Aratus Phaenomena 5


From Zeus let us begin; him do we mortals never leave unnamed; full of Zeus are all the streets and all the market-places of men; full is the sea and the havens thereof; always we all have need of Zeus. For we are also his offspring; and he in his kindness unto men giveth favourable signs and wakeneth the people to work, reminding them of livelihood. He tells what time the soil is best for the labour of the ox and for the mattock, and what time the seasons are favourable both for the planting of trees and for casting all manner of seeds. For himself it was who set the signs in heaven, and marked out the constellations, and for the year devised what stars chiefly should give to men right signs of the seasons, to the end that all things might grow unfailingly. Wherefore him do men ever worship first and last. Hail, O Father, mighty marvel, mighty blessing unto men. Hail to thee and to the Elder Race! Hail, ye Muses, right kindly, every one! But for me, too, in answer to my prayer direct all my lay, even as is meet, to tell the stars.

Acts 17:28

New Testament

26 From one man he made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times and the fixed limits of the places where they would live, 27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 For in him we live and move about and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ 29 So since we are God’s offspring, we should not think the deity is like gold or silver or stone, an image made by human skill and imagination. 30 Therefore, although God has overlooked such times of ignorance, he now commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he designated, having provided proof to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

 Notes and References

"... One feature that has yet to receive the attention it merits is the place of the Gospel crowds in relation to the chorus in Greek tragedy. Note that in making this connection, I do not mean to imply that Jesus and the Gospel writers were necessarily acquainted with Greek tragedy. Nevertheless, the possibility cannot be ruled out of hand: it is sometimes argued that Jesus’ use of the term “hypocrite” demonstrates an acquaintance with Greek drama, picked up from visits from Nazareth to the theater in the nearby Hellenized city of Sepphoris. Nor is it unlikely that so sophisticated an author as Luke should be unfamiliar with drama, especially as he may paraphrase Euripides in Acts: “It hurts to kick against the goads” (26:14; compare Bacch. 795). (n Acts 17:28, Luke has Paul cite Aratus (Phaenomena 5) and possibly Epimenides (Cretica) and Cleanthes (Hymn to Zeus). Paul himself cites Menander’s Thais (218) at 1 Corinthians 15:33, though this passage may well have become proverbial ...) Yet, since it is difficult to establish direct influence, I will simply bracket the question, and examine whether, within the two literary genres, tragedy and Gospel, the crowds and the chorus display similarities in the way they are characterized and in the type of functions they perform ..."

Cousland, J. R. C. "The Choral Crowds in the Tragedy According to St. Matthew" in Brant, Jo-Ann A., et al., (eds.) Ancient Fiction: The Matrix of Early Christian and Jewish Narrative (p. 256) Society of Biblical Literature, 2005

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