In the synagogue, he ·talked [or argued; reasoned] with the Jews and the ·Greeks who worshiped God [God-fearing Gentiles; L pious/devout ones; see 17:4]. He also ·talked [or argued; reasoned] every day with ·people [L those who happened to be present] in the ·marketplace [or public square].
Paul had some days to wait at Athens for Silas and Timothy to arrive, and while he was there his soul was exasperated beyond endurance at the sight of a city so completely idolatrous. He felt compelled to discuss the matter with the Jews in the synagogue as well as the God-fearing Gentiles, and he even argued daily in the open market-place with the passers-by. While he was speaking there some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers came across him, and some of them remarked, “What is this cock-sparrow trying to say?” Others said, “He seems to be trying to proclaim some more gods to us, and outlandish ones at that!” For Paul was actually proclaiming “Jesus” and “the resurrection”. So they got hold of him and conducted him to their council, the Areopagus. There they asked him, “May we know what this new teaching of yours really is? You talk of matters which sound strange to our ears, and we should like to know what they mean.” (For all Athenians, and even foreign visitors to Athens, had an obsession for any novelty and would spend their whole time talking about or listening to anything new.)
He discussed it with the Jews and other like-minded people at their meeting place. And every day he went out on the streets and talked with anyone who happened along. He got to know some of the Epicurean and Stoic intellectuals pretty well through these conversations. Some of them dismissed him with sarcasm: “What an airhead!” But others, listening to him go on about Jesus and the resurrection, were intrigued: “That’s a new slant on the gods. Tell us more.”
As in the previous cities, he went to the synagogue. Once again, he engaged in debate about Jesus with both ethnic Jews and devout Greek-born converts to Judaism. He would even wander around in the marketplace, speaking with anyone he happened to meet.
Therefore he disputed in the synagogue with the Jews, and with men that worshipped God, and in the doom place [Therefore he disputed in the synagogue with Jews, and men worshipping, in the market, or doom place], by all days to them that heard.
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