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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Acts Chapter 17 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Luke
Date Penned: (63-70 AD)
Overview: Paul's Ministry (c 13-28)
Theme: Paul's Second Missionary Journey (c 16-18)
Message: Paul Journeys to Thessalonica (v 1-40)

Acts 17 Commentary

(17:1-9) Paul Preaches in Thessalonica - Leaving Luke in Philippi, Paul, Silas, and Timothy journeyed in a southwesterly direction along the Grecian coast, eventually arriving at Thessalonica. There Paul repeated his usual procedure: go first to the synagogue and preach to the Jews and God-fearing Greeks there. The response was typical—a revival among the Greeks, a riot at the hands of the Jewish leaders!

(17:10-15) Paul and Silas in Berea - God continued to use persecution and opposition to spread the good news of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ. The uproar in Thessalonica forced Paul and Silas to journey to Berea, where they found a very teachable and receptive Greek audience. In a short time, however, hostile Jews came from Thessalonica to attack Paul’s work in Berea. But this succeeded only in getting the great evangelist to Athens!

(17:16-34) Paul Preached in Athens - Paul’s brief stay in Athens is a remarkable case study in the universality of the gospel. This chapter deals with the early stages of Paul’s second missionary journey. He and his fellow travelers worked their way down the peninsula of modern-day Greece. Luke recorded Paul’s message to the idol-worshiping academicians at Athens at length. That message revealed Paul’s God-led wisdom for dealing with those who knew very little about the true God but who felt very secure in their intellectual abilities.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Sharing Jesus in a Religious Culture

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Acts Chapter 17. In our text today we see Paul preaching in Thessalonica, Those at Berea Search the Scriptures, and in Athens Paul tells about the unknown God as the Athenians were very religious but did not know of the one true God. In making application we see that many are religious today but few know about the God of the Bible and Salvation through Jesus-Christ. How about you? Do you follow the example of Paul to tell others of Jesus? Let us learn from our text today and the example of Paul to tell others of Jesus in culture full of religion but in need of a Savior.


Acts 17

Acts 17

 1Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

 2And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

 3Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

 4And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

 5But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

 6And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

 7Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

 8And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.

 9And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.

 10And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

 11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 12Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

 13But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

 14And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.

 15And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.

 16Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

 17Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

 18Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

 19And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?

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

 21(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

 22Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

 23For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

 24God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

 25Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

 26And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

 27That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

 28For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

 29Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

 30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

 31Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

 32And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.

 33So Paul departed from among them.

 34Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.