And Paul, as his manner was, went in to them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
The inveterate obstinacy of the Jews contrasted sadly with the ready conversion of the Gentiles, and especially of women, who in all ages have been more remarkable than men for religious earnestness, is a phenomenon which constantly recurs in the early history of Christianity. Nor is this wholly to be wondered at. The Jew was at least in possession of a religion which raised him to a height of moral superiority above his Gentile contemporaries; but the Gentile of this day had no religion at all worth speaking of. If the Jew had more and more mistaken the shell of ceremonialism for the precious truths of which that ceremonialism was but the integument, he was at least conscious that there were deep truths which lay enshrined behind the observances which he so fanatically cherished. But on what deep truths could the Greek woman rest, if her life were pure, and her thoughts elevated above the ignorant domesticism which was the only recognised virtue of her sex? What comfort was there for her in the cold grey eyes of Athene, or the stereotyped smile of the voluptuous Aphrodite? And when the Thessalonian Greek raised his eyes to the dispeopled heaven of the Olympus, which towered over the blue gulf on which his city stood — when his imagination could no longer place the throne of Zeus, and the session of his mighty deities, on that dazzling summit where Cicero had remarked with pathetic irony that he saw nothing but snow and ice — what compensation could he find for the void left in his heart by a dead religion? By adopting circumcision he might become, as it were, a Helot of Judaism; and to such a sacrifice he was not tempted. But the gospel which Paul preached had no esoteric doctrines, and no supercilious exclusions, and no repellent ceremonials; it came with a Divine Example, and a free gift to all, and that free gift involved all that was most precious to the troubled and despondent soul. No wonder, then, that the Church at Thessalonica was mainly Gentile, as is proved by 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:14, and by the total absence of any Old Testament allusion in both Epistles.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,