When they heard of the resurrection of the dead
Of a certain man that the apostle said God had raised from the dead, though they knew not who he was:
at him, and at the doctrine he preached: these very likely were of the Epicurean sect, who disbelieved a future state; though, as Tertullian observes F2, the doctrine of the resurrection was denied by every sect of the philosophers: it is a doctrine of pure revelation, and what the light of nature never taught men, and by which men being only guided, have declared against, and have treated it with the utmost ridicule and contempt. Pliny F3 reckons it, among childish fancies, and calls it vanity, and downright madness to believe it; as does also Caecilius in Minutius Felix F4, and who even calls it a lie, and places it among old wives' fables; and Celsus in Origen F5 represents it as exceeding detestable, abominable, and impossible.
And others said, we will hear thee again of this matter;
some think these were of the Stoic sect, who held a future state, and that the soul would live after the body, and had some notions which looked inclining to this doctrine: however, these thought there might be something in what the apostle said; they could not receive it readily, and yet could not deny it; they were willing to take time to consider of it; and were desirous of hearing him again upon that subject; in which they might be very open and upright; and this might not be a mere excuse to shift off any further hearing at that time, like that of Felix, in ( Acts 24:1-25:27 ) .
F2 De praescript. Heret. c. 7. p. 232.
F3 Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 55.
F4 Octav. p. 10.
F5 Contra Cals. l. 5. p. 240.