Acts 17 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 They took the road south through Amphipolis and Apollonia to Thessalonica, where there was a community of Jews. 1 When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
2 Paul went to their meeting place, as he usually did when he came to a town, and for three Sabbaths running he preached to them from the Scriptures. 2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
3 He opened up the texts so they understood what they'd been reading all their lives: that the Messiah absolutely had to be put to death and raised from the dead - there were no other options - and that "this Jesus I'm introducing you to is that Messiah." 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, " he said.
4 Some of them were won over and joined ranks with Paul and Silas, among them a great many God-fearing Greeks and a considerable number of women from the aristocracy. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.
5 But the hard-line Jews became furious over the conversions. Mad with jealousy, they rounded up a bunch of brawlers off the streets and soon had an ugly mob terrorizing the city as they hunted down Paul and Silas. 5 But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason's house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.
6 When they couldn't find them, they collared Jason and his friends instead and dragged them before the city fathers, yelling hysterically, "These people are out to destroy the world, and now they've shown up on our doorstep, attacking everything we hold dear! 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,
7 And Jason is hiding them, these traitors and turncoats who say Jesus is king and Caesar is nothing!" 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus."
8 The city fathers and the crowd of people were totally alarmed by what they heard. 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.
9 They made Jason and his friends post heavy bail and let them go while they investigated the charges. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
10 That night, under cover of darkness, their friends got Paul and Silas out of town as fast as they could. They sent them to Berea, where they again met with the Jewish community. 10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.
11 They were treated a lot better there than in Thessalonica. The Jews received Paul's message with enthusiasm and met with him daily, examining the Scriptures to see if they supported what he said. 11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
12 A lot of them became believers, including many Greeks who were prominent in the community, women and men of influence. 12 Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
13 But it wasn't long before reports got back to the Thessalonian hard-line Jews that Paul was at it again, preaching the Word of God, this time in Berea. They lost no time responding, and created a mob scene there, too. 13 When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up.
14 With the help of his friends, Paul gave them the slip - caught a boat and put out to sea. Silas and Timothy stayed behind. 14 The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea.
15 The men who helped Paul escape got him as far as Athens and left him there. Paul sent word back with them to Silas and Timothy: "Come as quickly as you can!" 15 The men who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
16 The longer Paul waited in Athens for Silas and Timothy, the angrier he got - all those idols! The city was a junkyard of idols. 16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
17 He discussed it with the Jews and other like-minded people at their meeting place. And every day he went out on the streets and talked with anyone who happened along. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.
18 He got to know some of the Epicurean and Stoic intellectuals pretty well through these conversations. Some of them dismissed him with sarcasm: "What an airhead!" But others, listening to him go on about Jesus and the resurrection, were intrigued: "That's a new slant on the gods. Tell us more." 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.
19 These people got together and asked him to make a public presentation over at the Areopagus, where things were a little quieter. They said, "This is a new one on us. We've never heard anything quite like it. Where did you come up with this anyway? 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?
20 Explain it so we can understand." 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean."
21 Downtown Athens was a great place for gossip. There were always people hanging around, natives and tourists alike, waiting for the latest tidbit on most anything. 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22 So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. "It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. 22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.
23 When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I'm here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you're dealing with. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
24 "The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn't live in custom-made shrines 24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.
25 or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn't take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don't make him. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.
26 Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
27 so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
28 We live and move in him, can't get away from him! One of your poets said it well: 'We're the God-created.' 28 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
29 Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn't make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it? 29 "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man's design and skill.
30 "God overlooks it as long as you don't know any better - but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he's calling for a radical life-change. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
31 He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead." 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."
32 At the phrase "raising him from the dead," the listeners split: Some laughed at him and walked off making jokes; others said, "Let's do this again. We want to hear more." 32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject."
33 But that was it for the day, and Paul left. 33 At that, Paul left the Council.
34 There were still others, it turned out, who were convinced then and there, and stuck with Paul - among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris. 34 A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.