Acts 17:34
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

English Standard Version
But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

Berean Study Bible
But some people joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others who were with them.

Berean Literal Bible
But some men, having joined themselves to him, believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

New American Standard Bible
But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

King James Bible
Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
However, some men joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

International Standard Version
Some men joined him and became believers. With them were Dionysius, who was a member of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and some others along with them.

NET Bible
But some people joined him and believed. Among them were Dionysius, who was a member of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

New Heart English Bible
But certain men joined with him, and believed, among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And some of them joined him and believed, but one of them was Dionysius of the Judges of Areos-Pagos, and one woman whose name was Damaris, and others with them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Some men joined him and became believers. With them were Dionysius, who was a member of the court, and a woman named Damaris, and some other people.

New American Standard 1977
But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But certain men believed and joined themselves with him, among whom was Dionysius of the Areopagus and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

King James 2000 Bible
But certain men joined unto him, and believed: among whom was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

American King James Version
However, certain men joined to him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

American Standard Version
But certain men clave unto him, and believed: among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But certain men adhering to him, did believe; among whom was also Dionysius, the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Darby Bible Translation
But some men joining themselves to him believed; among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman by name Damaris, and others with them.

English Revised Version
But certain men clave unto him, and believed: among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Webster's Bible Translation
But certain men adhered to him, and believed: among whom was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Weymouth New Testament
A few, however, attached themselves to him and believed, among them being Dionysius a member of the Council, a gentlewoman named Damaris, and some others.

World English Bible
But certain men joined with him, and believed, among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Young's Literal Translation
and certain men having cleaved to him, did believe, among whom is also Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman, by name Damaris, and others with them.
Study Bible
Paul Before the Areopagus
33At that, Paul left the Areopagus. 34But some people joined him and believed, including Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others who were with them.
Cross References
Acts 17:19
So they took Paul and brought him to the Areopagus, where they asked him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

Acts 17:22
Then Paul stood up before the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I see that in every way you are very religious.

Acts 17:33
At that, Paul left the Areopagus.
Treasury of Scripture

However, certain men joined to him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

certain.

Acts 17:4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and …

Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the …

Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns …

Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, …

Romans 11:5,6 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according …

the Areopagite.

Acts 17:19 And they took him, and brought him to Areopagus, saying, May we know …

John 7:48-52 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him…

John 19:38-42 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but …

Philippians 4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.

(34) Certain men clave unto him.--The word implies practically both companionship and conversion. There was an attractive power in the Apostle's character that drew men unto him.

Dionysius the Areopagite.--As the constitution of the Court of the Areopagus required its members to have filled a high magisterial function, such as that of Archon, and to be above sixty, the convert must have been a man of some note. According to a tradition, ascribed by Eusebius (Hist. iii. 4, iv. 23) to Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, he became Bishop of Athens. An elaborate treatise on the Hierarchy of Heaven, Cherubim, Seraphim, Thrones, Dominations, and the like, is extant under his name, but is obviously of much later date, probably of the fourth or fifth century. The legend of the Seven Champions of Christendom has transformed him into the St. Denys of France. A church dedicated to him stands on the Areopagus of modern Athens.

Damaris.--Chrysostom says that she was the wife of Dionysius, but this is obviously only a conjecture.

And others with them.--The contrast between this and the "great multitude," the "many" at Thessalonica and Bera, is very significant. Not less striking is the absence of any reference to Athens in St. Paul's Epistles. Of all the cities which he visited, it was that with which he had least sympathy. All that can be said is that he may have included them among "the saints which are in all Achaia" (2Corinthians 1:1) in his prayers and hopes. It would almost seem as if he felt that little was gained by entering into a discussion on the great questions of natural theology; and therefore he came to Corinth, determined to know nothing "but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (1Corinthians 2:2).

Verse 34. - But for howbeit, A.V.; whom also for the which, A.V. Dionysius the Areopagite. The earliest notice we have of him in ecclesiastical writers is the well-known one of Eusebius, 'Eccl. Hist.,' 3. 4, in which he says, "We are told by an ancient writer, Dionysius the pastor of the diocese of Corinth (ob. ), that his namesake Dionysius the Areopagite, of whom St. Luke says in the Acts that he was the first who embraced the faith after St. Paul's discourse in the Areopagus, became the first bishop of the Church in Athens." Eusebius repeats the statement in his long notice of Dionysius of Corinth, in 4. 23. Other uncertain traditions speak of him (Suidas) as one who rose to the height of Greek erudition, and as having suffered a cruel martyrdom (Niceph., 3:11). "The works which go by his name are undoubtedly spurious" (Alford). Damaris; "wholly unknown" (Meyer), but certainly not the wife of Dionysius, as Chrysostom (' De Sacerd.,' 4:7) and others have thought ('Dictionary of the Bible'). And others with them. These would seem to be but few from St. Luke's way of mentioning them, and from our hearing nothing more in the Acts about the Church at Athens. It is remarkable that this small number of converts coincides with the weakness of the synagogue at Athens - too weak to persecute, and too weak to make proselytes among the Greeks of Athens. It scorns clear that nowhere else had St. Paul won so few souls to Christ. And yet God's Word did not return to him wholly void. The seed fell on some good ground, to bring forth fruit unto eternal life.



Howbeit, certain men clave unto him, and believed,.... There were some who were ordained to eternal life, to whom the Gospel came in power, and they received the love of the truth, and their hearts and affections were knit unto the apostle; and they followed him, and kept to him, and privately conversed with him, and believed his doctrine, and in Jesus Christ, whom he preached unto them; to these the Gospel was the savour of life unto life, when to the scoffers and mockers it was the savour of death unto death: and this is the fruit and effect of the Gospel ministry, wherever it comes:

among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite; a judge in the court of Areopagus: how many judges that court consisted of, is not certain, nor whether there was one who was superior to the rest; if there was such an one, Dionysius seems to have been he, since he is called the Areopagite. The business of this court was not only to try causes of murder, which seems to have been the original business of it; but by these judges the rights of the city were preserved and defended, war was proclaimed, and all law suits adjusted and decided; and they made it their business to look after idle and slothful persons, and inquire how they lived (f): they always heard and judged causes in the night, in the dark, because they would only know facts, and not persons, lest they should be influenced by their afflictions, and be led wrong (g); they were very famous in other nations for their wisdom and skill, and for their gravity and strict justice. Dolabella, proconsul of Asia, having a woman brought before him for poisoning her husband and son, which she confessed, and gave reasons for doing it, referred the matter to a council, who refused to pass sentence; upon which he sent the case to Athens, to the Areopagites, as to judges "more grave" and "more experienced" (h): and hence these words of Julian the emperor (i),

"let an Areopagite be judge, and we will not be afraid of the judgment.''

This Dionysius the Areopagite is said, by another Dionysius, bishop of the Corinthians, a very ancient writer (k), to be the first bishop of the Athenians, which is more likely than that he should be a bishop in France. It is reported of him, that being at Heliopolis in Egypt, along with Apollophanes, a philosopher, at the time of Christ's sufferings, he should say concerning the unusual eclipse that then was, that "a God unknown, and clothed with flesh, suffered", on whose account the whole world was darkened; or, as, others affirm, he said, "either the God of nature suffers, or the frame of the world will be dissolved": it is also related of him that when he was converted by the apostle at Athens, he went to Clemens, bishop of Rome, and was sent by him with others into the west, to preach the Gospel; some of which went to Spain, and others to France, and that he steered his course to Paris, and there, with Rusticus and Eleutherius his "colleagues", suffered martyrdom (l). The books ascribed unto him concerning the divine names, and ecclesiastical hierarchy, are spurious things, stuffed with foolish, absurd, and impious notions, and seem to have been written in the "fifth" century.

And a woman named Damaris; some of the ancients, and also some modern writers, take this woman to be the wife of Dionysius; but had she been his wife, she would have been doubtless called so; however, by the particular mention of her name, she seems to have been a person of some note and figure: the name is a diminutive from Damar, which signifies a wife.

And others with them; with these two, as the Arabic version renders it; that is, with Dionysius and Damaris. These laid the foundation of a Gospel church at Athens. Dionysius, as before observed, was the first bishop, or pastor of it; it is also said that Narcissus, one of the seventy disciples, was bishop of this place; See Gill on Luke 10:1. In the "second" century Publius was bishop of the church at Athens, who suffered martyrdom for Christ in the time of Hadrian; and was succeeded by Quadratus (m), who was famous for a writing he presented to the said emperor, in favour of the churches in common, and the success of it, about the year 128; at the same time, Aristides, a famous philosopher and Christian, flourished in the church at Athens, who wrote an apology for the Christian religion; and also Jovius, a presbyter and martyr, and a disciple of Dionysius; likewise Athenagoras, a man of great learning and piety, who wrote also an apology for the Christians, and a treatise concerning the resurrection of the dead, which are still extant; the former was written to the emperors Antoninus and Commodus: in the "third" century mention is made of the church at Athens; and Origen (n) speaks very honourably of it, as meek and quiet, and desirous of approving itself to God. In the "fourth" century it appears that there were Christians there, since Maximus the emperor stirred up wicked men to molest and distress them; and there was a Christian school there, in which Bazil and Gregory Nazianzen were brought up. In the "fifth" century there was a church in this place; and in the "sixth", a Christian school, in which Boethius Patricius learned the liberal arts; and in the "seventh" century mention is made of a bishop of Athens, who was in the sixth council at Constantinople (o): thus far this church state is to be traced.

(f) Alexander ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 3. c. 13. & l. 4. c. 11. (g) Alexander ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 3. c. 5. (h) A Gellii noctes Attica, l. 12. c. 7. (i) Orat. 2. p. 112. (k) Apud Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 4. & l. 4. c. 23. (l) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 1. l. 2. c. 10. p. 491. (m) Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 4. c. 23. (n) Contra Cels. l. 3. p. 128. (o) Magdeburg. Hist. Eccles. cent. 2. c. 2. p. 4, 17. & c. 10. p. 151, 152, 153. cent. 3. c. 2. p. 3. cent. 4. c. 7. p. 287. & c. 10. p. 539. cent. 5. c. 2. p. 6. cent. 6. c. 7. p. 205. cent. 7. c. 2. p. 5. 34. Howbeit certain men clave unto him—Instead of mocking or politely waiving the subject, having listened eagerly, they joined themselves to the apostle for further instruction; and so they "believed."

Dionysius the Areopagite—a member of that august tribunal. Ancient tradition says he was placed by the apostle over the little flock at Athens. "Certainly the number of converts there and of men fit for office in the Church was not so great that there could be much choice" [Olshausen].

a woman named Damaris—not certainly one of the apostle's audience on the Areopagus, but won to the faith either before or after. Nothing else is known of her. Of any further labors of the apostle at Athens, and how long he stayed, we are not informed. Certainly he was not driven away. But "it is a serious and instructive fact that the mercantile populations of Thessalonica and Corinth received the message of God with greater readiness than the highly educated and polished Athenians. Two letters to the Thessalonians, and two to the Corinthians, remain to attest the flourishing state of those churches. But we possess no letter written by Paul to the Athenians; and we do not read that he was ever in Athens again" [Howson]. 17:32-34 The apostle was treated with more outward civility at Athens than in some other places; but none more despised his doctrine, or treated it with more indifference. Of all subjects, that which deserves the most attention gains the least. But those who scorn, will have to bear the consequences, and the word will never be useless. Some will be found, who cleave to the Lord, and listen to his faithful servants. Considering the judgement to come, and Christ as our Judge, should urge all to repent of sin, and turn to Him. Whatever matter is used, all discourses must lead to Him, and show his authority; our salvation, and resurrection, come from and by Him.
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