Acts 17:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

New Living Translation
(It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)

English Standard Version
Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

Berean Study Bible
Now all the Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing more than hearing and articulating new ideas.

Berean Literal Bible
Now all the Athenians and the visiting strangers spent their time in nothing else than to tell something and to hear something new.

New American Standard Bible
(Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)

King James Bible
(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now all the Athenians and the foreigners residing there spent their time on nothing else but telling or hearing something new.

International Standard Version
Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there used to spend their time doing nothing else other than listening to the latest ideas or repeating them.

NET Bible
(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there used to spend their time in nothing else than telling or listening to something new.)

New Heart English Bible
Now all the Athenians and the strangers living there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But all the Athenians and those foreigners who come there are concerned about nothing except to tell and to hear something new.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Everyone who lived in Athens looked for opportunities to tell or hear something new and unusual.

New American Standard 1977
(Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)

Jubilee Bible 2000
(For all the Athenians and strangers who were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.)

King James 2000 Bible
(For all the Athenians and strangers who were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

American King James Version
(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

American Standard Version
(Now all the Athenians and the strangers sojourning there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.)

Douay-Rheims Bible
(Now all the Athenians, and strangers that were there, employed themselves in nothing else, but either in telling or in hearing some new thing.)

Darby Bible Translation
Now all [the] Athenians and the strangers sojourning there spent their time in nothing else than to tell and to hear the news.

English Revised Version
(Now all the Athenians and the strangers sojourning there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.)

Webster's Bible Translation
(For all the Athenians and strangers who were there, spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

Weymouth New Testament


World English Bible
Now all the Athenians and the strangers living there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.

Young's Literal Translation
and all Athenians, and the strangers sojourning, for nothing else were at leisure but to say something, and to hear some newer thing.
Study Bible
Paul in Athens
20For you are bringing some strange notions to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.” 21Now all the Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing more than hearing and articulating new ideas. 22Then Paul stood up before the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in every way you are very religious.…
Cross References
Acts 2:10
Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome,

Acts 17:15
Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then returned with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.

Acts 17:16
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply disturbed in his spirit to see that the city was full of idols.

Acts 17:20
For you are bringing some strange notions to our ears, and we want to know what they mean."
Treasury of Scripture

(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

spent.

Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

2 Thessalonians 3:11,12 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, …

1 Timothy 5:13 And with they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; …

2 Timothy 2:16,17 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase to more …

(21) For all the Athenians and strangers.--The restless inquisitiveness of the Athenian character had been all along proverbial. In words which St. Luke almost reproduces, Demosthenes (Philipp. i., p. 43) had reproached them with idling their time away in the agora, asking what news there was of Philip's movements, or the action of their own envoys, when they ought to have been preparing for strenuous action. The "strangers" who were present were probably a motley group--young Romans sent to finish their education, artists, and sight-seers, and philosophers, from every province in the empire.

Some new thing.--Literally, some newer thing; as we should say, the "very latest news." Theophrastus (c. 8) uses the self-same word in describing the questions of the loquacious prattlers of society, "Is there anything new? . . . Is there anything yet newer?"

Verse 21. - Now for for, A.V.; the strangers sojourning there for strangers which were there, A.V. Spent their time. This gives the general sense, but the margin of the R.T., had leisure for nothing else, is much more accurate. Αὐκαιρεῖν, which is not considered good Greek, is only used by Polybius, and in the sense either of "being wealthy" or of "having leisure" or "opportunity." In the New Testament it occurs in Mark 6:31 and 1 Corinthians 16:12. Some new thing. So Cleon (Thucyd., 3:38) rates the Athenians upon their being entirely guided by words, and constantly deceived by any novelty of speech (καινότητος λόγου). And Demosthenes in his first 'Philippic' (p. 43, 7), inveighs against them because, when they ought to be up and doing, they went about the Agora, asking one another, "Is there any news? (Λέγεταί τι καινόν;)." The comparative καινότερον ix a little stronger than καινόν: "the very last news" (Alford). For all the Athenians,.... The natives of Athens, who were born and lived there, and were inhabitants of the city, and free of it:

and strangers which were there; who came there from several parts of the world, to get wisdom and knowledge, to learn the several arts and sciences, and to attend the several sects of philosophers they made choice of:

spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing; that is, they did so for the most part; and this was the complexion and taste of the generality of them; and with this agrees what Demosthenes himself says of them (m),

"we, says he (for the truth shall be said), sit here, , "doing nothing"----inquiring in the court, , "whether any new thing is said."''

The character of such persons is given, and they are described in a very lively manner by Theophrastus (n). The Jewish doctors, at this time, were much of the same cast in their divinity schools; the usual question asked, when they met one another, was, , "what new thing" have you in the divinity school today (o)?

(m) Respons. ad Philippi Epistolam. (n) Ethic. character. p. 13. (o) T. Hieros. Taanith, fol. 75. 4. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 14. fol. 212. 4. 21. all the Athenians … spent their time in nothing else but to tell or hear some new thing—literally, "newer thing," as if what was new becoming presently stale, they craved something still more new [Bengel]. This lively description of the Athenian character is abundantly attested by their own writers.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.
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