A Deep Discussion
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. And they took him, and brought him unto the Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest is? For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription. TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-22
The philosophers’ derogatory response to Paul’s teaching did not bring the conversation to an end. On the contrary, the Lord ensured that there were other reactions as well. Some of the hearers were moved by the message concerning Jesus and the resurrection. The Greeks did not believe that the dead rose again. According to them, a person’s soul would forever leave his body and return to the realm of souls when he died. The body meant nothing to them; the soul was of utmost importance. But Paul declared that the day would come when there would be a general resurrection of all the dead, at which time their bodies would be made alive. Read also what Paul also wrote in 1 Corinthians 15 regarding the resurrection.
This message sounded very peculiar to the Greek philosophers. They wanted to hear more about this strange doctrine, so they took Paul with them to the Areopagus, an elevated hill in Athens. Many philosophical ideas were commonly exchanged there, as well as at the market place near the so-called ‘stoa basileios’ which was a royal chamber. Paul was brought to Mar’s Hill where he was interrogated concerning his beliefs.
As Paul began to elaborate on his convictions, he acknowledged the Athenians for their religiosity. He praised them by mentioning the fact that they had even made an altar in honour of the unknown god. They had built this altar to ensure they did not forget any of the gods. Paul made use of this fact and declared to them who this unknown god was, namely, the God of heaven and earth, who has revealed Himself in the Bible.
Thought: What can we learn from the manner in which Paul approached his audience with the Gospel?
Psalter 435:2 (based on The Ten Commandments) “I am the Lord, thy God and Savior, I, out of bondage set thee free, Delivered thee from slavish labor; Hence, serve no other gods, but Me!