New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me
PREACHING IN ATHENS (Acts 17:16-34)
By Wayne S. Walker
Paul was waiting in Athens for Silas and Timothy and saw that the city was wholly given over to idolatry. At first, he taught the Jews in the synagogue on the Sabbath, but he also spoke daily to the Greeks in the marketplace. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers heard about his teachings which were strange to them, especially the idea of the resurrection, so they brought him to the Areopagus or Mars Hill and asked him to speak there.
Paul began his speech by noting that the Athenians were obviously very religious and even had an altar with the inscription, “To the Unknown God.” He then preached about this one true God who created the world, made mankind, and is the one in whom we live and move and have our being. Finally, he said, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
When Paul mentioned the resurrection, some of them laughed at him. Others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” This was basically saying, “What you teach is interesting. We really do not think that it is anything important, but we like telling or hearing new things, so we must listen to you again some time.” So Paul left them. However, a few individuals believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and some others.
- For whom was Paul waiting in Athens?
- Where could Paul be found daily speaking with people?
- What were the Epicureans and Stoics?
- Where did they take Paul?
- What inscription was on an altar which Paul had noticed?
- Paul said that God commands all men everywhere to do what?
- Why did some people laugh at Paul?
- Did anyone in Athens accept Paul’s message?