Acts 17:18
New International Version
A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

New Living Translation
He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, "What's this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he's picked up?" Others said, "He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods."

English Standard Version
Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

Berean Study Bible
Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” while others said, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was proclaiming the good news of Jesus and the resurrection.

Berean Literal Bible
And also some of the Epicureans and Stoics, philosophers, encountered him, and some were saying, "What may this babbler desire to say?" but others, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he was proclaiming the gospel of Jesus and the resurrection.

New American Standard Bible
And 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.

King James Bible
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

Christian Standard Bible
Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also debated with him. Some said, "What is this ignorant show-off trying to say?" Others replied, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign deities"--because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

Contemporary English Version
Some of them were Epicureans and some were Stoics, and they started arguing with him. People were asking, "What is this know-it-all trying to say?" Some even said, "Paul must be preaching about foreign gods! That's what he means when he talks about Jesus and about people rising from death."

Good News Translation
Certain Epicurean and Stoic teachers also debated with him. Some of them asked, "What is this ignorant show-off trying to say?" Others answered, "He seems to be talking about foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching about Jesus and the resurrection.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then also, some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him. Some said, "What is this pseudo-intellectual trying to say?" Others replied, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign deities"--because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the Resurrection.

International Standard Version
Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also debated with him. Some asked, "What is this blabbermouth trying to say?" while others said, "He seems to be preaching about foreign gods." This was because Paul was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.

NET Bible
Also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him, and some were asking, "What does this foolish babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods." (They said this because he was proclaiming the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.)

New Heart English Bible
Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also were conversing with him. Some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be advocating foreign deities," because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Also philosophers from the school of Epicurus and others who are called Stoics were debating with him and some of them were saying, “What does this collector of words want?” And others were saying, “He is proclaiming foreign gods”, because he was proclaiming Yeshua and his resurrection to them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers had discussions with him. Some asked, "What is this babbling fool trying to say?" Others said, "He seems to be speaking about foreign gods." The philosophers said these things because Paul was telling the Good News about Jesus and saying that people would come back to life.

New American Standard 1977
And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. And 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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans and of the Stoics encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? others, He seems to be a setter forth of new gods, because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection.

King James 2000 Bible
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? Others, He seems to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

American King James Version
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seems to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached to them Jesus, and the resurrection.

American Standard Version
And certain also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, What would this babbler say? others, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And certain philosophers of the Epicureans and of the Stoics disputed with him; and some said: What is it, that this word sower would say? But others: He seemeth to be a setter forth of new gods; because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.

Darby Bible Translation
But some also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers attacked him. And some said, What would this chatterer say? and some, He seems to be an announcer of foreign demons, because he announced the glad tidings of Jesus and the resurrection [to them].

English Revised Version
And certain also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, What would this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? some others, He seemeth to be a setter-forth of strange gods: because he preached to them Jesus, and the resurrection.

Weymouth New Testament
A few of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also encountered him. Some of them asked, "What has this beggarly babbler to say?" "His business," said others, "seems to be to cry up some foreign gods." This was because he had been telling the Good News of Jesus and the Resurrection.

World English Bible
Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also were conversing with him. Some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be advocating foreign deities," because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.

Young's Literal Translation
And certain of the Epicurean and of the Stoic philosophers, were meeting together to see him, and some were saying, 'What would this seed picker wish to say?' and others, 'Of strange demons he doth seem to be an announcer;' because Jesus and the rising again he did proclaim to them as good news,
Study Bible
Paul in Athens
17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, and in the marketplace with those he met each day. 18Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” while others said, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was proclaiming the good news of Jesus and the resurrection. 19So 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?…
Cross References
Acts 4:2
greatly disturbed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.

Acts 5:42
Every day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Acts 17:31
For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead."

Acts 17:32
When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began to mock him, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this topic."

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 4:10
We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are honored, but we are dishonored.

Treasury of Scripture

Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seems to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached to them Jesus, and the resurrection.

philosophers.

Romans 1:22
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

1 Corinthians 1:20,21
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? …

Colossians 2:8
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

encountered.

Acts 6:9
Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

Mark 9:14
And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.

Luke 11:53
And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:

babbler.

Proverbs 23:9
Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Proverbs 26:12
Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

1 Corinthians 3:18
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Jesus.

Acts 17:31
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Acts 26:23
That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Romans 14:9,10
For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living…







Lexicon
Some
Τινὲς (Tines)
Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5100: Any one, some one, a certain one or thing. An enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object.

Epicurean
Ἐπικουρείων (Epikoureiōn)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1946: An Epicurean, one who holds the tenets of Epicurus. From Epikouros; an Epicurean or follower of Epicurus.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

Stoic
Στοϊκῶν (Stoikōn)
Adjective - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 4770: Stoic. From stoa; a 'Stoic', i.e. Adherent of a certin philosophy.

philosophers
φιλοσόφων (philosophōn)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5386: A philosopher. From philos and sophos; fond of wise things, i.e. A 'philosopher'.

also
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

began to debate
συνέβαλλον (syneballon)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4820: From sun and ballo; to combine, i.e. to converse, consult, dispute, to consider, to aid, to join, attack.

with him.
αὐτῷ (autō)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

Some [of them]
τινες (tines)
Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5100: Any one, some one, a certain one or thing. An enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object.

asked,
ἔλεγον (elegon)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2036: Answer, bid, bring word, command. A primary verb; to speak or say.

“What
Τί (Ti)
Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 5101: Who, which, what, why. Probably emphatic of tis; an interrogative pronoun, who, which or what.

{is} this
οὗτος (houtos)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3778: This; he, she, it.

babbler
σπερμολόγος (spermologos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4691: From sperma and lego; a seed-picker, i.e. a sponger, loafer.

trying
θέλοι (theloi)
Verb - Present Optative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2309: To will, wish, desire, be willing, intend, design.

to say?”
λέγειν (legein)
Verb - Present Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

while
δέ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

others [said],
οἱ (hoi)
Article - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

“He seems
δοκεῖ (dokei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1380: A prolonged form of a primary verb, doko dok'-o of the same meaning; to think; by implication, to seem.

to be
εἶναι (einai)
Verb - Present Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

advocating
καταγγελεὺς (katangeleus)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2604: A reporter, announcer, proclaimer, herald. From kataggello; a proclaimer.

foreign
Ξένων (Xenōn)
Adjective - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3581: Apparently a primary word; foreign; by implication, a guest or entertainer.

gods.”
δαιμονίων (daimoniōn)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 1140: An evil-spirit, demon; a heathen deity. Neuter of a derivative of daimon; a d?Monic being; by extension a deity.

[They said this] because
ὅτι (hoti)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.

[Paul] was proclaiming the good news
εὐηγγελίζετο (euēngelizeto)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2097: From eu and aggelos; to announce good news especially the gospel.

of Jesus
Ἰησοῦν (Iēsoun)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2424: Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord and two other Israelites.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

resurrection.
ἀνάστασιν (anastasin)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 386: A rising again, resurrection. From anistemi; a standing up again, i.e. a resurrection from death (its author), or a recovery.
(18) Certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks.--The two schools were at this time the great representatives of Greek thought. The former took its name from its founder, Epicurus, who lived a long and tranquil life at Athens, from B.C. 342 to 270. As holding their meetings in a garden, which he had left by his will in trust as a place of study for his disciples, they were sometimes known as the School of the Garden, and as such were distinguished from those of the Porch (Diog. Laert. Epic. c. 10). His speculations embraced at once a physical and an ethical solution of the problems of the universe. Rejecting, as all thinking men did, the popular Polytheism, which yet they did not dare openly to renounce, he taught that the gods, in their eternal tranquillity, were too far off from man to trouble themselves about his sorrows or his sins. They needed no sacrifices and answered no prayers. The superstition which enslaved the minds of most men was the great evil of the world, the source of its crimes and miseries. The last enemy to be destroyed was with him, as in our own time with Strauss, the belief in an immortality of retribution. A man's first step towards happiness and wisdom was to emancipate himself from its thraldom; the next was to recognise that happiness consisted in the greatest aggregate of pleasurable emotions. Experience taught that what are called pleasures are often more than counterbalanced by the pains that follow, and sensual excesses were therefore to be avoided. Epicurus's own life seems to have been distinguished by generosity, self-control, and general kindliness, and even by piety and patriotism (Diog. Laert. Epic. c. 5). But as no law was recognised as written in the heart, and human laws were looked on as mere conventional arrangements, each man was left to form his own estimate of what would give him most pleasure, and most men decided for a life of ease and self-indulgence; sometimes balanced by prudential calculations, sometimes sinking into mere voluptuousness. The poetry of Horace presents, perhaps, the most attractive phase of popular Epicureanism; the sense which has come to be attached to the modern word "Epicure," as applied to one whose life is devoted to the indulgence of the sense of taste, shows to what a depth of degradation it might sink.

In the world of physics, Epicurus has been claimed as anticipating some of the results of modern science. The ideas of creation and control were alike excluded. Matter had existed from eternity, and the infinite atoms of which it was composed had, under the action of attractive and Tepelling forces as yet unknown, entered into manifold combinations, out of which had issued, as the last stage of the evolution, the world of nature as it now lies before us. The poem of Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, may be regarded as the grandest utterance of this negative and practically atheistic system, but its real nobleness lies chiefly in its indignant protest against the superstition which had cast its veil of thick darkness over all the nations.

It may be well to give one or two characteristic examples of each of these phases. On the one side we have the ever-recurring advice of the popular poet of society to remember that life is short, and to make the most of it:--

"Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere: et,

Quern Fors dierum cunque dabit, lucro

Appone."

["Strive not the morrow's chance to know,

But count whate'er the Fates bestow

As given thee for thy gain."]--Hor. Od. i. 9.

"Sapias, vina liques, et spatio brevi

Spem longam reseces. Dum loquimur, fugerit invida

'tas. Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero."

["Be wise, and let your wines flow clear,

And as you greet each short-lived year,

Curb hope's delusive play:

E'en as we speak, our life glides by;

Enjoy the moments as they fly,

Nor trust the far-off day."]--Od. i. 11.

The student of Scripture will recognise an Epicurean element of this kind in one of the two voices that alternate in the Book of Ecclesiastes, "It is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life" (Ecclesiastes 5:18. Comp. also Ecclesiastes 3:19; Ecclesiastes 8:15; Ecclesiastes 9:7). It appears as the avowed principle of the evil-doers in the Apocryphal Book of Wisdom which, as probably the work of a contemporary writer, represents the impression made by the dominant Horatian phase of Epicureanism on a devout and thoughtful Jew:--

"Our time is a very shadow that passeth away . . . Come on, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are present . . . Let us crown ourselves with rose-buds before they are withered . . . Let none of us go without his part of our voluptuousness."--Wisdom Of Solomon 2:5-9.

There is a nobler ring, it must be owned, in the bold language in which Lucretius sings the praises of Epicurus:--

"When this our life lay crushed before men's eyes

Beneath the yoke of Faith, who from on high

With horrid aspect frightened mortal hearts,

It was a Greek, himself a mortal too,

Who first had courage to lift up his eyes

And to her face withstand her. Tales of gods,

And thunderbolts from Heaven, with all their threats,

Were impotent to stay him. . . .

. . . . So at last

Faith in its turn lies trampled under foot,

And we through him have triumphed over Heaven."

De Rer. Nat. i. 67-80.

We can understand how St. Paul would assert, as against this school of thought, the personality of the living God, as Creator, Ruler, Father; the binding force of the law written in the heart; intuitive morality as against mere utilitarianism; the nobleness of a hero-soul raised above pleasure, and living, not for itself, but for others and for God. And in so teaching them he, in this respect differing from the mere professor of a higher philosophy, would point to the Resurrection and the Judgment as that which should confound the pleasure-seeker by giving him tribulation and anguish, and should assign glory and immortality to the patient worker of righteousness. (Comp. Romans 2:7-9.)

The Stoics--who took their name, not from their founder (Zeno, of Citium in Cyprus), but from the Stoa paekile, the painted porch, at Athens, adorned with frescoes of the battle of Marathon, where Zeno used to teach--presented a higher phase of thought. Josephus (Vit. c. 2) compares them with the Pharisees, and their relation to the moral life of heathenism at this time presented many features analogous to those which we find in the influence of that sect in Palestine. They taught that true wisdom consisted in being the master, and not the slave, of circumstances. The things which are not in our power are not things to seek after, nor shrink from, but to be accepted with a calm equanimity. The seeker after wisdom learnt, therefore, to be indifferent alike to pleasure or pain, and aimed at an absolute apathy. The theology of the Stoics was also of a nobler kind than that of Epicurus. They spoke of a divine Mind pervading the universe, and ordering all things by its Providence. They recognised its government in the lives of nations and individual men, and probably reconciled, as the Pharisees did, their acceptance of its decrees with a practical belief in the freedom of the individual will. In the Manual of Ethics, by Epictetus, under Nero, and the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, we see how the slave and the emperor stood on common ground. In Seneca, we see now often the Stoics spoke in the accents of Christian ethics. Many of the Stoics were sought after as tutors for the sons of noble families, and occupied a position of influence not unlike that of Jesuit confessors and directors in France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The main drawbacks were (1) that in aiming at apathy for themselves they shut out sympathy with others as disturbing their tranquillity; (2) that in striving after an ethical perfection in the strength of their own will they anticipated the position of the Pelagians in the history of the Christian Church; and (3) that, as with the Pharisees, the high ideal was often but a mask for selfish and corrupt lives. They, also, were too often "hypocrites," acting a part before the world to which their true character did not correspond. In the language of the satirist--

"Qui Curios simulant et Bacchanalia vivunt."

["They pose as heroes, and as drunkards live."]

--Juvenal, Sat. ii. 3.

It is evident that there would be many points of sympathy between the better representatives of this school and St. Paul, but for them also the message that spoke of Jesus and the Resurrection--of God sending His Son into the world to be first crucified and then raised from the dead--would seem an idle dream, and they would shrink from the thought that they needed pardon and redemption, and could do nothing true and good in their own strength without the grace of God.

What will this babbler say?--Better, What might this babbler mean? The Greek noun, literally seed-picker, was primarily applied to a small bird of the finch tribe. The idle gossips of the agora picking up news, and, eager to retail it, the chattering parasites of feasts, were likened by the quick wit of Athenian humourists to such a bird as it hopped and chirped. So Zeno himself called one of his disciples, who had more words than wisdom, by the same contemptuous name (Diog. Laert. Zeno, c. 19). The philosophers, in their scorn of the stranger who was so ready to discuss great questions with any whom he met, applied the derisive epithet to him.

He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods.--This was, it will be remembered, the precise charge on which Socrates had been condemned (Xenoph. Memor. i. 1, ? 1). In his case it rested on his constant reference to the daemon, the divine monitor who checked and guided him, in whose voice he heard something like the voice of God; but the secret of his condemnation by his countrymen was to be found less in what he actually taught than in the questions with which he vexed their inmost soul, and made them conscious of ignorance or baseness. The questions of St. Paul, as he reasoned "of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come," were equally disturbing.

Because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.--The verb implies continuous action. This was the ever-recurring theme of his discourses. It is possible that with the strong tendency of the Greek mind to personify all attributes and abstract thoughts, St. Paul's hearers saw in the word Anastasis (= Resurrection) the name of a new goddess, representing the idea of immortality, to be worshipped in conjunction with Jesus, and therefore they used the plural and spoke of his bringing in "strange gods." So temples and altars had been dedicated to Concord, and the history of Athens told how Epimenides had bidden them erect two altars to Insolence and Outrage (Cicero, De Leg. ii. 11), as the two demons by whom their city was being brought to ruin. What startled them in the Apostle was that he taught not only the immortality of the soul--that had entered into the popular mythical belief, and had been enforced with philosophical arguments by Socrates and Plato--but the resurrection of the body. In 1Corinthians 15:35 we see the character of the objections raised to this doctrine, and the manner in which St. Paul answered them.

Verse 18. - And certain also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers for then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, A.V.; would for will, A.V.; preached for preached unto them, A.V. and T.R. The Epicureans (so called from Epicurus, their founder) and the Stoics (so called from the στοά, the colonnade or piazza where Zeno their founder taught) were the most numerous sects at Athens at this time; and their respective tenets were the most opposite to the doctrines of the gospel. Encountered him; σύνεβαλλον. In Acts 4:15 it is followed by πρός, and is properly rendered "conferred;" here it is followed by the dative, and may be understood to mean "disputed" (συμβάλλειν λόγους). It may, however, not less properly be taken in the sense of a hostile encounter of words, as Luke 14:31, and frequently in classical Greek. This babbler (σπερμολόγος); literally, a picker-up of seeds, applied to a crow (Aristoph., 'Ayes,' 232, 579). Plutarch too ('Demet.,' 28) has σπερμολόγοι ὅρνιθες, birds picking up seeds. Hence it is used of idle hangers-on in the markets, who get a livelihood by what they can pick up, and so generally of empty, worthless fellows. Hence it is further applied to those who pick up scraps of knowledge from one or another and "babble them indifferently in all companies" (Johnson's 'Dictionary,' under "Babble"). A setter forth of strange gods. There does not seem to be the least ground for Chrysostom's suggestion that they took Anastasis (the Resurrection) for the name of a goddess. But the preaching of Jesus the Son of God, himself risen from the dead (ver. 31), and hereafter to be the Judge of quick and dead at the general resurrection, was naturally, to both Stoics and Epicureans, a setting forth of strange gods. Χένα δαιμόνια are "foreign deities," or "daemons," inferior gods. The word καταγγελεύς, a setter forth, does not occur elsewhere. But the nearly identical word κατάγγελος is used by Plutarch. 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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NT Apostles: Acts 17:18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers (Acts of the Apostles Ac) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Acts 17:17
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