Acts 17:21
Parallel Verses
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.)

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.

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.

Acts 17:21 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For all the Athenians - This was their general character.

And strangers which were there - Athens was greatly distinguished for the celebrity of its schools of philosophy. It was at that time at the head of the literary world. Its arts and its learning were celebrated in all lands. It is known, therefore, that it was the favorite resort of people of other nations, who came there to become acquainted with its institutions and to listen to its sages.

Spent their time in nothing else - The learned and subtle Athenians gave themselves much to speculation, and employed themselves in examining the various new systems of philosophy that were proposed. Strangers and foreigners who were there, having much leisure, would also give themselves to the same inquiries.

But either to tell or to hear some new thing - Greek: "something newer" - καινότερον kainoteron. The latest news; or the latest subject of inquiry proposed. This is well known to have been the character of the people of Athens at all times. "Many of the ancient writers I bear witness to the garrulity, and curiosity, and intemperate desire of novelty among the Athenians, by which they inquired respecting all things, even those in which they had no interest, whether of a public or private nature (Kuinoel). Thus, Thucydides (3, 38) says of them, "You excel in suffering yourselves to be deceived with novelty of speech." On which the old scholiast makes this remark, almost in the words of Luke: "He (Thucydides) here blames the Athenians, who care for nothing else but to tell or to hear something new." Thus, Aelian (5, 13) says of the Athenians that they are versatile in novelties. Thus, Demosthenes represents the Athenians "as inquiring in the place of public resort if there were any news" - τι νεώτερον ti neōteron Meurslus has shown, also, that there were more than 300 public places in Athens of public resort, where the principal youth and reputable citizens were accustomed to meet for the purpose of conversation and inquiry.

Acts 17:21 Parallel Commentaries

April 7. "In Him we Live and Move" (Acts xvii. 28).
"In Him we live and move" (Acts xvii. 28). The hand of Gehazi, and even the staff of Elisha could not heal the lifeless boy. It needed the living touch of the prophet's own divinely quickened flesh to infuse vitality into the cold clay. Lip to lip, hand to hand, heart to heart, he must touch the child ere life could thrill his pulseless veins. We must come into personal contact with the risen Saviour, and have His very life quicken our mortal flesh before we can know the fulness and reality of His
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Paul at Athens
'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. 23. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24. God, that made the world, and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25. Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

St. Justin Martyr (Ad 166)
Although Trajan was no friend to the Gospel, and put St. Ignatius to death, he made a law which must have been a great relief to the Christians. Until then they were liable to be sought out, and any one might inform against them; but Trajan ordered that they should not be sought out, although, if they were discovered, and refused to give up their faith, they were to be punished. The next emperor, too, whose name was Hadrian (AD 117-138) did something to make their condition better; but it was still
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

Whether Idolatry is Rightly Reckoned a Species of Superstition?
Objection 1: It would seem that idolatry is not rightly reckoned a species of superstition. Just as heretics are unbelievers, so are idolaters. But heresy is a species of unbelief, as stated above ([3101]Q[11], A[1]). Therefore idolatry is also a species of unbelief and not of superstition. Objection 2: Further, latria pertains to the virtue of religion to which superstition is opposed. But latria, apparently, is univocally applied to idolatry and to that which belongs to the true religion. For just
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Acts 2:10
Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

Acts 17:15
Now those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.

Acts 17:16
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.

Acts 17:20
"For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean."

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