Acts 17:16-34 TPT
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was deeply troubled when he realized that the entire city was full of idols. He argued the claims of the gospel with the Jews in their synagogue, and with those who were worshipers of God, and every day he preached in the public square to whomever would listen.
Philosophers of the teachings of Epicurus, and others called Stoics, debated with Paul. When they heard him speak about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What strange ideas is this babbler trying to present?” Others said, “He’s peddling some kind of foreign religion.” So they brought him for a public dialogue before the leadership council of Athens, known as the Areopagus.
“Tell us,” they said, “about this new teaching that you’re bringing to our city. You’re presenting strange and astonishing things to our ears, and we want to know what it all means.” Now, it was the favorite pastime of the Athenians and visitors to Athens to discuss the newest ideas and philosophies.
So Paul stood in the middle of the leadership council and said, “Respected leaders of Athens, it is clear to me how extravagant you are in your worship of idols. For as I walked through your city, I was captivated by the many shrines and objects of your worship. I even found an inscription on one altar that read, ‘To the Unknown God.’ I have come to introduce to you this God whom you worship without even knowing anything about him.
“The true God is the Creator of all things. He is the owner and Lord of the heavenly realm and the earthly realm, and he doesn’t live in man-made temples. He supplies life and breath and all things to every living being. He doesn’t lack a thing that we mortals could supply for him, for he has all things and everything he needs. From one man, Adam, he made every man and woman and every race of humanity, and he spread us over all the earth. He sets the boundaries of people and nations, determining their appointed times in history. He has done this so that every person would long for God, feel their way to him, and find him—for he is the God who is easy to discover! It is through him that we live and function and have our identity; just as your own poets have said, ‘Our lineage comes from him.’
“Since our lineage can be traced back to God, how could we even think that the divine image could be compared to something made of gold, silver, or stone, sculpted by man’s artwork and clever imagination?
“In the past God tolerated our ignorance of these things, but now the time of deception has passed away. He commands us all to repent and turn to God. For the appointed day has risen, in which he is going to judge the world in righteousness by the man he has designated. And the proof given to the world that God has chosen this man is this: he resurrected him from among the dead!”
The moment they heard Paul bring up the topic of resurrection, some of them ridiculed him, then got up and left. But others said, “We want to hear you again later about these things.” So Paul left the meeting. But there were some who believed the message and joined him from that day forward. Among them were Dionysius, a judge on the leadership council, and a woman named Damaris.
TPT: The Passion Translation