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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Acts 17:22-31

We have here St. Paul's sermon at Athens. Divers sermons we have had, which the apostles preached to the Jews, or such Gentiles as had an acquaintance with and veneration for the Old Testament, and were worshippers of the true and living God; and all they had to do with them was to open and allege that Jesus is the Christ; but here we have a sermon to heathens, that worshipped false gods, and were without the true God in the world, and to them the scope of their discourse was quite different... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - Acts 17:22-31

17:22-31 Paul stood up in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I see that in all things you are as superstitious as possible. As I came through your city and as I saw the objects of your worship. I found amongst them an altar with the inscription, 'To the Unknown God.' So then, what you worship and do not know, this I preach to you. God, who made the universe and everything in it, this God is Lord of heaven and earth and does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is he... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Acts 17:27

That they should seek the Lord ,.... Or "God", as the Alexandrian copy and others, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions read; their Creator, and kind Benefactor, and who has appointed their time of life, and their habitations for them; and this should engage them to seek to know him, who has done all this for them, and to fear and serve him, and to glorify his name: if haply they might feel after him, and find him ; which shows, that though it is possible for men, by a... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Acts 17:27

That they should seek the Lord - This is a conclusion drawn from the preceding statement. God, who is infinitely great and self-sufficient, has manifested himself as the maker of the world, the creator, preserver, and governor of men. He has assigned them their portion, and dispensed to them their habitations, and the various blessings of his providence, to the end that they should seek him in all his works. Feel after him - Ψηλαφησειαν αυτον , That they might grope after him, as a... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Acts 17:27

Verse 27− 27.That they might seek God. This sentence hath two members; to wit, that it is man’s duty to seek God; secondly, that God himself cometh forth to meet us, and doth show himself by such manifest tokens, that we can have no excuse for our ignorance. Therefore, let us remember that those men do wickedly abuse this life, and that they be unworthy to dwell upon earth, which do not apply their studies to seek him; as if every kind of brute beasts should fall from that inclination which... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 17:16-34

The cross of Christ in the metropolis of art and philosophy. There is a singular interest in this first encounter of the gospel with the art and philosophy of Athens, and it is instructive to note the attitude taken by the great preacher in the encounter. Whether St. Paul had artistic taste we have no means of knowing. But probably, as a devout Jew, seeing that sculpture was so largely employed in the images of the gods and the deified emperors, his eye would not have been trained to look... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 17:16-34

Paul at Athens. Paul stands in Athens, amidst the master-pieces of Greek art and the memorials of Greek wisdom. It is not admiration or aesthetic delight which is awakened in him, but moral indignation. Christianity is not opposed to art; but Christianity does not approve the worship of sensuous or ideal beauty apart from moral earnestness. In the true relation, religion absorbs art into itself; when art is substituted for religion, there is moral decay. Nor is Christianity hostile to... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 17:16-34

Paul at Athens. Consider— I. The connection of the whole with THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY . The Greek mind evangelized. The function of Greek thought in the development of doctrine. The contrast between the gospel and philosophy. The step towards the conquest of the world. II. The illustration of THE APOSTOLIC METHOD . Adaptation of the truth to every class of mind. Difference of the preaching when the foundation of the Jewish Scriptures was for the time forsaken.... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 17:22-29

God revealed: his nature and relation. Paul's spirit was "stirred" with holy indignation, and with pure and strong compassion, as he witnessed the abounding signs of superstition in the streets of Athens. But he had the wisdom to begin his address to these "men of Athens" by an expression which they would take to be complimentary. He told them that he perceived they were abundantly religious. He did not conclude this from witnessing their numerous divinities, but from the inscription he... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 17:23-32

The gospel's kindly encounter with novel foes. The opportunity now presented to Paul he must at once have recognized to be one of the grandest and most critical of his career. He was for a while separated from his two loved companions, and was permitted to face his work alone in the long-time metropolis of the world's learning, grace, and art. We are perhaps to understand that Paul somewhat sensitively felt his position to be one of a special kind of responsibility. It was certainly none... read more

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