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Before Paul went to Athens he was in Berea preaching Gods word However there were many furious Jews that were hunting down Paul so he avoided them and went to Athens waiting for Silas and Timothy to join him While Paul was waiting in Athens he talked to anyone that crossed paths with him Athens was known for its magnificent buildings and many gods as well as being the center for Greek culture philosophy and education In addition many philosophers and educated men were always ready to hear something new and Paul was a good candidate for teaching something new In Acts 1718 19 Paul was invited to speak at the meeting of Areopagus which met on a low hill in Athens near the acropolis Life Application Bible p1995 The NIV Study Bible p 1683 suggests that Areopagus means hill of Ares Ares was the Greek god of thunder and war The men who invited Paul to speak at the Areopagus were the dominating philosophers in Greek culture They were called the Epicureans and Stoics The Epicureans according to Stephen L Harris in the New Testament A Students Introduction p 29 believe that everything is entirely physical or material and that the soul dies with the body In addition the Epicureans believed that seeking happiness or pleasure was the primary goal of life Life Application Bible p 1996 The Epicureans believed that gods might exist but have no contact with or interest in human beings Harris p 29 The Stoics however placed thinking above feeling and tried to live in harmony with nature and reason restraining from the desire for pleasure Life Application Bible p 1995 Furthermore the Stoics practiced self-control Harris p28 and were very disciplined Life Application Bible p 1996 Since Paul was very upset to see all of the idols in Athens the meeting at the Areopagus was a great opportunity to give his views More importantly Pauls
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