While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
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.
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.319
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?
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.)
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.823
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.
"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.1225
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.1326
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.1427
God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.1528
'For in him we live and move and have our being.'16 As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by man's design and skill.1730
In the past God overlooked18 such ignorance,19 but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.2031
For he has set a day when he will judge21 the world with justice22 by the man he has appointed.23 He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."2432
When they heard about the resurrection of the dead,25 some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject."
At that, Paul left the Council.
A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus,26 also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.