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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Aratus

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(῎Αρατος ), the author of two astronomical poems in Greek, about B.C. 270, fragments and Latin translations of which are alone extant (Fabric. Bibl. Grave. 4:87; Schaubach, Gesch. d. griech. Astronomic, p. 215; Delambre, Hist. de l'Astron. Ancienne). (For an account of his works and their editions, see Smith's Dict. of Class. Biog. s.v.) From the opening of one of these poems, entitled Phaenomena (Φαινόμενα ), the Apostle Paul is thought to have made the quotation indicated in his speech at Athens (Acts 17:28), "As certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring;' "since the words precisely agree (Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν). Others, however (see Kuinol, Comment. in loc.), adduce similar sentiments from Cleanthes (ἐκ σοῦ γαρ γένος ἐσμέν, Hymn. in Jovem, 5) and Pindar (ἕν θεῶν γένος , Nem. 6). A few brief and casual quotations of this kind have been made the foundation of the hasty conclusion that Paul was well read in classic poetry; but this, from his Jewish education, is extremely improbable. (See PAUL). In this, the most direct instance, he appears rather to refer to the general sentiment of the Greek mythology, of which the passages adduced (alluded to in a general way by Paul, as if taken second-hand and by recollection merely) are the frequent expression (note the plur. "poets"). See Schmid, De Arato (Jen. 1691).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Aratus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/a/aratus.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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