [i.e., a seaport on the Aegean Sea, from which they sailed over to Europe]. Then one night [while asleep] Paul had a vision [i.e., an inspired dream] in which a man from Macedonia [i.e., northern Greece] stood in front of him begging, "Come over to Macedonia to help us." After seeing [the man in] the vision, we immediately made every effort to go to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news [about Jesus] to the people there. [Note: This is first use of "we" and "us" in the book of Acts and indicates that Luke, the writer of Acts, joined the party at this point. See 1:1 with Luke 1:1-3]. After setting sail from Troas we headed straight for Samothrace [i.e., an island in the Aegean Sea] and the next day we went on to Neapolis [i.e., a seaport in Macedonia], and from there to Philippi, a city of the principal district of Macedonia, [which was] a Roman colony. We stayed in this city for a number of days. On a [particular] Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to a place beside a river where we thought people gathered for prayer. We sat down and began speaking [about the Lord] to some women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, from the town of Thyatira, who sold purple cloth [for a living], was there. She was a worshiper of God and when she heard us [telling about salvation through Christ], the Lord opened her heart to respond to the message being spoken by Paul. And when she was immersed [into Christ], along with her household [i.e., possibly relatives and/or employees] she urged us, saying, "If you consider me to be a faithful disciple of the Lord, come and stay at my house." And she insisted that we go [to her house]. At a later time, when we were going to that [same] place of prayer, we met a certain young woman who was dominated by an [evil] spirit, [claiming to be] able to tell people's fortunes. This [claimed] power was the source of considerable income for the girl's slave-owner. She followed Paul and us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Supreme God and they are proclaiming to you the way to be saved." And she kept this up for a number of days. But Paul was very disturbed [over what she was doing] and [finally] turned [to her] and said to the spirit [in the girl], "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And the evil spirit did come out [of her] immediately. But when the girl's slave-owners saw that their prospects for income [from her activities] were [now] gone, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them to the open shopping market, in front of the authorities. And when they brought them before the city officials, they made this charge [against them]: "These Jewish men are causing too much trouble in our city, and they are teaching people to observe customs which we Romans are not permitted to accept or practice." Then the large crowd began attacking them, and the city officials had their clothes ripped off and ordered them to be beaten. After beating them severely, they threw them in jail and ordered the jailor to have them securely guarded. After receiving these orders, the jailor threw them into the maximum security cell and had their feet securely fastened in wooden restraints. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God while the [other] prisoners listened. Suddenly there was a terrible earthquake which violently shook the foundation of the jail. Immediately all the [cell] doors swung open and everyone's chains fell off. The jailor, who was awakened from sleep [by the commotion] saw the jail doors open so drew his [short] sword and prepared to kill himself, assuming that all the prisoners had escaped. [Note: He would have faced a humiliating execution himself if he had allowed capital offense criminals to escape. With that prospect in view, it was considered honorable by the Romans for a person to commit suicide]. But Paul shouted out, "Do not hurt yourself, for everyone is [still] here." The jailor called for torches [to be brought], then rushed in [to the cell block], shaking with fear, and fell down [on his knees] before Paul and Silas. After bringing them out [of the jail area] he said, "Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved?" Paul and Silas said, "You and your family can be saved if you [all] believe in the Lord Jesus." Then they [continued to] speak the message of the Lord to him and everyone [else] in his household. The jailor immediately took Paul and Silas, and cleansed [and soothed] their wounded [backs] and then he and his [believing] household were immersed [into Christ]. Then he brought them up into his house and prepared a meal for them. So, he and everyone in his household, who had believed in God [and were immersed], rejoiced greatly. The next morning the city officials sent their officers [to the jailor] with the message, "Release those men." The jailor then informed Paul [of the officials' decision], saying, "The city officials have decided to release you so you may leave the jail [if] you go peacefully." But Paul responded to the officials, "These city officials had us innocent Roman citizens publicly beaten and thrown in jail. Are they now trying to release us privately? No indeed! Let the officials themselves come and [publicly] release us." So, the officers reported what Paul had said and the city officials became fearful when they learned that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. So, they came and appealed to them [to leave peacefully]. Then the authorities themselves accompanied them out [of the jail] and asked them to leave the city. When Paul and Silas left the jail they went to Lydia's house and, after seeing the brothers [and sisters gathered there] and encouraging them, they went on their way. 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. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, [and] for three Sabbath days [in a row] he taught them from the Scriptures, 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." 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]. 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. 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]. 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]!" When they heard [these charges], the crowds and [even] the city officials became very disturbed [by the situation stirred up by the Jews]. They made Jason and the others post bail, then released them. 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. 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. Many people therefore became believers [in Christ], including a number of leading Greek women and also a number of men. 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. So, immediately the brothers sent Paul clear over to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained there [at Berea]. 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. 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. 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. 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]. 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? You are telling us some very unusual things and we would like to know what they mean." (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.) 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] 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. The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in hand-made temples. 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]. 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. 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. 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.' 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. 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]. 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." 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." So, Paul left [the Areopagus]. 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. After this happened Paul left Athens and went to Corinth [i.e., a principal city of Greece]. There he met a certain Jewish man named Aquila, a native of Pontus, [in northern Asia Minor] who, with his wife Priscilla, had recently come from Rome, because Claudius [the Roman Emperor] had ordered all Jews out of that city. Paul met this couple and, because they followed the same trade of tentmaking, he stayed with them and went to work [for them]. Every Sabbath day Paul held discussions in the synagogues, trying to convince [both] Jews and Greeks [i.e., Gentiles, that Jesus was the Messiah]. But when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia [i.e., from the town of Berea], Paul began devoting his full time to declaring the message to Jews that Jesus was the Christ. When the Jews resisted [Paul's efforts] and spoke against him and his message, he shook out his clothing [i.e., an expression of rejection and contempt] and said to them "Let your blood be on your own heads [i.e., you are responsible for whatever harm comes from your action]; I am not responsible. From now on I will go [and preach] to the Gentiles [only]." So, he left [this assembly of Jews] and went to the house of a certain man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was right next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and all of his family became believers in the Lord. [And] many of the Corinthians who heard [Paul's message] believed [in the Lord] and were immersed [into Christ]. Then the Lord spoke to Paul in a night vision [i.e., a divinely given dream]: "Do not be afraid, but speak up and do not hold [anything] back, for I will be with you [See Matt. 28:20] and no one will attack you or hurt you, for I have many people in this city [i.e., who will be converted]." So, Paul lived there [in Corinth] for eighteen months, teaching God's message among the inhabitants [of the city]. But when Gallio was magistrate of Achaia [i.e., the southern province of Greece] the Jews joined forces to attack Paul and brought him before the court of justice, and said [about him], "This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law [of Moses]." When Paul was about to respond [to this charge], Gallio said to the Jews, "[My] Jewish [constituents], if it were a simple case of wrongdoing or some serious crime, there would be good reason for me to consider your charge [against this man]. But if it is only a dispute over words, titles and your [religious] law, tend to it yourselves; I refuse to pass judgment on such [trivial] matters." And he had them thrown out of the courtroom. Then, all of them [Note: This "all" could refer to the Greeks, the Jews or the Roman officers. Since the text does not specify, it seems most reasonable to suggest it was the Romans] grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the court of justice. But Gallio showed no interest in the whole affair. After this [incident] Paul remained [in Corinth] for some time before leaving the brothers and sailing for Syria with Priscilla and Aquila. Paul shaved his head while in Cenchrea as part of a vow he had taken. When they arrived at Ephesus, Paul left Priscilla and Aquila there. He then went into the [Jewish] synagogue and held discussions with the Jews. When they asked him to stay [and continue the discussions] longer, he declined. So, he left them, saying, "I will come back to you if it is God's will." Then He sailed from Ephesus. And when he landed at Ceasarea, he went up [Note: This would mean either up to Ceasarea or up to Jerusalem] and greeted the church [there], then went down to Antioch [in Syria].


He began speaking boldly in the synagogue and when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and proceeded to explain to him God's way more accurately [than he had known].

After this happened Paul left Athens and went to Corinth [i.e., a principal city of Greece]. There he met a certain Jewish man named Aquila, a native of Pontus, [in northern Asia Minor] who, with his wife Priscilla, had recently come from Rome, because Claudius [the Roman Emperor] had ordered all Jews out of that city. Paul met this couple and, because they followed the same trade of tentmaking, he stayed with them and went to work [for them].

After this [incident] Paul remained [in Corinth] for some time before leaving the brothers and sailing for Syria with Priscilla and Aquila. Paul shaved his head while in Cenchrea as part of a vow he had taken. When they arrived at Ephesus, Paul left Priscilla and Aquila there. He then went into the [Jewish] synagogue and held discussions with the Jews.

I send greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow-workers in [the service of] Christ Jesus. They risked their own lives for me, so not only I, but also all the Gentile churches [i.e., people converted from among the Gentiles] are grateful to them [for this].

[I send] greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, and to the family of Onesiphorus.

The churches in Asia send you their greetings [Note: This was the westernmost province in present-day Turkey]. Aquila and Prisca [Note: This married couple were close friends and fellow-tentmakers of Paul], along with the church that meets in their house, send you their warm greetings in [fellowship with] Christ.