New Defender's Study Bible Notes
17:24 Lord of heaven and earth. This message to the pagan intellectuals at Athens can be considered as typical of Paul’s method with people who did not already know and respect the Scriptures, just as his message in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch can be considered typical of his approach to those who did (Acts 13:16-41). In the one case, he began with God’s witness in creation, in the other with Scriptures; in both cases, he ended with Christ and the resurrection, urging his hearers to believe.
17:24 temples made with hands. Athens was filled with beautiful temples, monuments and images, but to Paul they were merely depressing symbols of the city’s idolatry.
17:25 life, and breath. This is the only occurrence of “breath” in the New Testament. The Greek word pnoe occurs elsewhere only in Acts 2:2, speaking of the Holy Spirit coming as a “rushing mighty wind.”
17:26 of one blood. The concept of “race” has no basis in Scripture; all men are descended from Adam, through Noah, and thus all are members of only one race—the human race. The term “race,” as ordinarily used, is strictly an evolutionary concept, with “race” understood as a sub-species in the process of evolving into a new species. There is no observational scientific evidence for such evolutionary transformations, among either men or animals.
17:26 bounds of their habitation. In ways unknown, yet real, God raises nations up and puts them down, as He will (note Deuteronomy 32:7-9; Daniel 2:20-21; etc.), in accordance with their faithfulness to His respective purposes for them. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12). “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).