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Acts 17:22

    Acts 17:22 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then Paul stood in the middle of Mars' hill, and said, You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus, and said, Ye men of Athens, in all things, I perceive that ye are very religious.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And Paul got to his feet on Mars' Hill and said, O men of Athens, I see that you are overmuch given to fear of the gods.

    Webster's Revision

    And Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus, and said, Ye men of Athens, in all things, I perceive that ye are very religious.

    World English Bible

    Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and said, "You men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all things.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus, and said, Ye men of Athens, in all things I perceive that ye are somewhat superstitious.

    Clarke's Commentary on Acts 17:22

    Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill - That is, in the midst of the judges, who sat in the Areopagus.

    Ye are too superstitious - Κατα παντα ὡς δεισιδαιμονεϚερους ὑμας θεωρω; I perceive that in all respects ye are greatly addicted to religious practices; and, as a religious people, you will candidly hear what I have got to say in behalf of that worship which I practice and recommend. See farther observations at the end of the chapter.

    Barnes' Notes on Acts 17:22

    Then Paul - This commences Paul's explanation of the doctrines which he had stated. It is evident that Luke has recorded but a mere summary or outline of the discourse; but it is such as to enable us to see clearly his course of thought, and the manner in which he met the two principal sects of their philosophers.

    In the midst of Mars' hill - Greek: Areopagus. This should have been retained in the translation.

    Ye men of Athens - This language was perfectly respectful, notwithstanding his heart had been deeply affected by their idolatry. Everything about this discourse is calm, grave, cool, argumentative. Paul understood the character of his auditors, and did not commence his discourse by denouncing them, nor did he suppose that they would be convinced by mere dogmatical assertion. No happier instance can be found of cool, collected argumentation than is furnished in this discourse.

    I perceive - He perceived this by his observations of their forms of worship in passing through their city, Acts 17:23.

    In all things - In respect to all events.

    Ye are too superstitious - δεισιδαιμονεστέρους deisidaimonesterous. This is a most unhappy translation. We use the word "superstitious" always in a bad sense, to denote being "over-scrupulous and rigid in religious observances, particularly in smaller matters, or a zealous devotion to rites and observances which are not commanded." But the word here is designed to convey no such idea. It properly means "reverence for the gods." It is used in the Classic writers in a good sense, to denote "piety toward the gods, or suitable fear and reverence for them"; and also in a bad sense, to denote "improper fear or excessive dread of their anger"; and in this sense it accords with our word "superstitious." But it is altogether improbable that Paul would have used it in a bad sense. For:

    (1) It was not his custom needlessly to blame or offend his auditors.

    (2) it is not probable that he would commence his discourse in a manner that would only excite prejudice and opposition.

    (3) in the thing which he specifies Acts 17:23 as proof on the subject, he does not introduce it as a matter of blame, but rather as a proof of their devotedness to the cause of religion and of their regard for God.

    (4) the whole speech is calm, dignified, and argumentative - such as became such a place, such a speaker, and such an audience. The meaning of the expression is, therefore, "I perceive that you are greatly devoted to reverence for religion; that it is a characteristic of the people to honor the gods, to rear altars to them, and to recognize the divine agency in times of trial." The proof of this was the altar reared to the unknown God; its bearing on his purpose was, that such a state of public sentiment must be favorable to an inquiry into the truth of what he was about to state.

    Wesley's Notes on Acts 17:22

    17:22 Then Paul standing in the midst of the Areopagus - An ample theatre; said - Giving them a lecture of natural divinity, with admirable wisdom, acuteness, fulness, and courtesy. They inquire after new things: Paul in his divinely philosophical discourse, begins with the first, and goes on to the last things, both which were new things to them. He points out the origin and the end of all things, concerning which they had so many disputes, and equally refutes both the Epicurean and Stoic. I perceive - With what clearness and freedom does he speak! Paul against Athens!