We visited the city of Athens today. Interestingly Athens, like Rome, Istanbul and Lisbon, has 7 hills in the city. I also found in interesting that there are no skyscrapers in the city. I couldn’t find any building higher than 6 to 10 stories tall. They don’t want anything coming close to the height of the acropolis I guess.
Emily and I in front of the world famous Parthenon.
Climbing to the top of Mars Hill.
This is Mars Hill from the Parthenon. Notice the agora at the far right of the photo.
Acts 17:16 “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.”
These are just a few of the idols that Paul would have walked by. It was said that in ancient Athens it was easier to find an idol than a human. Later in the day we walked through the National Museum of Greece in Athens and it was packed full of idol statues found during excavations. I can easily see why Paul would have gotten so upset.
As we realized in many other sites, there is such a deeper understanding of the Scriptures having actually been here. I’m realizing things that never noticed before. For example, as Paul is defending his case against the aeropagus (the court responsible for defending Zeus against new ideas), he says:
Acts 17:24 “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 hands”
Paul would have been saying this less than 100 yards from the temple to Apollo. Not only that but right over his shoulder the aeropagus would have been looking directly at the temple to Athena (now known as the Parthenon) looming against the skyline. This would have been a very clear message to the court. There are tons of other examples of this in the passage.