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November 19    Scripture

Bible Cities: Areopagus
The Areopagus was a limestone hill located in Athens between the Acropolis and the Agora.

Map of the Ancient Areopagus


Areopagus in Easton's Bible Dictionary the Latin form of the Greek word rendered "Mars' hill." But it denotes also the council or court of justice which met in the open air on the hill. It was a rocky height to the west of the Acropolis at Athens, on the south-east summit of which the council was held which was constituted by Solon, and consisted of nine archons or chief magistrates who were then in office, and the ex-archons of blameless life. On this hill of Mars (Gr. Ares) Paul delivered his memorable address to the "men of Athens" (Acts 17:22-31).
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/A/Areopagus/


Areopagus in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ("Mars' Hill".) A rocky eminence in Athens, separated from the W. of the Acropolis by a raised valley, above which it rises sixty feet. Mythology made it the scene of the god Mars' trim before the gods, at Poseidon's accusation, for murdering the son of the latter, Halirrhotius. The most venerable of all the Athenian courts, consisting of all exarchons of blameless life. It was the Upper Council, to distinguish it from the five hundred, who met in the valley below. It met on the S.E. top of the rock. Sixteen stone steps in the rock still exist, leading from below to Mars' hill, and directly above is a bench of stones cut in the rock facing S., and forming three sides of a quadrangle. Here the judges sat, in criminal and religious cases, in the open air. The accuser and accused had two rude blocks, still to be seen, one on the E., the other on the W. side, assigned them. Paul, "daily disputing" in the market (agora), which lay between the Areopagus, the Acropolis, the Pnyx (the place of political assemblies), and the Museum, attracted the notice of "certain philosophers of the Epicureans and of the Stoics." They brought him up from below, probably by the steps already described, and, seated on the benches, heard from him the memorable address, so happily adapted in its uncompromising faithfulness, as well as scholarlike allusions, to the learned auditory, recorded in Acts 17. Paul's intense earnestness strikingly contrasts with their frivolous dilettantism. With the temple of Mars near, the Parthenon of Minerva facing him, and the sanctuary of the Eumenides just below him, the beautiful temple of Theseus, the national hero (still remaining) in view, what divine power he needed to nerve him to declare, "God that made the world ... dwelleth not in temples made with hands"; and again in the midst of the exquisitely chiseled statues in front, crowning the Acropolis, Minerva in bronze as the armed champion of Athens, and on every side a succession of lesser images, to reason, "Forasmuch as we are the offspring of God" (which he confirms by quoting his fellow countryman Aratus' poem, 'We are His offspring'), we ought not to think that the Godhead is like gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art or man's device." Yet he does not begin by attacking their national worship, but draws them gently away from their ignorant worship of the Deity under many idols to the one true God, "Whom ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you." In opposition to the Greek boast of a distinct origin from that of the barbarians; he says, "God hath made of one blood all nations to dwell on all the face of the earth"; and ends with announcing the coming judgment by the Lord Jesus.
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/A/Areopagus/


Areopagus in Hitchcock's Bible Names the hill of Mars
http://www.bible-history.com/hitchcock/A/Areopagus/


Areopagus in Naves Topical Bible Mar's Hill Ac 17:19
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/A/AREOPAGUS/


Areopagus in Smiths Bible Dictionary the hill of Mars or Ares, better known by the name of Areopagus, of which hill of Mars or Ares is a translation. The Areopagus was a rocky height in Athens, opposite the western end of the Acropolis. It rises gradually from the northern end, and terminates abruptly on the south, over against the Acropolis, at which point it is about fifty or sixty feet above the valley. The spot is memorable as the place of meeting of the Council of Areopagus. This body existed as a criminal tribunal before the time of Solon, and was the most ancient and venerable of all the Athenian courts. It consisted of all persons who had held the office of archon, and who were members of the council for life unless expelled for misconduct. Before the time of Solon the court tried only cases of willful murder, wounding, poison, and arson: but he gave it extensive powers of a censorial and political nature. The council continued to exist even under the Roman emperors. Its meetings were held on the southeastern summit of the rock. The Areopagus possesses peculiar interest to the Christian as the spot from which St. Paul delivered his memorable address to the men of Athens. Ac 17:22-31 St. Paul "disputed daily" in the "market" or agora, Ac 17:17 which was situated south of the Areopagus in the valley lying between this and the hills of the Acropolis, the Pnyx and the Museum. Attracting more and more attention, "certain philosophers of the Epicureans and Stoics" brought him up from the valley, probably by the stone steps, to the Areopagus above, that they might listen to him more conveniently.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/M/Mars+Hill/


Areopagus in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE ar-e-op'-a-gus (Areios pagos; Acts 17:19,22. Mars' Hill, 17:22 the King James Version): A sort of spur jutting out from the western end of the Acropolis and separated from it by a very short saddle. Traces of old steps cut in the rock are still to be seen. Underneath are deep grottoes, once the home of the Eumenides (Furies). On the flat surface of the summit are signs still visible of a smoothing of the stone for seats. Directly below to the North was the old Athenian agora, or market-place. To the East, on the descent from the Acropolis, could be seen in antiquity a small semicircular platform--the orchestra--from which rose the precipitous rock of the citadel. Here the booksellers kept their stalls; here the work of Anaxagoras could be bought for a drachma; from here his physical philosophy was disseminated, then, through Euripides, the poetic associate of Socrates and the sophists, leavened the drama, and finally reached the people of Athens. Then came the Stoics and Epicureans who taught philosophy and religion as a system, not as a faith, and spent their time in searching out some new thing in creed and dogma and opinion. Five centuries earlier Socrates was brought to this very Areopagus to face the charges of his accusers. To this same spot the apostle Paul came almost five hundred years after 399 BC, when the Attic martyr was executed, with the same earnestness, the same deep-rooted convictions, and with even greater ardor, to meet the philosophers of fashion. The Athenian guides will show you the exact place where the apostle stood, and in what direction he faced when he addressed his audience. No city has ever seen such a forest of statues as studded the market-place, the streets and the sides and summit of the Acropolis of Athens. A large part of this wealth of art was in full view of the speaker, and the apostle naturally made this extraordinary display of votive statues and offerings the starting-point of his address. He finds the Athenians extremely religious. He had found an altar to a god unknown. Then he develops theme of the great and only God, not from the Hebrew, but from the Greek, the Stoic point of view. His audiences consisted, on the one hand, of the advocates of prudence as the means, and pleasure as the end (the Epicureans); on the other, of the advocates of duty, of living in harmony with the intelligence which rules the world for good. He frankly expresses his sympathy with the nobler principles of the Stoic doctrine. But neither Stoic nor Epicurean could believe the declarations of the apostle: the latter believed death to be the end of all things, the former thought that the soul at death was absorbed again into that from which it sprang. Both understood Paul as proclaiming to them in Jesus and Anastasis ("resurrection") some new deities. When they finally ascertained that Jesus was ordained by God to judge the world, and that Anastasis was merely the resurrection of the dead, they were disappointed. Some scoffed, others departed, doubtless with the feeling that they had already given audience too long to such a fanatic. The Areopagus, or Hill of Ares, was the ancient seat...
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/A/AREOPAGUS/


Areopagus Scripture - Acts 17:19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, [is]?
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Acts/17/


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