17:1-14. Thessalonica and BerÆa.

T  X  p  1. Thessalonica. Synagogue.
       q  2,3. Reasoning from the Scriptures.
        r  4. Believers.
         s  5-9. Persecution.
   X  p  10. Beræa. Synagogue.
       q  11. Searching the Scripture.
        r  12. Believers.
         s  13,14. Persecution.

Acts 17)

1 Now when they had passed through (Gr. diodeuõ, a medical word) Amphipolis (= a city surrounded by the sea. About 35 miles south-west of Philippi) and Apollonia (belonging to Apollo. 30 miles further, about midway between Amphipolis and Thessalonica), they came to Thessalonica (first part of name ?, last part of the name [nica/nikê] means conquest, i.e. the means of success. Now Salonica or Saloniki. Rose to importance in the time of Cassander, who rebuilt it and called it after his wife. Has been an important city in the past, and also in recent days [1913], and seems destined to play an important part in the immediate future), where was a synagogue (a congregation) of the Jews (has two meanings (1) a descendant [blood line] of the tribe of Judah (2) a resident of Judea. To determine the value you must look at the context of the Scripture):

2 And Paul, as his manner was (lit., according to that which was customary with Paul, he), went in to them, and on three sabbath days reasoned with them from the scriptures,
3 Opening effectually (see 6:14) and alleging (lit., setting before them. See 14:23; 16:34; 20:32. Matt.13:24. Mark 8:6,7. 1 Cor.10:27), that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen (lit., it was necessary that the Messiah should suffer and rise) again from the dead; and that this is Christ, Jesus, Whom I proclaim.

4 And certain out of them were persuaded (i.e.were convinced, not by persuasive words of Paul's [1 Cor.2:4], but by the opening and expounding of the Scriptures. Hence the Thessalonians became a type of all true belivers [see 1 Thess.1:7; 2:13]. This and vv.11,12 beautifully illustrate Rom.10:17), and cast in their lots with Paul and Silas; and of the devout (Gr. sebomai. Same as "worshiping" or "religious". Cp. 13:43,50; 16:14; 18:7) Greeks a great multitude, and of the first women not a few (cp. 13:50. I.e. women of the best families).

5 But the unbelieving Jews (see v.1; 14:2. This includes Judean Kenites = the sons of Cain [which is the son of Satan NOT Adam], which [i.e. Kenites] are NOT of the tribe of Judah. See Rev.2:9; 3:9), filled with jealousy, took to them (Gr. proslambanõ. See 18:26; 27:33,34,36. Matt.16:22. Mark 8:32. In 28:2 and onward it is translated "receive") certain evil men of the baser sort (lit., belonging to the market. Gr. agoraios. These were elders, ready for mischief, as we should say "rowdies"), and gathered a company (to make a crowd), and set the city on an uproar (= were setting, &c.), and assaulted the house of Jason, and (having attacked) were seeking to bring them (i.e. Paul and Silas, who were staying with Jason [v.7]) out to the people (Gr. dêmos = populous. See 12:22. Either the mob or the popular assembly, for Thessalonica was a free city).
6 And when not having found them, they were dragging Jason (cp. John 21:8) and certain brethren (the believers of v.4) before the rulers of the city (Gr. politarchês, compound of politês, citizen, and archõ, to rule. The noun or the corresponding verb is found in many inscriptions in Macedonia, five of the in Thessalonica. One of an arch spanning a street today, where seven potitarchs are recorded, and amongst them Sosipater, Secundus, and Gaius, names identical with those of Paul's friends [19:29; 20:4]), crying, “These that have turned the world upside down are come to this place also;
7 Whom Jason has received (i.e. as guests. Gr. hupodechomai. A medical word): and these all practice contrary to the decrees (Gr. dogma, see 16:4) of Caesar, saying that there is another king (the same sinister attempt to raise the charge of high treason, as in John 18:36,37; 19:12. Paul, in proclaiming the Messiah, must have spoken of His reign), [one] Jesus.”
8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.
9 And when they had taken security of Jason (Gr. to hikanon, that which is sufficient, i.e. "substantial bail"), and from the rest, they released them (as in 16:35).

10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas through the night to Berea (= well watered. About 30 miles to the west. Now Verria): who coming [to that place] went to the synagogue of the Jews (omit. They were not deterred by their treatment at Thessalonica).

11 These were more well born than those in Thessalonica (Gr. eugenês. Hence they were more courteous), in that they received the word (logos) with all readiness of mind, and examined (Gr. anakrinõ. Not the same word as in John 5:39) the scriptures daily (see 16:5), if these things were so.

12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

13 But when the Jews (see v.1,5. I.e. the Kenites) from Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God (or Yehovah. Gr. Theos) was preached of Paul in Berea, they came to that place also, stirring up (the text adds "and troubling" as i v.8) the crowd.
14 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were (the text reads "as far as") to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.

17:15 – 18:18-. Athens and Corinth.

S  t  17:15,16. Athens.
    u  17:17. Reasoning.
     v  17:18-21. Philosophers. Questioning.
      w  17:22-31. Paul's defense.
       x  17:32-34. Results.
   t  18:1-3. Corinth.
    u  18:4,5. Reasoning and testifying.
     v  18:6-. Jews. Opposing.
      w  18:-6. Paul's repudiation.
       x  18:7-18-. Results.

15 And they that conducted Paul (Gr. kathestima. Only here in this sense. Here the brethren made all the arrangements) brought him as far as Athens (= city of Athene, the goddess of wisdom, who was reputed to have found the city): having received a commandment to Silas and Timotheus in order that they should come to him as quickly as possible (for 2 Thess.), they departed (see 13:42.).
16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit (Gr. pneuma, here, invisible characteristic such as feelings or desires; or that which is supernatural) was stirred in him (Gr. paroxunomai. A medical word. Cp. 15:59), beholding the city wholly given to idolatry (= full of idols. Gr. kateidolos).

17 Therefore was reasoning (as in v.2) he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. (Witnessing as he went)

18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks (= of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. Two chief religions. Two extremes. What do you think God looks like? Do you think He is some force out there? Do you see this today? They don't know God. The Epicureans were followers of Epicurus [342-279 B.C] who held that pleasure was the highest good [eg. power of positive thinking in the flesh, do what ever you want to do sin is payed for before hand], while the Stoics were disciples of Zeno [about 270 B.C.] who taught that the supreme good was virtue, like Puritans, and man should be free from passion and moved by neither joy nor grief, pleasure nor pain. They taught religion itself was bad. Teach fear, don't even look cross-eyed. Their downfall came when they began worshiping stars. They were Fatalists and Pantheists. The name came from the porch [Gr. stoa] where they met.), encountered him (see 4:15). And some said, “What would this babbler wish to say?” (= seed-picker. Gr spermologos. Used of birds, and so applied to men who gathered scraps of information from others. i.e. "Lets see what he can add") and some, “He seems to be a proclaimer (Gr. katangeleus. Cp. the verb in vv.3,13,23; katangellõ = to bring word down to any one, bring it home by setting it forth) of strange demons(Gr. daimonion. Occ. 60 times [#60 = pride], 52 times in the Gospels): because he preached (Gr. euangelizõ) to them Jesus (Yeshua), and the resurrection (Gr. anastasis. They were accustomed to personify abstract ideas, as victory, pity, &c., and may have thought that Jesus and the resurrection were two new divinities. One charge against Socrates was that of introducing new divinities). (Christianity is not a religion! It is a reality!)
19 And they took him (see 9:27; 23:19), and brought him to Areopagus (= the hill of Mars, or the Martian hill. Gr. Areios pagos. Cp. v.22. Where the great council of the Athenians was held. Highest court in the land), saying, “Can we know what this new doctrine (Gr. kainos. See Matt.9:17), which is spoken by you?
20 For you bring certain strange things (Gr. xenizõ, to treat as xenos [v.18], hence to lodge. See 10:6,18,23,32. Pet.4:4,12) to our ears (Gr. akoe, hearing): we wish to know therefore what these things mean.” (Lit. wish to be. They liked philosophers. They didn't care if they understood or if it was real)
21 {For all the Athenians and strangers (see vv.18,20) which dwelling (or sojourning. See 2:10) spent their time for no other thing (Gr. eukareõ, to have leisure), but either to tell, or to hear some newer thing (i.e. the latest idea. They had so any fads that they didn't take the time to look and see what God says. What's new under the sun?).}

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill (see v.19), and said, “[All you] men of Athens (cp. 1:11), I perceive that according to all things you all are too superstitious (= more religiously disposed than others [too religious]. Gr. deisidaimonesteros, comparative of deisidaimõn, compound of deidõ [to fear] and daimõn. The noun occ. in 25:19. The A.V. rendering is too rude, and Paul had too much tact to begin by offending his audience).
23 For as I passed by, and beheld the objects of your worship (Gr. sebasma), I found an altar [also] on which had been inscribed (Gr. epigraphõ. See Mark 15:26. Heb.8:10; 10:16. Rev.21:12), To the unknown Theos (Gr. agnõstos. Public or private calamities would suggest that some god whom they could not identify must be propitiated. As it is today. The sad part is that most so-called "Christians" are this way because of Biblical illiteracy). Whom(the texts read "what") therefore you all being ignorant worship (Gr. eusebeõ = to be pious or devout towards any one; to act with reverence, respect, and honor), This declare I to you (same as "preach" [vv.3,13]. Note Paul's skillful use of local circumstances).
24 God (Heb. Gr.= Theos. See v.13) That made the world (Gr. kosmos) and all things in it, This One being essentially (Gr. huparcho. See Luke 9:48) the Lord of heaven and earth (land, as apart from water), dwells not in shrines (see Matt.23:16) made with hands (see 7:48. This is a direct quotation from Stephen's speech. God doesn't need man's things to BE. He is "I Am That I Am");
25 Neither is worshiped by human hands (Gr. therapeuo = to wait upon, minister to [as a doctor does]; hence = to heal; to render voluntary service and attendance), as needing something, Himself giving to all life (Gr. zoe = life in all its manifestations; from the life of God down to the lowest vegetable. It is life in activity, and thus especially is the opposite of death. It involves resurrection life and eternal life; and hence, as such, is the "gift from God"), and breath (see 2:2), and all things;
26 And has made of one blood (the texts omit "blood". The "one" here means either Adam [=human, see v.29], or the dust [clay] of which he was formed. One [Gr. heis] is sometimes used for a certain one [Gr. tis]. See Matt.8:19; 16:4. Mark.13:36. Rev.18:21; 19:17) every nation of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed (He is in control), and the bounds of their habitation (outlay of land);
27 To seek the Lord (the texts read "God", see v.13), if at least they might grope for Him (Gr. pselaphao), and find Him, though He be not far from each one of us: (This is why)
28 For by Him we live (you want to know how close you are!?), and move, and are; as certain also the poets with you have said (he refers to Arutus, who was a native of Cilicia [about 270 B.C.]. Cleanthes [about 300 B.C.] has almost the same words), ‘For we are His offspring also.’ ” (Gr. genos. Transl. kind, race, nation, kindred, &c. Offspring only here, v.29, and Rev.22:16. Do you know the Law of inheritance? Are you a glob of energy? You are created in His image, you look like He does [i.e. God the Father]. Adam [= human or mankind, i.e. Heb. adam without the article, the 6th day creation. Not "eth ha Adam" the 8th day creation] was by creation son of God. Gen.1:27; 2:7. See Matt. 1 and Luke 3:38. All mankind are descended from humans, and in that sense are the posterity or offspring of God. That every child born into the world "comes fresh and fair from the hands of the Maker", and is therefore the direct offspring of God, is emphatically contradicted by John 1:13, where the One begotten of God is set in opposition to the rest of mankind who are begotten of the flesh and will of man.)
29 Forasmuch then as we are (= Being then) the offspring of God, we ought not to reckon that the Godhead (Gr. theion) is like to gold, or silver, or stone, an engraving (or sculpture. Gr. charagma. Only here and 8 times in Rev. of the mark of the beast. Cp. charakter. Heb.1:3. See Isa.44. Man cannot imitate God.) of art (Gr. techne) and man's thought (cp. 10:19).
30 And the times of this ignorance (Lit. The times indeed therefore of ignorance) God having overlooked; now (emphatic. After crucifixion. Kindness of God, He walked on earth in the flesh. Little excuse for ignorance today. You make your own bed and sleep in it) commands (see 1:4) all humans every where to repent (Gr. metanoeõ = to change one's mind, always for the better, and morally. Because of this it is often used in the Imperative. Not merely to forsake sin, but to change one's apprehension regarding it. It answers the Latin resipisco = to recover one's senses, to come to one's self. Cp. 2 Cor.5:19):
31 Because He appointed a day, in the which He is about to judge the world in righteousness by [a] Man Whom He has ordained; having afforded assurance (Gr. pistis = faith. The living, Divinely implanted principle) to all [humans], in having raised Him from the dead.” (A historical fact. See 1 Kings 19:11)

32 But having heard of the resurrection of the dead, some were mocking (Gr. chleuazo. To Epicureans and Stoics alike a resurrection of dead persons was a madman's dream. Only those whose "hearts the Lord opened" [v.34] could receive it. Cp. 16:14. They didn't buy it. Cp. v.16): and others said, “We will hear you again concerning this [matter].”
33 So Paul departed out of their midst. (The truth stood up and some came out. But he didn't convert the whole town)
34 But certain men clove to him, and (= having joined themselves. See 5:13) believed: among the which [was] Dionysius also the Areopagite (a member of the Athenian assembly), and a woman by name Damaris (= good heifer, woman), and others with them.

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