Acts 17; Acts 18; Acts 19

1 Paul and Silas traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 Paul went into the synagogue as he always did, and on each Sabbath day for three weeks, he talked with the Jews about the Scriptures. 3 He explained and proved that the Christ must die and then rise from the dead. He said, "This Jesus I am telling you about is the Christ." 4 Some of the Jews were convinced and joined Paul and Silas, along with many of the Greeks who worshiped God and many of the important women. 5 But the Jews became jealous. So they got some evil men from the marketplace, formed a mob, and started a riot. They ran to Jason's house, looking for Paul and Silas, wanting to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers to the leaders of the city. The people were yelling, "These people have made trouble everywhere in the world, and now they have come here too! 7 Jason is keeping them in his house. All of them do things against the laws of Caesar, saying there is another king, called Jesus." 8 When the people and the leaders of the city heard these things, they became very upset. 9 They made Jason and the others put up a sum of money. Then they let the believers go free. 10 That same night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea where they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 These Jews were more willing to listen than the Jews in Thessalonica. The Bereans were eager to hear what Paul and Silas said and studied the Scriptures every day to find out if these things were true. 12 So, many of them believed, as well as many important Greek women and men. 13 But the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, too. So they came there, upsetting the people and making trouble. 14 The believers quickly sent Paul away to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. 15 The people leading Paul went with him to Athens. Then they carried a message from Paul back to Silas and Timothy for them to come to him as soon as they could. 16 While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens, he was troubled because he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 In the synagogue, he talked with the Jews and the Greeks who worshiped God. He also talked every day with people in the marketplace. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophersn argued with him, saying, "This man doesn't know what he is talking about. What is he trying to say?" Others said, "He seems to be telling us about some other gods," because Paul was telling them about Jesus and his rising from the dead. 19 They got Paul and took him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said, "Please explain to us this new idea you have been teaching. 20 The things you are saying are new to us, and we want to know what this teaching means." 21 (All the people of Athens and those from other countries who lived there always used their time to talk about the newest ideas.) 22 Then Paul stood before the meeting of the Areopagus and said, "People of Athens, I can see you are very religious in all things. 23 As I was going through your city, I saw the objects you worship. I found an altar that had these words written on it: to a god who is not known. You worship a god that you don't know, and this is the God I am telling you about! 24 The God who made the whole world and everything in it is the Lord of the land and the sky. He does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 This God is the One who gives life, breath, and everything else to people. He does not need any help from them; he has everything he needs. 26 God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live. 27 God wanted them to look for him and perhaps search all around for him and find him, though he is not far from any of us: 28 'We live in him. We walk in him. We are in him.' Some of your own poets have said: 'For we are his children.' 29 Since we are God's children, you must not think that God is like something that people imagine or make from gold, silver, or rock. 30 In the past, people did not understand God, and he ignored this. But now, God tells all people in the world to change their hearts and lives. 31 God has set a day that he will judge all the world with fairness, by the man he chose long ago. And God has proved this to everyone by raising that man from the dead!" 32 When the people heard about Jesus being raised from the dead, some of them laughed. But others said, "We will hear more about this from you later." 33 So Paul went away from them. 34 But some of the people believed Paul and joined him. Among those who believed was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and some others.
1 Later Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 Here he met a Jew named Aquila who had been born in the country of Pontus. But Aquila and his wife, Priscilla, had recently moved to Corinth from Italy, because Claudiusn commanded that all Jews must leave Rome. Paul went to visit Aquila and Priscilla. 3 Because they were tentmakers, just as he was, he stayed with them and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath day he talked with the Jews and Greeks in the synagogue, trying to persuade them to believe in Jesus. 5 Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia and joined Paul in Corinth. After this, Paul spent all his time telling people the Good News, showing the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. 6 But they would not accept Paul's teaching and said some evil things. So he shook off the dust from his clothesn and said to them, "If you are not saved, it will be your own fault! I have done all I can do! After this, I will go only to those who are not Jewish." 7 Paul left the synagogue and moved into the home of Titius Justus, next to the synagogue. This man worshiped God. 8 Crispus was the leader of that synagogue, and he and all the people living in his house believed in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also listened to Paul and believed and were baptized. 9 During the night, the Lord told Paul in a vision: "Don't be afraid. Continue talking to people and don't be quiet. 10 I am with you, and no one will hurt you because many of my people are in this city." 11 Paul stayed there for a year and a half, teaching God's word to the people. 12 When Gallio was the governor of the country of Southern Greece, some of the Jews came together against Paul and took him to the court. 13 They said, "This man is teaching people to worship God in a way that is against our law." 14 Paul was about to say something, but Gallio spoke to the Jews, saying, "I would listen to you Jews if you were complaining about a crime or some wrong. 15 But the things you are saying are only questions about words and names -- arguments about your own law. So you must solve this problem yourselves. I don't want to be a judge of these things." 16 And Gallio made them leave the court. 17 Then they all grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him there before the court. But this did not bother Gallio. 18 Paul stayed with the believers for many more days. Then he left and sailed for Syria, with Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchrea Paul cut off his hair, because he had made a promise to God. 19 Then they went to Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. While Paul was there, he went into the synagogue and talked with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay with them longer, he refused. 21 But as he left, he said, "I will come back to you again if God wants me to." And so he sailed away from Ephesus. 22 When Paul landed at Caesarea, he went and gave greetings to the church in Jerusalem. After that, Paul went to Antioch. 23 He stayed there for a while and then left and went through the regions of Galatia and Phrygia. He traveled from town to town in these regions, giving strength to all the followers. 24 A Jew named Apollos came to Ephesus. He was born in the city of Alexandria and was a good speaker who knew the Scriptures well. 25 He had been taught about the way of the Lord and was always very excited when he spoke and taught the truth about Jesus. But the only baptism Apollos knew about was the baptism that Johnn taught. 26 Apollos began to speak very boldly in the synagogue, and when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him to their home and helped him better understand the way of God. 27 Now Apollos wanted to go to the country of Southern Greece. So the believers helped him and wrote a letter to the followers there, asking them to accept him. These followers had believed in Jesus because of God's grace, and when Apollos arrived, he helped them very much. 28 He argued very strongly with the Jews before all the people, clearly proving with the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul was visiting some places on the way to Ephesus. There he found some followers 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They said, "We have never even heard of a Holy Spirit." 3 So he asked, "What kind of baptism did you have?" They said, "It was the baptism that John taught." 4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of changed hearts and lives. He told people to believe in the one who would come after him, and that one is Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Then Paul laid his hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them. They began speaking different languagesn and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve people in this group. 8 Paul went into the synagogue and spoke out boldly for three months. He talked with the Jews and persuaded them to accept the things he said about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of the Jews became stubborn. They refused to believe and said evil things about the Way of Jesus before all the people. So Paul left them, and taking the followers with him, he went to the school of a man named Tyrannus. There Paul talked with people every day 10 for two years. Because of his work, every Jew and Greek in the country of Asia heard the word of the Lord. 11 God used Paul to do some very special miracles. 12 Some people took handkerchiefs and clothes that Paul had used and put them on the sick. When they did this, the sick were healed and evil spirits left them. 13 But some Jews also were traveling around and making evil spirits go out of people. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to force the evil spirits out. They would say, "By the same Jesus that Paul talks about, I order you to come out!" 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading Jewish priest, were doing this. 15 But one time an evil spirit said to them, "I know Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them. Because he was so much stronger than all of them, they ran away from the house naked and hurt. 17 All the people in Ephesus -- Jews and Greeks -- learned about this and were filled with fear and gave great honor to the Lord Jesus. 18 Many of the believers began to confess openly and tell all the evil things they had done. 19 Some of them who had used magic brought their magic books and burned them before everyone. Those books were worth about fifty thousand silver coins. 20 So in a powerful way the word of the Lord kept spreading and growing. 21 After these things, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, planning to go through the countries of Macedonia and Southern Greece and then on to Jerusalem. He said, "After I have been to Jerusalem, I must also visit Rome." 22 Paul sent Timothy and Erastus, two of his helpers, ahead to Macedonia, but he himself stayed in Asia for a while. 23 And during that time, there was some serious trouble in Ephesus about the Way of Jesus. 24 A man named Demetrius, who worked with silver, made little silver models that looked like the temple of the goddess Artemis. Those who did this work made much money. 25 Demetrius had a meeting with them and some others who did the same kind of work. He told them, "Men, you know that we make a lot of money from our business. 26 But look at what this man Paul is doing. He has convinced and turned away many people in Ephesus and in almost all of Asia! He says the gods made by human hands are not real. 27 There is a danger that our business will lose its good name, but there is also another danger: People will begin to think that the temple of the great goddess Artemis is not important. Her greatness will be destroyed, and Artemis is the goddess that everyone in Asia and the whole world worships." 28 When the others heard this, they became very angry and shouted, "Artemis, the goddess of Ephesus, is great!" 29 The whole city became confused. The people grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, who were from Macedonia and were traveling with Paul, and ran to the theater. 30 Paul wanted to go in and talk to the crowd, but the followers did not let him. 31 Also, some leaders of Asia who were friends of Paul sent him a message, begging him not to go into the theater. 32 Some people were shouting one thing, and some were shouting another. The meeting was completely confused; most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 The Jews put a man named Alexander in front of the people, and some of them told him what to do. Alexander waved his hand so he could explain things to the people. 34 But when they saw that Alexander was a Jew, they all shouted the same thing for two hours: "Great is Artemis of Ephesus!" 35 Then the city clerk made the crowd be quiet. He said, "People of Ephesus, everyone knows that Ephesus is the city that keeps the temple of the great goddess Artemis and her holy stonen that fell from heaven. 36 Since no one can say this is not true, you should be quiet. Stop and think before you do anything. 37 You brought these men here, but they have not said anything evil against our goddess or stolen anything from her temple. 38 If Demetrius and those who work with him have a charge against anyone they should go to the courts and judges where they can argue with each other. 39 If there is something else you want to talk about, it can be decided at the regular town meeting of the people. 40 I say this because some people might see this trouble today and say that we are rioting. We could not explain this, because there is no real reason for this meeting." 41 After the city clerk said these things, he told the people to go home.
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