[Audio Intro] - Paul Copan introduces this chapter.
[Chapter 3 Study Questions] (with kindle locations) - PDF study guide.
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Chapter Three: Paul's Athens
Chapter 3 explores the the intellectual, cultural and historical status of Athens at the time it was visited by the Apostle Paul. The authors look at some historical background of Athens, followed by philosophical and religious influences. Certain notable philosophies are described, such as Platonism, Epicureanism, and Stoicism.
While Athens was a very religious city, it was of course most well known as the center of Greek philosophy. (407)
Many people in the Roman Empire, of course, would have gotten a superficial understanding of these various philosophical perspectives through popular culture. Although they would not necessarily know the finer points, many would be familiar with the basic tenets of the Epicureans, Platonists, Stoics and other philosophical movements, even if they did not have the leisure to sit around debating the latest philosophical ideas. (Kindle 491-494)Discuss
- Can you briefly describe the religious and philosophical picture of Paul's Athens?
- What do you think the average Athenian would have believed?
- Do you notice any similarities between Paul's Athens and our culture today?
Next Week: Chapter 4—Our Athens