Author: Ron Graham

Book of Acts

Acts 17:16-34
—Verse by verse

This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 17:16-34. These verses describe Paul’s experiences in Athens, especially his speech to the philosophers in the Areopagus.

Paul’s experiences in Athens Greece.

1 Paul Preaches to the Gentiles

Verses 16-18

¶ "Paul waited at Athens for Silas and Timothy. Paul’s spirit was provoked within him as he saw the city full of idols. So he reasoned not only in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, but also in the marketplace every day with anyone who happened to be there. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were among those conversing with him. Some said, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others said, “He seems to be advocating foreign deities.” They said this because Paul preached Jesus and the resurrection." (Acts 17:16-18).

2 Paul Speaks at the Areopagus

Verses 19-21

¶ "The philosophers took hold of Paul, and brought him to the Areopagus. They said, “May we know what this new teaching is that you proclaim? You bring strange things to our ears. So we want to know what these things mean.” (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there spent their time in nothing else but to tell or hear some new thing.)" (Acts 17:19-21).

Verses 22-23

¶ "Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “You men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all things. For as I walked around the city and observed the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with this inscription: 'To an unknown god'. What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I announce to you." (Acts 17:22-23).

Verses 24-25

¶ "The God who made the world and all things in it, he is Lord of heaven and earth. So he doesn't dwell in temples made with hands, neither is he served by men’s hands as though he needed anything; since he himself gives to everyone life and breath and everything." (Acts 17:24-25).

Verses 26-28

¶ "God made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth. He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their dwelling places. He appointed that they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might reach out for him and find him. He is not far from any one of us, for in him we live, and move, and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also his offspring.' " (Acts 17:26-28).

Verses 29-31

¶ "Since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone formed into some image by human art and design. Therefore whilst God overlooked the times of ignorance, he now commands that all people everywhere should repent. The reason is that he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained. He has given assurance of this to everyone, by raising that man from the dead.” " (Acts 17:29-31).

3 Mixed Reception to Paul’s Message in Athens

Verses 32-34

¶ "When the philosophers heard Paul speak of the resurrection from the dead, some mocked. Others said, “We want to hear you again concerning this.” So then Paul went out from among them. However certain men joined with him, and believed. These included Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, among others with them." (Acts 17:32-34).