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Acts 17:23 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I to you.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— for, passing through and beholding your shrines, I found also an altar on which was inscribed, To the unknown God. Whom therefore ye reverence, not knowing [him], him I announce to you.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— For, passing through, and carefully observing your objects of devotion, I found an altar also, in which was inscribed—Unto an Unknown God. What, therefore, not knowing, ye reverence, the same, do, I, declare unto you.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— for passing through and contemplating your objects of worship, I found also an erection on which had been inscribed: To God—unknown; whom, therefore—not knowing—ye do worship, this One I announce to you.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For passing by and seeing your idols, I found an altar also, on which was written: To the Unknown God. What therefore you worship without knowing it, that I preach to you:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— For as I passed by, and beheld your deuotions, I found an Altar with this inscription, TO THE VNKNOWEN GOD. Whom therefore yee ignorantly worship, him declare I vnto you.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— As I walked about and saw the place of your worship, I found a certain altar on which was inscribed, TO GOD THE HIDDEN: him then whom while not known you worship, This I declare to you.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— For, as I was rambling about, and viewing the temples of your worship, I met with an altar, on which was inscribed, TO THE HIDDEN GOD. Him, therefore, whom ye worship while ye know him not, the very same I announce to you.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
For 1063
{1063} Prime
γάρ
gar
{gar}
A primary particle; properly assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles).
as I passed by, 1330
{1330} Prime
διέρχομαι
dierchomai
{dee-er'-khom-ahee}
From G1223 and G2064; to traverse (literally).
z5740
<5740> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 544
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
beheld 333
{0333} Prime
ἀναθεωρέω
anatheoreo
{an-ath-eh-o-reh'-o}
From G0303 and G2334; to look again (that is, attentively) at (literally or figuratively).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
your 5216
{5216} Prime
ὑμῶν
humon
{hoo-mone'}
Genitive case of G5210; of (from or concerning) you.
devotions, 4574
{4574} Prime
σέβασμα
sebasma
{seb'-as-mah}
From G4573; something adored, that is, an object of worship (god, altar, etc.).
y2532
[2532] Standard
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
I found 2147
{2147} Prime
εὑρίσκω
heurisko
{hyoo-ris'-ko}
A prolonged form of a primary word εὕρω [[heuro]], {hyoo'-ro}; which (together with another cognate form, εὑρέω [[heureo]], {hyoo-reh'-o}) is used for it in all the tenses except the present and imperfect; to find (literally or figuratively).
z5627
<5627> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2138 plus 1 in a variant reading in a footnote
an x2532
(2532) Complement
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
altar 1041
{1041} Prime
βωμός
bomos
{bo'-mos}
From the base of G0939; properly a stand, that is, (specifically) an altar.
with this y1722
[1722] Standard
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
y3739
[3739] Standard
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
inscription, 1924
{1924} Prime
ἐπιγράφω
epigrapho
{ep-ee-graf'-o}
From G1909 and G1125; to inscribe (physically or mentally).
z5718
<5718> Grammar
Tense - Pluperfect (See G5779)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 7
x1722
(1722) Complement
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
x3739
(3739) Complement
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
TO THE UNKNOWN 57
{0057} Prime
ἄγνωστος
agnostos
{ag'-noce-tos'}
From G0001 (as negative particle) and G1110; unknown.
GOD. 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
Whom 3739
{3739} Prime
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
therefore 3767
{3767} Prime
οὖν
oun
{oon}
Apparently a primary word; (adverbially) certainly, or (conjugationally) accordingly.
ye ignorantly 50
{0050} Prime
ἀγνοέω
agnoeo
{ag-no-eh'-o}
From G0001 (as a negative particle) and G3539; not to know (through lack of information or intelligence); by implication to ignore (through disinclination).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
worship, 2151
{2151} Prime
εὐσεβέω
eusebeo
{yoo-seb-eh'-o}
From G2152; to be pious, that is, (towards God) to worship, or (towards parents) to respect (support).
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
him 5126
{5126} Prime
τοῦτον
touton
{too'-ton}
Accusative, singular, masculine of G3778; this (person, as object of verb or preposition).
declare y2605
[2605] Standard
καταγγέλλω
kataggello
{kat-ang-gel'-lo}
From G2596 and the base of G0032; to proclaim, promulgate.
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
x2065
(2065) Complement
ἐρωτάω
erotao
{er-o-tah'-o}
Apparently from G2046 (compare G2045); to interrogate; by implication to request.
I 1473
{1473} Prime
ἐγώ
ego
{eg-o'}
A primary pronoun of the first person, 'I' (only expressed when emphatic).
unto you. 5213
{5213} Prime
ὑμῖν
humin
{hoo-min'}
Irregular dative case of G5210; to (with or by) you.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Acts 17:23

_ _ as I passed by and beheld your devotions — rather, “the objects of your devotion,” referring, as is plain from the next words, to their works of art consecrated to religion.

_ _ I found an altar ... To the — or, “an”

_ _ unknown god — erected, probably, to commemorate some divine interposition, which they were unable to ascribe to any known deity. That there were such altars, Greek writers attest; and on this the apostle skillfully fastens at the outset, as the text of his discourse, taking it as evidence of that dimness of religious conception which, in virtue of his better light, he was prepared to dissipate.

_ _ Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship — rather, “Whom, therefore, knowing Him not, ye worship,” alluding to “The Unknown God.”

_ _ him declare — announce.

_ _ I unto youThis is like none of his previous discourses, save that to the idolaters of Lycaonia (Acts 14:15-17). His subject is not, as in the synagogues, the Messiahship of Jesus, but THE LIVING GOD, in opposition to the materialistic and pantheistic polytheism of Greece, which subverted all true religion. Nor does he come with speculation on this profound subject — of which they had had enough from others — but an authoritative “announcement” of Him after whom they were groping not giving Him any name, however, nor even naming the Savior Himself but unfolding the true character of both as they were able to receive it.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Acts 17:22-31.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Acts 17:23

I found an altar — Some suppose this was set up by Socrates, to express in a covert way his devotion to the only true God, while he derided the plurality of the heathen gods, for which he was condemned to death: and others, that whoever erected this altar, did it in honour to the God of Israel, of whom there was no image, and whose name Jehovah was never made known to the idolatrous Gentiles. Him proclaim I unto you — Thus he fixes the wandering attention of these blind philosophers; proclaiming to them an unknown, and yet not a new God.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Acts 17:23

For as I passed by, and beheld your (m) devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE (n) UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

(m) Whatever men worship for religion's sake, that we call religion.

(n) Pausanias in his Atticis makes mention of the altar which the Athenians had dedicated to unknown gods: and Laertius in his Epimenides makes mention of an altar that had no name entitled upon it.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
devotions:
or, gods that ye worship,
Romans 1:23-25 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. ... Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
1 Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
2 Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

To:

Psalms 147:20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and [as for his] judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
John 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
Romans 1:20-22 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: ... Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
2 Corinthians 4:4-6 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. ... For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 4:8-9 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. ... But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

ignorantly:

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Psalms 50:21 These [things] hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether [such an one] as thyself: [but] I will reprove thee, and set [them] in order before thine eyes.
Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ps 50:21; 147:20. Mt 15:9. Jn 4:22; 8:54; 17:3, 25. Ac 17:30. Ro 1:20, 23, 28. 1Co 1:21; 8:5. 2Co 4:4. Ga 4:8. Ep 2:12. 2Th 2:4. 1Ti 1:17. 1Jn 5:20.

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