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Paul in Atheins:Acts 17 Stoics&Epicureans

janetsanders733
Posts: 288
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2/8/2014 3:00:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
In Acts 17, Paul the apostle had rational conversations with the Epicureans and Stoics, and he noticed in verse 23 some idol " For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, "To the unknown god."

What does v. 23 mean by "To the unkown God"? Was this just simply an idol that the people of athens worshiped?
Defender1999
Posts: 8
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2/8/2014 7:40:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 3:00:46 AM, janetsanders733 wrote:
In Acts 17, Paul the apostle had rational conversations with the Epicureans and Stoics, and he noticed in verse 23 some idol " For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, "To the unknown god."


What does v. 23 mean by "To the unknown God"? Was this just simply an idol that the people of athens worshiped?

Re: Well according to this website: http://www.princeton.edu... the "Unknown God" came to be known according to one account, a plague struck Athens and the Greeks were desperate to offer sacrifices to every gods to a place associated with that type of god at least through the sheep's leading of the path. But however, one sheep strayed and went to a place that has no association with any god, so they offered a sacrifice there and named it, "Agnostos Theos" (The unknown God). Whatever it is, the attributes and nature of this god weren't known to the Greeks so they decided to brand it the name it bears today.

But of course, the Bible has made a claim all men knew God and His Nature and Attributes so they are without excuse.
obrienkr
Posts: 33
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2/8/2014 8:09:44 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
That's an interesting question. I believe it was. The Greeks believed in a myriad of deities and they were also very philosophical in nature. I believe they came to the conclusion that, as humans, they did not possess absolute knowledge, and that a god who was unknown to them might actually exist. They made an idol to this god to ensure proper acknowledgment of the deity. In some respect, I think their thought process was similar to our national sentiment for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb is not of a religious nature, but it symbolizes all of the unaccounted for soldiers and allows for the showing of appropriate respect.

Paul was teaching about Christ and they were confronting him on his message of Christ's deity. They felt that he was promoting a new, and very alien, god. Paul chose to use their acceptance of an "unknown" god to point out that it was illogical to automatically reject the idea of Christ when they, in fact, had already surmised the possibility of an unknown god.
janetsanders733
Posts: 288
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2/8/2014 10:45:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 7:40:54 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/8/2014 3:00:46 AM, janetsanders733 wrote:
In Acts 17, Paul the apostle had rational conversations with the Epicureans and Stoics, and he noticed in verse 23 some idol " For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, "To the unknown god."


What does v. 23 mean by "To the unknown God"? Was this just simply an idol that the people of athens worshiped?

Re: Well according to this website: http://www.princeton.edu... the "Unknown God" came to be known according to one account, a plague struck Athens and the Greeks were desperate to offer sacrifices to every gods to a place associated with that type of god at least through the sheep's leading of the path. But however, one sheep strayed and went to a place that has no association with any god, so they offered a sacrifice there and named it, "Agnostos Theos" (The unknown God). Whatever it is, the attributes and nature of this god weren't known to the Greeks so they decided to brand it the name it bears today.

But of course, the Bible has made a claim all men knew God and His Nature and Attributes so they are without excuse.

Interesting...
janetsanders733
Posts: 288
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2/8/2014 10:46:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 8:09:44 AM, obrienkr wrote:
That's an interesting question. I believe it was. The Greeks believed in a myriad of deities and they were also very philosophical in nature. I believe they came to the conclusion that, as humans, they did not possess absolute knowledge, and that a god who was unknown to them might actually exist. They made an idol to this god to ensure proper acknowledgment of the deity. In some respect, I think their thought process was similar to our national sentiment for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The tomb is not of a religious nature, but it symbolizes all of the unaccounted for soldiers and allows for the showing of appropriate respect.

Paul was teaching about Christ and they were confronting him on his message of Christ's deity. They felt that he was promoting a new, and very alien, god. Paul chose to use their acceptance of an "unknown" god to point out that it was illogical to automatically reject the idea of Christ when they, in fact, had already surmised the possibility of an unknown god.

So Paul was using logic and reason to help them understand that Christ is the One True God that can be known, unlike their idols that were made by them.
obrienkr
Posts: 33
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2/8/2014 11:47:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes, I believe that was what he was attempting to do. In my opinion, he was an accomplished speaker and he often employed reasoning in his presentation of the Christian message. I believe he was attempting to convince them that it was illogical to automatically dismiss Christ as being an unknown, and thus false, god while at the same time having already acknowledged the possibility of an unknown god in their belief system. I believe his intent was to inject this point in order to get them to consider his deeper point that Christ was indeed their unknown God and that He was the only one who was true and worthy of their worship. And yes, in doing so I think he was also pointing out that their pantheon of "known" gods were mere stone idols.
Defender1999
Posts: 8
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2/9/2014 12:52:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 11:47:06 AM, obrienkr wrote:
Yes, I believe that was what he was attempting to do. In my opinion, he was an accomplished speaker and he often employed reasoning in his presentation of the Christian message. I believe he was attempting to convince them that it was illogical to automatically dismiss Christ as being an unknown, and thus false, god while at the same time having already acknowledged the possibility of an unknown god in their belief system. I believe his intent was to inject this point in order to get them to consider his deeper point that Christ was indeed their unknown God and that He was the only one who was true and worthy of their worship. And yes, in doing so I think he was also pointing out that their pantheon of "known" gods were mere stone idols.

And that's what pastors and preachers really needed to win more souls to Christ! We are not engaging with people that are biblically literate, we need to somehow convince them the Gospel and I believe by testifying to them that creation demands a Creator. It's the only thing people will be convinced of God, if God exists there would be lots of evidence for His existence. If we can prove His Existence, we can help people to identify that this God is the God of the Bible- the one who created the Heavens and the Earth and the one who died on the Cross. Many of the apostles were flexible and had to sympathise with them first before witnessing, they were responding to their needs than their own needs!
janetsanders733
Posts: 288
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2/11/2014 12:49:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/8/2014 11:47:06 AM, obrienkr wrote:
Yes, I believe that was what he was attempting to do. In my opinion, he was an accomplished speaker and he often employed reasoning in his presentation of the Christian message. I believe he was attempting to convince them that it was illogical to automatically dismiss Christ as being an unknown, and thus false, god while at the same time having already acknowledged the possibility of an unknown god in their belief system. I believe his intent was to inject this point in order to get them to consider his deeper point that Christ was indeed their unknown God and that He was the only one who was true and worthy of their worship. And yes, in doing so I think he was also pointing out that their pantheon of "known" gods were mere stone idols.

True true....very good point! Most of the Greeks were I think some sort of materialists and Platonists.

Kind of like Scientific naturalists today who promote atheism. They make idols like the flying spaghetti monster to mock the one true God, who is not made by human hands.

I wonder if Paul ever argued about the nature of Christ, since he's one person and has two natures....
janetsanders733
Posts: 288
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2/11/2014 12:52:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/9/2014 12:52:49 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/8/2014 11:47:06 AM, obrienkr wrote:
Yes, I believe that was what he was attempting to do. In my opinion, he was an accomplished speaker and he often employed reasoning in his presentation of the Christian message. I believe he was attempting to convince them that it was illogical to automatically dismiss Christ as being an unknown, and thus false, god while at the same time having already acknowledged the possibility of an unknown god in their belief system. I believe his intent was to inject this point in order to get them to consider his deeper point that Christ was indeed their unknown God and that He was the only one who was true and worthy of their worship. And yes, in doing so I think he was also pointing out that their pantheon of "known" gods were mere stone idols.


And that's what pastors and preachers really needed to win more souls to Christ! We are not engaging with people that are biblically literate, we need to somehow convince them the Gospel and I believe by testifying to them that creation demands a Creator. It's the only thing people will be convinced of God, if God exists there would be lots of evidence for His existence. If we can prove His Existence, we can help people to identify that this God is the God of the Bible- the one who created the Heavens and the Earth and the one who died on the Cross. Many of the apostles were flexible and had to sympathise with them first before witnessing, they were responding to their needs than their own needs!

Amen to that brother! We are waging war with the dark forces of Satan in America. People need to know the truth becaue the truth died for the sins of the liers, and was raised up so we the liers can have the gift of eternal salvation to be called a "friend" of God again through Christ.
Defender1999
Posts: 8
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2/11/2014 7:26:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 12:52:53 AM, janetsanders733 wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:52:49 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/8/2014 11:47:06 AM, obrienkr wrote:
Yes, I believe that was what he was attempting to do. In my opinion, he was an accomplished speaker and he often employed reasoning in his presentation of the Christian message. I believe he was attempting to convince them that it was illogical to automatically dismiss Christ as being an unknown, and thus false, god while at the same time having already acknowledged the possibility of an unknown god in their belief system. I believe his intent was to inject this point in order to get them to consider his deeper point that Christ was indeed their unknown God and that He was the only one who was true and worthy of their worship. And yes, in doing so I think he was also pointing out that their pantheon of "known" gods were mere stone idols.


And that's what pastors and preachers really needed to win more souls to Christ! We are not engaging with people that are biblically literate, we need to somehow convince them the Gospel and I believe by testifying to them that creation demands a Creator. It's the only thing people will be convinced of God, if God exists there would be lots of evidence for His existence. If we can prove His Existence, we can help people to identify that this God is the God of the Bible- the one who created the Heavens and the Earth and the one who died on the Cross. Many of the apostles were flexible and had to sympathise with them first before witnessing, they were responding to their needs than their own needs!


Amen to that brother! We are waging war with the dark forces of Satan in America. People need to know the truth becaue the truth died for the sins of the liers, and was raised up so we the liers can have the gift of eternal salvation to be called a "friend" of God again through Christ.

Not just in America, it's a world war and it is a world war 3 for us! I am glad to be counted to engage in this big clash of worldviews! If we can destroy evolution, making them believe in God won't be a harder task. Darwin, Huxley and other God-haters knew to directly attack the foundation would result in the crumbling of the rest of the tower, why don't we do that to them also? Also, I believe we are nearing the End Times, if not this era is just the preparation for the End Times.
janetsanders733
Posts: 288
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2/11/2014 10:29:21 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 7:26:12 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/11/2014 12:52:53 AM, janetsanders733 wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:52:49 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/8/2014 11:47:06 AM, obrienkr wrote:
Yes, I believe that was what he was attempting to do. In my opinion, he was an accomplished speaker and he often employed reasoning in his presentation of the Christian message. I believe he was attempting to convince them that it was illogical to automatically dismiss Christ as being an unknown, and thus false, god while at the same time having already acknowledged the possibility of an unknown god in their belief system. I believe his intent was to inject this point in order to get them to consider his deeper point that Christ was indeed their unknown God and that He was the only one who was true and worthy of their worship. And yes, in doing so I think he was also pointing out that their pantheon of "known" gods were mere stone idols.


And that's what pastors and preachers really needed to win more souls to Christ! We are not engaging with people that are biblically literate, we need to somehow convince them the Gospel and I believe by testifying to them that creation demands a Creator. It's the only thing people will be convinced of God, if God exists there would be lots of evidence for His existence. If we can prove His Existence, we can help people to identify that this God is the God of the Bible- the one who created the Heavens and the Earth and the one who died on the Cross. Many of the apostles were flexible and had to sympathise with them first before witnessing, they were responding to their needs than their own needs!


Amen to that brother! We are waging war with the dark forces of Satan in America. People need to know the truth becaue the truth died for the sins of the liers, and was raised up so we the liers can have the gift of eternal salvation to be called a "friend" of God again through Christ.

Not just in America, it's a world war and it is a world war 3 for us! I am glad to be counted to engage in this big clash of worldviews! If we can destroy evolution, making them believe in God won't be a harder task. Darwin, Huxley and other God-haters knew to directly attack the foundation would result in the crumbling of the rest of the tower, why don't we do that to them also? Also, I believe we are nearing the End Times, if not this era is just the preparation for the End Times.

The BIble says that there would be many "scoffers" in the End Times. We see that a lot today in the World. People are so hostile and mock and spit on God's word and his Son Jesus Christ.
Defender1999
Posts: 8
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2/12/2014 7:46:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/11/2014 10:29:21 AM, janetsanders733 wrote:
At 2/11/2014 7:26:12 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/11/2014 12:52:53 AM, janetsanders733 wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:52:49 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/8/2014 11:47:06 AM, obrienkr wrote:
Yes, I believe that was what he was attempting to do. In my opinion, he was an accomplished speaker and he often employed reasoning in his presentation of the Christian message. I believe he was attempting to convince them that it was illogical to automatically dismiss Christ as being an unknown, and thus false, god while at the same time having already acknowledged the possibility of an unknown god in their belief system. I believe his intent was to inject this point in order to get them to consider his deeper point that Christ was indeed their unknown God and that He was the only one who was true and worthy of their worship. And yes, in doing so I think he was also pointing out that their pantheon of "known" gods were mere stone idols.


And that's what pastors and preachers really needed to win more souls to Christ! We are not engaging with people that are biblically literate, we need to somehow convince them the Gospel and I believe by testifying to them that creation demands a Creator. It's the only thing people will be convinced of God, if God exists there would be lots of evidence for His existence. If we can prove His Existence, we can help people to identify that this God is the God of the Bible- the one who created the Heavens and the Earth and the one who died on the Cross. Many of the apostles were flexible and had to sympathise with them first before witnessing, they were responding to their needs than their own needs!


Amen to that brother! We are waging war with the dark forces of Satan in America. People need to know the truth becaue the truth died for the sins of the liers, and was raised up so we the liers can have the gift of eternal salvation to be called a "friend" of God again through Christ.

Not just in America, it's a world war and it is a world war 3 for us! I am glad to be counted to engage in this big clash of worldviews! If we can destroy evolution, making them believe in God won't be a harder task. Darwin, Huxley and other God-haters knew to directly attack the foundation would result in the crumbling of the rest of the tower, why don't we do that to them also? Also, I believe we are nearing the End Times, if not this era is just the preparation for the End Times.

The BIble says that there would be many "scoffers" in the End Times. We see that a lot today in the World. People are so hostile and mock and spit on God's word and his Son Jesus Christ.

If we can't save the West, then we shall save Asia, Africa and South America and let not the deceptive and fallacious views of the West contaminate Asia, South America and Africa. Christianity will not fade from existence, and many of believers first will die before its extinction is ensured.
janetsanders733
Posts: 288
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2/12/2014 10:53:13 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/12/2014 7:46:38 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/11/2014 10:29:21 AM, janetsanders733 wrote:
At 2/11/2014 7:26:12 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/11/2014 12:52:53 AM, janetsanders733 wrote:
At 2/9/2014 12:52:49 AM, Defender1999 wrote:
At 2/8/2014 11:47:06 AM, obrienkr wrote:
Yes, I believe that was what he was attempting to do. In my opinion, he was an accomplished speaker and he often employed reasoning in his presentation of the Christian message. I believe he was attempting to convince them that it was illogical to automatically dismiss Christ as being an unknown, and thus false, god while at the same time having already acknowledged the possibility of an unknown god in their belief system. I believe his intent was to inject this point in order to get them to consider his deeper point that Christ was indeed their unknown God and that He was the only one who was true and worthy of their worship. And yes, in doing so I think he was also pointing out that their pantheon of "known" gods were mere stone idols.


And that's what pastors and preachers really needed to win more souls to Christ! We are not engaging with people that are biblically literate, we need to somehow convince them the Gospel and I believe by testifying to them that creation demands a Creator. It's the only thing people will be convinced of God, if God exists there would be lots of evidence for His existence. If we can prove His Existence, we can help people to identify that this God is the God of the Bible- the one who created the Heavens and the Earth and the one who died on the Cross. Many of the apostles were flexible and had to sympathise with them first before witnessing, they were responding to their needs than their own needs!


Amen to that brother! We are waging war with the dark forces of Satan in America. People need to know the truth becaue the truth died for the sins of the liers, and was raised up so we the liers can have the gift of eternal salvation to be called a "friend" of God again through Christ.

Not just in America, it's a world war and it is a world war 3 for us! I am glad to be counted to engage in this big clash of worldviews! If we can destroy evolution, making them believe in God won't be a harder task. Darwin, Huxley and other God-haters knew to directly attack the foundation would result in the crumbling of the rest of the tower, why don't we do that to them also? Also, I believe we are nearing the End Times, if not this era is just the preparation for the End Times.

The BIble says that there would be many "scoffers" in the End Times. We see that a lot today in the World. People are so hostile and mock and spit on God's word and his Son Jesus Christ.

If we can't save the West, then we shall save Asia, Africa and South America and let not the deceptive and fallacious views of the West contaminate Asia, South America and Africa. Christianity will not fade from existence, and many of believers first will die before its extinction is ensured.

True very true. Amen to that brother!