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27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around[a] for him and find him,[b] though he is[c] not far from each one of us. 28 For in him we live and move about[d] and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’[e] 29 So since we are God’s offspring, we should not think the deity[f] is like gold or silver or stone, an image[g] made by human[h] skill[i] and imagination.[j]

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  1. Acts 17:27 tn See BDAG 1097-98 s.v. ψηλαφάω, which lists “touch, handle” and “to feel around for, grope for” as possible meanings.
  2. Acts 17:27 sn Perhaps grope around for him and find him. The pagans’ struggle to know God is the point here. Conscience alone is not good enough.
  3. Acts 17:27 tn The participle ὑπάρχοντα (huparchonta) has been translated as a concessive adverbial participle.
  4. Acts 17:28 tn According to L&N 15.1, “A strictly literal translation of κινέω in Ac 17:28 might imply merely moving from one place to another. The meaning, however, is generalized movement and activity; therefore, it may be possible to translate κινούμεθα as ‘we come and go’ or ‘we move about’ or even ‘we do what we do.’”
  5. Acts 17:28 sn This quotation is from Aratus (ca. 310-245 b.c.), Phaenomena 5. Paul asserted a general relationship and accountability to God for all humanity.
  6. Acts 17:29 tn Or “the divine being.” BDAG 446 s.v. θεῖος 1.b has “divine being, divinity” here.
  7. Acts 17:29 tn Or “a likeness.” Again idolatry is directly attacked as an affront to God and a devaluation of him.
  8. Acts 17:29 tn Grk “by the skill and imagination of man,” but ἀνθρώπου (anthrōpou) has been translated as an attributive genitive.
  9. Acts 17:29 tn Or “craftsmanship” (cf. BDAG 1001 s.v. τέχνη).
  10. Acts 17:29 tn Or “thought.” BDAG 336 s.v. ἐνθύμησις has “thought, reflection, idea” as the category of meaning here, but in terms of creativity (as in the context) the imaginative faculty is in view.

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