16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the market-place* every day with those who happened to be there. 18Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, What does this babbler want to say? Others said, He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities. (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 19So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means. 21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.
22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way.
23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, To an unknown god. What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands,
25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.
26From one ancestor* he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live,
27so that they would search for God* and perhaps grope for him and find himthough indeed he is not far from each one of us.
28For In him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your own poets have said,
For we too are his offspring.
29Since we are Gods offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
32 When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some scoffed; but others said, We will hear you again about this. 33At that point Paul left them. 34But some of them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
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