November 24

Acts 17:1 — 19:41


17
They now journeyed through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 So according to Paul’s custom he went inside to them, and for three sabbaths he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving by references that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and [saying]: “This is the Christ, this Jesus whom I am publishing to YOU.” 4 As a result some of them became believers and associated themselves with Paul and Silas, and a great multitude of the Greeks who worshiped [God] and not a few of the principal women did so.

5 But the Jews, getting jealous, took into their company certain wicked men of the marketplace idlers and formed a mob and proceeded to throw the city into an uproar. And they assaulted the house of Jason and went seeking to have them brought forth to the rabble. 6 When they did not find them they dragged Jason and certain brothers to the city rulers, crying out: “These men that have overturned the inhabited earth are present here also, 7 and Jason has received them with hospitality. And all these [men] act in opposition to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Jesus.” 8 They indeed agitated the crowd and the city rulers when they heard these things; 9 and first after taking sufficient security from Jason and the others they let them go.

10 Immediately by night the brothers sent both Paul and Silas out to Beroea, and these, upon arriving, went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them became believers, and so did not a few of the reputable Greek women and of the men. 13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was published also in Beroea by Paul, they came there also to incite and agitate the masses. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off to go as far as the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained behind there. 15 However, those conducting Paul brought him as far as Athens and, after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as quickly as possible, they departed.

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit within him came to be irritated at beholding that the city was full of idols. 17 Consequently he began to reason in the synagogue with the Jews and the other people who worshiped [God] and every day in the marketplace with those who happened to be on hand. 18 But certain ones of both the Epicurean and the Stoic philosophers took to conversing with him controversially, and some would say: “What is it this chatterer would like to tell?” Others: “He seems to be a publisher of foreign deities.” This was because he was declaring the good news of Jesus and the resurrection. 19 So they laid hold of him and led him to the Areopagus, saying: “Can we get to know what this new teaching is which is spoken by you? 20 For you are introducing some things that are strange to our ears. Therefore we desire to get to know what these things purport to be.” 21 In fact, all Athenians and the foreigners sojourning there would spend their leisure time at nothing but telling something or listening to something new. 22 Paul now stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said:

“Men of Athens, I behold that in all things YOU seem to be more given to the fear of the deities than others are. 23 For instance, while passing along and carefully observing YOUR objects of veneration I also found an altar on which had been inscribed ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore what YOU are unknowingly giving godly devotion to, this I am publishing to YOU. 24 The God that made the world and all the things in it, being, as this One is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples, 25 neither is he attended to by human hands as if he needed anything, because he himself gives to all [persons] life and breath and all things. 26 And he made out of one [man] every nation of men, to dwell upon the entire surface of the earth, and he decreed the appointed times and the set limits of the dwelling of [men], 27 for them to seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us. 28 For by him we have life and move and exist, even as certain ones of the poets among YOU have said, ‘For we are also his progeny.’

29 “Seeing, therefore, that we are the progeny of God, we ought not to imagine that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, like something sculptured by the art and contrivance of man. 30 True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance, yet now he is telling mankind that they should all everywhere repent. 31 Because he has set a day in which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he has furnished a guarantee to all men in that he has resurrected him from the dead.”

32 Well, when they heard of a resurrection of the dead, some began to mock, while others said: “We will hear you about this even another time.” 33 Thus Paul went out from their midst, 34 but some men joined themselves to him and became believers, among whom also were Dionysius, a judge of the court of the Areopagus, and a woman named Damaris, and others besides them.

18
After these things he departed from Athens and came to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus who had recently come from Italy, and Priscilla his wife, because of the fact that Claudius had ordered all the Jews to depart from Rome. So he went to them 3 and on account of being of the same trade he stayed at their home, and they worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4 However, he would give a talk in the synagogue every sabbath and would persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When, now, both Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began to be intensely occupied with the word, witnessing to the Jews to prove that Jesus is the Christ. 6 But after they kept on opposing and speaking abusively, he shook out his garments and said to them: “Let YOUR blood be upon YOUR own heads. I am clean. From now on I will go to people of the nations.” 7 Accordingly he transferred from there and went into the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was adjoining the synagogue. 8 But Crispus the presiding officer of the synagogue became a believer in the Lord, and so did all his household. And many of the Corinthians that heard began to believe and be baptized. 9 Moreover, by night the Lord said to Paul through a vision: “Have no fear, but keep on speaking and do not keep silent, 10 because I am with you and no man will assault you so as to do you injury; for I have many people in this city.” 11 So he stayed set there a year and six months, teaching among them the word of God.

12 Now while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up with one accord against Paul and led him to the judgment seat, 13 saying: “Contrary to the law this person leads men to another persuasion in worshiping God.” 14 But as Paul was going to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews: “If it were, indeed, some wrong or a wicked act of villainy, O Jews, I would with reason put up patiently with YOU. 15 But if it is controversies over speech and names and the law among YOU, YOU yourselves must see to it. I do not wish to be a judge of these things.” 16 With that he drove them away from the judgment seat. 17 So they all laid hold of Sosthenes the presiding officer of the synagogue and went to beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio would not concern himself at all with these things.

18 However, after staying quite some days longer, Paul said good-bye to the brothers and proceeded to sail away for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila, as he had the hair of his head clipped short in Cenchreae, for he had a vow. 19 So they arrived at Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself entered into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 Although they kept requesting him to remain for a longer time, he would not consent 21 but said good-bye and told them: “I will return to YOU again, if Jehovah is willing.” And he put out to sea from Ephesus 22 and came down to Caesarea. And he went up and greeted the congregation, and went down to Antioch.

23 And when he had passed some time there he departed and went from place to place through the country of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent man, arrived in Ephesus; and he was well versed in the Scriptures. 25 This [man] had been orally instructed in the way of Jehovah and, as he was aglow with the spirit, he went speaking and teaching with correctness the things about Jesus, but being acquainted with only the baptism of John. 26 And this [man] started to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him into their company and expounded the way of God more correctly to him. 27 Further, because he was desiring to go across into Achaia, the brothers wrote the disciples, exhorting them to receive him kindly. So when he got there, he greatly helped those who had believed on account of [God’s] undeserved kindness; 28 for with intensity he thoroughly proved the Jews to be wrong publicly, while he demonstrated by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

19
In the course of events, while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the inland parts and came down to Ephesus, and found some disciples; 2 and he said to them: “Did you receive holy spirit when YOU became believers?” They said to him: “Why, we have never heard whether there is a holy spirit.” 3 And he said: “In what, then, were YOU baptized?” They said: “In John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said: “John baptized with the baptism [in symbol] of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they got baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul laid his hands upon them, the holy spirit came upon them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7 All together, there were about twelve men.

8 Entering into the synagogue, he spoke with boldness for three months, giving talks and using persuasion concerning the kingdom of God. 9 But when some went on hardening themselves and not believing, speaking injuriously about The Way before the multitude, he withdrew from them and separated the disciples from them, daily giving talks in the school [auditorium] of Tyrannus. 10 This took place for two years, so that all those inhabiting the [district of] Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

11 And God kept performing extraordinary works of power through the hands of Paul, 12 so that even cloths and aprons were borne from his body to the ailing people, and the diseases left them, and the wicked spirits came out. 13 But certain ones of the roving Jews who practiced the casting out of demons also undertook to name the name of the Lord Jesus over those having the wicked spirits, saying: “I solemnly charge YOU by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Now there were seven sons of a certain Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, doing this. 15 But in answer the wicked spirit said to them: “I know Jesus and I am acquainted with Paul; but who are YOU?” 16 With that the man in whom the wicked spirit was leaped upon them, got the mastery of one after the other, and prevailed against them, so that they fled naked and wounded out of that house. 17 This became known to all, both the Jews and the Greeks that dwelt in Ephesus; and a fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus went on being magnified. 18 And many of those who had become believers would come and confess and report their practices openly. 19 Indeed, quite a number of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them up before everybody. And they calculated together the prices of them and found them worth fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 Thus in a mighty way the word of Jehovah kept growing and prevailing.

21 Now when these things had been completed, Paul purposed in his spirit that, after going through Macedonia and Achaia, he would journey to Jerusalem, saying: “After I get there I must also see Rome.” 22 So he dispatched to Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself delayed for some time in the [district of] Asia.

23 At that particular time there arose no little disturbance concerning The Way. 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, by making silver shrines of Artemis furnished the craftsmen no little gain; 25 and he gathered them and those who worked at such things and said: “Men, YOU well know that from this business we have our prosperity. 26 Also, YOU behold and hear how not only in Ephesus but in nearly all the [district of] Asia this Paul has persuaded a considerable crowd and turned them to another opinion, saying that the ones that are made by hands are not gods. 27 Moreover, the danger exists not only that this occupation of ours will come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be esteemed as nothing and even her magnificence which the whole [district of] Asia and the inhabited earth worships is about to be brought down to nothing.” 28 Hearing this and becoming full of anger, the men began crying out, saying: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

29 So the city became filled with confusion, and with one accord they rushed into the theater, taking forcibly along with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, traveling companions of Paul. 30 For his part, Paul was willing to go inside to the people, but the disciples would not permit him. 31 Even some of the commissioners of festivals and games, who were friendly to him, sent to him and began pleading for him not to risk himself in the theater. 32 The fact is, some were crying out one thing and others another; for the assembly was in confusion, and the majority of them did not know the reason why they had come together. 33 So together they brought Alexander out of the crowd, the Jews thrusting him up front; and Alexander motioned with his hand and was wanting to make his defense to the people. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, one cry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

35 When, finally, the city recorder had quieted the crowd, he said: “Men of Ephesus, who really is there of mankind that does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple keeper of the great Artemis and of the image that fell from heaven? 36 Therefore since these things are indisputable, it is becoming for YOU to keep calm and not act rashly. 37 For YOU have brought these men who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38 Therefore if Demetrius and the craftsmen with him do have a case against someone, court days are held and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges against one another. 39 If, though, YOU are searching for anything beyond that, it must be decided in a regular assembly. 40 For we are really in danger of being charged with sedition over today’s affair, no single cause existing that will permit us to render a reason for this disorderly mob.” 41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.