23 Therefore those who lived unrighteously, in a life of folly,
you tormented through their own abominations.
24 For they went far astray on the paths of error,
accepting as gods those animals that even their enemies* despised;
they were deceived like foolish infants.
25 Therefore, as though to children who cannot reason,
you sent your judgement to mock them.
26 But those who have not heeded the warning of mild rebukes
will experience the deserved judgement of God.
27 For when in their suffering they became incensed
at those creatures that they had thought to be gods, being punished by means of them,
they saw and recognized as the true God the one whom they had before refused to know.
Therefore the utmost condemnation came upon them.
13For all people who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature;
and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know the one who exists,
nor did they recognize the artisan while paying heed to his works;
2 but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air,
or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water,
or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.
3 If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods,
let them know how much better than these is their Lord,
for the author of beauty created them.
4 And if people* were amazed at their power and working,
let them perceive from them
how much more powerful is the one who formed them.
5 For from the greatness and beauty of created things
comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.
6 Yet these people are little to be blamed,
for perhaps they go astray
while seeking God and desiring to find him.
7 For while they live among his works, they keep searching,
and they trust in what they see, because the things that are seen are beautiful.
8 Yet again, not even they are to be excused;
9 for if they had the power to know so much
that they could investigate the world,
how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?
10 But miserable, with their hopes set on dead things, are those
who give the name gods to the works of human hands,
gold and silver fashioned with skill,
and likenesses of animals,
or a useless stone, the work of an ancient hand.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011