Acts 17:19
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

New Living Translation
Then they took him to the high council of the city. "Come and tell us about this new teaching," they said.

English Standard Version
And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

New American Standard Bible
And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?

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

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They took him and brought him to the Areopagus, and said, "May we learn about this new teaching you're speaking of?

International Standard Version
Then they took him, brought him before the Areopagus, and asked, "May we know what this new teaching of yours is?

NET Bible
So they took Paul and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are proclaiming?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they took him and brought him to the place of judgment, which is called Arios-Pagos, while they were saying to him, “Can we know what this new teaching is that you proclaim?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then they brought Paul to the city court, the Areopagus, and asked, "Could you tell us these new ideas that you're teaching?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And they took him and brought him unto the Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine is, of which thou speakest?

King James 2000 Bible
And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof you speak, is?

American King James Version
And they took him, and brought him to Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof you speak, is?

American Standard Version
And they took hold of him, and brought him unto the Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new teaching is, which is spoken by thee?

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

Darby Bible Translation
And having taken hold on him they brought [him] to Areopagus, saying, Might we know what this new doctrine which is spoken by thee [is]?

English Revised Version
And they took hold of him, and brought him unto the Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new teaching is, which is spoken by thee?

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?

Weymouth New Testament
Then they took him and brought him up to the Areopagus, asking him, "May we be told what this new teaching of yours 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?

Young's Literal Translation
having also taken him, unto the Areopagus they brought him, saying, 'Are we able to know what is this new teaching that is spoken by thee,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:16-21 Athens was then famed for polite learning, philosophy, and the fine arts; but none are more childish and superstitious, more impious, or more credulous, than some persons, deemed eminent for learning and 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, as 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, which are indeed the principal doctrines of Christianity, Christ and a future state; Christ our way, and heaven our end. They looked on this as very different from the knowledge for many ages taught and professed at Athens; they desire to know more of it, but only because it was new and strange. They led him to the place where judges sat who inquired into such matters. They asked about Paul's doctrine, not because it was good, but because it was new. Great talkers are always busy-bodies. They spend their time in nothing else, and a very uncomfortable account 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 upon it, but much is wasted in unprofitable conversation.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 19. - Took held of for took, A.V.; the Areopagus for Areopagus, A.V.; teaching is for doctrine... is, A.V.; which is spoken by thee for whereof thou speakest, A.V. Took hold of him. The word ἐπιλάβεσθαι means simply to "take hold of" the hand, the hair, a garment, etc. The context alone decides whether this taking held is friendly or hostile (for the former sense, see Matthew 14:31; Mark 8:23; Luke 9:47; Luke 14:4; Acts 9:27; Acts 23:19, etc.; for the latter, Luke 23:26; Acts 16:19; Acts 18:17; Acts 21:30, 33). Here the sense is well expressed by Grotius (quoted by Meyer): "Taking him gently by the hand." The Areopagas. Mars' Hill, close to the Agora ("the market") on the north, was so called from the legend that Mars was tried there before the gods for the murder of a son of Neptune. It is (says Lewin) a bare, rugged rock, approached at the south-eastern corner by steps, of which sixteen still remain perfect. Its area at the top measures sixty paces by twenty-four, within which a quadrangle, sixteen paces square, is excavated and leveled for the court. The judges seem to have sat on benches tier above tier on the rising rock on the north side of the quadrangle. There were also seats on the east and west sides, and on the south on either side of the stairs. The Areopagus (the upper court) was the most august of all the courts at Athens. Socrates was tried and condemned before it for impiety. On the present occasion, there is no appearance of judicial proceedings, but they seem to have adjourned to the Areopagus from the Agora, as to a convenient place for quiet discussion.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And they took him,.... 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 (g), 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 Mars's "court of judicature", by Apuleius (h), and "Martis curia", or the "court of Mars", by Juvenal (i), 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 (k). 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 (l). 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.

(g) Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 3. c. 5. (h) Milesiarum 10. (i) Satyr. 5. (k) Pausaniae Attica, p. 52. (l) Apellodorus de deorum origine, l. 3, p. 193.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

19. they took him, and brought him to Areopagus—"the hill where the most awful court of judicature had sat from time immemorial to pass sentence on the greatest criminals, and to decide on the most solemn questions connected with religion. No place in Athens was so suitable for a discourse on the mysteries of religion" [Howson]. The apostle, however, was not here on his trial, but to expound more fully what he had thrown out in broken conversations in the Agora.

Acts 17:19 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul at Athens
18And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, "What would this idle babbler wish to say?" Others, "He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,"-- because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming? 20"For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean."…
Cross References
Mark 1:27
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching--and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him."

Acts 17:20
You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean."

Acts 17:22
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.

Acts 17:34
Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

Acts 23:19
The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, "What is it you want to tell me?"
Treasury of Scripture

And they took him, and brought him to Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof you speak, is?

Areopagus. or, Mars'-hill.

Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the middle of Mars' hill, and said, You men of …

May.

Acts 17:20 For you bring certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore …

Acts 24:24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which …

Acts 25:22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To …

Acts 26:1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. …

Matthew 10:18 And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, …

new.

Mark 1:27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, …

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I …

1 John 2:7,8 Brothers, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment …

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