Acts 17:17

17 So 1he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.

Acts 17:17 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 17:17

Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews
There being a synagogue of the Jews here, and there being many Jews settled in this place, hence we read in Jewish writings F3 of men going from Jerusalem to Athens, and from Athens to Jerusalem; and hence it may be accounted for, how many of the Athenian philosophers came to be acquainted with the books and sentiments of the Jews, from whom they borrowed may things; since there were so many that dwelt among them, and doubtless had for years past, as well as by their travels into Egypt: and a Jewish synagogue being here, the apostle went into it, according to his usual manner, and began with them, as he was wont to do, preaching the Gospel to the Jews first, and then unto the Gentiles: with them he disputed, not about idolatry, or the worship of many gods, to which they were not addicted; nor about the one true and living God, whom they knew and professed; but about the Son of God, about the Messiah, contending and proving that Jesus of Nazareth was he:

and with the devout persons;
that is, with the Gentiles, who were proselytes to the Jewish religion, and worshipped the God of Israel with the Jews, in their synagogues, but knew nothing of Jesus Christ, and the way of salvation by him:

and in the market daily with them that met him;
where there was a concourse of people; and where, after the apostle had been once or twice, the people came purposely to meet with him, and to hear his discourses, and reason with him about points in religion: the Syriac version renders it, "in the street"; and then the sense seems to be, that as he met persons in the street, day by day, as he walked along, he would stop and talk with them, about religious things, and about their idolatry, vanity, and superstition.


FOOTNOTES:

F3 Echa Rabbati, fol. 43. 3, 4. & 44. 1.

Acts 17:17 In-Context

15 Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.
16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.
17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.
18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, "What does this babbler wish to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities"--because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

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