32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Acts 17:32-34 gives the mixed response of the Athenians to Paul’s speech.
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked,
Some ridiculed Paul for his claim that God raised someone from the dead. The thought of a body surviving death made no sense to them. Their concept was that only the soul would pass to another place. The idea of a physical resurrection was a shock to them.
while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.”
Those unsure about the truth of Paul’s message wanted to hear more.
So Paul departed from among them.
Having made his point, Paul left the philosophers in the Areopagus.
However, some men joined him and believed,
A third group believed Paul’s message. However, there is no evidence that the apostle established a church in Athens. It is possible that a small group formed around Paul’s message. The word “joined” may imply that they not only followed Paul but also joined a group of Christians.
among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Luke named some of those who believed Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill: Dionysius the Areopagite (a council member of Athens) and a woman named Damaris, among others. These people may have been the “first converts in Achaia,” to which 1 Corinthians 16:15 refers.
Eusebius claimed that Dionysius became the first bishop in Athens.
The Resurrection introduces a new dynamic for the human body.
The Greeks glorified the present life by worshiping its forms. The physical Resurrection of Christ assumes something beyond the present life, a life out of death.