Acts  ◦   Chapter 17

1After traveling through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they arrived in Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.2As Paul had done his entire life, he went to synagogue on Sabbath. And for three Sabbaths he reasoned with them, explaining to them how the Scriptures3absolutely teach that the only way for the Messiah to save humanity was for him to suffer, die, and rise from the dead. Then he told them, "This Jesus that I am telling you about is the Messiah!"4The truth convinced some of the Jews, who then partook of the Remedy and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of the Greeks who loved God, as well as many of the influential women.

5But the Jews who rejected the truth were envious: they recruited some street thugs from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot. They marched on Jason's home, hoping to find Paul and Silas in order to drag them before the mob.6Not finding them there they grabbed Jason and some other members of the Lord's spiritual health-care team and dragged them before the city officials. They shouted: "Paul and Silas are infamous troublemakers who have traveled all over the world stirring up dissention! They have now come here,7and Jason put them up at his home and is in collusion with them. They are trying to undermine the authority of Caesar, teaching that there is another king we should follow, named Jesus."8These accusations caused the crowd and city officials to become very upset.9They required Jason and the others to post a bond, and then let them go.

10Once it was dark outside, the team members slipped Paul and Silas out of town and sent them to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.11The Jews at Berea were of a more mature character than those in Thessalonica, for rather than feeling threatened, they opened their minds to grow in truth. They received the Remedy eagerly and examined the Scripture each day to verify that what Paul said was true.12Many of the Jews believed and partook of the Remedy, as did a large number of influential Greek women and many Greek men.

13When the Jews in Thessalonica heard that Paul was distributing the Remedy in Berea, they marched right over and incited a mob to begin public protests.14The Lord's team members immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy remained in Berea.15The men who escorted Paul to Athens returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join Paul as soon as possible.

16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he became distraught because so many people's minds were being ruined by the worship of a plethora of idols.17So he went to the synagogue, sharing the Remedy and reasoning with the Jews and Greeks who loved God. Day after day, he went to the market and reasoned with whomever was there, sharing the Remedy wherever he went.18It was there that he met a group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophy professors, and they discussed these issues at length. Some of them discounted Paul as an "ignorant know-it-all," but others were intrigued and said, "He seems to know something about foreign gods." They said this because Paul was telling them about the Remedy procured by Jesus, and the resurrection to eternal life.19They invited him to present his ideas at a meeting at the Areopagus. They said, "Will you tell us about this new philosophy you are advocating?20We've never heard anything like it. Please explain it to us in detail."21(Listening to the newest philosophy and debating the latest ideas was a favorite pastime for the Athenians and many foreigners who lived there).

22So Paul took the stage at the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "People of Athens! I see that you are very conscientious people who take your religious beliefs seriously.23As I walked through your city, I noted your points of worship, and I found an altar with this inscription: 'To an Unknown God.' It is this unknown God that I am here to tell you about.

24"The God who built the fabric of the cosmos, including this world and everything in it, is Master of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines built by created beings.25Human beings do not provide for him–as if there was anything he needed. No! He is the source of all and gives of himself for our good. From him come life, health, and everything else.26He created the human species in one individual, and from that one man, all human beings from all the nations in the world have descended. He provided the entire earth for us to inhabit, and created time and space for us to live within.27He did all of this so that human beings would experience the joy of discovering him–actually reaching out and connecting with him, for he is near to each one of us.28As some of your own poets have said, 'In union with him we live and move, and have existence. We are his offspring.'

29"So, since we are the offspring of God, how can God be an inanimate, lifeless object made by human beings out of gold, silver or stone?30God didn't expect any better when you didn't know any better, but now God has provided the evidence — so you do know better — and calls all humanity to a renewed mind and unity with him.31For he has set a time when all humanity will be accurately diagnosed, defects from his design will be permanently eliminated, and all creation will be set right by the Man whom he has selected to be the Remedy. He has proven it by raising this Man from the dead."

32When they heard him mention the resurrection, some scoffed, but others said, "We would like to hear more about this."33With that, Paul left the meeting.34A few people, including Dionysius, who was a member of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and a number of others accepted what Paul taught, partook of the Remedy, and trusted Jesus.