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Acts 17:3-5 New English Translation (NET Bible)

explaining and demonstrating[a] that the Christ[b] had to suffer and to rise from the dead,[c] saying,[d] “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”[e] Some of them were persuaded[f] and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large group[g] of God-fearing Greeks[h] and quite a few[i] prominent women. But the Jews became jealous,[j] and gathering together some worthless men from the rabble in the marketplace,[k] they formed a mob[l] and set the city in an uproar.[m] They attacked Jason’s house,[n] trying to find Paul and Silas[o] to bring them out to the assembly.[p]


  1. Acts 17:3 tn BDAG 772 s.v. παρατίθημι 2.b has “demonstrate, point out” here.
  2. Acts 17:3 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn See the note on Christ in 2:31.
  3. Acts 17:3 sn The Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead. These two points (suffering and resurrection) would have been among the more controversial aspects of Paul’s messianic preaching. The term translated “had to” (δεῖ, dei) shows how divine design and scripture corresponded here.
  4. Acts 17:3 tn The Greek words used here (καὶ ὅτι, kai hoti, “and that”) mark the switch from indirect to direct discourse. Contemporary English requires the use of an introductory verb of speaking or saying to make this transition.
  5. Acts 17:3 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn See the note on Christ in 2:31. The identification of the Messiah with Jesus indicates Paul was proclaiming the fulfillment of messianic promise.
  6. Acts 17:4 tn Or “convinced.”
  7. Acts 17:4 tn Or “a large crowd.”
  8. Acts 17:4 tn Or “of devout Greeks,” but this is practically a technical term for the category called God-fearers, Gentiles who worshiped the God of Israel and in many cases kept the Mosaic law, but did not take the final step of circumcision necessary to become a proselyte to Judaism. See further K. G. Kuhn, TDNT 6:732-34, 743-44. Luke frequently mentions such people (Acts 13:43, 50; 16:14; 17:17; 18:7).
  9. Acts 17:4 tn Grk “not a few”; this use of negation could be misleading to the modern English reader, however, and so has been translated as “quite a few” (which is the actual meaning of the expression).
  10. Acts 17:5 tn Grk “becoming jealous.” The participle ζηλώσαντες (zēlōsantes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. So elsewhere in Acts (5:17; 7:9; 13:45).
  11. Acts 17:5 tn Literally ἀγοραῖος (agoraios) refers to the crowd in the marketplace, although BDAG 14-15 s.v. ἀγοραῖος 1 gives the meaning, by extension, as “rabble.” Such a description is certainly appropriate in this context. L&N 15.127 translates the phrase “worthless men from the streets.”
  12. Acts 17:5 tn On this term, which is a NT hapax legomenon, see BDAG 745 s.v. ὀχλοποιέω.
  13. Acts 17:5 tn BDAG 458 s.v. θορυβέω 1 has “set the city in an uproar, start a riot in the city” for the meaning of ἐθορύβουν (ethoruboun) in this verse.
  14. Acts 17:5 sn The attack took place at Jason’s house because this was probably the location of the new house church.
  15. Acts 17:5 tn Grk “them”; the referents (Paul and Silas) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
  16. Acts 17:5 tn BDAG 223 s.v. δῆμος 2 has “in a Hellenistic city, a convocation of citizens called together for the purpose of transacting official business, popular assembly προάγειν εἰς τὸν δ. Ac 17:5.”
New English Translation (NET)

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