Hostile unbelievers chased Paul from one city to the next with violent intentions. Paul escaped them in Berea by boarding a ship to Athens. Upon arrival his soul was deeply disturbed by how much idolatry had engulfed the city. Preaching in the synagogues apparently got nowhere. So he engaged Gentiles wherever he could, finally gaining audience with the Intelligentsia of the city, but these men were skilled in debate and unbelief, reasoning about God was the very thing Paul would discover that they were not interested in.
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