Paul in Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed when he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with those who worshiped God, as well as in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.(A) 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also debated with him. Some said, “What is this ignorant show-off[a] trying to say?”

Others replied, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign deities”—because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.(B)

19 They took him and brought him to the Areopagus,[b] and said, “May we learn about this new teaching you are presenting?(C) 20 Because what you say sounds strange to us, and we want to know what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners residing there spent their time on nothing else but telling or hearing something new.

The Areopagus Address

22 Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus and said, “People of Athens! I see that you are extremely religious in every respect. 23 For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it(D)—he is Lord of heaven and earth(E)—does not live in shrines made by hands.(F) 25 Neither is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything,(G) since he himself gives everyone life and breath and all things.(H) 26 From one man[c] he has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live.(I) 27 He did this so that they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.(J) 28 For in him we live and move and have our being, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’(K) 29 Since, then, we are God’s offspring, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination.(L)

30 “Therefore, having overlooked(M) the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has set a day when he is going to judge the world in righteousness by the man he has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”(N)

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began to ridicule him, but others said, “We’d like to hear from you again about this.” 33 So Paul left their presence. 34 However, some people joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

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Footnotes

  1. 17:18 Lit this seed picker
  2. 17:19 Or Mars Hill
  3. 17:26 Other mss read blood

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