Acts 16-17 Revised Standard Version

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Timothy Accompanies Paul and Silas

16 And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. 2  He was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Ico'nium. 3  Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4  As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem. 5  So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

Paul's Vision of the Man of Macedonia

6  And they went through the region of Phry'gia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7  And when they had come opposite My'sia, they attempted to go into Bithyn'ia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; 8  so, passing by My'sia, they went down to Tro'as. 9  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedo'nia was standing beseeching him and saying, "Come over to Macedo'nia and help us." 10  And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedo'nia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

The Imprisonment at Philippi

11  Setting sail therefore from Tro'as, we made a direct voyage to Sam'othrace, and the following day to Ne-ap'olis, 12  and from there to Philip'pi, which is the leading city of the district of Macedo'nia, and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days; 13  and on the sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14  One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyati'ra, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul. 15  And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.

16  As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying. 17  She followed Paul and us, crying, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation." 18  And this she did for many days. But Paul was annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour. 19  But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the rulers; 20  and when they had brought them to the magistrates they said, "These men are Jews and they are disturbing our city. 21  They advocate customs which it is not lawful for us Romans to accept or practice." 22  The crowd joined in attacking them; and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23  And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely. 24  Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25  But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26  and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's fetters were unfastened. 27  When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." 29  And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30  and brought them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" 31  And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32  And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. 33  And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. 34  Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.

35  But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, "Let those men go." 36  And the jailer reported the words to Paul, saying, "The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore come out and go in peace." 37  But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now cast us out secretly? No! let them come themselves and take us out." 38  The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; 39  so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. 40  So they went out of the prison, and visited Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they exhorted them and departed.

The Uproar in Thessalonica

17 Now when they had passed through Amphip'olis and Apollo'nia, they came to Thessaloni'ca, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2  And Paul went in, as was his custom, and for three weeks he argued with them from the scriptures, 3  explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ." 4  And some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas; as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5  But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked fellows of the rabble, they gathered a crowd, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the people. 6  And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brethren before the city authorities, crying, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7  and Jason has received them; and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus." 8  And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard this. 9  And when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.

The Apostles at Beroea

10  The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroe'a; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11  Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessaloni'ca, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12  Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. 13  But when the Jews of Thessaloni'ca learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Beroe'a also, they came there too, stirring up and inciting the crowds. 14  Then the brethren immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. 15  Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.

Paul at Athens

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 argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the market place every day with those who chanced to be there. 18  Some also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers met him. And some said, "What would this babbler say?" Others said, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities" --because he preached Jesus and the resurrection. 19  And they took hold of him and brought him to the Are-op'agus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is which you present? 20  For you bring some strange things to our ears; we wish to know therefore what these things mean." 21  Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

22  So Paul, standing in the middle of the Are-op'agus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23  For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To an unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24  The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, 25  nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. 26  And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, 27  that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, 28  for 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.' 29  Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. 30  The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, 31  because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead."

32  Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, "We will hear you again about this." 33  So Paul went out from among them. 34  But some men joined him and believed, among them Dionys'ius the Are-op'agite and a woman named Dam'aris and others with them.

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