Synagogue Responses Vary
1After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
2As was his custom, Paul went to the Jewish people; and for three Shabbatot, he debated the Scriptures with them.
3He opened them and gave evidence that Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead, saying, “This Yeshua, whom I declare to you, is the Messiah.”
4Some of them were convinced and became attached to Paul and Silas, as were a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and no small number of the leading women.
5But some of the Jewish people became jealous. Taking some wicked fellows of the marketplace and gathering a crowd, they stirred the city into an uproar. They attacked Jason’s house, trying to bring Paul and Silas out to the mob.
6When they did not find them, they instead began dragging Jason and some of the brethren before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here too,
7and Jason has welcomed them! They are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Yeshua.”
8Hearing these things, the crowd and the city officials were confused.
9But after receiving bail from Jason and the rest, they released them.
10As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. Upon arrival, they made their way to the Jewish synagogue.
11Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, because they received the message with goodwill, searching the Scriptures each day to see whether these things were true.
12Therefore many of them believed, as well as quite a few prominent Greek women and men.
13But when the Jewish people of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea, they came there too, agitating and inciting the people.
14Then the brothers immediately sent Paul away to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there.
15Those escorting Paul brought him as far as Athens. After receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.
An Unknown God in Athens
16Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was aroused within him when he saw that the city was full of idols.
17So he was debating in the synagogue with the Jewish people and the God-fearers, as well as in the marketplace every day with all who happened to be there.
18Also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What’s this babbler trying to say?” while others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign deities”—because he was proclaiming the Good News of Yeshua and the resurrection.
19So they took Paul to the Aereopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are talking about?
20For you are bringing some strange things to our ears, so we want to know what these things mean.”
21Now all the Athenians and foreigners visiting there used to pass their time doing nothing but telling or hearing something new.
22So Paul stood in the middle of the Aereopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in all ways you are very religious.
23For while I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing, this I proclaim to you.
24The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by hands.
25Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, since He Himself gives to everyone life and breath and all things.
26From one He made every nation of men to live on the face of the earth, having set appointed times and the boundaries of their territory.
27They were to search for Him, and perhaps grope around for Him and find Him. Yet He is not far from each one of us,
28for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’
29Since we are His offspring, we ought not to suppose the Deity is like gold or silver or stone, an engraved image of human art and imagination.
30Although God overlooked the periods of ignorance, now He commands everyone everywhere to repent.
31For He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness, through a Man whom He has appointed. He has brought forth evidence of this to all men, by raising Him from the dead.”
32Now when they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began scoffing. But others said, “We will hear from you again about this.”
33So Paul left from their midst.
34But some men joined with him and believed—among them Dionysius (a member of the council of the Aereopagus), a woman named Damaris, and others with them.