(From: ACTS #29 - 17:16-34)
E. 17:16-34 PAUL'S METHOD OF DEALING WITH THE WORLDLY-WISE
a. 17:16 ATHENIAN IDOLATRY STIRS UP PAUL
en de tais A-THEnais ek-de-choMEnou auTOUS tou PAUlou, pa-roXUne-to 
Now while :Paul waited for them at :Athens, his :spirit was provoked
to PNEUma auTOU en auTOthe-oROUNtos kaTEIdo-lon OUsan ten POlin.
within him as he beheld the city full of idols.
b. 17:17 PAUL REASONS BOTH IN SYNAGOGUE AND MARKET
di-eLEge-to  men oun en tesu-na-goGEtois IouDAIois kai tois se-boMEnois ,
So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons,
kai en tea-goRA kaTA PAsan heMEran pros tous pa-ra-tugCHAnon-tas .
and in the market every day with them that happened along.
c. 17:18a And certain also of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him.
tiNES de kai ton E-pi-kouREIon kai Sto-iKON phi-loSOphon suNEbal-lon auTO.
d. 17:18b PHILOSOPHERS WONDER ABOUT PAUL'S MESSAGE
KAI ti-nes Ele-gon, Ti an THEloi ho spermoLOgos  HOUtos LEgein?
And some said, What would this :babbler say?
hoi de, XEnon dai-moNIon doKEI ka-tag-geLEUS EInai:
others, He seems to be a setter forth of strange demons:
HOti ton IeSOUN kai ten eNAsta-sin eu-eg-gelLIze-to.
because he preached the gospel of :Jesus and the resurrection.
e. 17:19 CURIOSITY PROMPTS THEM TO QUESTION PAUL
e-pi-luBOme-noi  de auTOU, ePI ton Arei-on PAgon Ega-gon,
And they took hold of him, andbrought him unto the Areopagus,
LEgon-tes, DuNAme-tha GNOnai tis he kaiNE  HAUte, he huPO sou la-louMEne, di-daCHE ?
saying, Can we know what this new :teaching is, which is spoken by you?
f. 17:20 DESIRE FOR EXPLANATION OF STRANGE THINGS
xeNIzon-ta  GAR ti-na eisPHEreis eis tas a-koAS  heMON:
For you bring certain strange thingsto our hearing:
bouLOme-tha oun GNOnai TIna THElei TAUta EInai.
we would know therefore what these things mean.
g. 17:21 ATHENIANS ARE OPEN TO SHARING AND HEARING
(A-theNAIoi de PANtes kai hoi e-pi-deMOUNtes  XEnoi 
(Now all theAthenians and the sojourning strangers
eis ouDEN HEte-ron euKAIroun , e LEgein ti e aKOUein ti kaiNOte-ron .)
spend their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear something rather new.)
h. 17:22 PAUL APPEALS TO THE ATHENIAN RELIGIOSITY
staTHEIS de PAUlos en MEso tou A-REIou PAgou, Ephe,
And Paul stood in themidst of the Areopagus, andsaid,
ANdres A-theNAIoi, kaTA PANta hos dei-si-dai-mo-neSTErous  huMAS the-oRO.
Men of Athens, in all thingsI perceive thatyou are rather religious.
i. 17:23a HE NOTES THE ALTAR TO “GOD UNKNOWN”
di-erCHOme-nos  gar kai a-na-the-oRON  ta seBASma-ta  huMON,
For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship,
HEUron kai boMON  en ho e-peGEgrap-to, AgNOsto  TheO.
I found also an altar with thisinscription, To GOD UNKNOWN.
j. 17:23b What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I set forth to you.
ho oun ag-noOUNtes eu-seBEIte , TOUto eGOka-tagGELlohuMIN.
k. 17:24-28 PAUL IN WISDOM INTRODUCES THE TRUE GOD
ho TheOS ho poiEsas ton KOSmon kai PANta ta en auTO,
The God that made the world and all thingsin it,
HOUtos, ou-raNOU kai ges huPARchon  KUri-os, ouk en chei-ro-poiEtois  naOIS  ka-toiKEI;
he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands;
ouDE huPO cheiRON an-throPInon the-raPEUe-tai , pros-deOmeNOS  ti-nos,
25 neither is he served by men's hands, as if he needed anything,
auTOS diDOUS PAsi zo-EN, kai pnoEN , kai ta PANta;
he himself giving to all life, and breath, and all :things;
ePOIeSEN te ex heNOS pan ETHnos anTHROpon ka-toiKEIN  ePI panTOS proSOpou tes ges,
26and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all theface of the earth,
hoRIsas  pro-ste-tagMEnous  kaiROUS ,
having determined theirappointed seasons,
kai tas ho-ro-theSIas  tes ka-toiKIas  auTON; zeTEIN ton TheON,
and the bounds of their :habitation; 27that they should seek :God,
ei Ara ge pse-laPHEsei-an  auTON kai HEUroi-en,
if perhaps they might feel after and find him,
KAI ge ou maKRAN aPO heNOS heKAstou heMON huPARchon-ta:
though he is not far from each of us:
en auTO gar ZOmen, kai kiNOUme-tha , KAI es-men,
28for in him we live, and move, and have our being,
hos KAI ti-nes ton kath' huMAS poi-eTON  eiREka-sin, Tou gar kai GEnos  esMEN.
as certain even of your own :poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
l. 17:29 AS GOD'S OFFSPRING: WE SHOULD NOT CONSIDER IDOLS
GEnos oun huPARchon-tes tou TheOU, ouk oPHEIlo-men  noMIzein 
Being then the offspring of :God, we ought not to think
chruSO, e arGUro, e LItho , chaRAGma-ti 
the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone,
TECHnes  kai en-thuMEse-os  anTHROpou, to THEIon  EInai HOmoi-on.
graven by art and device of man.
m. 17:30-31 REPENTANCE ENJOINED IN THE LIGHT OF JUDGMENT TO COME
tous men oun CHROnous tes agNOIas  hu-pe-riDON  ho TheOS;
The times of :ignorance therefore :God overlooked;
ta nun a-pagGELlei  tois anTHROpois PANtas pan-taCHOU me-ta-noEIN :
but now he declares to :men that they should all everywhere repent:
kaTHOti Este-sen  heMEran en he MELlei KRInein ten oi-kouMEnen  en di-kai-oSUne
31inasmuch as he has appointed a day in which he will judge the inhabited earthin righteousness
en anDRI ho HOri-sen : PIstin pa-raSCHON  PAsin,
by a man whom he has ordained: having given assurance unto all,
a-naSTEsas auTON ek neKRON.
in that he has raised him from thedead.
n. 17:32 RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD: PRODUCED CONTRARY REACTIONS
A-KOUsan-tes de aNAsta-sin neKRON,
Now when they heard of a resurrection of thedead,
hoi men echLEUa-zon ; ho de EIpan, A-kouSOmeTHA  sou peRI TOUtou kai PAlin.
some mocked; but others said, We will hear you concerning this yet again.
o. 17:33 Thus :Paul went out from their midst. HOUtos ho PAUlos eXELthen ek MEsou auTON.
p. 17:34 THE ATHENIAN CONVERTS FROM THE ABOVE
tiNES de ANdres kol-leTHENtes  auTO, ePIsteu-san: en hois kai Di-oNUsi-os ho A-re-o-paGItes,
But certain men cleaved to him, andbelieved: among whom also Dionysius the Areopagite,
kai guNE, oNOma-ti DAma-ris, kai HEte-roi sun auTOIS.
and a woman, Damaris by name, and others with them.
NOTE: 17:17 - “di-eLEge-to” = he reasoned! Charles G. Finney wrote a text on theology. He admitted that the Introduction of some 20 pages or so - was a “challenge”. But he believed God had given each of us sufficient gray matter to master it - and once understood - the rest of his text would be like falling off of a log. I am sure Paul felt God intended each of us to stretch our brain power, until we would find we could think through things under the guidance of the Holy Spirit - that would cause us to be amazed.
Peter said in the last chapter of his second letter, that Paul wrote some things hard to understand, which the unlearnedand unsteadfastwrest to their own destruction.
A disciple is one who desires and learns to keep allthe commands of our Lord Jesus which He gave to His early disciples. And Paul says all he wrote - was nothis, but the Lord by His Spirit through him. Jesus also said, “If you love (aGApelove) Me, you willkeep My commandments.” But to do this, we must spend time memorizing Scriptures, praying over them, understanding them, so we do not beat the air blindly, but walk in God confidently and joyfully. Feelings are notthe basis for real disciples. Knowing and walking in the Word by the power of the indwelling Spirit is! Then the feelings will come, but they are the result, not the basis. Love for and Focus on the Lord Jesus, will see us through! Personal, passionate devotion to Him is the Key! Our Utmost - for HIshighest. And His highest was such a love for us that He died for us!
Acts 17:16-34, even if it did not bear much fruit in Athens - it didin many other cities. Numbers believe that Paul planted some 14 CityChurches, each composed of manychurches in the home.
People in Athens - philosophers - arguers - do not become good disciples. Normal working people are far more responsive. YetGod loves alltypes of human beings, and even the type on Mars Hill need to hear the Gospel reasoned with them whether they respond or not. If only a “Dionysius” and a “Damaris” and a few others respond - still the Great Commission is being obeyed and getting some fruit. J.A.W.