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Acts 17 in the Book of Acts

Acts 17 in the Book of Acts describes Paul the Apostle’s second missionary journey. This chapter calls people to study the word of God to avoid being deceived by the rulers who proclaim their power by misrepresentation of the Bible. For example, citizens became terrified when Paul started to spread the word of Lord in the city because “these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus” (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Acts 17:7). Furthermore, these rulers can manipulate citizens to create idols, which is unacceptable in Christianity. Moreover, the chapter seems to suggest that very few people followed Paul’s admonitions, showing that truth is rarely supported by the majority at its inception. The objective of this essay is to discuss the most prominent features of Acts 17. Indeed, this chapter invokes critical thinking in Christians, implying that other people can distort the original meaning; thus, it highlights the importance of direct exposure to the holy texts.

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The first idea that stood out to me in this text is that it encourages Christians to study the Bible for themselves. The text says that the people of Berea believed the words that Paul preached to them only after they “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Acts 17:11). Furthermore, people should welcome this knowledge: “in that they received the word with all readiness of mind” (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Acts 17:11). The main point of this verse is that people should not blindly believe what missionaries tell them. Conversely, they should read the Bible to see whether their teachings align with the word of God.

Another idea that stood out to me in this chapter is that Christianity opposes any idols that humans create for themselves. According to the text, when Paul came to Athens, “his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry” (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Acts 17:16). It means that Paul was enraged when he saw that people preferred to worship material things than follow God’s word. In this case, idols can be man-made objects that humans praise, such as money or gold, or feelings that tempt people to commit sins.

Thirdly, it stood out to me that God does not need human worship, as opposed to idols. The text says that God “dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Acts 17:24). It means that God does not need people to exist because He is the creator of everything. In contrast, human idols, such as money or worshipped figurines, are made by humans and cannot exist without them. Furthermore, the text narrates that God “neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Acts 17:25). This verse reinforces the idea that God can survive without people because He created humanity, not vice versa. Therefore, unlike human beings, God does not need their sacrifices, churches, and wars to assert Himself.

To summarize, Acts 17 can be considered one of the most progressive chapters in the Bible because it calls people to read and analyze God’s word themselves to avoid acquiring false teachings. The first thing that stood out for me in this text was that it implies that people should read and think critically. Secondly, this chapter stresses Christianity’s opposition to creating idols by showing Paul’s resentment of Athenians’ idolatry. Finally, this biblical text highlights that God created humans; thus, He does not need all the worldly items that most people use to demonstrate their religious reverence.


King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. Web.

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