We resume our series now on the Book of Acts and the theme of Mission.
One church whose singular description has become a stereotype is that of Berea. There is a memorial today in modern Verria to Paul’s preaching in Berea. Here is the text from Acts:
17:10 The brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea at once, during the night. When they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 17:11 These Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so. 17:12 Therefore many of them believed, along with quite a few prominent Greek women and men. 17:13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica heard that Paul had also proclaimed the word of God in Berea, they came there too, inciting and disturbing the crowds. 17:14 Then the brothers sent Paul away to the coast at once, but Silas and Timothy remained in Berea. 17:15 Those who accompanied Paul escorted him as far as Athens, and after receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.
Conversion from Judaism to Christianity (or messianic Judaism) is the result of doing something noteworthy about the Bereans: examining Scripture to test the messianic claims about Jesus. (You can read about the pattern I discovered for how Jews convert in this book where there is a chp on Jewish conversion: Finding Faith, Losing Faith: Stories of Conversion and Apostasy
Luke once again observes that a number of prominent Greek women and men (note the order) believed. We can probably assume that the women were every bit as much involved in the searching of Scripture to see if Paul and Silas and Timothy were scriptural in their gospel preaching and teachings.