Paul in Athens
While Paul was waiting for you all [them] in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city.
He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.
He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.”
Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said.
“You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” (Acts 17:16-21)
I know it is going to be difficult to keep up with these reports now while you are en route with Silas and Timothy. I only hope that you all got the message to come along with Silas and Timothy down to Athens. That is where we are now. As many of you as want to join us here are welcome. I am sure Paul will be able to sort out accommodation for us with all the people he has met here already. He has been speaking in the synagogue and also in the public square. Paul has taken no time to get out and about in the city and spread the Good News of the Gospel. But let me tell you before you arrive, this city if very different from any we have visited before. The Greeks seem especially keen to hear what Paul has to say.
(It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)
I hope you are able to get my reports because of the delays in getting the message through to you. I am trying this new thing called email. I will see if it works. Via these emails I will tell you where we are and what is happening as we wait for you to get here. It seems rather strange being on my own with Paul and not having the normal entourage following. More to come. Ian
PS: I suggest you read what I have sent carefully and ask any questions along the way so that you know the details of what is happening and are thoroughly prepared on arrival. I will try to keep you informed of the route we took and where we are when you finally get here. It seems an age since we left you suddenly in Berea. I hope you are all doing well.
One thing I know, that I know nothing. This is the source of my wisdom. Socrates
By all means, get married: if you find a good wife, you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher. Socrates
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. Plato
At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. Aristotle
Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist. Epicurus
There is nothing permanent except change. Heraclitus
(Note from Ian: It sure feels like that following Paul)
Man: a being in search of meaning. Plato
I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better. Plutarch
Our life is what our thoughts make it. Marcus Aurelius
(They even debate Roman philosophers here in Athens – Ian)