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. Chapter 17.

The Uproar in Thessalonica (Thessalonica)

1 THEY NOW TRAVELLED by way of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 Following his usual practice Paul went to their meetings; and for the next three Sabbaths he argued with them, quoting texts of Scripture 3 which he expounded and applied to show that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. 'And this Jesus,' he said, 'whom I am proclaiming to you, is the Messiah.' 4 Some of them were convinced and joined Paul and Silas; so did a great number of godfearing Gentiles and a good many influential women. [Some witnesses read: a good many wives of leading men.]

5 But the Jews in their jealousy recruited some low fellows from the dregs of the populace, roused the rabble, and had the city in an uproar. They mobbed Jason's house, with the intention of bringing Paul and Silas before the town assembly. 6 Failing to find them, they dragged Jason himself and some members of the congregation before the magistrates, shouting, 'The men who have made trouble all over the world have now come here; 7 and Jason has harboured them. They all flout the Emperor's laws, and assert that there is a rival king, Jesus.' 8 These words caused a great commotion in the mob, which affected the magistrates also. 9 They bound over Jason and the others, and let them go.

The Apostles at Beroea (Beroea)

10 As soon as darkness fell, the members of the congregation sent Paul and Silas off to Beroea. On arrival, they made their way to the synagogue. 11 The Jews here were more civil than those at Thessalonica: they received the message with great eagerness, studying the scriptures every day to see whether it was as they said. 12 Many of them therefore became believers, and so did a fair number of Gentiles, women of standing as well as men. 13 But when the Thessalonian Jews learned that the word of God had now been proclaimed by Paul in Beroea, they came on there to stir up trouble and rouse the rabble. 14 Thereupon the members of the congregation sent Paul off at once to go down to the coast, while Silas and Timothy both stayed behind. 15 Paul's escort brought him as far as Athens, and came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy to rejoin him with all speed.

Paul at Athens (Athens)

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens he was exasperated to see how the city was full of idols. 17 So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and gentile worshippers, and also in the city square every day with casual passers-by. 18 And some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers joined issue with him. Some said, 'What can this charlatan be trying to say?'; others, 'He would appear to be a propagandist for foreign deities'- this because he was preaching about Jesus and Resurrection. 19 So they took him and brought him before the Court of Areopagus [Or: brought him to Mars' field.] and said, 'May we know what this new doctrine is that you propound? 20 You are introducing ideas that sound strange to us, and we should like to know what they mean.' 21 (Now the Athenians in general and the foreigners there had no time for anything but talking or hearing about the latest novelty.)

22 Then Paul stood up before the Court of Areopagus [Or: in the middle of Mars' hill.] and said: 'Men of Athens, I see that in everything that concerns religion you are uncommonly scrupulous. 23 For as I was going round looking at the objects of your worship, I noticed among other things an altar bearing the inscription "To an Unknown God". What you worship but do not know—this is what I now proclaim.

24 'The God who created the world and everything in it, and who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by men. 25 It is not because he lacks anything that he accepts service at men's hands, for he is himself the universal giver of life and breath and all else. 26 He created every race of men of one stock, to inhabit the whole earth's surface. He fixed the epochs of their history [Or: fixed the ordered seasons ...] and the limits of their territory. 27 They were to seek God, and, it might be, touch and find him; though indeed he is not far from each one of us, 28 for in him we live and move, in him we exist; as some of your own poets [Some witnesses read: some among you.] have said, "We are also his offspring." 29 As God's offspring, then, we ought not to suppose that the deity is like an image in gold or silver or stone, shaped by human craftsmanship and design. 30 As for the times of ignorance, God has overlooked them; but now he commands mankind, all men everywhere, to repent, 31 because he has fixed the day on which he will have the world judged, and justly judged, by a man of his choosing; of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.'

32 When they heard about the raising of the dead, some scoffed; and others said, 'We will hear you on this subject some other time.' 33 And so Paul left the assembly. 34 However, some men joined him and became believers, including Dionysius, a member of the Court of Areopagus; also a woman named Damaris, and others besides.

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.