Today completed our biblical study tour of Turkey and Greece, as we have traveled in the steps of Paul and John. Our flight is to leave early tomorrow (Mon) morning. We have all profited from the trip, and our understanding of Scripture in its historical and geographical context has been enhanced.
On Friday our group stood on Mar’s Hill in Athens. During the 2nd Missionary Journey, it was in this area that Paul addressed the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers. While an invitation to speak to them sounded potentially promising (Acts 17:19), Luke informs us, “For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (v.21). It turned out that these people who were looking for novelty were not looking for truth. Paul wrote of those who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Sadly, when Paul spoke of the resurrection of Christ, the Athenians mocked (Acts 17:32). A few responded favorably, but the message of the Gospel was quickly dismissed by most of the hearers there.
Today’s photo shows the Areopagus (Mar’s Hill), which is situated slightly below the acropolis. Ares was the Grecian mythological god of war; “pagos” means “a rocky hill.” Thus Areopagus means the “Hill of Mar’s; hence, Mar’s Hill.
Thank you for the posts. I have enjoyed keeping up and hope all is well. I too stood on Mar’s Hill about 10 months ago and there, more than anywhere I have been, made the scripture mean so much more to me. I always envisioned a market place with small idols (I know there are the ruins of such below Mar’s Hill) but I never thought about all the other idol’s and related worship areas that where surrounding the Hill. I remember almost being in the shadow of the acropolis, looking down on the ruins of the market place, and seeing the ruins of the temple of Zues and other false gods in the distance. I never realized until that point the magnitude of what Paul faced when he so boldly preached the gospel.
Thanks for following our blog. We arrived safely home Mon. about 10:00 PM.
Your reaction while on Mar’s Hill was similar to what many in our group expressed. No wonder Paul’s spirit was provoked within him when he saw how the city was filled with idols!
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