Second Missionary Journey

Acts 15:37-18:22

1537Barnabas planned to take John, who was called Mark, with them also. 38But Paul didn’t think that it was a good idea to take with them someone who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia, and didn’t go with them to do the work. 39Then the contention grew so sharp that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him, and sailed away to Cyprus, 40but Paul chose Silas, and went out, being commended by the brothers to the grace of God. 41He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the assemblies.
161He came to Derbe and Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess who believed; but his father was a Greek. 2The brothers who were at Lystra and Iconium gave a good testimony about him. 3Paul wanted to have him go out with him, and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts; for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered the decrees to them to keep which had been ordained by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem. 5So the assemblies were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
6When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7When they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit didn’t allow them. 8Passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9A vision appeared to Paul in the night. There was a man of Macedonia standing, begging him, and saying,


Come over into Macedonia and help us.

10When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go out to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the Good News to them. 11Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis; 12and from there to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the foremost of the district, a Roman colony. We were staying some days in this city.
13On the Sabbath day we went outside of the city by a riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down, and spoke to the women who had come together. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying,


If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay.

So she persuaded us.
16As we were going to prayer, a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling. 17Following Paul and us, she cried out,


These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!

18She was doing this for many days.
But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit,


I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!

It came out that very hour. 19But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20When they had brought them to the magistrates, they said,


These men, being Jews, are agitating our city, 21and advocate customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.

22The multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates tore their clothes off of them, and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23When they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely, 24who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks.
25But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were loosened. 27The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying,


Don’t harm yourself, for we are all here!

29He called for lights, sprang in, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas, 30brought them out, and said,


Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31They said,


Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.

32They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.
33He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household. 34He brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God.
35But when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying,


Let those men go.

36The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying,


The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore come out, and go in peace.

37But Paul said to them,


They have beaten us publicly, without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? No, most certainly, but let them come themselves and bring us out!

38The sergeants reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, 39and they came and begged them. When they had brought them out, they asked them to depart from the city. 40They went out of the prison, and entered into Lydia’s house. When they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them, and departed.
171Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying,


This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.

4Some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas, of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and not a few of the chief women. 5But the unpersuaded Jews took along* some wicked men from the marketplace, and gathering a crowd, set the city in an uproar. Assaulting the house of Jason, they sought to bring them out to the people. 6When they didn’t find them, they dragged Jason and certain brothers* before the rulers of the city, crying,


These who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7whom Jason has received. These all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus!

8The multitude and the rulers of the city were troubled when they heard these things. 9When they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. 10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea. When they arrived, they went into the Jewish synagogue.
11Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. 12Many of them therefore believed; also of the prominent Greek women, and not a few men. 13But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Beroea also, they came there likewise, agitating the multitudes. 14Then the brothers immediately sent out Paul to go as far as to the sea, and Silas and Timothy still stayed there. 15But those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens. Receiving a commandment to Silas and Timothy that they should come to him very quickly, they departed.
16Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw the city full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who met him. 18Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also* were conversing with him. Some said,


What does this babbler want to say?

Others said,


He seems to be advocating foreign deities,

because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.
19They took hold of him, and brought him to the Areopagus, saying,


May we know what this new teaching is, which is spoken by you? 20For you bring certain strange things to our ears. We want to know therefore what these things mean.

21Now all the Athenians and the strangers living there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.
22Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and said,


You men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all things. 23For 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 in ignorance, this I announce to you. 24The God who made the world and all things in it, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands, 25neither is he served by men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself gives to all life and breath, and all things. 26He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28‘For in him we live, and move, and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’ 29Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, engraved by art and design of man. 30The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent, 31because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.

32Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said,


We want to hear you again concerning this.

33Thus Paul went out from among them. 34But certain men joined with him, and believed, among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
181After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth. 2He found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, who had recently come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. He came to them, 3and because he practiced the same trade, he lived with them and worked, for by trade they were tent makers. 4He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks. 5But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6When they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook out his clothing and said to them,


Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles!

7He departed there, and went into the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house. Many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized. 9The Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision,


Don’t be afraid, but speak and don’t be silent; 10for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many people in this city.

11He lived there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 12But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, 13saying,


This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.

14But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews,


If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked crime, you Jews, it would be reasonable that I should bear with you; 15but if they are questions about words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves. For I don’t want to be a judge of these matters.

16He drove them from the judgment seat.
17Then all the Greeks laid hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. Gallio didn’t care about any of these things.
18Paul, having stayed after this many more days, took his leave of the brothers,* and sailed from there for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow. 19He came to Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. 20When they asked him to stay with them a longer time, he declined; 21but taking his leave of them, and saying,


I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem, but I will return again to you if God wills,

he set sail from Ephesus.
22When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the assembly, and went down to Antioch.

*Acts 17:5 TR reads “And the Jews who were unpersuaded, becoming envious and taking along” instead of “But the unpersuaded Jews took along”
*Acts 17:6 The word for “brothers” here and where the context allows may be also correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”
*Acts 17:18 TR omits “also”
*Acts 18:18 The word for “brothers” here and where the context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”


  • Take note of the acts of God described in this story.
  • What do these reveal about the character of God?
  • Have you experienced this dimension of the character of God in your life? If yes, how so? If not, how might you come to experience this?
  • What can you do to grow in your desire to know and experience God more intimately today?
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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