An exercise in reading imaginatively. Now while Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy to join him in Athens, he became appalled that the city was full of idolatry. This provoked him to not only boldly teach of the one true God to Jews and God fearing proselytes in their synagogues, but also to engage anyone who passed by in the public market place. Paul reached out to those who happened to be present in the market place day after day, and so he had conversations with people of many differing beliefs. One day some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers confronted Paul and sarcastically said, “Let’s hear what this rube, this hayseed from out of town, has to say.” Another scoffer responded that Paul was pushing strange doctrine, stuff about Jesus being crucified and then arising from the dead! They concluded that Paul should be brought to the Areopagus, the so called royal porch adjacent to the market place where the community leaders heard controversies, in order for Paul to explain this weird doctrine he seemed to be proclaiming. Epicurean’s held that because of the uncertainties of life, one should remain detached, believing strongly in nothing, in order to have peace. Life ended at death according to their beliefs, so the idea of life after death was a strange idea. Stoics held that the path to happiness was to go with the flow, the existing arrangement or logic of the universe. Paul had lit their collective imaginations and so they were curious and wanted to understand Paul’s gospel message. By the way, you should know that it was commonplace for the folks who lived in Athens, and for those who were visiting to exchange information, because they could not surf the net or watch CNN.