“Let us hear what this babbler has to say.”

Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and Gentile worshippers and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. Acts 17:18 NKJV.

Mars Hill

Mars Hill


Babbler, spermologos, Strong’s # 4691-Athenian slang for:

  1. A bird that picks up seeds;
  2. Men lounging around the marketplace, making a living by picking up whatever falls from the loads of merchandise;
  3. A babbler, chatterer, or gossip retailing (selling) bits and pieces of misinformation;
  4. A pseudo-intellectual who insists on spouting off.

The Roman Empire was characterized by great diversity of religious beliefs.  Paul was in the midst of Athenian philosophers who held distinct beliefs. Among these were Epicureans (seeking tranquility as the highest good) and Stoics (being free from passion and passively accepting everything in life as inevitable, impersonal fate) were popular philosophies. Polytheism (the belief in multiple gods) was everywhere practiced.

The entire city was given over to Idols; these philosophers believed that Paul was promoting a religion of two new gods: Jesus and the resurrection. Tragically, the super-intellectuals on Mars Hill failed to see in Paul all the necessary ingredients for being a truth bringer.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 23:12:21

    Wish I could babble like that.


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