1 Paul arrived in the city of Derbe and then went to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived. Timothy's mother was a Jewish believer, but his father was Greek. 2 The believers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of Timothy. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to go with him. So he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in those places and because he knew that Timothy's father was Greek. 4 As they went through the cities, they told people about the decisions that the apostles and spiritual leaders in Jerusalem had made for the people. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew in numbers every day. 6 Paul and Silas went through the regions of Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit kept them from speaking the word in the province of Asia. 7 They went to the province of Mysia and tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn't allow this. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went to the city of Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia. The man urged Paul, "Come to Macedonia to help us." 10 As soon as Paul had seen the vision, we immediately looked for a way to go to Macedonia. We concluded that God had called us to tell the people of Macedonia about the Good News. 11 So we took a ship from Troas and sailed straight to the island of Samothrace. The next day we sailed to the city of Neapolis, 12 and from there we went to the city of Philippi. Philippi is a leading city in that part of Macedonia, and it is a Roman colony. We were in this city for a number of days. 13 On the day of worship we went out of the city to a place along the river where we thought Jewish people gathered for prayer. We sat down and began talking to the women who had gathered there. 14 A woman named Lydia was present. She was a convert to Judaism from the city of Thyatira and sold purple dye for a living. She was listening because the Lord made her willing to pay attention to what Paul said. 15 When Lydia and her family were baptized, she invited us to stay at her home. She said, "If you're convinced that I believe in the Lord, then stay at my home." She insisted. So we did. 16 One day when we were going to the place of prayer, a female servant met us. She was possessed by an evil spirit that told fortunes. She made a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. 17 She used to follow Paul and shout, "These men are servants of the Most High God. They're telling you how you can be saved." 18 She kept doing this for many days. Paul became annoyed, turned to the evil spirit, and said, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" As Paul said this, the evil spirit left her. 19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them to the authorities in the public square. 20 In front of the Roman officials, they said, "These men are stirring up a lot of trouble in our city. They're Jews, 21 and they're advocating customs that we can't accept or practice as Roman citizens." 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas. Then the officials tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and ordered [the guards] to beat them with sticks. 23 After they had hit Paul and Silas many times, they threw them in jail and ordered the jailer to keep them under tight security. 24 So the jailer followed these orders and put Paul and Silas into solitary confinement with their feet in leg irons. 25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. The other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly, a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the jail. All the doors immediately flew open, and all the prisoners' chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up and saw the prison doors open. Thinking the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted as loudly as he could, "Don't hurt yourself! We're all here!" 29 The jailer asked for torches and rushed into the jail. He was trembling as he knelt in front of Paul and Silas. 30 Then he took Paul and Silas outside and asked, "Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved?" 31 They answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved." 32 They spoke the Lord's word to the jailer and everyone in his home. 33 At that hour of the night, the jailer washed Paul and Silas' wounds. The jailer and his entire family were baptized immediately. 34 He took Paul and Silas upstairs into his home and gave them something to eat. He and his family were thrilled to be believers in God. 35 In the morning the Roman officials sent guards who told the jailer, "You can release those men now." 36 The jailer reported this order to Paul by saying, "The officials have sent word to release you. So you can leave peacefully now." 37 But Paul told the guards, "Roman officials have had us beaten publicly without a trial and have thrown us in jail, even though we're Roman citizens. Now are they going to throw us out secretly? There's no way they're going to get away with that! Have them escort us out!" 38 The guards reported to the officials what Paul had said. When the Roman officials heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were afraid. 39 So the officials went to the jail and apologized to Paul and Silas. As the officials escorted Paul and Silas out of the jail, they asked them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas left the jail, they went to Lydia's house. They met with the believers, encouraged them, and then left.
1 Paul and Silas traveled through the cities of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to the city of Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue. 2 As usual, Paul went into the synagogue. On three consecutive days of worship, he had discussions about Scripture with the synagogue members. 3 He explained and showed them that the Messiah had to suffer, die, and come back to life, and that Jesus, the person he talked about, was this Messiah. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded to join Paul and Silas, especially a large group of Greeks who had converted to Judaism and the wives of many prominent men. 5 Then the Jews became jealous. They took some low-class characters who hung around the public square, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city. They attacked Jason's home and searched it for Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. 6 When they didn't find Paul and Silas, they dragged Jason and some other believers in front of the city officials. They shouted, "Those men who have made trouble all over the world are now here in Thessalonica, 7 and Jason has welcomed them as his guests. All of them oppose the emperor's decrees by saying that there is another king, whose name is Jesus." 8 The crowd and the officials were upset when they heard this. 9 But after they had made Jason and the others post bond, they let them go. 10 Immediately when night came, the believers sent Paul and Silas to the city of Berea. When Paul and Silas arrived in the city of Berea, they entered the synagogue. 11 The people of Berea were more open-minded than the people of Thessalonica. They were very willing to receive God's message, and every day they carefully examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true. 12 Many of them became believers, and quite a number of them were prominent Greek men and women. 13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica found out that Paul was also spreading God's word in Berea, they went there to upset and confuse the people. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the seacoast, but Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. 15 The men who escorted Paul took him all the way to the city of Athens. When the men left Athens, they took instructions back to Silas and Timothy to join Paul as soon as possible. 16 While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens, he saw that the city had statues of false gods everywhere. This upset him. 17 He held discussions in the synagogue with Jews and converts to Judaism. He also held discussions every day in the public square with anyone who happened to be there. 18 Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers had discussions with him. Some asked, "What is this babbling fool trying to say?" Others said, "He seems to be speaking about foreign gods." The philosophers said these things because Paul was telling the Good News about Jesus and saying that people would come back to life. 19 Then they brought Paul to the city court, the Areopagus, and asked, "Could you tell us these new ideas that you're teaching? 20 Some of the things you say sound strange to us. So we would like to know what they mean." 21 Everyone who lived in Athens looked for opportunities to tell or hear something new and unusual. 22 Paul stood in the middle of the court and said, "Men of Athens, I see that you are very religious. 23 As I was going through your city and looking closely at the objects you worship, I noticed an altar with this written on it: 'To an unknown god.' I'm telling you about the unknown god you worship. 24 The God who made the universe and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn't live in shrines made by humans, 25 and he isn't served by humans as if he needed anything. He gives everyone life, breath, and everything they have. 26 From one man he has made every nation of humanity to live all over the earth. He has given them the seasons of the year and the boundaries within which to live. 27 He has done this so that they would look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. In fact, he is never far from any one of us. 28 Certainly, we live, move, and exist because of him. As some of your poets have said, 'We are God's children.' 29 So if we are God's children, we shouldn't think that the divine being is like an image made from gold, silver, or stone, an image that is the product of human imagination and skill. 30 "God overlooked the times when people didn't know any better. But now he commands everyone everywhere to turn to him and change the way they think and act. 31 He has set a day when he is going to judge the world with justice, and he will use a man he has appointed to do this. God has given proof to everyone that he will do this by bringing that man back to life." 32 When the people of the court heard that a person had come back to life, some began joking about it, while others said, "We'll hear you talk about this some other time." 33 With this response, Paul left the court. 34 Some men joined him and became believers. With them were Dionysius, who was a member of the court, and a woman named Damaris, and some other people.