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Superstitious

SUPERSTITIOUS (sū'pêr-stĭsh'ŭs). In Acts.17.22 Paul calls the Athenians deisidaimonesterous (extremely [uncommonly] scrupulous jb, neb; too superstitious kjv; very religious asv, niv, rsv). Found only here in the NT, the Greek word is neutral, applying to any religion, good or bad. Paul used it in the comparative form (“more religious than most people”); he would not deliberately antagonize his hearers.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

su-per-stish’-un; su-per-stish’-us (deisidaimonia, "fearing demons"): The Biblical use of these words is limited to that of the former in Ac 25:19 the King James Version, and of the latter in Ac 17:22. In the former reference, Festus speaks of the Jews’ "superstition" (the Revised Version (British and American) "religion"), thus artfully dodging an avowal of his own convictions "respecting the Hebrew faith." In Ac 17:22 the King James Version Paul tactfully refers to the Athenians as being "too superstitious" (the Revised Version (British and American) "too religious"), thus using the term correctly from both their and his point of view. They were truly too "religious" with their superstitions.

Leonard W. Doolan