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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 17:30

And the times of this ignorance God winked at ,.... Not that he approved of, or encouraged such blindness and folly, as appeared among the Gentiles, when they worshipped idols of gold, silver, and stone, taking them for deities; but rather the sense is, he despised this, and them for it, and was displeased and angry with them; and as an evidence of such contempt and indignation, he overlooked them, and took no notice of them, and gave them no revelation to direct them, nor prophets to... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Acts 17:30

The times of this ignorance God winked at - He who has an indisputable right to demand the worship of all his creatures has mercifully overlooked those acts of idolatry which have disgraced the world and debased man; but now, as he has condescended to give a revelation of himself, he commands, as the sovereign, all men every where, over every part of his dominions, to repent, μετανοειν , to change their views, designs, and practices; because he hath appointed a day in which he will judge... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Acts 17:30

Verse 30− 30.And the times of this ignorance Because that is commonly thought to be good which hath been used of long time, and is approved by the common consent of all men; it might have been objected to Paul, why dost thou disannul those things which have been received, and used continually since the beginning of the world? and whom canst thou persuade that the whole world hath been deceived so long? as is no kind of abomination so filthy, which the Papists do not think to be well fortified... 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 17:23-32

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

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Acts 17:30

The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked for and the times of this ignorance God winked at, A.V.; he commandeth for commandeth, A.V.; men for all men, A.V.; that they should all everywhere repent for everywhere to repent, A.V. and T.R. The times of ignorance ; perhaps with reference to Acts 17:23 , and also implying that all the idolatry, of which he had spoken in Acts 17:29 , arose from ignorance. God overlooked ; or, as it is idiomatically expressed in the A.V., ... read more

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