Acts 17

17 1 Paul at Thessalonica 3 preaching Christ, 6, 7 is entertained of Jason: 10 He is sent to Berea: 15 from thence coming to Athens, 19 in Mars’ street 23 he preacheth the living God to them unknown, 34 and so many are converted unto Christ.

1 Now [a]as they passed through Amphipolis, and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a Synagogue of the Jews.

2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days disputed with them by the Scriptures,

3 [b]Opening, and alleging that Christ must have suffered, and risen again from the dead, and this is Jesus Christ, whom said he, I preach to you.

4 And some of them believed, and joined in company with Paul and Silas: also of the Grecians that feared God a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

5 [c]But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain [d]vagabonds and wicked fellows, and when they had assembled the multitude, they made a tumult in the city, and made assault against the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

6 But when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the heads of the city, crying, These are they which have subverted the state of the [e]world, and here they are,

7 Whom Jason hath received, and these all do against the decrees of Caesar, saying, that there is another King one Jesus.

8 Then they troubled the people, and the heads of the city, when they heard these things.

9 Notwithstanding when they had received sufficient [f]assurance of Jason and of the others, they let them go.

10 [g]And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea, which when they were come thither, entered into the Synagogue of the Jews.

11 [h]These were also more [i]noble men than they which were at Thessalonica, which received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

12 Therefore many of them believed, and of honest women, which were Grecians, and men not a few.

13 [j]But when the Jews of Thessalonica knew, that the word of God was also preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and moved the people.

14 [k]But by and by the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timothy abode there still.

15 [l]And they that did conduct Paul, [m]brought him unto Athens: and when they had received a commandment unto Silas and Timothy that they should come to him at once, they departed.

16 [n]Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was [o]stirred in him, when he saw the city subject to [p]idolatry.

17 Therefore he disputeth in the Synagogue with the Jews, and with them that were religious, and in the market daily with [q]whomsoever he met.

18 [r]Then certain Philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, disputed with him, and some said, What will this [s]babbler say? Others said, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods (because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.)

19 And they took him, and brought him into [t]Mars’ street, saying, May we not know, what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?

20 For thou bringest certain strange things unto our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.

21 [u]For all the Athenians and strangers which dwelt there, gave themselves to nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some news.

22 [v]Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ street, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too [w]superstitious.

23 For as I passed by, and beheld your [x]devotions, I found an altar wherein was written, UNTO THE [y]UNKNOWN GOD. Whom ye then ignorantly worship, him show I unto you.

24 [z]God that made the world, and all things that are therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, (A)dwelleth not in temples made with hands.

25 (B)Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life and breath and all things,

26 [aa]And hath made of [ab]one blood all mankind, to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath assigned the seasons which were ordained before, and the bounds of their habitation,

27 That they should seek the Lord, if so be they might have [ac]groped after him, and found him, though doubtless he be not far from every one of us.

28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being, as also certain of your own Poets have said: For we are also his generation.

29 (C)Forasmuch then, as we are the generation of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone [ad]graven by art and the invention of man.

30 [ae]And the time of this ignorance God regarded not: but now he admonisheth all men everywhere to repent.

31 Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath appointed, whereof he hath given an [af]assurance to all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

32 [ag]Now when they had heard of the resurrection from the dead, some mocked, and others said, We will hear thee again of this thing.

33 And so Paul departed from among them.

34 Howbeit certain men clave unto Paul, and believed: among whom was also Dionysius Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.


  1. Acts 17:1 The casting out of Silas and Paul, was the saving of many others.
  2. Acts 17:3 Christ is therefore the Mediator, because he was crucified and rose again: much less is he to be rejected, because the cross is ignominious.
  3. Acts 17:5 Although the zeal of the unfaithful seems never so goodly, yet at length it is found to have neither truth nor equity: But yet the wicked cannot do what they list, for even among themselves God stirreth up some, whose help he useth to the deliverance of his.
  4. Acts 17:5 Certain companions which do nothing but walk the streets, wicked men, to be hired for every man’s money, to do any mischief, such as we commonly call the rascals and very sinks and dunghill knaves of all towns and cities.
  5. Acts 17:6 Into what country and place soever they come, they cause sedition and tumult.
  6. Acts 17:9 When Jason had put them in good assurance that they should appear.
  7. Acts 17:10 That is indeed the wisdom of the Spirit, which always setteth the glory of God before itself as a mark whereunto it directeth itself, and never swerveth from it.
  8. Acts 17:11 The Lord setteth out in one moment, and in one people, divers examples of his unsearchable wisdom, to cause them to fear him.
  9. Acts 17:11 He compareth the Jews, with the Jews.
  10. Acts 17:13 Satan hath his, who are zealous for him, and that even such, as least of all ought.
  11. Acts 17:14 There is neither counsel, nor fury, nor madness, against the Lord.
  12. Acts 17:15 The sheep of Christ do also watch for their pastor’s health and safety, but yet in the Lord.
  13. Acts 17:15 It is not for nought that the Jews of Berea were so commended, for they brought Paul safe from Macedonia to Athens, and there is in distance betwixt those two, all Thessalia, and Boeotia, and Attica.
  14. Acts 17:16 In comparing the wisdom of God with man’s wisdom, men scoff and mock at that which they understand not: And God useth the curiosity of fools to gather together his elect.
  15. Acts 17:16 He could not forbear.
  16. Acts 17:16 Slavishly given to Idolatry: Pausanias writeth that there were more Idols in Athens, than in all Greece, yea they had altars dedicated to Shame, and Fame, and Lust, whom they made goddesses.
  17. Acts 17:17 Whomsoever Paul met with, that would suffer him to talk with him, he reasoned with him, so thoroughly did he burn with the zeal of God’s glory.
  18. Acts 17:18 Two sects especially of the Philosophers do set themselves against Christ: the Epicureans, which make a mock and scoff at all religions, and the Stoics, which determine upon matters of religion according to their own brains.
  19. Acts 17:18 Word for word, seed gatherer: a borrowed kind of speech taken of birds which spoil corn, and is applied to them which without all art bluster out such knowledge as they have gotten by hearing this man and that man.
  20. Acts 17:19 This was a place called as you would say, Mars hill, where the judges sat which were called Areopagus, upon weighty affairs, which in old time arraigned Socrates, and afterward condemned him of impiety.
  21. Acts 17:21 The wisdom of man is vanity.
  22. Acts 17:22 The idolaters themselves minister most strong and forcible arguments against their own superstition.
  23. Acts 17:22 To stand in too peevish and servile a fear of your gods.
  24. Acts 17:23 Whatsoever men worship for religion’s sake, that we call devotion.
  25. Acts 17:23 Pausanias in his Atticis, maketh mention of the altar which the Athenians had dedicated to unknown gods: and Laertius in his Epimenides maketh mention of an altar that had no name entitled.
  26. Acts 17:24 It is a most foolish and vain thing to compare the Creator with the creature, to limit him within a place, which can be comprehended in no place, and to think to allure him with gifts, of whom all men have received all things whatsoever they have: And these are the fountains of all idolatry.
  27. Acts 17:26 God is wonderful in all his works, but especially in the work of man: not that we should stand amazed at his works, but that we should lift up our eyes to the workman.
  28. Acts 17:26 Of one stock and one beginning.
  29. Acts 17:27 For as blind men we could not seek out God, but only by groping wise, before the true light came and lightened the world.
  30. Acts 17:29 Which stuff, as gold, silver, stones, are customably graven as a man’s wit can devise, for men will not worship that gross stuff as it is, unless by some art it have gotten some shape upon it.
  31. Acts 17:30 The oldness of the error doth not excuse them that err, but it commendeth and setteth forth the patience of God: who notwithstanding will be a just judge to such as contemn him.
  32. Acts 17:31 By declaring Christ to be the judge of the world through the resurrection from the dead.
  33. Acts 17:32 Men, to show forth their vanity, are diversely affected and moved with one selfsame Gospel, which notwithstanding ceaseth not to be effectual in the elect.

Cross references

  1. Acts 17:24 : Acts 7:48
  2. Acts 17:25 : Ps. 50:8
  3. Acts 17:29 : Isa. 40:19

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