Acts 17

1Paul and Silas traveled through the cities of Amphipolis and Apollonia. They came to the city of Thessalonica. In that city there was a Jewish synagogue. 2Paul went into this synagogue to see the Jews. This is what he always did. Every Sabbath day for three weeks Paul talked with the Jews about the Scriptures. 3Paul explained these Scriptures to the Jews. He showed that the Christ must die and then rise from death. Paul said “This man Jesus that I am telling you about is the Christ.” 4Some of the Jews there believed Paul and Silas and decided to join them. Also, there were some Greek men who worshiped the true God and some important women. A large group of the men and many of the women joined Paul and Silas. 5But the Jews ˻that did not believe˼ became jealous. They hired some bad men from the city. These bad men gathered many people and made trouble in the city. They went to Jason’s house, looking for Paul and Silas. They wanted to bring Paul and Silas out before the people. 6But they did not find Paul and Silas. So the people dragged Jason and some of the other believers to the leaders of the city. The people yelled, “These men ˻(Paul and Silas)˼ have made trouble everywhere in the world. And now they have come here too! 7Jason is keeping them in his house. They all do things against the laws of Caesar. They say there is another king called Jesus.” 8The leaders of the city and the other people heard these things. They became very upset. 9They made Jason and the other believers pay a fine. Then they let the believers go free. 10That same night the believers sent Paul and Silas to another city named Berea. In Berea, Paul and Silas went to the Jewish synagogue. 11These Jews were better people than the Jews in Thessalonica. These Jews were very happy to listen to the things Paul and Silas said. These Jews in Berea studied the Scriptures every day. They wanted to know if these things were true. 12Many of these Jews believed. Many important Greek men and Greek women also believed. 13But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was telling the word of God in Berea, they came to Berea too. The Jews from Thessalonica upset the people in Berea and made trouble. 14So the believers sent Paul away quickly to the sea. But Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. 15The believers that went with Paul took him to the city of Athens. These brothers carried a message from Paul back to Silas and Timothy. The message said, “Come to me as soon as you can.” 16Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens. Paul was upset because he saw that the city was full of idols. 17In the synagogue, Paul talked with the Jews and the Greeks who worshiped the true God. Paul also talked with some people in the business area of the city. Paul did this every day. 18Some of the Epicurean and some of the Stoic philosophers argued with him. Some of them said, “This man doesn’t really know what he is talking about. What is he trying to say?” Paul was telling them the Good News about Jesus’ rising from death. So they said, “He seems to be telling us about some other gods.” 19They got Paul and took him to a meeting of the Areopagus council. They said, “Please explain to us this new idea that you have been teaching. 20The things that you are saying are new to us. We have never heard these things before. We want to know what this teaching means.” 21(All the people of Athens and the people from other countries who lived there always used their time talking about all the newest ideas.) 22Then Paul stood before the meeting of the Areopagus council. Paul said, “Men of Athens, I can see that you are very religious in all things. 23I was going through your city and I saw the things you worship. I found an altar that had these words written on it: 'to the god who is not known.’ You worship a god that you don’t know. This is the God I am telling you about! 24He is the God who made the whole world and everything in it. He is the Lord ˻(Ruler)˼ of the land and the sky. He does not live in temples that men build! 25This God is the One who gives life, breath, and everything else to people. He does not need any help from people. God has everything he needs. 26God began by making one man ˻(Adam)˼. From him God made all the different people. God made them to live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live. 27God wanted the people to look for him. Maybe they could search all around for him and find him. But he is not far from any of us: 28'We live with him. We walk with him. We are with him.’ Some of your own writers have said: 'For we are his children.’ 29That’s right. We are God’s children. So, you must not think that God is like something that people imagine or make. He is not made of gold, silver, or rock. 30In the past, people did not understand God, and God overlooked this. But now God tells everyone in the world to change and turn to him. 31God has decided a day when he will judge all the people in the world. He will be fair. He will use a man ˻(Jesus)˼ to do this. God chose this man long ago. And God has proved this to every person. He proved it by raising that man from death!” 32When the people heard about ˻Jesus˼ being raised from death, some of them laughed. The people said, “We will hear more about this from you later.” 33Paul went away from them. 34But some of the people believed Paul and joined him. One of the people that believed was Dionysius. He was a member of the Areopagus council. Another person who believed was a woman named Damaris. There were also some other people that believed.

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