Acts 17:29-34:

29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.” 32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from among them. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Are-opagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

Acts 18:24-28:

24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aq′uila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to Acha′ia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

Dionysios the Areopagite (Acts 17:34) is an enigmatic figure with great impact on the history of the Church. He was inspiration to the Church Fathers of the East and West, including St. Maximus the Confessor, St. John of Damascus, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas Aquinas. He originated the entire conception of Christian Angelology and the structure of the Heavens.

Does he deserve the appellation “pseudo”? Read his writings yourself.

“For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.” Matthew 7:2

Resources on Dionysios Areopagite:

  • The conclusions of John Parker, translator of the Corpus Dionysiacum (1897):

“We have produced the evidence and leave the reader to adopt that conclusion which appears to him most agreeable to historical criticism and common sense. We claim to have verified that famous dictum of the profound Pearson, who, speaking of the writings of Dionysius, wrote: “No one is so ignorant as not to know that these writings were regarded as genuine by the best judges in the 6th, the 5th, the 4th, and the 3rd centuries.””

  • The remarks of Pope Benedict XVI (2008):

“But there are two hypotheses concerning this anonymity and pseudonym. The first hypothesis says that it was a deliberate falsification by which, in dating his works back to the first century, to the time of St Paul, he wished to give his literary opus, a quasi apostolic authority. But there is another better hypothesis than this, which seems to me barely credible: namely that he himself desired to make an act of humility; he did not want to glorify his own name, he did not want to build a monument to himself with his work but rather truly to serve the Gospel, to create an ecclesial theology, neither individual nor based on himself.”

“I highlight one approach to pseudepigrapha, an approach labeled “religious” or “psychological,” which argues that a pseudonymous author had a special kinship with the ancient sage or seer under whose name he wrote, and that pseudonymous writing served to collapse or “telescope” the past and the present, such that the present author and the past luminary could achieve a kind of contemporaneity.” (Chapter 3)


“… there is a peculiar understanding of time at work… such that the saints of the apostolic and sub‐apostolic ages are widely believed to exist in a “timeless communion” with the present age.” (Chapter 3)

  • Eusebius’ Church History (340 AD) chapters on Dionysius the Areopagite (Book IV, Chapter 23):

“And first we must speak of Dionysius, who was appointed bishop of the church in Corinth, and communicated freely of his inspired labors not only to his own people, but also to those in foreign lands, and rendered the greatest service to all in the catholic epistles which he wrote to the churches.”