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.