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Book of Acts Chapter 17 - Christogenea Internet Radio 10-18-2013
As a youth, it is fully evident that Paul of Tarsus had a solid education in Scripture, or at least as good an education as could be obtained in first century Judaea, as he himself professed that he was educated “at the feet of Gamaliel”. However what is not explicitly confessed in his own words, but which is certainly manifest throughout his epistles, is that Paul also had a solid education in the profane writings of the Classical world. Paul quoted writers such as Aratus and Epimenides, and possibly also Euripides and Heraclitus, and he drew analogies from Homer and from Xenophon. However this education in the Classical literature did not merely assist his rhetorical skill or his writing ability.
More importantly, Paul understood the origins of the nations of Europe in a way that only those who have deeply studied both Scripture and the Classical literature can understand. A study of the Book of Acts and Paul's epistles demonstrates as much, but one can only see it if one has also studied the things which Paul had studied. While not all of the writings which Paul had available are also available to us, many of them are indeed, and with them, we find the proofs of the Christian Identity message. Here in Acts chapter 17, and in Paul's message to the Athenians, we shall see a good part of those proofs.
XVII 1 And traveling through Amphipolis and Apollonia they came to Thessalonika where there was an assembly hall of the Judaeans.
Strabo, in the ninth book of his Geography tells us that Thessaly, the central part of mainland Greece on the side of the Aegean Sea, was in early times populated by the same Phoenicians who built the Greek city of Thebes (9.2.3). There was even a river in the area named Phoenix. However the Pelasgians were said to have inhabited the area originally, even before the mythical flood of Deucalion, after which they were said to have been driven out. Strabo says later in that same book “Now the largest and most ancient composite part of the Greeks is that of the Thessalians, who have been described partly by Homer and partly by others.” Thessaly became part of the Macedonian Kingdom from the 4th century BC, and was later part of the Roman province of Macedonia. During the Hellenistic period a much enlarged Macedonia was split into four administrative districts. Amphipolis, a notable city, was listed by Diodorus Siculus as the chief city of Thessaly, one of the four cantons of Makedonia, and Thessalonika was the chief city of another of those cantons [as Thessalonika was not in Thessaly], the remaining two were Pella in the east and Pelagonia in the west (Library of History, 31.8.8). [Some errors corrected April 13th, 2016. - WRF]
Thessalonika, the city, was called Therme (or Therma) in ancient times, as both Herodotus and Thucydides had referred to it (Histories 7:121, 179, The Peloponnesian War, 1:61, 2:29). The town is said to have been renamed by Cassander of Macedon circa 315 BC for his wife, Thessalonika, whose name apparently means “Thessalian victory”. Thessalonika was therefore named to commemorate the Makedonian victory over Thessaly. After the Battle of Philippi in the wars of the Second Triumvirate against Julius Caesar's assassins had ended with the victory of Octavian and Antony, about 42 BC Thessalonika was made a free city. The designation meant that it was a self-governed city within the empire, as Athens was also a free city, and it elected its own rulers and magistrates rather than have them appointed by Rome. The Christian assembly which Paul founded there was later the recipient to at least two of Paul's epistles, now known as First and Second Thessalonians in our Bibles. It is evident that those epistles were written within a short time of each other, and that the first seems to have been written from Corinth, for which we may compare 1 Thessalonians 3:6 with Acts 18:5. Therefore 1 Thessalonians seems to be the earliest of Paul's surviving epistles, and 2 Thessalonians may indeed be second earliest.
2 And as was customary with Paul, he entered into them and for three Sabbaths argued with them from the writings, 3 explaining and presenting that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to be resurrected from the dead and that “this is Christ Yahshua whom I declare to you.” 4 And some from among them believed, and put their lot with Paul and with Silas, also a great multitude of the pious Greeks,[the Codex Alexandrinus has “of the pious and Greeks”] of the women and not a few of the leaders.
Here once again we see that “some from among them”, meaning some of the Judaeans, had accepted Paul's message, and some of the Judaeans did not. We have witnessed this in every Judaean assembly which Paul is recorded as having visited. Therefore the simple-minded interpretation of “Jew vs. Gentile” which the mainstream denominational sects make in considering the spread of Christianity is fully discredited by the Book of Acts. There must be a reason for the division among the Judaeans themselves, and the mainstream denominational sects never address that reason, even though it is spelled out in both the Gospels and in Paul's epistles. As Christ explicitly told certain of the leaders in the temple, as it is recorded in John chapter 10: “26 But you do not believe, because you are not My sheep! 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me, 28 and I give to them eternal life and they are not lost forever and one shall not snatch them from My hand.” He did not tell them, as the denominational sects like to imagine, that “you are not My sheep, because you do not believe”, but rather He told them “But you do not believe, because you are not My sheep!” Paul explains the reasons for this division in Romans chapter 9, and history proves that his explanation is correct. The denominational sects love to claim Paul as their own, yet they do not understand this division, which they purposely mischaracterize.
The Codex Bezae (D) has the later part of verse 4 to read “...and put their lot with the teaching of Paul and Silas, many of the pious and a great multitude of Greeks and women not a few of the leaders.” Yet Greek society did not allow for women to be leaders (i.e. Euripides’ Suppliant Women 40-41 and Andromache 930-53; Strabo 3.4.18; Diodorus Siculus 3.53.1-3), and neither did the Hebrews (Isaiah 3:12, Proverbs chapter 31). It is highly unlikely that either Paul or Luke would have recognized women leaders in a Judaean assembly (1 Corinthians 15: “34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”)
5 Then the Judaeans being jealous and taking certain wicked men from the markets making a riot threw the city into confusion and coming upon the house of Iason sought them to lead them before the people.
The Codex Bezae has the beginning of this verse: “Then the unbelieving Judaeans organizing certain wicked men from the markets threw the city into confusion...”; The Majority Text has “Then the unbelieving Judaeans taking certain wicked men from the markets and making a riot threw the city into confusion...”; the text follows the Codices Alexandrinus (A) and Vaticanus (B), with which the Codex Sinaiticus(א) varies slightly, as doesthe Codex Laudianus which inserts “unbelieving” after “wicked”.
The Judaeans sought to lead them before the people, in order to once again take advantage of secular law in order to persecute Christianity. For reasons political as well as historical, the religion of the Judaeans was officially tolerated as a separate religion within the empire. Here we see in all of these assemblies which Paul visits, that they are attended by Greeks as well as Judaeans. If Christianity were accepted as just another sect of the Judaean religion, it too would be tolerated. However the Judaeans themselves were divided, and the unbelieving Judaeans who were ostensibly the Edomite Jews, which is the distinction that is made in Scripture itself (Romans 9, Revelation 2:9, 3:9), were able to convince the Romans that Christianity was not merely a Judaean sect, and that it was a form of sedition against Rome because Christians believed Christ to be King. Therefore, Edomite Judaism denied the Old Testament from its very beginnings, because they rejected the Messiah of the Old Testament, which Christ certainly was.
6 And not finding them they dragged Iason and some brethren before the rulers of the city, crying that “They who have been upsetting the inhabited world are also come here, 7 whom Iason received. And they all act against the decrees of Caesar, declaring Yahshua to be another king!” 8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city hearing these things, 9 yet taking security from Iason and the others they released them.
The word rendered security is literally “taking sufficient”, or “taking enough”, where the Greek word ἱκανός (2425) surely infers the taking of something sufficient for bail or as a pledge. Liddell & Scott mention this idiom in their lexicon (ἱκανός , II. 2.) as does Thayer (ἱκανός , A.) who defines the phrase τὸ ἱκανὸν λαμβάνω (and where Thayer must have meant τὸ ἱκανὸν λαμβάνειν): as “to take security (either by accepting sponsors or by a deposit of money until the case had been decided), Acts xvii.9”, and therefore the more colloquial “taking bail” would also have been acceptable.
The issue of the case is never reported in Acts, however perhaps Jason was treated with leniency because Thessalonika was a free city and had its own Greek magistrates, rather than magistrates appointed from Rome. It is evident that neither the persecution nor the case pressed against him by the Judaeans had deterred Jason (which is an ancient Greek name from the time of the most famous character who bore it, the hero of the Epic Cycle and the Argonautica). This Jason is apparently also the Jason of Romans 16:21, who was among those with Paul when the famous epistle was written. I had originally suspected that the epistle to the Romans may have been penned from Greece (Acts 20:2), where Corinth is near to the port city Kenchreae, or perhaps even from Makedonia or the Troad (cf. Acts 20:1-4 and Romans 16:21). A woman named Phoibe, who was from Kenchreae, delivered Paul's epistle to Rome (Romans 16:1). However comparing the names of the men with Paul in the Troad to that of the salutation at the end of the epistle, the Troad is most likely the place from which the epistle was written(Acts 20:6). It is also poetically ironic, because the Romans themselves were descendants of the ancient Trojans.
Once again, the Judaeans rejecting Christ attempted to have Christians tried for sedition, as they did with Christ Himself, and for which reason the Romans in Philippi had declared that it was unlawful for them to accept the Christian faith. This reflects the reason why, in our modern history, the Jews have for two hundred years advanced the cause of humanism, while at the same time they have promoted every non-Christian religion, as they seek to marginalize Christianity entirely. At the same time they have infiltrated Christianity and diluted or even destroyed its practice from within. The Jew could never rule over a Christian people, but the usurers, panderers and perverts of world history have always ruled over non-Christian peoples. To do so they must eliminate Christ as King and put man in his place.
10 Then the brethren forthwith sent off Paul and Silas by night to Beroia, who departed arriving in the assembly hall of the Judaeans.
Surviving fragments of Book 7 of Strabo's Geography only give the approximate location of Beroia, however Diodorus Siculus calls it a “notable city” (Library of History, 31.8.8). It is the modern Veroia, and it isnearly 72 kilometers, or nearly 45 miles, west of Thessalonika by modern roads, and somewhat inland from the Aegean Sea.
These assembly halls which Paul visits mean more to him than having a place to spread the gospel message although that, of course, is the reason for his travels. Such assembly halls were also accompanied by lodges to accommodate Judaean travelers. Ostensibly, Paul would find lodging at the assembly hall at least until the Sabbath following his arrival. An inscription found on one such assembly hall, which many believe may be the very one mentioned in Acts 6:9, said in Greek: “Theodotus son of Vettenus, priest and assembly hall leader, son of an assembly hall leader, grandson of an assembly hall leader, rebuilt this assembly hall for the reading of the law and the teaching of the commandments, and the hostelry, rooms and baths, for the lodging of those who have need from abroad. It was established by his forefathers, the elders and Simonides”. (Note also that Theodotus, like Jason, is a Greek name, and that the inscription was in Greek, but his assembly hall was in Palestine.) The inscription is quoted from an article found in Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2003, p. 25. (I have read assembly hall for the Greek word synagogue, which is its proper interpretation.)
11 These were of more noble a race than those in Thessalonika, who accepted the Word with all eagerness [the Codex Laudianus (E) has “accepted the Word of God with all openness”], each day examining the writings, if these things would hold thusly. 12 So the many from among them believed, and of the noble Greek women and men not a few.
The Greek word εὐγενέστερος is “of more noble a race” here. The word is a superlative form of εὐγενής (2104) which is “well-born, of noble race, of high descent” (Liddell & Scott). The reference is to the Judaean population in the assembly hall at Beroia as compared with the Judaeans of Thessalonika, where we see that Luke esteemed, as Paul explains in Romans chapter 9, that there were more than one race of people who considered themselves to be Judaeans. Once again we see that the Judaean assembly was attended by many Greeks as well as Judaeans, and that many Judaeans – and here those of a more noble race – had indeed accepted the gospel of Christ.
The Codex Bezae (D) reads verse 12: “So then some from among them believed but some did not believe, and of the Greeks and of the noble men and women a considerable number believed.”
13 And as the Judaeans from Thessalonika learned that the Word of Yahweh was also declared by Paul in Beroia, they came there also stirring up and agitating the crowds.
The third century papyrus P45, the Codex Laudianus and the Majority Text want the words “and agitating”. The text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the Codices Sinaiticus(א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B) and Bezae (D).. The Codex Bezae (D) adds words for “without ceasing” to the end of the verse.
Here we can observe the tendency of the enemies of Christ towards tactics which may be labeled Bolshevik, which those same people have exhibited all throughout history. These Judaeans from Thessalonika pursued Paul for what was perhaps a two-day journey, the distance being nearly 45 miles. On the main roads of the empire, which Paul has been following, a Roman carriage would typically cover 25 to 30 miles in a day, and couriers on horseback were expected to travel as many as 50 miles in a day.
Paul evidently received no resistance or threats in Beroia from the Judaeans who resided there, but only from the agitators who came from Thessalonika. However Timothy and Silas felt safe enough to remain in Beroia, ostensibly to advance the cause of the Gospel.
14 And then at once the brethren sent Paul away to go as far as to the sea, but both Silas and Timotheos remained there [in Beroia]. 15 But those conducting Paul led him unto Athens, [the Codex Bezae (D) interpolates “and they passed by Thessalia, for he was prevented to proclaim the Word to them”] and they went out taking an order [the Codex Laudianus (E) interpolates “from him”] to Silas and Timotheos that they should come to him quickly. 16 Then upon Paul’s awaiting them in Athens [the Codex Sinaiticus (א) has “Then upon his waiting in Athens”], his spirit within him was irritated, observing that the city was given to idolatry.
The Athenians, by all historic accounts, were Ionian Greeks, as opposed to the Danaans, Dorians, Pelasgians, and other lesser-known tribes which were for the most part early divisions of these. For example, Strabo informs us that the Aeolians were a branch of the Dorians.. Strabo says of the Greek language “But though the dialects themselves are four in number, we may say that the Ionic is the same as the ancient Attic, for the Attic people of ancient times were called Ionians, and from that stock sprang those Ionians who colonised Asia and used what is now called the Ionic speech; and we may say that the Doric dialect is the same as the Aeloic, for all the Greeks outside the Isthmus, except the Athenians and the Megarians and the Dorians who live about Parnassus, are to this day still called Aeolians.” (Geography, 8.1.2)
Of the land of the Athenians, Strabo says “... this was the case with the Athenians; that is, they lived in a country that was both thin-soiled and rugged, and for this reason, according to Thucydides, their country remained free from devastation, and they were regarded as an indigenous people, who always occupied the same country, since no one drove them out or even desired to possess it.” (Geography 8.1.2, where in the Loeb Classical Library edition it is noted that Strabo is citing Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, 1.2 and 2.36.)
Strabo says elsewhere in his writing that “In early times Attica was called Ionia” and speaking of Homer says that “he calls all the people of Attica Athenians” where Strabo is endeavoring to show that the Megarians were also Ionians, before the city called Megara was actually founded (Geography, 9.1.5). In the Hebrew Lexicon included with Strong's Concordance, under the Hebrew word for Javan (Genesis 10:2) that tribe is identified by Strong with the Ionian Greeks, as the Septuagint translators also seemed to do, rendering the Hebrew word (Yavan, 3120) as Ἰωύαν (Iōuan). This is not out of fancy, for on the Behistun Rock and other Eastern inscriptions these Ionian Greeks are called “Yavana”, practically the same word as the Hebrew, and Sir Henry Rawlinson wrote “Ionians” for that word in his famous translation of that inscription. Other Persian inscriptions assure this same connection. These Ionians settled the coasts of western Anatolia [modern Turkey] and many of its islands, besides the Phoenicians who were first settled there, and that land generally came to be called Ionia, which was the western portion of the land which the Romans called Asia, as well as being the founders and principal inhabitants of Athens. While we can indeed identify the original source of the Ionians in Scripture, it must be remembered that there are twenty-five hundred years between the time of the flood of Noah and the first surviving written records of the Greeks. There were eight hundred years between the time of Moses and the earliest surviving written records of the Greeks. Therefore the Ionians, the memory of their settlement long having been lost, only considered themselves to be indigenous as opposed to the other tribes of the Greeks whose arrival in the area was much later and who were generally considered to be invaders, namely the Dorians, but also the Danaans and the Phoenicians.
Ancient Athens was completely destroyed by the Persians in their attempt to conquer the Greeks. After the war, the city was completely rebuilt under the auspices of its great general, Pericles, who was called "the first citizen of Athens" by his contemporary and admirer, the historian Thucydides. Pericles' father was a controversial Athenian politician and a general victorious against the Persians in the famous Battle of Mycale. His mother descended from an ancient noble Athenian family. He himself was instrumental in the rebuilding of Athens, and initiated the construction of the Acropolis and its most famous edifice, the Parthenon – the temple of Athena which became known by one of her attributes, that of eternal virginity, an object of pagan idolatry which was much later incorrectly attributed to the mother of Christ, an idea which the Gospel clearly refutes. The Greek word parthenos refers to a maiden or virgin. Under Pericles, who was a relentless promoter of the arts and literature, Athens quickly became the cultural and educational center of the Greek world, an idolatrous pagan world, and this was recognized as early as the Peloponnesian War, not seven decades after the Persians had razed the city.
About the year 413 BC, after the Dorians of Syracuse had won a major battle over the Athenians in the Peloponnesian War, the treatment of the captive armies was debated at Syracuse. In a famous speech from that debate, recorded in the works of Thucydides, Plutarch, Diodorus Siculus and probably elsewhere, an old man named Nikolaus, who himself lost two sons in the war, plead for moderation on the part of the victors. The speech is quite long, however in part, he said this about Athens:
All you who in that city have participated in its eloquence and learning, show mercy to men who offer their country as a school for the common use of mankind; and do all you, who have taken part in the most holy Mysteries, save the lives of those who initiated you, some by way of showing gratitude for kindly services already received and others, who look forward to partaking of them, not in anger depriving yourselves of that hope. For what place is there to which foreigners may resort for a liberal education once the city of the Athenians has been destroyed? Brief is the hatred aroused by the wrong they have committed, but important and many are their accomplishments which claim goodwill. (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 13.27.1-2)
Evidently the soldiers, according to Plutarch, nevertheless ended up as prisoners working the quarries of Syracuse. The reference to the “most holy Mysteries” is to the Eleusinian Mysteries, pagan Greek religious rituals connected to the idols Demeter and Dionysus. At one time the riteswere limited to native citizens of Attica, but after the Persian War the laws were changed so they were opened to all Greeks, attracting all Greeks to Athens in order to become initiated. There were several other competing pagan mystery cults among the Greeks.
Throughout the writings of Strabo other great cities, such as Tarsus and Massilia, were compared to Athens as a measure of their cultural and educational achievement. In his Geography, after describing the environs of Athens and edifices such as the temple of Zeus Soter (which means god, savior) which was found near its harbor, Strabo says this:
The city itself is a rock situated in a plain and surrounded by dwellings. On the rock is the sacred precinct of Athena, comprising both the old temple of Athena Polias, in which is the lamp that is never quenched, and the Parthenon built by Ictinus, in which is the work in ivory by Pheidias, the Athena. However, if I once began to describe the multitude of things in this city that are lauded and proclaimed far and wide, I fear that I should go too far, and that my work would depart from the purpose I have in view. For the words of Hegesias occur to me: "I see the acropolis, and the mark of the huge trident there. I see Eleusis, and I have become an initiate into its sacred mysteries; yonder is the Leocorium, here is the Theseium; I am unable to point them all out one by one; for Attica is the possession of the gods, who seized it as a sanctuary for themselves, and of the ancestral heroes." So this writer mentioned only one of the significant things on the acropolis; but Polemon the Periegete wrote four books on the dedicatory offerings on the acropolis alone. Hegesias is proportionately brief in referring to the other parts of the city and to the country; and though he mentions Eleusis, one of the one hundred and seventy demes (or one hundred and seventy-four, as the number is given), he names none of the others.
Most of the demes, if not all, have numerous stories of a character both mythical and historical connected with them; Aphidna, for example, has the rape of Helen by Theseus, the sacking of the place by the Dioscuri and their recovery of their sister; Marathon has the Persian battle; Rhamnus has the statue of Nemesis, which by some is called the work of Diodotus and by others of Agoracritus the Parian, a work which both in grandeur and in beauty is a great success and rivals the works of Pheidias; and so with Deceleia, the base of operations of the Peloponnesians in the Deceleian War; and Phyle, whence Thrasybulus brought the popular party back to the Peiraeus and then to the city. And so, also, in the case of several other demes there are many historical incidents to tell; and, further, the Leocorium and the Theseium have myths connected with them, and so has the Lyceium, and the Olympicum (the Olympium is the same thing), which the king who dedicated it left half finished at his death. And in like manner also the Academia, and the gardens of the philosophers, and the Odeium, and the colonnade called "Poecile," and the temples in the city containing very many marvellous works of different artists. (Strabo, Geography, 9.1.16-17, Volume 4 pp. 261-265, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, translated by Horace Leonard Jones)
With all of this, it may be easy to see why Paul was so disturbed with the idolatry of Athens, where over a period of 500 years every idol, every idol's temple, and so many related statues, paintings and associated pagan religious rites and philosophies had collected themselves. The modern equivalent, it must be noted, is found in many cities that promote themselves as tourist meccas, and which fill themselves with all sorts of idolatrous attractions (or distractions)which today are even franchised and replicated as they also were in the ancient world. Ready examples are found in such things as art museums, wax museums, monuments to historical events or objects of nature, or the many museums or other spectacles dedicated to so-called celebrities or films or folk characters or aspects of culture or so-called lifestyles, or even to inanimate objects such as automobiles and ships, all of which now litter many of our so-called tourist destinations. Paul would have been just as disturbed at these, and would have seen them as idolatry just the same.
17 So then he argued in the assembly hall with the Judaeans and the worshippers [where once again we see Greeks attending the Judaean assemblies], and in the marketplace [the Codex Bezae has “with those in the marketplace”]throughout each day with those who happened by. 18 And even some of the Epikoureians and the Stoiks loving wisdom engaged with him, and some said “What does this babbler mean to say?”, but others “He seems to be a declarer of strange gods”, because he announced Yahshua and the resurrection.
The Greek word rendered gods here is δαιμόνιον (1140), and not from θεός (2316), or god. A δαιμόνιον, or demon, was the word for a spirit-being perceived to be a lesser god.
The Codex Bezae (D) wants the words rendered “because he announced Yahshua and the resurrection.” The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text insert “to them” at the end of the phrase. The text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B).
The Epicureans were materialists, and like the Judaean Sadducees they rejected things spiritual and the idea of divine intervention in human affairs. However they are misunderstood today, since while they regarded pleasure as good, they rejected hedonism, profligacy and lasciviousness in favor of modesty and a simple lifestyle. The Stoics saw displays of emotion as lapses in judgment unworthy of the wise and intelligent, and they promoted a virtuous and moral lifestyle. While they believed that virtue was in accord with nature, and that all immorality is harmful corruption, their philosophy bound human freedom within the framework of cause-and-effect determinism, and therefore their outlook was without the will of God and the predestination of men which a Christian worldview should place before these other things. Stoicism was highly popular amongst the most educated and elite of the Greco-Roman world, where it is evident that these men thought Paul of Tarsus to be a babbler. Three centuries later, Christians would be tearing down their schools and their idols. Once again today, the so-called educated and the elite look upon Christians as babblers.
19 Then [the Codex Bezae (D) inserts “after some days”] seizing him they led him to Ares’ hill [the King James Version simply has Areopagus] saying [the Codex Bezae (D) has “questioning him and saying”] “Are we able to know what this new doctrine is which is being spoken [the Codex Bezae (D) has “declared”] by you? 20 For you have brought some astonishing [or strange] things [the Codices Bezae (D) and Laudianus (E) have “words”] into our ears! Therefore we wish to know what these things are meant to be.”
Concerning Ares' Hill, or Ἄρειος πάγοςas the phrase is commonly considered to meanthe “hill of Ares”, yet the original etymology according to the rather learned James Frazier in his Loeb Classical Library editions of both Apollodorus (Library, 3.14.2) and Pausanius (1.28.5), may instead be “hill of curses” (from the wordἀρά(685), a prayer or a curse, i.e. Romans 3:14). Yet the equally learned George Rawlinson calls it “Ares’ Hill” in a footnote in his edition of Herodotus, at Histories8:52 where he says: “Ares’ Hill, the seat of the celebrated court of the Areopagus, made still more famous by the preaching of St. Paul (Acts xvii.22), is one of the features of Athenian topography which cannot be mistaken.” The poet Euripides saysin reference to the place “There is a place called Ares’ Hill where the gods first sat in judgment in a case of murder, when cruel Ares killed Poseidon’s son, Halirrhothius, in anger for his daughter’s rape. Here, ever since then, votes are cast in a god-fearing and incorruptible manner.” (Euripides, Elektra, lines 1258-63, Loeb Classical Library edition translated by David Kovacs). However Frazier’s thesis is not without merit: in the ancient world the ideas of vows, curses, oaths, and as we use our own synonymous word in English today, to swear or the act of swearing, are all closely linked, and the later sense in the times of Herodotus and Euripides may well have been an embellishment, the myth being invented to whimsically account for the name. (I have not yet had the privilege of reading Frazier’s edition of Pausanias.)
21 Now all the Athenians and the sojourning guests [the Codex Bezae (D) inserts “among them”] spent their leisure time for nothing other than to say something or [the Codex Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text have “and”] to hear something more novel.
In the words of the ancient Greeks themselves, we have seen the fame of Athens in regard to philosophy, and how men from all over the Greco-Roman world flocked to it for either an education, or to become initiated in the pagan mystery cults.
The Greek word ξένος (3581) is guest here in verse 21. The word is “a guest-friend, i.e. any citizen of a foreign state, with whom one has a treaty of hospitality for self and heirs” (Liddell & Scott), and although [they say that] it was also used to designate “any stranger or foreigner... the term was politely used of any one whose name was unknown...” (ibid.), the word must be contrasted to other words which may be translated as foreigner, such as ἀλλότριος (245) or ἀλλογενής (241), which may refer to an alien or someone from another race. Throughout his Loeb Classical Library edition of the works of Euripides, David Kovacs renders ξένος as “guest-friend” where it is a noun. The same word is used as an adjective at verse 18 of this chapter to modify the noun for gods, and it is therefore strange.
22 Then Paul standing in the middle of the hill of Ares said: “Men, Athenians, I observe that in all respects you are most superstitious!
Being called superstitious is not necessarily an insult. The adjective δεισιδαίμων (1174), which only appears here in the New Testament (the noun δεισιδαιμονία appears once at Acts 25:19), is “fearing the gods...in good sense, like εὐσεβής, pious, religious...in bad sense, superstitious...” (Liddell & Scott).
23 For passing through and considering your objects of worship I found even an altar upon which was inscribed ‘To The Unknown God’. So that which is unknown [the Codex Laudianus and the Majority Text have “So he whom is unknown”] you reverence, this I declare to you: 24 God who made the cosmos and all the things in it. He being Prince of heaven and earth does not dwell in temples made by hand. 25 Neither is He attended by the hands of men, being in need of anything, Himself giving to all life and breath and all things.
While I have not found a precise mention of the altar or temple to which Paul refers, several earlier Greek writers were indeed said to have mentioned its existence. There is a story of the building of such an altar in Athens related to an account concerning the Cretan poet, philosopher and prophet named Epimenides, the same poet Paul quotes concerning the Cretans in his epistle to Titus where even he calls him a prophet. However Paul is not explaining that this “unknown god” of the Athenians was intended by them to refer to the God of the Scripture. Rather, here Paul is using the “unknown god” of the Athenians as a rhetorical device by which to introduce the God of the Scripture, since by their own admission there were gods who were unknown to them.
The word κόσμος was left untranslated here, since there are times when its use transcends the frequent Greek reference to the adornment of the οἰκουμένη.The word κόσμος primarily means order or decency, the form or fashion of something, or a decoration or embellishment, among other things. While κόσμος often refers only to the order of the οἰκουμένη and is therefore translated as society in the Christogenea New Testament, here Paul seems to use it in reference to the order of existence itself.
26 And He made from one every nation of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, appointing the times ordained and the boundaries of their settlements, 27 to seek God. If surely then they would seek after Him then [the Codices Alexandrinus (A) and Bezae (D) have “or”] they would find Him, and indeed He being not far from each one of us [the Codex Alexandrinus (A) has “you”].
The Codices Bezae (D), Laudianus (E) and the Majority Text have “from one blood”; the text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A) and Vaticanus (B). Whether the reading which includes the word for blood is accepted or not is immaterial. The phrase “from one” can only mean from Adam, through Noah, he being the father of no other race but the Adamic, which is the Caucasian or White race since all of the nations of Genesis chapter 10 were originally White, which is demonstrated from a study of Scripture in concert with both history and archaeology. Likewise the phrase “every nation of men” can only refer to the White race, since only one race of people descended from the patriarchs. The word “man” in the New Testament should be understood to refer to only the Adamic, or White race, as Paul himself demonstrates in his letters at Romans 5:14-19 and I Corinthians 15:22.
Romans 5:14, 19: “14 but death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not committed an error resembling the transgression of Adam, who is an image of the future.... 19 Therefore even as through the disobedience of one man the many were set down as wrongdoers, in this manner then through the obedience of One the many will be established as righteous. ”
1 Corinthians 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Wisdom of Sirach 40:1: “Great travail is created for every man, and an heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the day that they go out of their mother's womb, till the day that they return to the mother of all things.”
These scriptures attest to the Biblical equation of the words for man with the Adamic race. Although there were hominids before him, Adam was the first man, according to Paul, and in Adam all men die, according to Paul, as according to the Wisdom of Sirach all men, meaning the sons of Adam, have a burden of travail. Yet if from the earliest times we men have made the mistake of calling non-Adamic hominids after the terms for man, it is not in order with the creation of God, or with Scripture, for men to have done such a thing. This idea is not novel, even in modern times. For in the fifth paperback edition of The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, © 1994 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, ISBN 0-87779-911-3 under the entry for “man” we find the explanation that the word man, “often capitalized: [is] White society or people”.
There were three general terms translated “man” from Hebrew: adam, enosh, and ish. The word adam has a racial connotation. The words enosh and ish do not. The word adam is used either as a verb, a noun, a proper noun or an adjective in Hebrew, and the verb is defined by Strong in his Hebrew dictionary (# 119) as “to show blood (in the face), i.e. flush or turn rosy” and therefore it can only refer to Caucasians. The Hebrew word adam as an adjective means ruddy because the Hebrew word dam means blood (Strong's # 1818), and it was used in that manner four times in Scripture (1 Samuel 16:12, 17:42, Song of Solomon 5:10 and Lamentations 4:7). The Hebrew people were indeed White, which can be demonstrated in Scripture and in history. We have already offered documentation from Scripture and history in that regard in our presentation of Acts chapter 11.
The word enosh refers to the mortal man, and sometimes Adamic people are referred to by this term (Genesis 14:24; 17:23 and 27; 18:2, 16, and 22 et permulti alii), yet often the word is used disparagingly of non-Adamic people or of those of mixed blood, where these are seen as a destructive force. One specific example of this is at Daniel 2:43, where we are told that the iron mixed with clay is the mixing of Adamic people (which is “men” at Daniel 2:38), with “the seed of enosh” (which is “men” at Daniel 2:43), and therefore Rome fell because the empire was “partly strong, and partly broken” (Daniel 2:42). In other places in Scripture, such as at Isaiah 56:9, Jeremiah 31:27, Leviticus 20:15-16, Deuteronomy 27:21, Hebrews 12:20, 2 Peter 2:12 and Jude 10, ostensibly non-Adamic peoples are referred to simply as “beasts”, the word being used as a pejorative. There is no place in Scripture which affords non-Whites, which are non-Adamic beings, the status of Adamic man.
Seeing that “every nation of men” were made from one, according to Paul, we have an obligation to go back into the Scripture to which he is referring in order to see what he means. Doing that, we shall find that the Genesis 10 nations, the only nations which were made from one, meaning Adam, were all White nations. Critics will say “Well what about Egypt, or Ethiopia, they are not White”. Yet alien races cannot be squeezed into this picture if Genesis chapter 10 does not put them into this picture when it was written, and it is certain that alien nations shall not be found in Genesis chapter 10, except that many nations have been overrun by aliens since that time. Therefore the Word of God spoken to Israel in Isaiah chapter 43 says of Egypt, Sheba and Ethiopia “3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” These ancient lands were indeed overrun by Nubians, as history attests, before the end of the 8th century BC, the same century in which Isaiah prophesied. The Egyptians, Sabeans and Ethiopians are no longer White because Yahweh God gave them up to His enemies long ago. For that reason alone does Yahweh ask in Jeremiah, about 150 years after Isaiah, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” (Jeremiah 13:23)
In reference to the clause “appointing the times ordained and the boundaries of their settlements”, this statement proves beyond all reasonable doubt that the remarks here concerning this verse represent Biblical facts. For the reference to boundaries in this statement can only be a reference to Deuteronomy 32:8, which the Novum Testamentum Graece (NA27) and the marginal notes found in many editions of the King James Version of the Bible even reference for this verse, which states that “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.” In turn, Deuteronomy 32:8 can only be referring to Genesis chapter 11 and the Tower of Babel event which separated only those descendants of Noah, the White nations listed in Genesis chapter 10. Yet the appointing of the times ordained for these nations can only be seen in the books of the prophets, and especially in the prophet Daniel, who prophesied the rise and fall of great empires built upon the Genesis 10 nations. In Daniel chapter 2, the prophet interprets a dream for Nebuchadnezzar, and tells him that he shall rule over the earth “wheresoever the children of men dwell”. The Babylonians indeed held sway over the entire Adamic world of the time, but they never ruled over the non-White races. The non-White races are not at all considered in the Biblical context as the “children of men”. Daniel chapter 4 records a pronouncement of Nebuchadnezzar thusly: “Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.” Yet no non-White races were the recipients of that pronouncement. Likewise, Luke wrote, as the King James Version has it, “that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Yet no non-White alien nations were ever under Roman rule, except that there were a number of mongrel Canaanite and Arab peoples on the fringes of the world at this time, and the Canaanites had infiltrated many cities. However the blacks of Africa, the browns and yellows of the Orient, the browns and reds of the Americas, they are all outside of the Biblical context, and none of them ever belong in it, unless they are a scourge or a punishment. Paul's reference to “every nation of men” cannot be taken outside of the same Biblical context to which Paul himself is referring. The phrase “every nation of men” can only refer to the “sons of Adam” of Deuteronomy 32:8 and Genesis chapter 10.
28 “For in Him we live and we move and we are, even as some of the poets have said concerning you [the Codex Vaticanus has “us”], ‘For we also are of His offspring.’
One example of such a statement is found nearly verbatim in the works of Aratus (the Greek differs by only a single letter), in Phaenomena, line 5, which the Novum Testamentum Graece also cites here. From Phaenomena, lines 1 through 7, from the Loeb Classical Library edition: “From Zeus let us begin; him do we mortals never leave unnamed; full of Zeus are all the streets and all the market-places of men; full is the sea and the havens thereof; always we all have need of Zeus. For we are also his offspring; and he in his kindness unto men gives favorable signs and wakens the people to work, reminding them of their livelihood.” The statement’s intended meaning, where Paul says “for we are also his offspring” is repeated often in the Greek poets, and Paul is taking advantage of Greek literature and their own beliefs, where we see many Biblical ideas imperfectly repeated, in order to persuade the sophistic Athenians. Aratus was a Kilikian, where one source even says that he was from Tarsus, and he studied among the elite philosophers and poets of Athens in the 3rd century BC.
29 Therefore being the offspring of God we are not obligated to esteem gold or silver or stone, engraved crafts and of the inventions of man, to be like that of a god.
This is the same argument which the martyr Stephen made to the Judaeans, recorded in Acts chapter 7: “ 48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?” Paul again presented this argument to the Hebrews, concerning Christ, in chapter 9 of his epistle to them: “ 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us”.
30 So therefore the times of ignorance God is overlooking [the Codex Bezae (D) has “disregarding”]. Now altogether He instructs men [the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) have “announces to men”] everywhere to repent. 31 For that He has established a day in which He is going to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness, by a man whom He has appointed, having provided an assurance [πίστις] to all: raising Him from the dead.”
That Yahweh “instructs men everywhere to repent”, in reference to Adamic men, in Jonah chapter 3 we see a similar appeal in the commands which He gave to the prophet concerning the men of Nineveh, who were Assyrians, who were descendants of that Asshur the son of Shem who is listed in the genealogy at Genesis 10:22.
The things which I am about to discuss, I will offer no citations for, because they are found throughout all ancient Greek literature, from Homer and Hesiod down through the Tragic poets, the Lyric poets and others, and they remained among certain of the latter sects as the Greeks became more sophisticated, and many of them became more secular as the Greeks grew more fragmented in their beliefs and philosophies: The early Greeks believed in an afterlife, and the eternal being of the spirits of men, and that in the afterlife those spirits retained their personalities and the memories of their earthly lives. Upon death, men were judged by the gods for the lives that they led. Those who were evil went to Tartaros, over which realm the demon Hades was lord and master, and they would suffer eternally. This is the Hebrew Sheol, or the Germanic Niflheim, the Sumerian Underworld. The heroes would go to Olympus and live with the gods, or sometimes even become gods themselves. This is similar to the fates of Enoch or Elijah, and it is like the Germanic Valhalla. The good, the Greeks believed, were sent to the “Isles of the Blessed”, also called the “Elysian Fields”, which according to Homer were imagined to exist in the western ocean, well beyond the limits of the Greek οἰκουμένη. This is, of course, tantamount to the commonly perceived ideas of the Hebrew heaven. The ancient Sumerian and Akkadian inscriptions also professed very similar beliefs, as did the Egyptian, however each branch of the original White race made their own elaborations upon the core beliefs which they shared, which were those concerning an eternal life following this mortal life, and a punishment or a reward for one's deeds done in mortal life. In the Christian context, the way that resurrection and the judgment of the dead were taught was new to the Athenians, but the basic ideas of resurrection and judgment themselves were not new to the Athenians.
32 And hearing of a resurrection of the dead some then mocked him, but others said “We shall hear you concerning this also again.”
That the Athenians would mock the idea of a resurrection from the dead is a rebuke not of some novel and foreign idea, but of many of their own most ancient myths, in which the theme of resurrection from the dead occurs often. For instance, Zeus was said to have slain the physician Asclepius, who was later worshiped as a god of healing, because he was angry at him for bringing the dead to life - a story recounted by Apollodorus of Athens in the 2nd century BC, about two hundred years before Paul. Again, Heracles was said to have descended to Hades to rescue the dead Alcestis, returning her alive to her husband Admetus, a story which was the subject of a play, Alcestis, written by Euripides, who was one of the three great Tragic Poets of ancient Athens, in the 5th century B.C. The play won second place in the Athenian festival where it debuted in 438 BC. The writings of both of these men reflect beliefs which are found throughout Greek writings from the time of Homer, and both of these men were Athenians. The men of Athens, in all of their worldly wisdom, had broken from their own most ancient traditions, pagan or not. Those traditions, pagan or not, reflected general religious beliefs which are found in the Hebrew Scripture and in all of the earliest literature of our Adamic race.
33 Thusly Paul departed from their midst. 34 And some men joining themselves to him believed, among whom were Dionusios the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
The Codex Bezae has “a certain Areopagite”. An Areopagite was a member of the Areopagus, the court which was held on Ares’ Hill, and therefore Dionusios was a jurist. The court of the Areopagus was of great antiquity, spoken of as having existed even in mythical times, and it is mentioned several times by Diodorus Siculus in his Library of History (1.75.3, 4.76.7 and 11.77.6), as well as in other Greek literature. In place of the words “and a woman named Damaris”, the Codex Bezae (D) has only “of the nobles”. The Codex Laudianus (E) has “and an honorable woman named Damaris”. Athens, a free city within the Roman empire, like Thessalonika was also, and therefore it to elected its own rulers and magistrates. However Paul, while compelled to speak at the Areopagus, there is no evidence that a charge was actually laid against him.
In Acts chapter 17 and his address to the Athenians, just as in Acts chapter 14 and his brief address to the Lycaonians, we see the truth of our Christian Identity interpretation of the Bible fully reflected in the words of Paul of Tarsus as they were recorded by the apostle Luke. It should be fully evident that Paul, in all of his epistles (excepting that to the Hebrews), was addressing the “lost” children of Israel, whether they were Trojan Romans, Dorian Greeks, or Keltic Galatians. The proof of this statement is readily evident in the language of those epistles, for instance in Romans 1:18-25 where Paul explained that the Romans once had the truth of God, but had turned it into lies; or in Romans 4:1 where Paul tells the Romans that they descended from Abraham; or in 1 Corinthians 10:1 where Paul explains to those people that their fathers had been in the Exodus with Moses; or in Galatians chapter 4 where Paul tells them that the law had at one time been their schoolmaster and that Christ came to “redeem them that were under the law”; or in Ephesians chapter 2 where Paul explains that they had at one time been alienated from Israel but were now in Christ; or in Colossians chapter 1 where Paul explains that they too had at one time been alienated from Israel but were now being reconciled through Christ.
Yet in Acts chapter 14 Paul addressed Lykaonians, who not Israelites but who were ostensibly descended from the ancient Thracians and Lydians (who were in turn the descendants of the Japhethite Tiras of Genesis 10:2 and the Shemitic Lud of Genesis 10:22), and here in Acts chapter 17 Paul is addressing not Israelites, but rather Athenians, who were Ionians, a tribe of Japhethites descended from Javan of Genesis 10:2 and 10:4. In Joel 3:6 the Hebrew word for Javan was incorrectly translated in the King James Version as Grecians, when it should have more accurately been Ionians, who were only one tribe of the Greeks.
For this reason, because the Ionian Athenians, like the Lycaonians, are Adamic peoples but they are not Israelites, Paul addresses them quite differently from the Romans, Dorians, and Kelts among whom he established Christian assemblies, only calling to mind their common descent from Adam and the events pertaining to them which are recorded in Genesis chapter 11 and mentioned at Deuteronomy 32:8 (here in verse 26), and telling them that they, too, are offspring of Yahweh, the God of Scripture (here in verses 28-29) and that therefore they also have a share in the assurance of the resurrection (here in verse 31). That the other branches of the Adamic race are also resurrected, and not just the Israelites, we have the testimony of Christ Himself at Matthew 12:41-42 and Luke 11:31-32. The first promise of eternal life was made to all of the Adamic race, as it is found in Genesis 3:22: “and now, lest he [meaning Adam] put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever”.
However Paul does not talk to the Lycaonians or to the Athenians about redemption, or about Moses, or about the Hebrew law, or about alienation from God caused by disobedience, or about the need for obedience to the law in Christ, or about reconciliation, or about the marriage relationship of Israel to Yahweh, or about any of the other things found in Scripture which can only apply to the descendants of the ancient Israelites! Paul only preached to them that they would cease from idolatry and seek the One True God of Creation. Therefore this discourse, as well as the one to the Lycaonians of Acts chapter 14, establishes that the tenets of the Christian faith indeed apply just as they are taught in Christian Identity, and only as they are taught in Christian Identity, for these things are taught nowhere else amongst the mainstream denominational sects, which have forever been ignorant of any of these most important details of Scripture. Therefore Paul of Tarsus taught a Christian Identity gospel.