Are You a Berean or an Athenian?

by Allen Cantrell


In Acts 17:11 and 21 we have the stark contrast between the people of Berea and the people of Athens. The Bereans are described in vs. 11:  “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

The Athenians are described in vs. 21:  “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” 


In Berea they wanted the Word. In Athens they wanted something new.

In Berea they eagerly received God’s precious Word. In Athens they craved something “creative and cutting edge”.

In Berea they searched the scriptures. In Athens they speculated and scoffed at the apostolic message.

In Berea their moorings were God-breathed words. In Athens their moorings were their own imaginings,  like the man who had both feet firmly planted in mid-air.

In Berea the people had a single heart. In Athens they had “an open mind”.

In Berea they looked back to a fixed standard set by God Himself. In Athens they looked high and low for any novelty.

In Berea there was diligence in Bible study. In Athens there was open dialogue and tolerance of all things except Paul’s message.

Bereans were noble. (God said so.) Athenians were non-committal.

Bereans rejected outright anything that did not align with the Divine Standard. Athenians rejected the Divine Standard and embraced everything else.

The Bereans accepted no message (even Paul’s!) unless it was scriptural. Athenians accepted every message except the one sent by God.


Honestly now–in which group do you belong?

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