17After Paul and Silas* had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three sabbath days argued with them from the scriptures, 3explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Messiah* to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, This is the Messiah,* Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you. 4Some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5But the Jews became jealous, and with the help of some ruffians in the market-places they formed a mob and set the city in an uproar. While they were searching for Paul and Silas to bring them out to the assembly, they attacked Jasons house. 6When they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some believers* before the city authorities,* shouting, These people who have been turning the world upside down have come here also, 7and Jason has entertained them as guests. They are all acting contrary to the decrees of the emperor, saying that there is another king named Jesus. 8The people and the city officials were disturbed when they heard this, 9and after they had taken bail from Jason and the others, they let them go.
10 That very night the believers* sent Paul and Silas off to Beroea; and when they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11These Jews were more receptive than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so. 12Many of them therefore believed, including not a few Greek women and men of high standing. 13But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Beroea as well, they came there too, to stir up and incite the crowds. 14Then the believers* immediately sent Paul away to the coast, but Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and after receiving instructions to have Silas and Timothy join him as soon as possible, they left him.
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the market-place* every day with those who happened to be there. 18Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, What does this babbler want to say? Others said, He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities. (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 19So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means. 21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.
22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way.
23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, To an unknown god. What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands,
25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.
26From one ancestor* he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live,
27so that they would search for God* and perhaps grope for him and find himthough indeed he is not far from each one of us.
28For In him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your own poets have said,
For we too are his offspring.
29Since we are Gods offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
32 When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, We will hear you again about this. 33At that point Paul left them. 34But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011