So now, on page 50 of Roberts link, I just pulled out the bible because Stahrwe insists that the people in Athens are proof that the bible and even the name of Jesus is not necessary to be a Christian, because these people weren't told about the bible or even Jesus' name. This is aimed at his proselytizing efforts in the atheist forums because he knows about all of the problems with the bible that atheists bring up, and so he started trying to say that atheists can simply have a personal relationship with Jesus and be Christians without the bible thinking that he could support such a claim:
I have shown in the case of Dismas and Acts that people became Christians without the Bible and in the Acts case without Jesus being mentioned.
...But, let's look at Paul in Acts to see whether or not the bible
Acts 13:16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country;
Pretty clear. Paul is preaching that the God of Israel, the biblical God who was the God of Noah who fathered all nations according to the scriptures, is the God he is preaching to both Jews and Gentiles.
26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.
Still, very clear as to who the God in question is.
32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.
Oh, so the God of Jewish scripture fulfilled a promise by raising up Jesus. This is Pauls message to the Jews and God-rearing Gentiles who worship God in Antioch.
Acts 14:1 At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the other Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.
So they go on preaching this same message to the Jews and Gentiles at Iconium, the message of the God of Jewish scripture and his son Jesus who is the man he raised up from the dead.
11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
So Paul made it clear that he's not preaching Zeus or Hermes or any pagan God, he's preaching the biblical God of Jewish scripture and that God's son who came as a man and died for our sins and who was resurrected by the God of Jewish scripture, the biblical God. This is the context of the book of Acts as we approach the 17th chapter. Then Paul goes to Athens and does what he always does, he goes to the synagogue to speak to the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles:
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.
What? These Stoic philosophers knew that he was preaching of a foreign God? And they said this because Paul was preaching Jesus and the resurrection
? Let's continue in context here shall we Stahrwe:
Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
So, after preaching about the God of Jewish scripture, a foreign God to them, and about Jesus and the resurrection, Paul then goes on to find a way of trying to relate the foreign God of Israel and his son Jesus of the resurrection to these Gentiles in Athens:
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]
So Paul relates the creation account of the bible orally, the story where the God of Israel originally created the world and one man in it, from which all men are descended. He's preaching the context of the biblical account to these Stoic philosophers in a way that he thinks they might understand it, after already being summoned to speak because he was going around the synogue and streets preaching about Jesus and the resurrection
which is the context of why he's even speaking with these Gentiles in the first place!!!
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
So after preaching about Jesus and the resurrection
, Paul was invited to come and speak more about it at which point he refers back to Jesus as the man
that the Jewish scriptural God has appointed. That is the context of the verse. You were wrong the entire time Stahrwe. Like Johnson said, "Stahrwe's wrong, Suprise everyone".
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
So those who believed are those who accepted Pauls message about the Jewish scriptural God of the bible
being their true God
and Jesus being the messiah who was resurrected by the biblical God and who is supposed to bring about the resurrection of the dead
. These people, in fact, were accepting the name of Jesus in order to believe in him and it's a great act of dishonesty on your part to have tried to come along and twist the context into appearing to suggest otherwise Stahrwe. They need an icon for "facepalm" in this forum!!!