When the Apostle Paul arrived in Athens after fleeing from persecution it was the university center of the world. Nearly 400 years had passed since the greatest philosophers of antiquity had taught there – Pericles, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Sophocles. Almost all modern philosophies have their roots in these men. Yet they and those who followed after their teachings in Athens at the time of Paul’s visit were ignorant of the One True God and what had occurred in Jerusalem twenty years before.
In the absence of the knowledge of the One True God the Greeks had developed their own pantheon of gods, pagan ideology, and perverted morality. For the Gospel to penetrate this culture and worldview Paul would have to proclaim a message which was different from the one he declared to the Jews in synagogues who were already monotheistic and knew the Old Testament Scriptures. How Paul presented the Good News in Athens in 51 AD is a model for how and what we need to communicate to our ideologically wayward world today.