While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
References for Acts 17:16
So he reasoned in the synagogue1 with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.
References for Acts 17:17
A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news2 about Jesus and the resurrection.3
References for Acts 17:18
Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus,4 where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching5 is that you are presenting?
References for Acts 17:19
You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean."
(All the Athenians6 and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
References for Acts 17:21