To An Unknown God
Bible Study Series on Acts 17:15-34
The moment my friend Michael described the location of his apartment it was inconceivable that I’d not visit; “it’s about fifteen minutes walk from Mars Hill,” he said, “you know, where Paul preached when he was here?”
So started my latest travels—a whirlwind time in Greece where I stood in the footsteps of Leonidas, watched the sunset over Meteora with friends, swam in the Ionian Sea, and desperately googled for petrol stations open late on Sunday night in Corinth (something Paul failed to cover in either letter to the Corinthians).
The first thing I did, however, wasn’t tour the Acropolis or visit the temple of Olympian Zeus. I started my time in Athens by taking the walk from the apartment up to Mars Hill. Standing where Paul stood, sitting and surveying the surroundings, wondering at the city he arrived into, and studying the sermon he gave there day two thousand years ago.
The author at the Areopagus (Mars Hill), Athens.
It was amazing how reading the scripture in its original setting seemed to bring it home to me in a fresh way and tie together some long running strands of thought that had been brewing in the weeks prior to my trip.
I found that what was relevant to society in Athens way back when is surprisingly prescient for us today; that the powerful statements Paul made to the thinkers gathered upon that hill top speak just as powerfully into modern life.
What was relevant to society in Athens way back when is surprisingly prescient for us today…
To an Unknown God comes simply from my notes I scrawled in the margins of my bible, sat there on a hill top where an apostle once preached.
Making notes up on Mars Hill.
Before you dive in, it may be useful to read the whole passage through once, Acts 17:15-34. You won’t miss out on anything if you don’t, but it’ll really help frame what you read.
Each study will include a brief exploration of the text, taking a few verses at a time, and then raise a few questions. These questions would work as conversation starters if you’re going through the study in a group, or should help to provoke further thought if you’re studying alone.
I hope that the study leaves you as challenged and encouraged as I have been writing it.