| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 29 - Page 30 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
for the Jews avoided the utterance of the name "Jehovah". Dion Cassius speaks of the
God of the Jews as arrheton, "not to be expressed" (37: 17), and Caligula, speaking
to the Jews, refers to their God as "Him that may not be named by you" (Philo).
Standing upon Mars' Hill, the Apostle had before him perhaps the most wonderful
assemblage of "temples made with hands" and objects of devotion "engraved by art and
man's device", that the world could provide, but he sweeps them all aside, to point his
hearers to the true God. Appealing to their own poets and philosophers--Aratus of
Cilicia and Cleanthes had said, "We are his offspring"--the Apostle, without endorsing
the mythology of these writers, shows how unreasonable it is for the "offspring" of God
to think that the Godhead is "like unto gold, or silver, or stone".
To the Jew, the Apostle's witness was that "Jesus" was the "Anointed". To the
philosopher, he declares that "that Man", Who had been raised from the dead, was the
"Because He hath appointed a day, in which He will judge the world in righteousness
by that Man Whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in
that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17: 31).
The historic fact of the resurrection was open to all men to investigate, and upon this
the Apostle based his claim. The times of ignorance had passed, and God now
commanded "all men everywhere" to repent.
At the mention once more of the "resurrection of the dead", some "jeered", while
others said: "We will hear thee again of this matter." So far as we know from the
Scriptures no church was founded at Athens, but at least one trophy of grace was brought
from this city of idols and philosophy--Dionysius, the Areopagite. We know nothing of
the social standing of the "woman named Damaris", but her inclusion here brings Athens
into line with Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea, for women are specially mentioned in
each of these cities as being among the first to believe.
And so, with undaunted faith, the Apostle passes from Athens, the city of learning, to
Corinth, the city of license.