2 And Paul entered the synagogue, as was his [a]custom, and for three Sabbaths he engaged in discussion and friendly debate with them from the Scriptures,3 explaining and pointing out [scriptural evidence] that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I am proclaiming to you, is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).”4 And some of them were persuaded to believe and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and many of the leading women.5 But the [unbelieving] Jews became jealous, and taking along some thugs from [the lowlifes in] the market place, they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar; and then attacking Jason’s house tried to bring Paul and Silas out to the people.6 But when they failed to find them, they dragged Jason and some brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too;7 and Jason has welcomed them [into his house and protected them]! And they all are saying things contrary to the decrees of Caesar, [actually] claiming that there is another king, Jesus.”8 They stirred up the crowd and the city authorities who heard these things.9 And when they had taken security (bail) from Jason and the others, they let them go.
Paul at Berea
10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they arrived, they entered the Jewish synagogue.11 Now these people were more noble and open-minded than those in Thessalonica, so they received the message [of salvation through faith in the Christ] with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.12 As a result many of them became believers, together with a number of prominent Greek women and men.13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that the word of God [concerning eternal salvation through faith in Christ] had also been preached by Paul at Berea, they came there too, agitating and disturbing the crowds.14 So at that time the brothers immediately sent Paul away to go as far as the sea; but Silas and Timothy remained there [at Berea].15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens; and [after] receiving instructions [from Paul] for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible, they left.
Paul at Athens
16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was greatly angered when he saw that the city was full of idols.17 So he had discussions in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place day after day with any who happened to be there.
Acts 17:2Paul had earlier announced that he was turning to the Gentiles (13:46), but he nevertheless kept to his practice of speaking to Jews first while focusing primarily on Gentiles.
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