Acts 17:16-34 BHT, Paul’s Areopagus Sermon about the Nature of God

An addition to the BHT, which is the Apostle Paul’s sermon at the Areopagus, or high court at Mars Hill, about the nature of God. 

An addition to the BHT, which is the Apostle Paul’s sermon at the Areopagus, or high court at Mars Hill, about the nature of God. 

16 While Paul was in Athens waiting for his companions, he was overcome with anguish and was deeply pained when he saw all the idols scattered throughout the city, symbols of Deity which were being worshiped instead of God.

17 So he went to the churches to try to persuade the Jews and other worshipers there, and every day he went out into the streets of the market and public square and social media forums to speak with the people who were gathered there.

18 And he also met a group of philosophers from various intellectual traditions and had a conversation with them. When Paul told them about Christ consciousness and how people could be raised up in their consciousness to at-one-ment in God, and how their being could be restored to ultimate union in Life as taught and shown by Jesus, they laughed and sneered at him, “What is all of this mystical psychobabble? He’s saying literally nothing that is logically coherent.” Others ridiculed, “He’s seems to be asserting Gods that are wildly disconnected and foreign to our historical records.”

19 So they grabbed him and brought him to the high council in the city, where they asked him, “What can you tell us about this unorthodox teaching you’re giving?

20 “Because it seems you are saying some very strange mystical nonsense, and we want to know what all of these new things are supposed to mean.”

21 (All the residents and foreigners in Athens liked to spend most of their time in the social forums talking about or listening to the latest and newest ideas.)

22 Paul then stood up in the middle of the high council and opened his mouth, saying: “Athenians!! In nearly every way you are overwhelmingly religious, pious, devout, and sincerely devoted, but I perceive that you do not know what it is you’re even worshiping.

23 “Even while I was walking around the city and saw the temples where you worship, I came across a plaque that had this engraving: ‘HOLINESS TO THE LORD, THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.’ And yet, few of you say you directly know the Lord that you worship there. This is who I will tell you about right now.

24 “God is the Power that formed the whole Earth and all things that are in it and around it and through it. As the Owner and Possessor of the entire universe above and all material things here below, God does not live in temples that are constructed by any human hands.

25 “And God cannot be ministered to by human hands, as if the Universe needed anything at all from us who live in it. No! Quite the contrary, the Universe and its Laws already give to everyone and everything their Life, and Breath, and all things that they have and that they need.

26 “From a singularity Natural Law burst forth and created all things in the universe and all of Life throughout the cosmos and upon the whole surface of the Earth, even all of humanity, each and every one having its appropriate times and seasons and limits of living.

27 “And in the time each one has to live, it is natural for them to seek their Maker, that they might consciously sense and feel their way towards their Source in communion, to actually find and know this Lord in themselves, even the Ground of their very own Being. And this is not at all distant from any one of us. How could it be?

28 “As one of your own poets, Epimenides, once said, ‘For in God we live our Lives, we move our Bodies, and exist as conscious Beings.’ Even another of your famous poets, Aratus, wrote, ‘We are of God’s own kind and nature.’

29 “Since we ourselves are of God’s own kind and nature, we should not think that the Divine is any particular physical external thing or object like the materials of the Earth, or even like any other symbolic image or idea that may be formed in the conceptual human mind.

30 “In previous times humanity did not understand these things, but now Nature is teaching us that all people everywhere can and should change their minds, adjust their consciousness, and actually come to know their Lord and Source of Being in themselves.

31 “Because there is a day coming when every person will surely die, and will return to their Source to be known perfectly by that One in plainness. And it has been shown to us with certainty that this can be done during life through the resurrection of One from spiritual death and ignorance to a purity of Life and Knowing.”

32 But when they heard Paul talk about the resurrection of the dead during life, some laughed and ridiculed him again. Yet there were others that said, “We want to hear you talk more about this later.”

33 And so with that, Paul left that high council meeting.

34 Some of the people who were there followed him and believed in what he was saying, including Dionysius, who was a member of the high council, and also a woman Damaris, as well as several others.

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