Acts 17 Compare And Contrast Essay Samples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: City, Christians, Message, Jesus Christ, Athens, Religion, Greece, Riot

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/10/08

Acts 17 describes Paul’s visits to three different cities within Greece. In all three of these cities, Paul gives a speech to the Jews and anyone else present who will listen. In each of the cities, he visits a synagogue and tries to reason with Jews about the gospels of Jesus Christ. These speeches are great examples of how to defend the faith and a good guide to all in how to logically reason the Christian faith (DeSilva). Paul preaches virtually the same message in every city, proclaiming that Jesus is the Messiah, but after that, there is a sharp contrast in how the events flow in every city. Each city responds in a very unique and distinct way, showing that Paul is bringing the gospel to a wide variety of people.
Paul’s attempt to reason at the synagogue’s yielded two relatively unsuccessful attempts. The first was in Thessalonica. Thessalonica was an extremely prominent city within the ancient world, as it was the capital of Macedonia and a port city. It was very large city, and was certainly very important to the Roman Empire (Thessalonica). The only exact detail given in Paul’s address within the synagogue was, “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah (New International Version, Acts 17:3).” While not very detailed, this still depicts the basic message of Christianity, as it is written that Paul further reasoned with them using the scriptures.
However, a major conflict occurs at the conclusion of Paul’s message. While Acts 17:4 says that a few Jews, some Greeks, and a few women were persuaded by Paul, many other Jews were jealous and a riot formed. Paul has apparently started a riot is his defense of Christ, showing the power and counter-cultural message proclaiming the gospel can have. Trying to spread the good news is not safe, and Paul’s journey to Thessalonica certainly proves this. Paul is accused of “Defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king (Acts 17:7).” Despite the riot, Paul does manage to escape and flee to Berea.
Paul’s visit to Athens also provided challenges, although the Athenian response was quite different from Thessalonica. In Athens, Paul spent much of his time debating with philosophers and pagans who worshipped many gods. This should not be all that unexpected as Athens was the intellectual center of the Roman Empire, and they would have enjoyed a great debate (DeSilva). This is why the speech Paul gives is in great detail, as he would have to make a strong case for Christ. Paul acknowledges how religious the Athenians are, but says that are misguided in who they worship, citing the altar “To an unknown god (Acts 17:23).” Paul’s great speech ends with some interest and conversions, but with the majority sneering at him. There was no riot, as this was the intellectual center, but Paul still faced adversity within Athens.
However, by far the best reaction Paul received out of his three visits in Acts 17 is in Berea. Berea was a small city somewhat near Mount Olympus, and they had a very positive reception to the gospel message (DeSilva). In verse 11, Paul describes the Berean’s as having “noble character.” This is in sharp contrast to those in Thessalonica, given that a riot broke out. The Berean’s are noble and have a balanced response to the gospel in that they received the message with “eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true (Acts 17:11).” Berea was interested in hearing what Paul had to say, and unlike those in Thessalonica, they actually took the time to go through Paul’s arguments and look up for themselves the truth he was preaching. Paul probably calls them “noble” because they gave the exact response he wanted. They did not blindly reject or accept the message, but reasoned and came to their own conclusion. This was a very balanced response to receiving the gospel message.
The Berean’s response demonstrates several key ideals that all Christian s should strive to follow. The passage in Acts 17 says that those in Berea examined the scriptures daily. This is something that Christian’s today should live by. Daily devotional study strengthens faith, and will help lead people to living more in step with God’s will. Next, the Berean’s showed a questioning spirit and sought the truth. They did not flat out reject or approve of what Paul was saying, showing a rational response, and sought to grow in knowledge. There was an eagerness about them that caused them to read the scriptures daily. This too, is something Christians today should follow in their daily lives: eagerness to grow in faith. Christians should be ready to question, learn, study, and grow in their understanding of scripture daily. Finally, Berean’s ultimately promote the idea of “sola scriptura.” They saw that only the Bible alone is needed to show the accuracy of Christianity, and is the ultimate authority. This is a pillar of the Christian faith today, and the Berean’s early example contributes to this (Curtis).
In conclusion, Paul’s visits to three different cities in Greece yielded three very different responses. From rioting, to eagerness, Paul encountered all the challenges of ministry. His trip to Berea showed the true power the gospel message can have. His dealings in Thessalonica and Athens showed the difficulties spreading the gospel is bound to cause, both in ancient Rome, and today.

Works Cited

Curtis, David. "The Bereans." Berean Bible Church, 25 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. <>.
DeSilva, David Arthur. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity ;, 2004. Print.
Holy Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2011. Print.
"Thessalonica." Web. 23 Jan. 2015. <>.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2020, October, 08) Acts 17 Compare And Contrast Essay Samples. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from
"Acts 17 Compare And Contrast Essay Samples." WePapers, 08 Oct. 2020, Accessed 27 June 2022.
WePapers. 2020. Acts 17 Compare And Contrast Essay Samples., viewed June 27 2022, <>
WePapers. Acts 17 Compare And Contrast Essay Samples. [Internet]. October 2020. [Accessed June 27, 2022]. Available from:
"Acts 17 Compare And Contrast Essay Samples." WePapers, Oct 08, 2020. Accessed June 27, 2022.
WePapers. 2020. "Acts 17 Compare And Contrast Essay Samples." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved June 27, 2022. (
"Acts 17 Compare And Contrast Essay Samples," Free Essay Examples -, 08-Oct-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27-Jun-2022].
Acts 17 Compare And Contrast Essay Samples. Free Essay Examples - Published Oct 08, 2020. Accessed June 27, 2022.

Share with friends using:

Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.

If you need an original paper created exclusively for you, hire one of our brilliant writers!

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now