Synagogue Responses Vary
1 After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went to the Jewish people; and for three Shabbats, he debated the Scriptures with them. 3 He 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.” 4 Some 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.
5 But 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. 6 When 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, 7 and Jason has welcomed them! They are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Yeshua.” 8 Hearing these things, the crowd and the city officials were confused. 9 But after receiving bail from Jason and the rest, they released them.
10 As soon as it was night, the brethren sent Paul and Silas to Berea. Upon arrival, they made their way to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now 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. 12 Therefore many of them believed, as well as quite a few prominent Greek women and men.
13 But 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. 14 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul away to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 Those 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
16 Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was aroused within him when he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So 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. 18 Also 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. 19 So they took Paul to the Aereopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are talking about? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears, so we want to know what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and foreigners visiting there used to pass their time doing nothing but telling or hearing something new.
22 So Paul stood in the middle of the Aereopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in all ways you are very religious. 23 For 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. 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth,#17:24a. cf. Isa. 42:5; Deut. 10:14; Ps. 115:16. does not live in temples made by hands.#17:24b. cf. 1 Kings 8:27. 25 Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything,#17:25a. cf. Job 22:2; Ps. 50:10-12. since He Himself gives to everyone life and breath and all things.#17:25b. cf. Gen. 2:7; Job 27:3. 26 From 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.#17:26. cf. Deut. 32:8; Job 12:23. 27 They were to search for Him, and perhaps grope around for Him and find Him. Yet He is not far from each one of us,#17:27. cf. Deut. 4:7; Jer. 23:23. 28 for
‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’
As some of your own poets have said,
‘For we also are His offspring.’#17:28. Quotes from Epimenides and Aratus.
29 Since 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.#17:29. cf. Isa. 40:18-19. 30 Although God overlooked the periods of ignorance, now He commands everyone everywhere to repent. 31 For He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness, through a Man whom He has appointed.#17:31. cf. Ps. 2; 9:8; 96:13; 98:9. He has brought forth evidence of this to all men, by raising Him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began scoffing. But others said, “We will hear from you again about this.”
33 So Paul left from their midst. 34 But some men joined with him and believed—among them Dionysius (a member of the council of the Areopagus), a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
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