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CONTEXTUALISING PAUL IN ATHENS: THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL BEFORE PAGAN AUDIENCES IN THE GRAECO-ROMAN WORLD

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<title> Abstract </title>This article contextualises Paul's speech on the Areopagus as reported in Acts 17 in the light of the contemporary religious situation obtaining in Athens in the middle of the first century C.E. Against the background of the pluralistic and polytheistic religious context of life in Athens, Paul's speech is interpreted and situated primarily in the light of the role of the Council of the Areopagus as guardians of traditional Athenian ways. The speech before the Council is characterised by agreements with Graeco-Roman philosophy (Stoicism and Epicureanism), as well as by contradictions with these. It is clear that the thrust of the speech derives from Old Testament prophetic traditions and contemporary Jewish apologetics. Rather than drawing on Graeco-Roman philosophical traditions as a kind of preparation for the gospel, then, Paul is transcending these with revealed theology.

Affiliations: 1: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School 2065 Half Day Road, Deerfield, IL 60015-1284 United States of America, Email: eschnabel@trin.edu

10.1163/157430105X00040
/content/journals/10.1163/157430105x00040
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/content/journals/10.1163/157430105x00040
2005-01-01
2016-12-06

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