Paul quotes hometown poet in Athens speech

As Paul taught the Areopagus about the God that could be known, he cited two Greek poets who had indicated belief in a supreme being.

for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’  “Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.  (Acts 17:28-29 NAU)

The first quotation is attributed to the Cretan poet Epimenides. The second quotation is attributed to Aratus of Cilicia, which was also Paul’s home (Acts 21:39). These poets certainly did not have in mind the same God that Paul was preaching, but they acknowledged that there was a supreme power back of the universe.

The photo below shows a bust of Aratus displayed in the British Museum.

The Cilician poet Aratus. British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Cilician poet Aratus. British Museum. Photo: Ferrell Jenkins.

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