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Acts 17:19-21

Context
17:19 So they took Paul and 1  brought him to the Areopagus, 2  saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are proclaiming? 17:20 For you are bringing some surprising things 3  to our ears, so we want to know what they 4  mean.” 17:21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there used to spend their time 5  in nothing else than telling 6  or listening to something new.) 7 

1 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Paul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Or “to the council of the Areopagus.” See also the term in v. 22.

sn The Areopagus has been traditionally understood as reference to a rocky hill near the Acropolis in Athens, although this place may well have been located in the marketplace at the foot of the hill (L&N 93.412; BDAG 129 s.v. ῎Αρειος πάγος). This term does not refer so much to the place, however, as to the advisory council of Athens known as the Areopagus, which dealt with ethical, cultural, and religious matters, including the supervision of education and controlling the many visiting lecturers. Thus it could be translated the council of the Areopagus. See also the term in v. 22.

3 tn BDAG 684 s.v. ξενίζω 2 translates the substantival participle ξενίζοντα (xenizonta) as “astonishing things Ac 17:20.”

4 tn Grk “these things”; but since the referent (“surprising things”) is so close, the repetition of “these things” sounds redundant in English, so the pronoun “they” was substituted in the translation.

5 tn The imperfect verb ηὐκαίρουν (hukairoun) has been translated as a customary or habitual imperfect.

6 tn BDAG 406-7 s.v. εὐκαιρέω has “used to spend their time in nothing else than telling Ac 17:21.”

7 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. The reference to newness may be pejorative.



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