Acts 17; Acts 18; Acts 19

1 Paul and Silas passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia. They came to Thessalonica. A Jewish synagogue was there. 2 Paul went into the synagogue as he usually did. For three Sabbath days in a row he talked about the Scriptures with the Jews. 3 He explained and proved that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am telling you about is the Christ!" he said. 4 His words won some of the Jews over. They joined Paul and Silas. A large number of Greeks who worshiped God joined them too. So did quite a few important women. 5 But the Jews were jealous. So they rounded up some evil fellows from the market place. Forming a crowd, they started all kinds of trouble in the city. The Jews rushed to Jason's house. They were looking for Paul and Silas. They wanted to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But they couldn't find them. So they dragged Jason and some other believers to the city officials. "These men have caused trouble all over the world," they shouted. "Now they have come here. 7 Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all disobeying Caesar's commands. They say there is another king. He is called Jesus." 8 When the crowd and the city officials heard this, they became very upset. 9 They made Jason and the others give them money. They wanted to make sure they would return to the court. Then they let them go. 10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. When they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 The Bereans were very glad to receive Paul's message. They studied the Scriptures carefully every day. They wanted to see if what Paul said was true. So they were more noble than the Thessalonians. 12 Many of the Jews believed. A number of important Greek women also became believers. And so did many Greek men. 13 The Jews in Thessalonica found out that Paul was preaching God's word in Berea. So they went there too. They stirred up the crowds and got them all worked up. 14 Right away the believers sent Paul to the coast. But Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea. 15 The men who went with Paul took him to Athens. Then they returned with orders that Silas and Timothy were supposed to join him as soon as they could. 16 Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens. He was very upset to see that the city was full of statues of gods. 17 So he went to the synagogue. There he talked with Jews and with Greeks who worshiped God. Each day he spoke with anyone who happened to be in the market place. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic thinkers began to argue with him. Some of them asked, "What is this fellow chattering about?" Others said, "He seems to be telling us about gods we've never heard of." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus. He was telling them that Jesus had risen from the dead. 19 They took him to a meeting of the Areopagus. There they said to him, "What is this new teaching you're giving us? 20 You have some strange ideas. We've never heard them before. We want to know what they mean." 21 All the people of Athens spent their time talking about and listening to the latest ideas. People from other lands who lived there did the same. 22 Then Paul stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus. He said, "Men of Athens! I see that you are very religious in every way. 23 As I walked around, I looked carefully at the things you worship. I even found an altar with TO AN UNKNOWN GOD written on it. Now I am going to tell you about this 'unknown god' that you worship. 24 "He is the God who made the world. He also made everything in it. He is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn't live in temples built by hands. 25 He is not served by human hands. He doesn't need anything. He himself gives life and breath to all people. He also gives them everything else they have. 26 From one man he made all the people of the world. Now they live all over the earth. He decided exactly when they should live. And he decided exactly where they should live. 27 God did this so that people would seek him. Then perhaps they would reach out for him and find him. They would find him even though he is not far from any of us. 28 'In him we live and move and exist.' As some of your own poets have also said, 'We are his children.' 29 "Yes, we are God's children. So we shouldn't think that God is made out of gold or silver or stone. He isn't a statue planned and made by clever people. 30 In the past, God didn't judge people for what they didn't know. But now he commands all people everywhere to turn away from their sins. 31 He has set a day when he will judge the world fairly. He has appointed a man to be its judge. God has proved this to all people by raising that man from the dead." 32 When they heard Paul talk about the dead rising, some of them made fun of it. But others said, "We want to hear you speak about this again." 33 So Paul left the meeting of the Areopagus. 34 A few men became followers of Paul and believed in Jesus. Dionysius was one of them. He was a member of the Areopagus. A woman named Damaris also became a believer. And so did some others.
1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, who was a native of Pontus. Aquila had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla. The emperor Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see Aquila and Priscilla. 3 They were tentmakers, just as he was. So he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath day he went to the synagogue. He was trying to get both Jews and Greeks to believe in the Lord. 5 Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia. Then Paul spent all his time preaching. He gave witness to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But the Jews opposed Paul. They treated him badly. He didn't like this. So he shook out his clothes. Then he said to them, "Anything that happens to you will be your own fault! Don't blame me for it! From now on I will go to people who are not Jews." 7 Then Paul left the synagogue. He went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a man who worshiped God. 8 Crispus was the synagogue ruler. He and his whole family came to believe in the Lord. Many others who lived in Corinth heard Paul. They too believed and were baptized. 9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision. "Don't be afraid," he said. "Keep on speaking. Don't be silent. 10 I am with you. No one will attack you and harm you. I have many people in this city." 11 So Paul stayed there for a year and a half. He taught them God's word. 12 At that time Gallio was governor of Achaia. The Jews got together and attacked Paul. They brought him into court. 13 "This man," they charged, "is trying to talk people into worshiping God in ways that are against the law." 14 Paul was about to speak up for himself. But just then Gallio spoke to the Jews. "You Jews are not claiming that Paul has committed a crime, whether large or small," he said. "If you were, it would make sense for me to listen to you. 15 But this is about your own law. It is a question of words and names. Settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things." 16 So he had them thrown out of the court. 17 Then all the Jews turned against Sosthenes. He was the synagogue ruler. They beat him up in front of the court. But Gallio didn't care at all. 18 Paul stayed in Corinth for some time. Then he left the believers and sailed for Syria. Priscilla and Aquila went with him. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea. He did this because he had made a promise to God. 19 They arrived at Ephesus. There Paul said good-by to Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and talked with the Jews. 20 The Jews asked him to spend more time with them. But he said no. 21 As he left, he made them a promise. "If God wants me to," he said, "I will come back." Then he sailed from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem. There he greeted the church. He then went down to Antioch. 23 Paul spent some time in Antioch. Then he left and traveled all over Galatia and Phrygia. He gave strength to all the believers there. 24 At that time a Jew named Apollos came to Ephesus. He was an educated man from Alexandria. He knew the Scriptures very well. 25 Apollos had been taught the way of the Lord. He spoke with great power. He taught the truth about Jesus. But he only knew about John's baptism. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. Priscilla and Aquila heard him. So they invited him to their home. There they gave him a better understanding of the way of God. 27 Apollos wanted to go to Achaia. The brothers agreed with him. They wrote to the believers there. They asked them to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who had become believers by God's grace. 28 He argued strongly against the Jews in public meetings. He proved from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road to Ephesus. When he arrived, he found some believers there. 2 He asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?" "No," they answered. "We haven't even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John baptized people, calling them to turn away from their sins. He told them to believe in the one who was coming after him. Jesus is that one." 5 After hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Paul placed his hands on them. Then the Holy Spirit came on them. They spoke in languages they had not known before. They also prophesied. 7 There were about 12 of them in all. 8 Paul entered the synagogue. There he spoke boldly for three months. He tried to talk the people into accepting his teaching about God's kingdom. 9 But some of them wouldn't listen. They refused to believe. In public they said evil things about the Way of Jesus. So Paul left them. He took the believers with him. Each day he talked with people in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years. So all the Jews and Greeks who lived in Asia Minor heard the word of the Lord. 11 God did amazing miracles through Paul. 12 Even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to those who were sick. When this happened, their sicknesses were healed and evil spirits left them. 13 Some Jews went around driving out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to set free those who were controlled by demons. They said, "In Jesus' name I command you to come out. He is the Jesus that Paul is preaching about." 14 Seven sons of Sceva were doing this. Sceva was a Jewish chief priest. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, "I know Jesus. And I know about Paul. But who are you?" 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on Sceva's sons. He overpowered them all. He gave them a terrible beating. They ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 The Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus heard about this. They were all overcome with fear. They held the name of the Lord Jesus in high honor. 18 Many who believed now came and openly admitted the evil they had done. 19 A number of those who had practiced evil magic brought their scrolls together. They set them on fire out in the open. They added up the value of the scrolls. They found that it would take more than two lifetimes to earn what the scrolls were worth. 20 The word of the Lord spread everywhere. It became more and more powerful. 21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem. He went through Macedonia and Achaia. "After I have been to Jerusalem," he said, "I must visit Rome also." 22 He sent Timothy and Erastus, two of his helpers, to Macedonia. But he stayed a little longer in Asia Minor. 23 At that time many people became very upset about the Way of Jesus. 24 There was a man named Demetrius who made things out of silver. He made silver models of the temple of the goddess Artemis. He brought in a lot of business for the other skilled workers. 25 One day he called them together. He also called others who were in the same kind of business. "Men," he said, "you know that we make good money from our work. 26 You have seen and heard what this fellow Paul is doing. He has talked to large numbers of people here in Ephesus. Almost everywhere in Asia Minor he has led people away from our gods. He says that the gods we make are not gods at all. 27 Our work is in danger of losing its good name. People's faith in the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be weakened. Now she is worshiped through all of Asia Minor and the whole world. But soon she will be robbed of her greatness." 28 When they heard this, they became very angry. They began shouting, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29 Soon people were making trouble in the whole city. They all rushed into the theater. They dragged Gaius and Aristarchus along with them. These two men had come with Paul from Macedonia. 30 Paul wanted to appear in front of the crowd. But the believers wouldn't let him. 31 Some of the officials in Asia Minor were friends of Paul. They sent him a message, begging him not to go into the theater. 32 The crowd didn't know what was going on. Some were shouting one thing and some another. Most of the people didn't even know why they were there. 33 The Jews pushed Alexander to the front. Some of the crowd tried to tell him what to say. But he motioned for them to be quiet. He wanted to speak up for himself in front of the people. 34 But then they realized that he was a Jew. So they all shouted the same thing for about two hours. "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" they yelled. 35 The city clerk quieted the crowd down. "Men of Ephesus!" he said. "The whole world knows that the city of Ephesus guards the temple of the great Artemis. They know that Ephesus guards her statue, which fell from heaven. 36 These facts can't be questioned. So calm down. Don't do anything foolish. 37 "These men haven't robbed any temples. They haven't said evil things against our goddess. But you have brought them here anyhow. 38 Demetrius and the other skilled workers may feel they have been wronged by someone. Let them bring charges. The courts are open. We have our governors. 39 Is there anything else you want to bring up? Settle it in a court of law. 40 As it is, today we are in danger of being charged with causing all this trouble. But there is no reason for it. We wouldn't be able to explain what has happened." 41 After he said this, he sent the people away.
California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice