16 While Paul
was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see
that the city was full of idols.
17 So 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.
18 Also 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.)
19 So they took
him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, ‘May we
know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?
20 It sounds rather
strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.’
21 Now 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.
23 For 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
24 The 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,
25 nor is he served
by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives
to all mortals life and breath and all things.
26 From 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,
27 so that they
would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him -- though
indeed he is not far from each one of us.
28 For “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.”
29 Since we are
God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like
gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination
30 While God has
overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people
everywhere to repent,
31 because 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.’
33 At that point
Paul left them.
34 But some of
them joined him and became believers, including Dionysius the Areopagite
and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.