Paul in Athens – a View on the World
Paul has encountered the diaspora synagogue (Antioch), popular paganism (Lystra), Roman domination (Philippi). Now after Thessalonica and Berea, he comes to Athens, worried for the survival of the infant churches.
Athens, the most famous city in the Greek world, not big or powerful, but very influential, a university city with an unmatched cultural heritage.
Again he starts with the synagogue, where people know Israel’s story, but he also goes to the famous Agora/plaza, with the open-air Stoa/colonnade, that gave Stoic philosophy its name. Where popular philosophies, ‘world-views,’ were taught, debated, shaping shapers of culture.
Here he meets not persecution but puzzlement. He uses ideas people recognize, but puts them together in strange ways, a ‘phrase-dropper.’ He talks about Jesus and Anastasis/Rising.