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Paul and the Church at Athens

Many scholars and preachers of the word of God consider Paul’s time in Athens not much more than a failure. I thought so, as well, and even taught his speech at the Areopagus was a failure using 1Corinthians 2:1-2 as my authority, but is this an accurate interpretation, and was Paul’s speech in the Areopagus a real failure? Luke doesn’t seem to think so, because it is one of the three major speeches of Paul that he includes in his work of Acts. Why would he use so much valuable space for a failed effort? Perhaps we need to take a second look. I know I do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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The Areopagus and Judgment

The Epicureans and the Stoics took (G1949) Paul and brought (G71) him to the Areopagus (Acts 17:19), which could be thought of as arresting him, for it is the same Greek word used in Acts 16:19 when the owners of the slave girl arrested (took) Paul and Silas and brought them to the magistrates. However, this same word is also used of Barnabas in Acts 9:27 when he took Paul to the apostles. Therefore, we need to be sensitive to the context for the meaning of Paul’s appearance before the Areopagus, for it was a council that judged matters concerning foreign cults, education and public morality. The philosophers’ desire to know about the strange things (Acts 17:19-20) of which Paul spoke in the agora or marketplace, and the fact that there was no flogging or sentencing would argue for an informal inquiry rather than a hostile inquisition. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Judgment, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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Paul’s Call to Repentance at Athens

Paul concluded his speech at the Areopagus in Athens before an assembly of the philosophers there and perhaps some curious onlookers with a call to repent from worshiping gods of their own making. He referred to the glorious Athenian cultural history as the times of ignorance (Acts 17:30). He inferred their devotion to God was nothing more than that of blind men groping or feeling in the dark (Acts 17:27), because they knew, evidenced in the words of their poets, that through nature itself the invisible qualities and power of God were more than stone, silver and gold (Romans 1:20), yet, rejecting this precious jewel of knowledge (Romans 1:23), they chose rather to worship the art of their hands and imagination (Romans 1:21), and in their wisdom, they became fools (Romans 1:22). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey, repentance

 

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Paul and the Greek Poets

Much has been said concerning Luke having Paul quote the Grecian poets to make a point for Christianity, believing that in his speech in the Areopagus Paul at least praises some knowledge the pagans have concerning God. Could this be true of the man who wrote the first chapter of Romans? In a word, “no” but the real question is: does Luke really say what his critics believe they understand about Paul’s speech in the Areopagus in Acts 17? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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Unveiling the Unknown God

Paul stood up in the Areopagus and addressed the council and other bystanders from Athens. He told them that earlier he had toured their city: I passed by and beheld your devotions (Acts 17:23; cp. verse-16). The Greek word for devotions (KJV) is sebasma (G4574) and is used in Hellenistic Jewish literature for ‘objects of worship’ (see Wisdom 14:20; 15:17 and Josephus’ Antiquities 18.9.5). This same word is used in 2Thessaloninas 2:4, which Paul wrote while at Athens to be sent along with Timothy (cp. 1Thessalonians 3:1-2). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Gospel, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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Paul at the Areopagus

As a result of their debate with Paul in the agora or marketplace, the Stoics and the Epicureans brought him to the Areopagus to understand more about his argument. The problem is the Greek word for brought in the KJV can mean to bring in a friendly sense (cp. Luke 10:34; 18:40) or to arrest (Matthew 10:18; Acts 9:2; 18:12). It all depends upon the context. The Areopagus was a council in Athens that used to meet to handle judiciary affairs on Mars Hill (Areios Pagos), but later met near the agora or marketplace, but retained the name. In what sense, therefore, was Paul to appear at the Areopagus? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in God, Paul's 2nd Missionary Journey

 

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