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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Acts 17:19


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    King James Bible - Acts 17:19

    And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?

    World English Bible

    They took hold of him, and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new
    teaching is, which is spoken by you?

    Douay-Rheims - Acts 17:19

    And taking him, they brought him to the Areopagus, saying: May we know what this new doctrine is, which thou speakest of?

    Webster's Bible Translation

    And they took him, and brought him to Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine is, of which thou speakest?

    Greek Textus Receptus


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    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (19) -
    :22

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 17:19

    Y tomndole, le trajeron al Arepago, diciendo: ¿Podremos saber qu sea esta nueva doctrina que dices?

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Acts 17:19

    Verse 19. They took him, and brought him unto Areopagus] The Areopagus was a
    hill not far from the Acropolis, already described, where the supreme court of justice was held; one of the most sacred and reputable courts that had ever existed in the Gentile world. It had its name, areiov pagov, Areopagus, or the Hill of Mars, or Ares, from the circumstance, according to poetic fiction, of Mars being tried there, by a court of twelve gods, for the murder of Halirrhothius, son of Neptune: the meaning of which is, that Ares, a Thessalian prince, having slain Halirrhothius, the son of a neighbouring prince, for having violated his daughter Alcippe, was here tried by twelve judges, by whom he was honourably acquitted: in the Athenian laws the death of the ravisher was the regular forfeiture for his crime. The justice administered in this court was so strict and impartial, that, it was generally allowed, both the plaintiff and defendant departed satisfied with the decision. "Innocence, when summoned before it, appeared without apprehension; and the guilty, convicted and condemned, retired with out daring to murmur." The place in which the judges sat was uncovered; and they held their sittings by night, to the end that nothing might distract their minds from the great business on which they were to decide; and that the sight of the accused might not affect them either with pity or aversion. In reference to this, all pleaders were strictly forbidden to use any means whatever to excite either pity or aversion, or to affect the passions; every thing being confined to simple relation, or statement of facts. When the two parties were produced before the court, they were placed between the bleeding members of victims slain on the occasion, and were obliged to take an oath, accompanied by horrible imprecations on themselves and families, that they would testify nothing but truth. These parties called to witness the eumenides, or furies, the punishers of the perjured in the infernal world; and, to make the greater impression on the mind of the party swearing, the temple dedicated to these infernal deities was contiguous to the court, so that they appeared as if witnessing the oaths and recording the appeal made to themselves. When the case was fully heard, the judges gave their decision by throwing down their flint pebbles, on two boards or tables, one of which was for the condemnation, the other for the acquittal, of the person in question.

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 19. And they took him , etc.] Not that they laid
    hands on him, and carried him away by violence, as a derider of their gods, and an introducer of new ones, in order to punish him; but they invited him to go with them, and they took him along with them in a friendly manner, and had him to a more convenient place for preaching and disputation, and where were many learned men to hear and judge of his doctrine; and this appears from their desire to hear what his doctrine was, and from his quiet departure, after he had ended his discourse: and brought him unto Areopagus . The Arabic version seems to understand this of a person, rendering it, and brought him to the most skilful, and the judge of the doctors; to be heard and examined before him, about the doctrine he preached, who was most capable of judging concerning it; and this might be Dionysius, who is called the Areopagite, and was converted by the apostle, ( Acts 17:34). The Ethiopic version renders it, they brought him to the house of their god; to one of their idols temple, the temple of Mars, which is not much amiss; for we are told f872 , that Areopagus was a street in Athens, in which was the temple of Mars, from whence it had its name; but the Syriac version renders it best of all, they brought him to the house of judgment, or court of judicature, which is called Areopagus; and so it is called Martium judicium, or Marss court of judicature, by Apuleius f873 , and Martis curia, or the court of Mars, by Juvenal f874 , for it was a court where causes were tried, and the most ancient one with the Athenians, being instituted by Cerops, their first king; and is thought to be near as ancient, if not fully as ancient, yea, as more ancient than the sanhedrim, or the court of seventy elders, appointed by Moses among the Jews. It was called Areopagus, because Ares, or Mars, was the first that was judged there f875 . The case was this, Alcippe, the daughter of Mars, being ravished by Habirrhothius, the son of Neptune, and caught by Mars in the very fact, was killed by him; upon which Neptune arraigned Mars for the murder, and tried him in this place, by a jury of twelve deities, by whom he was acquitted f876 . Hither Paul was brought, not to be tried in a legal manner; for it does not appear that any charge was exhibited against him, or any legal process carried on, only an inquiry was made about his doctrine, and that only to gratify their curiosity: saying, may we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is ? for they had never heard of Jesus, nor of salvation by him, nor of the resurrection of the dead; these were all new things to them, and therefore they were the more curious to ask after them, new things being what they were fond of: wherefore they call his doctrine new, not so much by way of reproach, as suggesting it to be a reason why they inquired after it, and why they desired him to give them some account of it; and that it should be a new doctrine with them, or if they reproached it with the charge of novelty, it need not be wondered at in them, when the Jews charged and reproached the doctrine of Christ in like manner, ( Mark 1:27).

    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


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    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    19. Areopagus. The
    Hill of Mars: the seat of the ancient and venerable Athenian court which decided the most solemn questions connected with religion. Socrates was arraigned and condemned here on the charge of innovating on the state religion. It received its name from the legend of the trial of Mars for the murder of the son of Neptune. The judges sat in the open air upon seats hewn out in the rock, on a platform ascended by a flight of stone steps immediately from the market-place. A temple of Mars was on the brow of the edifice, and the sanctuary of the Furies was in a broken cleft of the rock immediately below the judges' seats. The Acropolis rose above it, with the Parthenon and the colossal statue of Athene. "It was a scene with which the dread recollections of centuries were associated. Those who withdrew to the Areopagus from the Agora, came, as it were, into the presence of a higher power. No place in Athens was so suitable for a discourse upon the mysteries of religion" (Conybeare and Howson). 23

    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    17:19 {And they took hold of him} (epilabomenoi de autou). Second aorist middle participle of epilambanw, old verb, but in the N.T. only in the middle, here with the genitive autou to lay hold of, but with no necessary sense of
    violence (#Ac 9:27; 23:27; Mr 8:23), unless the idea is that Paul was to be tried before the Court of Areopagus for the crime of bringing in strange gods. But the day for that had passed in Athens. Even so it is not clear whether "{unto the Areopagus} (epi ton Areion Pagon") means the Hill of Mars (west of the Acropolis, north of the agora and reached by a flight of steps in the rock) or the court itself which met elsewhere as well as on the hills, usually in fact in the stoa Basilica opening on the agora and near to the place where the dispute had gone on. Raphael's cartoon with Paul standing on Mars Hill has made us all familiar with the common view, but it is quite uncertain if it is true. There was not room on the summit for a large gathering. If Paul was brought before the Court of Areopagus (commonly called the Areopagus as here), it was not for trial as a criminal, but simply for examination concerning his new teaching in this university city whether it was strictly legal or not. Paul was really engaged in proselytism to turn the Athenians away from their old gods to Jesus Christ. But "the court of refined and polished Athenians was very different from the rough provincial civil officers of Philippi, and the philosophers who presented Paul to their cognizance very different from the mob of Thessalonians" (Rackham). It was all very polite. {May we know?} (dunameqa gnwnai). Can we come to know (ingressive second aorist active infinitive). { this new teaching} (he kaine haute didace). On the position of haute see Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 700f. The question was prompted by courtesy, sarcasm, or irony. Evidently no definite charge was laid against Paul.


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