The men who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions
for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible. Acts 17:15
City: "Athens is five miles inland from its prot of Piraeus, which is on the Saronic Gulf, an arm
of the Aegea Sea stretching fifty miles between Attica and the Peloponesus...named in honor of the
goddess Athena...The Romans conquered Athens in 146 B.C. They were lovers of everything Greek, and
under their rule Athens continued as the cultural and intellectual center of the world. Rome also left
the city free politically to carry on her own institutions as a free city within the empire. When Paul
came to Athens, it had long since lost its empire and wealth. Its population probably numbered no more
than ten thousand. (Longenecker 1981:473)
Summary: In Athens, Paul was immediately distressed over how many idols were in the city.
He immediately began speaking in the synagogues and reasoning with the Jews and
God-fearing Greeks. Many began to think that Paul was advocating foreign gods.
Paul was brought to the Areopagus (meeting place) and questioned about what
exactly he was teaching. Paul began to speak to them by talking about one of
their objects of worship which was dedicated "to an unknown god." Paul began to
tell them about a God that does not live in temples and doesn't need to be served
by man, this God is the creator of life. He told them of God's planning of the
human race and of man's need to seek him. He told them of God's intangibility
and of their need to repent of making graven images, for they would be judged by
God's appointed one. When Paul began telling them of the resurrection of the
dead, many sneared and didn't believe, but others invited him back to speak again.
A few men became believers, among them being Dionysius and a woman named Damaris.