Acts 17 New International Version (NIV)
17 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[a] 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Acts 17 The Message (MSG)
17 1-3 They took the road south through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica, where there was a community of Jews. Paul went to their meeting place, as he usually did when he came to a town, and for three Sabbaths running he preached to them from the Scriptures. He opened up the texts so they understood what they’d been reading all their lives: that the Messiah absolutely had to be put to death and raised from the dead—there were no other options—and that “this Jesus I’m introducing you to is that Messiah.”
4-5 Some of them were won over and joined ranks with Paul and Silas, among them a great many God-fearing Greeks and a considerable number of women from the aristocracy. But the hard-line Jews became furious over the conversions. Mad with jealousy, they rounded up a bunch of brawlers off the streets and soon had an ugly mob terrorizing the city as they hunted down Paul and Silas.
5-7 They broke into Jason’s house, thinking that Paul and Silas were there. When they couldn’t find them, they collared Jason and his friends instead and dragged them before the city fathers, yelling hysterically, “These people are out to destroy the world, and now they’ve shown up on our doorstep, attacking everything we hold dear! And Jason is hiding them, these traitors and turncoats who say Jesus is king and Caesar is nothing!”
8-9 The city fathers and the crowd of people were totally alarmed by what they heard. They made Jason and his friends post heavy bail and let them go while they investigated the charges.
10-12 That night, under cover of darkness, their friends got Paul and Silas out of town as fast as they could. They sent them to Berea, where they again met with the Jewish community. They were treated a lot better there than in Thessalonica. The Jews received Paul’s message with enthusiasm and met with him daily, examining the Scriptures to see if they supported what he said. A lot of them became believers, including many Greeks who were prominent in the community, women and men of influence.
13-15 But it wasn’t long before reports got back to the Thessalonian hard-line Jews that Paul was at it again, preaching the Word of God, this time in Berea. They lost no time responding, and created a mob scene there, too. With the help of his friends, Paul gave them the slip—caught a boat and put out to sea. Silas and Timothy stayed behind. The men who helped Paul escape got him as far as Athens and left him there. Paul sent word back with them to Silas and Timothy: “Come as quickly as you can!”
16 The longer Paul waited in Athens for Silas and Timothy, the angrier he got—all those idols! The city was a junkyard of idols.
17-18 He discussed it with the Jews and other like-minded people at their meeting place. And every day he went out on the streets and talked with anyone who happened along. He got to know some of the Epicurean and Stoic intellectuals pretty well through these conversations. Some of them dismissed him with sarcasm: “What a moron!” But others, listening to him go on about Jesus and the resurrection, were intrigued: “That’s a new slant on the gods. Tell us more.”
19-21 These people got together and asked him to make a public presentation over at the Areopagus, where things were a little quieter. They said, “This is a new one on us. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. Where did you come up with this anyway? Explain it so we can understand.” Downtown Athens was a great place for gossip. There were always people hanging around, natives and tourists alike, waiting for the latest tidbit on most anything.
22-23 So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.
24-29 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
30-31 “God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32-34 At the phrase “raising him from the dead,” the listeners split: Some laughed at him and walked off making jokes; others said, “Let’s do this again. We want to hear more.” But that was it for the day, and Paul left. There were still others, it turned out, who were convinced then and there, and stuck with Paul—among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris.
Acts 17 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
17 And when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
2 And Paul, according to his custom, went in unto them; and for three sabbath days he reasoned with them out of the scriptures:
3 Declaring and insinuating that the Christ was to suffer, and to rise again from the dead; and that this is Jesus Christ, whom I preach to you.
4 And some of them believed, and were associated to Paul and Silas; and of those that served God, and of the Gentiles a great multitude, and of noble women not a few.
5 But the Jews, moved with envy, and taking unto them some wicked men of the vulgar sort, and making a tumult, set the city in an uproar; and besetting Jason's house, sought to bring them out unto the people.
6 And not finding them, they drew Jason and certain brethren to the rulers of the city, crying: They that set the city in an uproar, are come hither also;
7 Whom Jason hath received; and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.
8 And they stirred up the people, and the rulers of the city hearing these things,
9 And having taken satisfaction of Jason and of the rest, they let them go.
10 But the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea. Who, when they were come thither, went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, who received the word with all eagerness, daily searching the scriptures, whether these things were so.
12 And many indeed of them believed, and of honourable women that were Gentiles, and of men not a few.
13 And when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was also preached by Paul at Berea, they came thither also, stirring up and troubling the multitude.
14 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul, to go unto the sea; but Silas and Timothy remained there.
15 And they that conducted Paul, brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a commandment from him to Silas and Timothy, that they should come to him with all speed, they departed.
16 Now whilst Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred within him, seeing the city wholly given to idolatry.
17 He disputed, therefore, in the synagogue with the Jews, and with them that served God, and in the marketplace, every day with them that were there.
18 And certain philosophers of the Epicureans and of the Stoics disputed with him; and some said: What is it, that this word sower would say? But others: He seemeth to be a setter forth of new gods; because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.
19 And taking him, they brought him to the Areopagus, saying: May we know what this new doctrine is, which thou speakest of?
20 For thou bringest in certain new things to our ears. We would know therefore what these things mean.
21 (Now all the Athenians, and strangers that were there, employed themselves in nothing else, but either in telling or in hearing some new thing.)
22 But Paul standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious.
23 For passing by, and seeing your idols, I found an altar also, on which was written: To the unknown God. What therefore you worship, without knowing it, that I preach to you:
24 God, who made the world, and all things therein; he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is he served with men's hands, as though he needed any thing; seeing it is he who giveth to all life, and breath, and all things:
26 And hath made of one, all mankind, to dwell upon the whole face of the earth, determining appointed times, and the limits of their habitation.
27 That they should seek God, if happily they may feel after him or find him, although he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and are; as some also of your own poets said: For we are also his offspring.
29 Being therefore the offspring of God, we must not suppose the divinity to be like unto gold, or silver, or stone, the graving of art, and device of man.
30 And God indeed having winked at the times of this ignorance, now declareth unto men, that all should everywhere do penance.
31 Because he hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in equity, by the man whom he hath appointed; giving faith to all, by raising him up from the dead.
32 And when they had heard of the resurrection of the dead, some indeed mocked, but others said: We will hear thee again concerning this matter.
33 So Paul went out from among them.
34 But certain men adhering to him, did believe; among whom was also Dionysius, the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Acts 17 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Paul and Silas in Thessalonica
17 ·Paul and Silas [L They] traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica [C a city on the Via Egnatia, the major road on the northern Aegean coast] where there was a synagogue. 2 Paul went into the synagogue as he ·always [customarily] did [C speaking to the Jews first], and on each Sabbath day for three weeks, he ·talked [discussed; or argued; reasoned] with ·his fellow Jews [L them] about the Scriptures. 3 He explained and proved that the ·Christ [Messiah; C Christ in Greek and Messiah in Hebrew mean “anointed one”] must ·die [L suffer] and then rise from the dead [3:18]. He said, “This Jesus I am ·telling you about [proclaiming to you] is the ·Christ [Messiah].” 4 Some of them were ·convinced [persuaded] and joined Paul and Silas, along with many of the Greeks who ·worshiped God [were devout; C sometimes called “God-fearers,” these were Gentiles who worshiped the one true God of Israel; 10:2; 13:43] and ·many [L not a few] of the important women [13:50].
5 But ·some others [L the Jews] became jealous. So they got some evil men ·from the marketplace [or loitering in the streets; from the marketplace rabble], formed a mob, and ·started a riot [put the city in an uproar]. They ran to Jason’s house, looking for ·Paul and Silas [L them], wanting to bring them out to the ·people [assembly; crowd]. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other ·believers [L brothers] to the ·leaders of the city [city authorities; L politarchs]. The people were yelling, “These people have ·made trouble [agitated; stirred up rebellion] everywhere in the world, and now they have come here too! 7 Jason ·is keeping [has welcomed/received/harbored] them in his house. All of them ·do things against [defy; oppose] the ·laws [decrees] of Caesar, saying there is another king, called Jesus.”
8 When the ·people [crowd] and the ·leaders of the city [city authorities; L politarchs] heard these things, they ·became very upset [were disturbed]. 9 They made Jason and the others ·put up a sum of money [pay bail; post a bond]. Then they let ·the believers [L them] go free.
Paul and Silas Go to Berea
10 That same night the ·believers [L brothers] sent Paul and Silas to ·Berea [C a Macedonian city to the south] where [L upon arriving] they went to the synagogue [L of the Jews]. 11 These people were more ·willing to listen [open-minded; fair-minded; noble in character] than the people in Thessalonica. The Bereans ·were eager to hear what Paul and Silas said [L eagerly received the word/message] and ·studied [examined] the Scriptures every day to find out if these things were true [C to confirm Paul’s teaching was in line with Scripture]. 12 So, many of them believed, as well as ·many [L not a few] ·important [prominent; socially high-standing] Greek women and men [17:4]. 13 But the Jews [C who had opposed Paul earlier] in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, too. So they came there, ·upsetting [stirring up] the ·people [crowd] and ·making trouble [causing a disturbance]. 14 The ·believers [L brothers (and sisters)] ·quickly [immediately] sent Paul away to the ·coast [L sea], but Silas and Timothy stayed ·in Berea [behind; L there]. 15 The people ·leading [escorting; accompanying] Paul went with him to Athens [C the leading city in Greece]. Then they carried ·a message [instructions; an order] from Paul back to Silas and Timothy for them to ·come to [rejoin] him as soon as they could.
Paul Preaches in Athens
16 While Paul was waiting for ·Silas and Timothy [L them] in Athens, ·he [L his spirit] was ·troubled [very distressed] because he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 In the synagogue, he ·talked [or argued; reasoned] with the Jews and the ·Greeks who worshiped God [God-fearing Gentiles; L pious/devout ones; see 17:4]. He also ·talked [or argued; reasoned] every day with ·people [L those who happened to be present] in the ·marketplace [or public square].
18 Some of the Epicurean [C who believed the goal of life was pleasure and did not believe the soul survived death] and Stoic philosophers [C who believed life should be lived with indifference to pleasure and pain, and did not believe the soul was immortal] ·argued [conversed; debated] with him, saying, “What is this ·babbler [or charlatan; or ignorant show-off; L word-scatterer] trying to say?” Others said, “He seems to be telling us about ·some other gods [foreign gods; strange deities],” because Paul was ·telling them [preaching the Good News/Gospel] about Jesus and ·his rising from the dead [the resurrection]. 19 They got Paul and took him to ·a meeting of the Areopagus [or the Hill of Ares; or Mars Hill; C Ares (Greek name) or Mars (Roman name) was the god of thunder and war; the council of Areopagus was the oldest and most prestigious court for intellectual and moral matters], where they said, “Please explain to us this new idea you have been teaching. 20 [L For; Because] The things you are saying ·are new [or sound strange] to us, and we want to know what ·this teaching means [L these things mean].” 21 (All the people of Athens and ·those from other countries [foreigners] who lived there spent all their time talking about and listening to the newest ideas.)
22 Then Paul stood ·before the meeting [L in the midst] of the Areopagus and said, “·People of Athens [L Men, Athenians], I can see you are very religious in ·all things [every way]. 23 [L For; Because] As I was going through your city, I ·saw [observed closely] the objects you worship. I found an altar that had these words written on it: to ·a god who is not known [T an unknown god]. ·You worship a god that you don’t know, and this is the God I am telling you about [L What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you]! 24 The God who made the whole world and everything in it [Deut. 4:39; Ps. 146:6] is the Lord of the ·sky and the land [or heaven and earth]. He does not live in ·temples [shrines] built by human hands. 25 This God is the One who gives life, breath, and everything else to ·people [L all; everyone; Gen. 1:29; 2:7]. He ·does not need any help from them [L is not served by human hands]; he has everything he needs. 26 ·God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people [L From one, God made every nation of people] ·who live everywhere in the world [or in order to inhabit the whole earth]. God ·decided exactly [determined; or allotted] ·when [or their appointed time in history; or the seasons of their year] and ·where they must live [or the boundaries of their lands]. 27 God wanted them to ·look for [seek] him and perhaps ·search all around for [grope for; reach out to; feel their way towards] him and find him, though he is not far from any of us: 28 ‘[L For] ·By his power [or In him] we live and move and ·exist [have our being; C a quotation from the Cretan philosopher Epimenides, from about 600 bc].’ [L As] Some of your own poets have said: ‘For we are his ·children [offspring; C a quotation from Aratus, a Stoic philosopher from Cilicia, who lived about 315–240 bc].’ 29 Since we are God’s ·children [offspring], you must not think that ·God [the deity; or the divine nature] is like ·something [an image/likeness] ·that people imagine or make [L made by human skill and imagination] from gold, silver, or rock. 30 ·In the past, people did not understand God, and he ignored this [or God overlooked such times of ignorance]. But now, God ·tells [commands] all people in the world to ·change their hearts and lives [repent]. 31 [L Because] God has ·set [fixed; established] a day that he will judge all the world with ·fairness [righteousness], by the man he ·chose [appointed] long ago. And God has ·proved [or given assurance of] this to everyone by raising that man from the dead!”
32 When the people heard about ·Jesus being raised [L the resurrection] from the dead, some of them ·laughed [mocked; scoffed]. But others said, “We will hear more about this from you ·later [L again].” 33 So Paul went away from them. 34 But some of the ·people [L men] ·believed Paul [became believers] and joined him. Among those who believed was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and some others.
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