Acts 17:22
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And Paul standing in the midst of Areopagus said, Athenians, in every way I see you given up to demon worship;

World English Bible
Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and said, "You men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all things.

Young's Literal Translation
And Paul, having stood in the midst of the Areopagus, said, 'Men, Athenians, in all things I perceive you as over-religious;

Acts 17:22 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Then Paul - This commences Paul's explanation of the doctrines which he had stated. It is evident that Luke has recorded but a mere summary or outline of the discourse; but it is such as to enable us to see clearly his course of thought, and the manner in which he met the two principal sects of their philosophers.

In the midst of Mars' hill - Greek: Areopagus. This should have been retained in the translation.

Ye men of Athens - This language was perfectly respectful, notwithstanding his heart had been deeply affected by their idolatry. Everything about this discourse is calm, grave, cool, argumentative. Paul understood the character of his auditors, and did not commence his discourse by denouncing them, nor did he suppose that they would be convinced by mere dogmatical assertion. No happier instance can be found of cool, collected argumentation than is furnished in this discourse.

I perceive - He perceived this by his observations of their forms of worship in passing through their city, Acts 17:23.

In all things - In respect to all events.

Ye are too superstitious - δεισιδαιμονεστέρους deisidaimonesterous. This is a most unhappy translation. We use the word "superstitious" always in a bad sense, to denote being "over-scrupulous and rigid in religious observances, particularly in smaller matters, or a zealous devotion to rites and observances which are not commanded." But the word here is designed to convey no such idea. It properly means "reverence for the gods." It is used in the Classic writers in a good sense, to denote "piety toward the gods, or suitable fear and reverence for them"; and also in a bad sense, to denote "improper fear or excessive dread of their anger"; and in this sense it accords with our word "superstitious." But it is altogether improbable that Paul would have used it in a bad sense. For:

(1) It was not his custom needlessly to blame or offend his auditors.

(2) it is not probable that he would commence his discourse in a manner that would only excite prejudice and opposition.

(3) in the thing which he specifies Acts 17:23 as proof on the subject, he does not introduce it as a matter of blame, but rather as a proof of their devotedness to the cause of religion and of their regard for God.

(4) the whole speech is calm, dignified, and argumentative - such as became such a place, such a speaker, and such an audience. The meaning of the expression is, therefore, "I perceive that you are greatly devoted to reverence for religion; that it is a characteristic of the people to honor the gods, to rear altars to them, and to recognize the divine agency in times of trial." The proof of this was the altar reared to the unknown God; its bearing on his purpose was, that such a state of public sentiment must be favorable to an inquiry into the truth of what he was about to state.

Acts 17:22 Parallel Commentaries

Library
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 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 17:19
And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming?

Acts 17:34
But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

Acts 25:19
but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive.

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