Berea, or Beroea, from the Greek Beroia, was a city in southern Macedonia (Greece), located at the foot of Mount Bermius. The apostle Paul visited the city during his second missionary journey where he found a substantial number of people who were receptive to the Gospel. The situation changed however when people from Thessalonica, who had earlier opposed Paul, arrived in Berea and forced him to leave. Paul returned through the area of Berea during his third missionary journey, and despite the earlier opposition, many of the Bereans were converted. Sopater, one of Paul's traveling companions, was from Berea.
During Paul's Second Missionary Journey
"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and for three weeks he argued with them from the Scriptures [see Jesus Christ's Bible], 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." 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."
"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. 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, and Jason has received them; and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus." And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard this. And when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go." [Note: Not all of the Thessalonians failed to listen; Paul successfully converted many people in Thessalonica, Jews and Greeks - 2 of his Epistles are addressed to the church there: 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians]
"The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men."
"But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Beroea also, they came there too, stirring up and inciting the crowds. Then the brethren immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there." (Acts 17:1-14 RSV)
During Paul's Third Missionary Journey
"When he had gone through these parts and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia. Sopater of Beroea, the son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus." (Acts 20:2-4 RSV)
Fact Finder: Did Paul's journey to Rome, during which he was shipwrecked on Malta, occur before or after his second and third missionary journeys?
See Paul's Journey To Rome
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