For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
In this verse, the Apostle Paul is addressing the Athenians during his visit to the city of Athens. He makes reference to a statement made by certain poets familiar to the Athenians. The poets he is referring to are Epimenides and Aratus.
Epimenides was a Cretan poet and philosopher who lived in the 6th century BC. He is best known for his poem “The Purification of Crete,” in which he describes the creation of the world and the origin of the human race. In one passage of the poem, Epimenides writes:
“All men are made of earth, and all men have their breath from Zeus.”
This is the statement that Paul is referring to in Acts 17:28. He is using it to argue that the Athenians, like all men, are created by God and are therefore His offspring.
Aratus was a Greek poet who lived in the 3rd century BC. He is best known for his poem “Phenomena,” which describes the stars and planets. In one passage of the poem, Aratus writes:
“We are all from God, and we all have our life from Him.”
This is the other statement that Paul is referring to in Acts 17:28. He is using it to make the same point as he did with Epimenides’ statement: that the Athenians, like all men, are created by God and are therefore His offspring.
Paul’s use of these two statements from Greek poets is significant because it shows that he was able to communicate his message in a way that was familiar and understandable to his audience. He was not simply preaching to the Athenians about a foreign god, but was showing them that his faith was already present in their own culture.