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1 Thessalonians 3:1

ESV Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone,
NIV So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens.
NASB Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it best to be left behind, alone at Athens,
CSB Therefore, when we could no longer stand it, we thought it was better to be left alone in Athens.
NLT Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens,
KJV Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;

What does 1 Thessalonians 3:1 mean?

Paul was unable to return to Thessalonica when he wanted to, and he lacked the company of Timothy and Silas at Athens. He had traveled to Athens from Berea, where Timothy and Silas stayed. He had reached Athens under unfavorable circumstances, because Jewish agitators from Thessalonica had stirred up crowds against him at Berea. Subsequently, some Christians at Berea had accompanied Paul to Athens before they returned to Berea (Acts 17:13–15).

Athens was a prominent Greek city known for its rich culture, intellectual climate, advanced learning, and sophisticated Areopagus court. But Athens was steeped in idolatry, which Paul noted when he was there and referred to when he preached to the court. He declared: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you" (Acts 17:22–23). Paul followed this declaration by preaching about the one true God and His risen Son (Acts 17:24–31). Upon hearing Paul's sermon, some philosophers mocked, some wanted to hear from him later, and some believed (Acts 17:32–34).
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