Acts 17-19Amplified Bible (AMP)
Paul at Thessalonica
17 Now after Paul and Silas had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 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. 18 And some of the [b]Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to engage in conversation with him. And some said, “What could this idle babbler [with his eclectic, scrap-heap learning] have in mind to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities”—because he was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 They took him and brought him to the [c]Areopagus (Hill of Ares, the Greek god of war), saying, “May we know what this [strange] new teaching is which you are proclaiming? 20 For you are bringing some startling and strange things to our ears; so we want to know what they mean.” 21 (Now all the Athenians and the foreigners visiting there used to spend their [leisure] time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)
Sermon on Mars Hill
22 So Paul, standing in the center of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I observe [with every turn I make throughout the city] that you are very religious and devout in all respects. 23 Now as I was going along and carefully looking at your objects of worship, I came to an altar with this inscription: ‘TO AN [d]UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you already worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who created the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He [e]served by human hands, as though He needed anything, because it is He who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things. 26 And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. 27 This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of [f]your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ 29 So then, being God’s children, we should not think that the Divine Nature (deity) is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination or skill of man. 30 Therefore God overlooked and disregarded the former ages of ignorance; but now He commands all people everywhere to repent [that is, to change their old way of thinking, to regret their past sins, and to seek God’s purpose for their lives], 31 because He has set a day when He will judge the inhabited world in righteousness by a Man whom He has appointed and destined for that task, and He has provided credible proof to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard [the term] resurrection from the dead, [g]some mocked and sneered; but others said, “We will hear from you again about this matter.” 33 So Paul left them. 34 But some men joined him and believed; among them were Dionysius, [a judge] of the Council of Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Paul at Corinth
18 After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife, Priscilla, because [the Roman Emperor] Claudius had issued an edict that all the [h]Jews were to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them; and they worked together for they were tent-makers. 4 And he reasoned and debated in the synagogue every Sabbath, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks;
5 but when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia (northern Greece), Paul began devoting himself completely to [preaching] the word, and solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). 6 But since the Jews kept resisting and opposing him, and blaspheming [God], he [i]shook out his robe and said to them, “Your blood (damnation) be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 Then he moved on from there and went to the house of a man named [j]Titius Justus, who worshiped God and whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord together with his entire household [joyfully acknowledging Him as Messiah and Savior]; and many of the Corinthians who heard [Paul’s message] were believing and being baptized. 9 One night the Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid anymore, but go on speaking and do not be silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you in order to hurt you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So he settled there for a year and six months, teaching them the word of God [concerning eternal salvation through faith in Christ].
12 But when [k]Gallio was proconsul of Achaia (southern Greece), the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before [l]the judgment seat, 13 declaring, “This man is persuading people to worship God in violation of the law [of Moses].” 14 But when Paul was about to reply, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of some misdemeanor or serious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to put up with you; 15 but since it is merely a question [of doctrine within your religion] about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves; I am [m]unwilling to judge these matters.” 16 And he drove them away from the judgment seat. 17 Then the Greeks all seized [n]Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him right in front of the judgment seat; but Gallio paid no attention to any of this.
18 Paul stayed for a while longer, and then told the [o]brothers and sisters goodbye and sailed for Syria; and he was accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchrea [the southeastern port of Corinth] he had his hair cut, because he was keeping a [Nazirite] vow [of abstention]. 19 Then they arrived in Ephesus, and he left the others there; but he entered the synagogue and reasoned and debated with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he refused; 21 but after telling them goodbye and saying, “I will return again if God is willing,” he set sail from Ephesus.
22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and [p]greeted the church [at Jerusalem], and then went down to Antioch.
Paul’s Third Missionary Journey
23 After spending some time there, he left and traveled through the territory of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening and encouraging all the disciples.
24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent and cultured man, and well versed in the [Hebrew] Scriptures. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and being spiritually impassioned, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things about Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John; 26 and he began to speak boldly and fearlessly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained more accurately to him the way of God [and the full story of the life of Christ]. 27 And when Apollos wanted to go across to Achaia (southern Greece), the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples, [urging them] to welcome him gladly. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who, through grace, had believed and had followed Jesus as Lord and Savior, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public discussions, proving by the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).
Paul at Ephesus
19 It happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the upper [inland] districts and came down to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [in Jesus as the Christ]?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he asked, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John performed a baptism of repentance, continually telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, [to confidently accept and joyfully believe] in Jesus [the Messiah and Savior].” 5 After hearing this, they were baptized [again, this time] in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in [unknown] tongues (languages) and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
8 And he went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and arguing and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient [to the word of God], discrediting and speaking evil of [q]the Way (Jesus, Christianity) before the congregation, Paul left them, taking the disciples with him, and went on holding [r]daily discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus [instead of in the synagogue]. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the inhabitants of [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor], Jews as well as Greeks, heard the word of the Lord [concerning eternal salvation through faith in Christ].
Miracles at Ephesus
11 God was doing extraordinary and unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or face-towels or aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out [of them]. 13 Then some of the traveling Jewish exorcists also attempted to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I implore you and solemnly command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches!” 14 Seven sons of one [named] Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit retorted, “I know and recognize and acknowledge Jesus, and I know about Paul, but as for you, who are you?” 16 Then the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued [s]all of them and overpowered them, so that they ran out of that house [in terror, stripped] naked and wounded. 17 This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified and exalted. 18 Many of those who had become believers were coming, confessing and disclosing their [former sinful] practices. 19 And many of those who had practiced magical arts collected their books and [throwing book after book on the pile] began burning them in front of everyone. They calculated their value and found it to be [t]50,000 pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord [concerning eternal salvation through faith in Christ] was growing greatly and prevailing.
21 Now after these events, Paul determined in the Spirit that he would travel through [u]Macedonia and Achaia (most of the Greek mainland), and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome [and preach the good news of salvation].” 22 And after sending two of his assistants, Timothy and [v]Erastus, to Macedonia [ahead of him], he stayed on in [the west coast province of] Asia [Minor] for a while.
23 About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way (Jesus, Christianity). 24 Now a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of [the goddess] Artemis (Diana), was bringing no small profit to the craftsmen. 25 These [craftsmen] he called together, along with the workmen of similar trades, and said, “Men, you are well aware that we make a good living from this business. 26 You see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but almost all over [the province of] Asia, this Paul has persuaded [people to believe his teaching] and has misled a large number of people, claiming that gods made by [human] hands are not really gods at all. 27 Not only is there danger that this trade of ours will be discredited, but also that the [magnificent] [w]temple of the great goddess [x]Artemis will be discredited, and that she whom all Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned and lose her glorious magnificence.”
28 When they heard this, they were filled with rage, and they began shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 Then the city was filled with confusion; and people rushed together [as a group] into the amphitheater, dragging along with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s traveling companions. 30 Paul wanted to go into the [pagan] assembly, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Even some of the Asiarchs (officials) who were his friends sent word to him and repeatedly warned him not to venture into the amphitheater. 32 Now some shouted one thing and some another, for the gathering was in confusion and most of the people did not know [y]why they had come together. 33 Some of the crowd advised Alexander [to speak], since the Jews had pushed him forward; and Alexander motioned with his hand [for attention] and intended to make a defense to the people. 34 But when they realized that he was a Jew, a single outcry went up from the crowd as they shouted for about two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 35 After the town [z]clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of that [[aa]sacred stone image of her] which fell from the sky? 36 So, since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and stay calm and not do anything rash. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; let them bring charges against one another there. 39 But if you want anything beyond this, it will be settled in the lawful assembly. 40 For we are running the risk of being accused of rioting in regard to today’s events, and since there is no reason for it, we will be unable to give an account and justify this disorderly gathering.” 41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.
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