Most Relevant Verses
Now while Paul was waiting for them [to arrive] in Athens, he was deeply stirred in his spirit when he saw the city so full of idols. So, he debated in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing people [i.e., Gentile proselytes], as well as in the open shopping market with others who met with him there. Also certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers approached him for discussion. Some asked, "What will this know-it-all have to say?" Others said, "He seems to be advocating [a belief in] some different gods." [They said this] because he was proclaiming Jesus and the resurrection [of the dead]. read more.
So, they led him to the Areopagus [i.e., an elevated assembly place called "the Hill of Mars"] and asked him, "Could we learn [more] about this new teaching you are speaking of? You are telling us some very unusual things and we would like to know what they mean." (Now the local people of Athens, along with foreigners who lived there, spent [about] all their time telling about or listening to some new idea.) Then Paul stood up in the Areopagus and said, "You men of Athens, I noticed that you are an extremely religious people in all your ways. [See verse 16] For as I traveled along [your streets] and observed what you are worshiping, I saw an altar with the inscription: [DEDICATED] TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So, what you are worshiping ignorantly is what I am telling you about.
About that time a large disturbance arose [in Ephesus] concerning "the Way." [Here is what happened]: A certain manufacturer of silver objects named Demetrius, who made silver replicas of the temple of Artemis [i.e., a Greek goddess], brought much business to his workmen. He called a meeting of his men and others involved in the same work and said to them, "Fellows, you know that we have made a good living from this work [of making temple replicas]. read more.
And now you have seen and heard, not only here in Ephesus, but throughout almost all of [the province of] Asia, that this Paul has been convincing people, [even] to the point of turning many away [from idol worship]. [He is] saying that hand-made gods [like we make] are not real [gods at all]. And not only is there a [real] danger that our trade will be discredited but also that the temple of our great goddess Artemis will be considered worthless and that even she [herself] will be dethroned from her magnificent place of being adored by all [in the province of] Asia and the world." When they heard this they became extremely angry and shouted out, "Great is [the goddess] Artemis, of the Ephesians." The city became full of confusion; they grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's Macedonian traveling companions, and everyone together rushed into the amphitheater. And when Paul decided to go before the crowd [to talk with them], the disciples would not allow him. Some of his friends, who were officers in the province of Asia, sent word urging him not to take a chance by entering the amphitheater. Some [in the crowd] were shouting one thing and some another; there was mass confusion, with most of the people not [even] knowing why they had assembled. [It appears that] Alexander was appointed out of the crowd by the Jews [i.e., to be their spokesman in defending them from the charges being made against Paul]. He motioned with his hand [to get attention] and attempted to speak to the assembly in defense [of the Jewish viewpoint]. But when the crowd realized that he was a Jew, they all joined together for about two hours shouting, "Great is [the goddess] Artemis, of the Ephesians." When the town clerk had quieted down the crowd, he said, "You people of Ephesus, who among you does not know that the city of Ephesus is caretaker of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell down from the sky? Since no one can [really] say anything against these things, just calm down and do not do anything foolish. For you have brought these men here --- [men] who have neither desecrated our temple nor defamed our goddess.
- Pagan (23 instances)