Acts 17 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)
17 Paul and Silas travelled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 Paul went there, as he usually did, and for three sabbaths he spoke to them, expounding the scriptures, 3 interpreting and explaining that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise from the dead, and that ‘This Jesus, that I am announcing to you, is the Messiah’. 4 Some of them were persuaded, and threw in their lot with Paul and Silas, including a large crowd of godfearing Greeks, together with quite a few of the leading women.
5 But the Jews were righteously indignant. They took some villainous men from the market-place, drew a crowd, and threw the city into an uproar. They besieged Jason’s house and searched for Paul and Silas, to bring them out to the mob. 6 When they couldn’t find them, they dragged Jason and some of the Christians before the town authorities.
‘These are the people who are turning the world upside down!’ they yelled. ‘Now they’ve come here! 7 Jason has had them in his house! They are all acting against the decrees of Caesar – and they’re saying that there is another king, Jesus!’
8 When they heard these words, the crowd and the authorities were both greatly agitated. 9 They bound Jason and the others over, and then dismissed them.
Paul Reaches Athens
10 The Christians in Thessalonica quickly sent Paul and Silas on, by night, to Beroea. When they got there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 The people there were more generous in spirit than those in Thessalonica. They received the word with considerable eagerness, searching the scriptures day by day to see if what they were hearing was indeed the case. 12 Many of them became believers, including some of the well-born Greek women, and quite a few men.
13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica knew that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Beroea, too, they came there as well, stirring up trouble and whipping up the crowd. 14 So the Christians quickly sent Paul away as far as the sea-coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15 Those who were conducting Paul brought him all the way to Athens, where he told them to tell Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible. Then they left him there.
16 So Paul waited in Athens. While he was there, his spirit was stirred up as he saw the whole city simply full of idols. 17 He argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the godfearers, and in the market-place every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were disputing with him.
‘What can this word-scatterer be on about?’ some were saying.
‘He seems to be proclaiming foreign divinities,’ declared others – since he was preaching ‘Jesus and Anastasis’. (‘Anastasis’ means ‘resurrection’.) 19 So they took him up to the Areopagus.
‘Are we able to know’, they said, ‘what this new teaching really is that you are talking about? 20 You are putting very strange ideas into our minds. We’d like to find out what it all means.’
21 All the Athenians, and the foreigners who live there, spend their time simply and solely in telling and hearing the latest novelty.
Paul Among the Philosophers
22 So Paul stood up in the midst of the Areopagus.
‘Men of Athens,’ he said, ‘I see that you are in every way an extremely religious people. 23 For as I was going along and looking at your objects of worship, I saw an altar with the inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Well: I’m here to tell you about what it is that you are worshipping in ignorance. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, the one who is Lord of heaven and earth, doesn’t live in temples made by human hands. 25 Nor does he need to be looked after by human hands, as though he lacked something, since he himself gives life and breath and all things to everyone. 26 He made from one stock every race of humans to live on the whole face of the earth, allotting them their properly ordained times and the boundaries for their dwellings. 27 The aim was that they would search for God, and perhaps reach out for him and find him. Indeed, he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for in him we live and move and exist; as also some of your own poets have put it, “For we are his offspring”.
29 ‘Well, then, if we really are God’s offspring, we ought not to suppose that the divinity is like gold or silver or stone, formed by human skill and ingenuity. 30 That was just ignorance; but the time for it has passed, and God has drawn a veil over it. Now, instead, he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has established a day on which he intends to call the world to account with full and proper justice by a man whom he has appointed. God has given all people his pledge of this by raising this man from the dead.’
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them ridiculed Paul. But others said, ‘We will give you another hearing about this.’ 33 So Paul went out from their presence. 34 But some people joined him and believed, including Dionysius, a member of the court of the Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
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