Acts 17:16-34: Exegesis
While waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens, Luke tells us what Paul experience while there, forming the impetus for his mission:

Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit became distressed as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the market place every day with those who chanced to be there. Some also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers met him. {Acts 17:16-18a}

Paul is more than greatly distressed, for he experiences what one theologian terms as "a paroxysm in his spirit", a provocation of anger or grief or both, because the glory due to God alone is being given to idols. The Lord reacted the same way to idolatry in Israel (Deut 9:7, 18, 22; Ps 106:28-29; Is 65:2-3) (IVP, 133-136).

This passage is a powerful revelation of why the gospel needs to be presented to every culture and every age of the world.

As the apostle walked around the city he saw the gods of Athens, the idols that were being worshipped, some 30,000 gods in Athens (Hamilton, 44).

Luke tells us that Paul's spirit was moved when he saw this. Each idol revealed that these men and women of Athens had a great capacity for God. They knew there was something beyond man, and they were seeking for it.

Culture and History Relating to Greek Thought (vs.22-23)

Paul's evangelism again follows the pattern of "reasoning" about Jesus and the

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