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
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus7 and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.8
References for Acts 17:22
For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. Now what you worship as something unknown9 I am going to proclaim to you.
References for Acts 17:23
"The God who made the world and everything in it10 is the Lord of heaven and earth11 and does not live in temples built by hands.12
References for Acts 17:24
And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.13
References for Acts 17:25
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.14
References for Acts 17:26