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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(a.) Not known; not apprehended.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

un-non', (agnostos theos): In Acts 17:23 (St. Paul's speech in Athens) the American Standard Revised Version reads: "I found also an altar with this inscription, To AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you." the King James Version and the English Revised Version margin translate "to the Unknown God," owing to the fact that in Greek certain words, of which theos is one, may drop the article when it is to be understood. In the present case the use of the article. is probably right (compare Acts 17:24). In addition, the King James Version reads "whom" and "him" in place of "what" and "this." The difference here is due to a variation in the Greek manuscripts, most of which support the King James Version. But internal probability is against the King James Version's reading, as it would have been very easy for a scribe to change neuters (referring to the divine power) into masculines after "God," but not vice versa. Hence, modern editors (except yon Soden's margin) have adopted the reading in the Revised Version (British and American).

Paul in Athens, "as he beheld the city full of idols," felt that God was truly unknown there. Hence the altar with the inscription struck him as particularly significant. Some Athenians, at any rate, felt the religious inadequacy of all known deities and were appealing to the God who they felt must exist, although they knew nothing definite about Him. No better starting-point for an address could be wished. What the inscription actually meant, however, is another question. Nothing is known about it. Altars dedicated "to unknown gods" (in the plural) seem to have been fairly common (Jerome on Titus 1:12; Pausanias, i.1, 4; Philaster, Vita Apoll., vi.3), and Blase (Commentary ad loc.) has even suggested that the words in Acts were originally in the plural. But this would spoil the whole point of the speech, and the absence of references to a single inscription among thousands that existed can cause no surprise. Those inscriptions in the plural seem to have been meant in the sense "to the other deities that may exist in addition to those already known," but an inscription in the sing. could not have this meaning. Perhaps a votive inscription is meant, where the worshipper did not know which god to thank for some benefit received. That a slur on all the other Athenian objects of worship was intended is, however, most improbable, but Paul could not of course be expected to know the technical meaning of such inscriptions.


Buston Scott Easton



57. agnostos -- unknown
... unknown. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: agnostos Phonetic Spelling:
(ag'-noce-tos') Short Definition: unknown Definition: unknown, unknowable. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/57.htm - 6k

50. agnoeo -- to be ignorant, not to know
... 1), ignorant (2), ignorantly (1), know (2), knowing (2), recognize (1), recognized
(1), recognizing (1), unaware (4), understand (2), uninformed (2), unknown (2 ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/50.htm - 7k

540. apator -- fatherless
... fatherless. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: apator Phonetic Spelling:
(ap-at'-ore) Short Definition: without father, of unknown father Definition ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/540.htm - 6k

2316. theos -- God, a god
... God, (b) a god, generally. 2316 (of unknown origin) -- properly,, Creator
and of all things (Jn 1:3; Gen 1 - 3). [Long before the NT ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2316.htm - 7k

2990. lanthano -- to escape notice
... of person from whom concealment takes place; I do so and so unconsciously, unknown
to myself, I shut my eyes to so and so. Word Origin from a prim. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2990.htm - 7k

602. apokalupsis -- an uncovering
... 602 ("revelation, unveiling") is principally used of the of Jesus Christ (the ),
especially a () of Christ (His will) previously unknown to the extent (because ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/602.htm - 7k

282. ametor -- without a mother
... without mother. From a (as a negative particle) and meter; motherless, ie Of unknown
maternity -- without mother. see GREEK a. see GREEK meter. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/282.htm - 6k

3933. parthenos -- a maiden, a virgin
... virgin. Of unknown origin; a maiden; by implication, an unmarried daughter -- virgin.
(parthenoi) -- 4 Occurrences. (parthenois) -- 1 Occurrence. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3933.htm - 7k

36. agenes -- unborn, of no family, ignoble
... base things. From a (as negative particle) and genos; properly, without kin, ie
(of unknown descent, and by implication) ignoble -- base things. see GREEK a. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/36.htm - 6k

2333. Theudas -- Theudas, an Israelite
... Transliteration: Theudas Phonetic Spelling: (thyoo-das') Short Definition: Theudas
Definition: Theudas, a Jewish pretender of date about 4 BC, otherwise unknown ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/2333.htm - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
3581a. koach -- a small reptile (of unknown species)
koach or koach. 3581, 3581a. koach or koach. 3581b . a small reptile (of unknown
species). Transliteration: koach or koach Short Definition: crocodile. ...
/hebrew/3581a.htm - 5k

2051. Vedan -- a place of unknown location
... 2050, 2051. Vedan. 2052 . a place of unknown location. Transliteration:
Vedan Phonetic Spelling: (ved-awn') Short Definition: Vedan. ...
/hebrew/2051.htm - 6k

495. Ellasar -- a country of unknown location
... 494, 495. Ellasar. 496 . a country of unknown location. Transliteration: Ellasar
Phonetic Spelling: (el-law-sawr') Short Definition: Ellasar. ...
/hebrew/495.htm - 5k

4506b. Manachath -- "resting place," a city of unknown location
... 4506a, 4506b. Manachath. 4506c . "resting place," a city of unknown location.
Transliteration: Manachath Short Definition: Manahath. ...
/hebrew/4506b.htm - 5k

3581. koach -- a small reptile (of unknown species)
... 3580, 3581. koach. 3581a . a small reptile (of unknown species). Transliteration:
koach Phonetic Spelling: (ko'-akh) Short Definition: ability. ...
/hebrew/3581.htm - 5k

6336. Puthi -- a family in Judah
... Word Origin of uncertain derivation Definition a family in Judah NASB Word
Usage Puthites (1). Puhites, descendants of an unknown Puth. ...
/hebrew/6336.htm - 6k

5525. Sukkiyyim -- Sukkiims
... Sukkiims. Patrial from an unknown name (perhaps cok); a Sukkite, or inhabitant of
some place near Egypt (ie Hut-dwellers) -- Sukkiims. see HEBREW cok. ...
/hebrew/5525.htm - 6k

5515. Sinim -- inhab. of unc. location
... of unc. location NASB Word Usage Sinim (1). Sinim. Plural of an otherwise unknown
name; Sinim, a distant Oriental region -- Sinim. 5514, 5515. Sinim. 5516 ...
/hebrew/5515.htm - 5k

1784. Diynay -- judges
... Dinaite (Aramaic) partial from uncertain primitive; a Dinaite or inhabitant of some
unknown Assyria province -- Dinaite. 1783, 1784. Diynay. 1784a . ...
/hebrew/1784.htm - 5k

7877. Shiza -- a Reubenite
... Word Origin of uncertain derivation Definition a Reubenite NASB Word Usage Shiza
(1). Shiza. Of unknown derivation; Shiza, an Is. -- Shiza. 7876, 7877. ...
/hebrew/7877.htm - 5k


... Unknown. Unknown. Some of our finest hymns are of unknown origin. The authors
had such humble opinion of their work as to feel that ...
//christianbookshelf.org/nutter/hymn writers of the church/unknown.htm

The Great Unknown
... HYMNS THE GREAT UNKNOWN. "I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My
hand, and no man regarded.""Proverbs 1:24. ... Unseen, unknown, unregarded,. ...
/.../bevan/hymns of ter steegen and others second series/the great unknown.htm

The Unknown To-Morrow
... THE UNKNOWN TO-MORROW. A New Year's Sermon ... So the words of the text are a promise
of preservation. Then, dear brethren, how do you stand fronting that Unknown? ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/the unknown to-morrow.htm

The Great Unknown Lack.
... The Need The Great Unknown Lack. The greatness of men's need stands out
most pathetically in this, that men don't know their need. ...
/.../gordon/quiet talks with world winners/the great unknown lack.htm

January the First the Unknown Journey
... JANUARY The First THE UNKNOWN JOURNEY. "He went out not knowing whither
he went." "Hebrews 11:6-10. Abram began his journey without ...
/.../my daily meditation for the circling year/january the first the unknown.htm

The Unknown Giver and the Misused Gifts
... The Unknown Giver and the Misused Gifts. A Sermon (No.2252). Intended for Reading
on Lord's-Day, April 17th, 1892,. Delivered by. CH SPURGEON,. ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 38 1892/the unknown giver and the.htm

Your Theologians, Then, and Authors on Unknown Antiquity, Say that ...
... Book IV. 14 Your theologians, then, and authors on unknown antiquity, say
that in the universe there are? Your theologians, then ...
/.../14 your theologians then and.htm

Letter vii. To an Unknown Person, Begging the Favor of a Letter. . ...
... Severus. Letter VII. To an Unknown Person, Begging the Favor of a Letter.?
To an Unknown Person, Begging the Favor of a Letter. The ...
/.../severus/life and writings of sulpitius severus /letter vii to an unknown.htm

Of the Unknown Purpose of Some of the Intestines.
... Chap. XIV."Of the Unknown Purpose of Some of the Intestines. It is evident
that there are many things in the body, the force and ...
/.../lactantius/on the workmanship of god/chap xiv of the unknown purpose.htm

At the Unknown' Feast in Jerusalem, and by the Pool of Bethesda.
trust, unquestioning obedience to the unseen, unknown, but real Saviour. ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/chapter xii at the unknown.htm

Unknown (15 Occurrences)
...UNKNOWN GOD. ... Paul's speech in Athens) the American Standard Revised Version reads:
"I found also an altar with this inscription, To AN UNKNOWN GOD. ...
/u/unknown.htm - 13k

Tongue (160 Occurrences)
... 1 Corinthians 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men,
but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he ...
/t/tongue.htm - 42k

Athens (5 Occurrences)
... The altar of which Paul there speaks as dedicated "to the [properly "an"] unknown
God" (23) was probably one of several which bore the same inscription. ...
/a/athens.htm - 15k

Stranger (152 Occurrences)
... resident in a foreign land; Exodus 23:9, one who is not a Jew; Numbers 3:10, one
who is not of the family of Aaron; Psalm 69:8, an alien or an unknown person. ...
/s/stranger.htm - 57k

Dial (2 Occurrences)
... The first and essential point to be noted is that this was no ordinary astronomical
phenomenon, nor was it the result of ordinary astronomical laws then unknown...
/d/dial.htm - 19k

Speaketh (367 Occurrences)
... 1 Corinthians 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men,
but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he ...
/s/speaketh.htm - 33k

Judith (1 Occurrence)
... in the western country, including Palestine, to help him to subdue a rival king
whose power he feared-Arphaxad, king of the Medes (otherwise quite unknown). ...
/j/judith.htm - 27k

Burial (25 Occurrences)
... ON THE WAY TO THE GRAVE 1. Coffins Unknown 2. Professional Mourners IV.
AT THE GRAVE 1. Graves Dug in the Earth 2. Family Tombs. ...
/b/burial.htm - 42k

Ziph (9 Occurrences)
... (2) A town in the Negeb of Judah (Joshua 15:24), site unknown. ... (ziph, meaning unknown):
(1) A grandson of Caleb (1 Chronicles 2:42); the Septuagint has Zeiph. ...
/z/ziph.htm - 11k

Zophar (4 Occurrences)
... Arabia). He is called a Naamathite, or an inhabitant of some unknown place
called Naamah. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. ZOPHAR. ...
/z/zophar.htm - 10k

Who is the unknown god in Acts 17:23? | GotQuestions.org

What happened at Mars Hill in the Bible? | GotQuestions.org

Can you give me a basic timeline of the Bible? | GotQuestions.org

Unknown: Dictionary and Thesaurus | Clyx.com

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Unknown (15 Occurrences)

Acts 17:23
For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription:'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I announce to you.

1 Corinthians 14:2
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

1 Corinthians 14:4
He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

1 Corinthians 14:13
Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

1 Corinthians 14:14
For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

1 Corinthians 14:19
Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

1 Corinthians 14:21
In the Law it stands written, "'By men of unknown tongues and by the lips of an unknown nation will I speak to this People, but even then they will not listen to Me', says the Lord."

1 Corinthians 14:27
If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

2 Corinthians 6:9
as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and not killed;

Galatians 1:22
I was still unknown by face to the assemblies of Judea which were in Christ,

Ephesians 4:31
Let all bitterness and all passionate feeling, all anger and loud insulting language, be unknown among you--and also every kind of malice.

Genesis 41:31
and the plenty will not be known in the land by reason of that famine which follows; for it will be very grievous.

Deuteronomy 28:36
Yahweh will bring you, and your king whom you shall set over you, to a nation that you have not known, you nor your fathers; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone.
(See NIV)

Isaiah 48:6
All this has come to your ears and you have seen it; will you not give witness to it? I am now making clear new things, even secret things, of which you had no knowledge.
(See NIV)

Daniel 11:38
But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses; and a god whom his fathers didn't know shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
(See NIV)



Unknown God

Related Terms

Tongue (160 Occurrences)

Athens (5 Occurrences)

Stranger (152 Occurrences)

Dial (2 Occurrences)

Speaketh (367 Occurrences)

Judith (1 Occurrence)

Burial (25 Occurrences)

Ziph (9 Occurrences)

Zophar (4 Occurrences)

Inscription (18 Occurrences)

Frost (9 Occurrences)

Find (1784 Occurrences)

Eluzai (1 Occurrence)

Matthew (5 Occurrences)

Mystery (31 Occurrences)

Bier (3 Occurrences)

Candlestick (34 Occurrences)

Shimeathites (1 Occurrence)

Sheol (64 Occurrences)

Something (417 Occurrences)

Tools (3 Occurrences)

Gifts (144 Occurrences)

Veil (67 Occurrences)

Spiritual (42 Occurrences)

Stands (111 Occurrences)

Saul (371 Occurrences)

Isaiah (64 Occurrences)

Witchcraft (8 Occurrences)

Bethshemesh (19 Occurrences)

Beth-shemesh (19 Occurrences)

Commandments (181 Occurrences)

Ahaz (42 Occurrences)

Nation (192 Occurrences)

First (4693 Occurrences)

Witch (2 Occurrences)

Damascus (58 Occurrences)

Jezebel (20 Occurrences)

Levites (267 Occurrences)

Priests (451 Occurrences)


Punishments (31 Occurrences)

Literature (2 Occurrences)

Secret (341 Occurrences)


Tablets (31 Occurrences)


Flame (61 Occurrences)

Sanctuary (250 Occurrences)

Listen (441 Occurrences)

Sinai (38 Occurrences)

Tell (3056 Occurrences)

Corinthians (3 Occurrences)

Shinar (8 Occurrences)

Red (124 Occurrences)

Babylon (270 Occurrences)

Election (6 Occurrences)

Genealogy (29 Occurrences)

Music (143 Occurrences)

Judges (117 Occurrences)

Proverbs (11 Occurrences)


Altar (343 Occurrences)



Vophsi (1 Occurrence)

Vaniah (1 Occurrence)


Zaza (1 Occurrence)

Ziba (13 Occurrences)

Zattu (5 Occurrences)

Zeror (1 Occurrence)

Zedekiah (63 Occurrences)

Zoheth (1 Occurrence)

Zerah (22 Occurrences)

Zabbai (2 Occurrences)

Zetham (2 Occurrences)

Zaavan (2 Occurrences)

Zereth (2 Occurrences)

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