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Acts 17:11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Now we're going to break Acts 17:11 down into smaller components and get all the great details...

Acts 17
10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Map of Berea

Greek lexicon of Acts 17:11

In the Greek texts, the word noble simply means noble, so we go to the dictionary for a much better, more detailed definition.

Definition of noble
no ble [noh-buhl]
adjective, no bler, no blest.
  1. distinguished by rank or title
  2. pertaining to persons so distinguished
  3. of, belonging to, or constituting a hereditary class that has special social or political status in a country or state; of or pertaining to the aristocracy
    Synonyms: highborn, aristocratic; patrician, blue-blooded.
    Antonyms: baseborn, lowborn; common, plebian; lower-class, working-class, middle-class, bourgeois.
  4. of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence: a noble thought.
    Synonyms: lofty, elevated, high-minded, principled; magnanimous; honorable, estimable, worthy, meritorious.
    Antonyms: ignoble, base; vulgar, common.
  5. admirable in dignity of conception, manner of expression, execution, or composition: a noble poem
    Synonyms: grand, dignified, august.
    Antonyms: undignified, disreputable, unrespected.
  6. very impressive or imposing in appearance: a noble monument
    Synonyms: majestic, grand, stately; magnificent, imposing, splendid, impressive; regal, imperial, lordly.
    Antonyms: insignificant, mean, paltry; modest, plain, ordinary.
  7. of an admirably high quality; notably superior; excellent
    Synonyms: noteworthy, notable, outstanding, exemplary, exceptional.
    Antonyms: inferior, ordinary, unexceptional.
  8. famous; illustrious; renowned.
    Synonyms: famed, celebrated, acclaimed, distinguished.
    Antonyms: unknown, obscure, unremarkable.
Now for a deeper look into the word "receive".

Greek concordance of receive
Strong's Concordance #1209
dechomai: to receive
Original Word: dechomai
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: dechomai
Phonetic Spelling: (dekh'-om-ahee)
Short Definition: I take, receive, accept, welcome
Definition: I take, receive, accept, welcome.

HELPS Word-studies
1209 dexomai - properly, to receive in a welcoming (receptive) way. 1209 (dexomai) is used of people welcoming God (His offers), like receiving and sharing in His salvation (1 Thes 2:13) and thoughts (Eph 6:17).

1209/dexomai ("warmly receptive, welcoming") means receive with "ready reception what is offered" (Vine, Unger, White, NT, 7), i.e. "welcome with appropriate reception" (Thayer).

[The personal element is emphasized with 1209 (dexomai) which accounts for it always being in the Greek middle voice. This stresses the high level of self-involvement (interest) involved with the "welcoming-receiving." 1209 (dexomai) occurs 59 times in the NT.]

This reminds me of a great verse in the book of James.

James 1:21 [New English Translation]
So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls.

Now back to Acts 17:11

Greek concordance of readiness of mind
Strong's Concordance #4288
prothumia: eagerness
Original Word: prothumia
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: prothumia
Phonetic Spelling: (proth-oo-mee'-ah)
Short Definition: inclination, readiness
Definition: inclination, readiness, eagerness, willingness, promptness.

HELPS Word-studies
4288 prothymia (from 4235 /praos, "before, in front of" and 2372 thymos, "passion") - properly, "before-passion" referring to someone who is already being willing, i.e. an eager disposition which is pre-inclined (already "ready and willing").

Psalms 42:1
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

Psalms 119:131
I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.

What does "pant" mean?

Definition of pant
verb (used without object)
1. to breathe hard and quickly, as after exertion.
2. to gasp, as for air.
3. to long with breathless or intense eagerness; yearn: to pant for revenge.
4. to throb or heave violently or rapidly; palpitate.
5. to emit steam or the like in loud puffs.
6. Nautical . (of the bow or stern of a ship) to work with the shock of contact with a succession of waves. Compare work (def 24).

Now back to Acts 17:11

Greek concordance of searched
Strong's Concordance #350
anakrino: to examine, investigate
Original Word: anakrino
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: anakrino
Phonetic Spelling: (an-ak-ree'-no)
Short Definition: I examine, inquire into
Definition: I examine, inquire into, investigate, question.

HELPS Word-studies
350 anakrino (from 303 /ana, "up, completing a process," which intensifies 2919 /krino, "to select by separating/judging") - properly, to distinguish by vigorously judging "down to up," i.e. closely examining (investigating) through "the process of careful study, evaluation and judgment" (L & N, 1, 27.44); "to examine, investigate, question (so J. B. Lightfoot, Notes, 181f).

[The prefix 303 /ana ("up") shows the process involved that takes krino ("judging/separating") up to its needed conclusion. Accordingly, 350 (anakrino) is often used in its forensic sense in the ancient world. It can even refer to "examination by torture" (see Field, Notes, 120f, Abbott-Smith).]

This Greek word anakrino really summarizes biblical research at it finest - thorough, detailed, logical, systematic, full of integrity, accuracy, and consistency. We don't read one verse and then jump to conclusions. You must use sound and logical principles of biblical interpretation, such as:
These and other questions are the sound concepts and principles that must be used to rightly divide God's holy word.

II Timothy 2
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker [gangrene]: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

So now we can get back to the original verse with a much greater depth of understanding, including a link below for the map & encyclopedia of Thessalonica.

Acts 17:11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.






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