Why does the Amplified version in Acts 17:22 speak of 'religious' as being 'reverent to demons'?


Clarify Share Report Asked May 12 2018 Final avatar Nicola Calitz

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The Greek word that is used in the verse is δεισιδαιμονεστέρους, which transliterates into the English alphabet as deisidaimonesterous. Acts 17:22 is the only verse in the New Testament in which this word is used. As the English rendering indicates, it contains the word "daimon", or demon. 

There has apparently been some debate among Bible scholars (dating from ancient times) as to how this word should be construed or translated, and whether it should have a positive or negative connotation. The King James Version rendered it as "too superstitious" (a negative meaning -- although not as negative as "reverent to demons").

Acts 17:16 speaks of Paul's spirit being "provoked within him" by all the idol worship taking place in Athens, so it appears that Paul personally reacted negatively to the situation. However, Paul was also an effective and persuasive speaker and advocate for Christianity. He knew how to tailor his words to a specific audience, and he would not (in my opinion) have wanted to immediately offend his listeners at Athens (and thus turn them against him) by denouncing them as pagan idolaters or (worse) as worshippers of demons.

Therefore, I believe that the rendering of this word in English as "very religious" -- as several English translations of the verse (which are viewable at http://biblehub.com/acts/17-22.htm) put it -- best conveys the favorable sense or connotation that Paul would have wanted to convey, so that the Athenians would then be more receptive to the gospel message that he intended to preach.

May 13 2018 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini A F
Ecc. 2:24-26; Ecc. 3:9-14;Ecc.4, basically all of Ecc is good for pondering. Finally, the Teacher says, Ecc. 12:13-14, “fear God and keep his Commandments, this is the whole duty of man.” I couldn’t find it but somewhere Solomon says, “don’t be too religious,” which when I read it I thought was strange. 
Jesus came to destroy religion. Religion occupies a persons mind with ritual and tradition which Jesus made clear is NOT THE POINT. The Commandments clearly state how we are to revere God and treat each other. When Jesus said, keeping the Commandments won’t save you, he didn’t mean we should throw them out. They were simply a guide for how we were to live together in peace. Religious institutions were created by men for the purpose of elevating a man. “The doctrines of men are all drouse.” We were to share God with our family and close neighbors, that’s why the NT cited some will yield 30, 50,100. Who is being praised in a mega church but the leader and self. 
But in private, out side of religion and the boasting of men, it’s just me and God. That’s the relationship he wants. 
And to express our faith, he doesn’t want us preaching on the corners, he wants us to SEE THE NEED AROUND US AND FULFILL IT. This is the true sanctuary of God. 
Sorry about not knowing all the ref points. I remember what I’ve read but not always where I’ve read it in scripture do to loss of memory capacity due to an accident many years ago.

May 18 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Oluwatobi Eden
I am of the opinion that the Bible text Acts17:22 does not directly mean that being religious is reverent to demons. Apostle was trying to lead the people of Athens to right path which is serving God through Christ. He saw that this people are religious but they described their service to be to an unknown god. This is why I perceived he said you are religious or reverent to demons - not that being religious is reverent to demons. I will also suggest that you read the whole chapter for clarity. You have read whole chapter of the scripture to get the appropriate message or sometimes you will even have to read the chapter that precedes the one you are reading and the one after. The Holy Spirit will continue to teach us in Jesus' name.

May 21 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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