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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Acts 17:16


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    King James Bible - Acts 17:16

    Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

    World English Bible

    Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw the city
    full of idols.

    Douay-Rheims - Acts 17:16

    Now whilst Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred within him, seeing the city wholly given to idolatry.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    Now, while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

    Greek Textus Receptus


    εν
    1722 PREP δε 1161 CONJ ταις 3588 T-DPF αθηναις 116 N-DPF εκδεχομενου 1551 5740 V-PNP-GSM αυτους 846 P-APM του 3588 T-GSM παυλου 3972 N-GSM παρωξυνετο 3947 5712 V-IPI-3S το 3588 T-NSN πνευμα 4151 N-NSN αυτου 846 P-GSM εν 1722 PREP αυτω 846 P-DSM θεωρουντι 2334 5723 V-PAP-DSM κατειδωλον 2712 A-ASF ουσαν 5607 5752 V-PXP-ASF την 3588 T-ASF πολιν 4172 N-ASF

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (16) -
    Ex 32:19,20 Nu 25:6-11 1Ki 19:10,14 Job 32:2,3,18-20 Ps 69:9

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 17:16

    ¶ Y esperndolos Pablo en Atenas, su espíritu se deshacía en l viendo la ciudad dada a la idolatría.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Acts 17:16

    Verse 16. He saw the city wholly given to
    idolatry.] kateidwlon, Full of idols, as the margin has it, and very properly. Whoever examines the remains of this city, as represented by Mr. Stuart in his Antiquities, already referred to, will be satisfied of the truth of St. Luke's remark: it was full of idols. Bishop Pearce produces a most apposite quotation from Pausanias, which confirms the observation: ouk hn allacou tosauta idein eidwla. There was no place where so many idols were to be seen. PAUS. in Attic. cap. xvii. 24.

    PETRONIUS, who was contemporary with St. Paul, in his Satyr. cap. xvii., makes Quartilla say of Athens: Utique nostra regio tam PRAESENTIBUS PLENA EST NUMINIBUS, ut facilius possis DEUM quam HOMINEM invenire.

    Our region is so full of deities that you may more frequently meet with a god than a man.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 16. Now while Paul waited for them at Athens . etc.] That is, for Silas and Timotheus: his spirit was stirred in him ; not only his soul was troubled and his heart was grieved, but he was exasperated and provoked to the last degree: he was in a paroxysm; his heart was hot within him; he had a burning fire in his bones, and was weary with forbearing, and could not stay; his zeal wanted vent, and he gave it: when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry ; or full of idols, as the Syriac and Arabic versions render it. So Cicero says that Athens was full of temples; and Xenophon observes that they had double the feasts of other people; and Pausanias affirms, that the Athenians far exceeded others in the worship of the gods, and care about religion; and he relates, that they had an altar for Mercy, another for Shame, another for Fame, and another for Desire, and expressed more religion to the gods than others did: they had an altar dedicated to twelve gods f866 ; and because they would be sure of all, they erected one to an unknown god; in short, they had so many of them, that one jestingly said to them, our country is so full of deities, that one may more easily find a god than a man: so that with all their learning and wisdom they knew not God, ( 1 Corinthians 1:21).

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 16-21 - Athens was then
    famed for polite learning, philosophy, and the fin arts; but none are more childish and superstitious, more impious, or more credulous, than some persons, deemed eminent for learning an ability. It was wholly given to idolatry. The zealous advocate for the cause of Christ will be ready to plead for it in all companies, a occasion offers. Most of these learned men took no notice of Paul; but some, whose principles were the most directly contrary to Christianity made remarks upon him. The apostle ever dwelt upon two points, whic are indeed the principal doctrines of Christianity, Christ and a futur state; Christ our way, and heaven our end. They looked on this as very different from the knowledge for many ages taught and professed a Athens; they desire to know more of it, but only because it was new an strange. They led him to the place where judges sat who inquired int such matters. They asked about Paul's doctrine, not because it wa good, but because it was new. Great talkers are always busy-bodies They spend their time in nothing else, and a very uncomfortable accoun they have to give of their time who thus spend it. Time is precious and we are concerned to employ it well, because eternity depends upo it, but much is wasted in unprofitable conversation.


    Greek Textus Receptus


    εν
    1722 PREP δε 1161 CONJ ταις 3588 T-DPF αθηναις 116 N-DPF εκδεχομενου 1551 5740 V-PNP-GSM αυτους 846 P-APM του 3588 T-GSM παυλου 3972 N-GSM παρωξυνετο 3947 5712 V-IPI-3S το 3588 T-NSN πνευμα 4151 N-NSN αυτου 846 P-GSM εν 1722 PREP αυτω 846 P-DSM θεωρουντι 2334 5723 V-PAP-DSM κατειδωλον 2712 A-ASF ουσαν 5607 5752 V-PXP-ASF την 3588 T-ASF πολιν 4172 N-ASF

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    16. Was stirred (parwxuneto). Better, as Rev.,
    provoked. See on the kindred word contention (paroxusmov), ch. xv. 39.

    Saw (qewrounti). Better, beheld. See on Luke x. 18.

    Wholly given to idolatry (kateidwlon). Incorrect. The word, which occurs only here in the New Testament, and nowhere in classical Greek, means full of idols. It applies to the city, not to the inhabitants. "We learn from Pliny that at the time of Nero, Athens contained over three thousand public statues, besides a countless number of lesser images within the walls of private houses. Of this number the great majority were statues of gods, demi-gods, or heroes. In one street there stood before every house a square pillar carrying upon it a bust of the God Hermes. Another street, named the Street of the Tripods, was lined with tripods, dedicated by winners in the Greek national games, and carrying each one an inscription to a deity. Every gateway and porch carried its protecting God. Every street, every square, nay, every purlieu, had its sanctuaries, and a Roman poet bitterly remarked that it was easier in Athens to find gods than men" (G. S. Davies, "St. Paul in Greece").


    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    17:16 {Now while Paul waited for them in Athens} (en de tais aqenais ekdecomenou autous tou paulou). Genitive absolute with present middle participle of ekdecomai, old verb to receive, but only with the sense of looking out for, expecting found here and elsewhere in N.T We know that Timothy did come to Paul in Athens (#1Th 3:1,6) from Thessalonica and was sent back to them from Athens. If Silas also came to Athens, he was also sent away, possibly to Philippi, for that church was deeply interested in Paul. At any rate both Timothy and Silas came from Macedonia to Corinth with messages and relief for Paul (#Ac 18:5; 2Co 11:8f.). Before they came and after they left, Paul felt lonely in Athens (#1Th 3:1), the first time on this tour or the first that he has been completely without fellow workers. Athens had been captured by Sulla B.C. 86. After various changes Achaia, of which Corinth is the capital, is a separate province from Macedonia and A.D. 44 was restored by Claudius to the Senate with the Proconsul at Corinth. Paul is probably here about A.D. 50. Politically Athens is no longer of importance when Paul comes though it is still the university seat of the world with all its rich environment and traditions. Rackham grows eloquent over Paul the Jew of Tarsus being in the city of Pericles and Demosthenes, Socrates and Plato and Aristotle, Sophocles and Euripides. In its agora Socrates had taught, here was the Academy of Plato, the Lyceum of Aristotle, the Porch of Zeno, the Garden of Epicurus. Here men still talked about philosophy, poetry, politics, religion, anything and everything. It was the art center of the world. The Parthenon, the most beautiful of temples, crowned the Acropolis. Was Paul insensible to all this cultural environment? It is hard to think so for he was a university man of Tarsus and he makes a number of allusions to Greek writers. Probably it had not been in Paul's original plan to evangelize Athens, difficult as all university seats are, but he cannot be idle though here apparently by chance because driven out of Macedonia. {Was provoked} (parwxuneto). Imperfect passive of paroxunw, old verb to sharpen, to stimulate, to irritate (from para, oxus), from paroxusmos (#Ac 15:39), common in old Greek, but in N.T. only here and #1Co 13:5. It was a continual challenge to Paul's spirit when he beheld (qewrountos, genitive of present participle agreeing with autou (his), though late MSS. have locative qewrounti agreeing with en autwi). {The city full of idols} (kateidwlon ousan ten polin). Note the participle ousan not preserved in the English (either the city being full of idols or that the city was full of idols, sort of indirect discourse). Paul, like any stranger was looking at the sights as he walked around. this adjective kateidwlon (perfective use of kata and eidwlon is found nowhere else, but it is formed after the analogy of katampelos, katadendron), full of idols. Xenophon (_de Republ. Ath_.) calls the city hol bomos, hol thuma theois kai anaqema (all altar, all sacrifice and offering to the gods). These statues were beautiful, but Paul was not deceived by the mere art for art's sake. The idolatry and sensualism of it all glared at him (#Ro 1:18-32). Renan ridicules Paul's ignorance in taking these statues for idols, but Paul knew paganism better than Renan. The superstition of this center of Greek culture was depressing to Paul. One has only to recall how superstitious cults today flourish in the atmosphere of Boston and Los Angeles to understand conditions in Athens. Pausanias says that Athens had more images than all the rest of Greece put together. Pliny states that in the time of Nero Athens had over 30,000 public statues besides countless private ones in the homes. Petronius sneers that it was easier to find a god than a man in Athens. Every gateway or porch had its protecting god. They lined the street from the Piraeus and caught the eye at every place of prominence on wall or in the agora.


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