Who was Atticus in the Bible?
The Bible comprises many significant figures.
Most are well known because of how frequently their names and what they did appeared on the pages of the Bible. However, some people can be best described as unsung heroes.
Little or nothing is known about them, yet they played crucial roles in propagating the gospel or influencing people or activities that have positively impacted Christianity.
Atticus is believed to have lived in the 2nd century AD, a period ]the apostles of Jesus were actively in ministry.
Who was Atticus?
Was he mentioned in the Bible?
Did he influence Christianity or had any encounters with Jesus and His disciples?
This article will reveal all you need to know about the man.
Who was Atticus in the Bible?
The Bible did not mention Atticus. Atticus was not alive during the time of Jesus. But he lived during the 2nd century AD, probably during the times the apostles of Jesus were spreading the gospel according to Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19-20. However, no biblical reference or story points toward any encounter or interaction between him and the disciples or other biblical figures.
His full name was Lucius Vibullius Hipparchus Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes, and non of this name appeared in the Bible.
He was born around 101 AD into a wealthy and influential family in Marathon, a town in Attica, Greece.
He was descended from an ancient Athenian family and also had Roman citizenship.
A brief historical background of Atticus
In his formative years, Herodes Atticus was privileged to receive an education of the highest caliber.
As a young and ambitious lad, he immersed himself in the world of rhetoric and philosophy, honing his skills under the tutelage of none other than the celebrated sophist and philosopher Dio Chrysostom.
Among these esteemed scholars, Herodes flourished, developing an innate proficiency in the art of persuasive oration and engaging in intellectual debates that left others in awe.
Yet, his journey to greatness did not stop there.
Through a series of fateful encounters and strategic maneuvers, Herodes Atticus forged formidable connections with the most powerful men of his time – the Roman emperors.
None held a closer place in his heart than the illustrious Emperor Hadrian, whose reign spanned from 117 to 138 AD.
This unique bond was more than mere camaraderie; it was the cornerstone of Herodes’ meteoric rise in both the political and financial realms.
With Hadrian’s influence at his side, Herodes navigated the treacherous waters of Roman politics with an unerring finesse.
His close association with the emperor bestowed upon him unprecedented opportunities, opening doors that others could only dream of.
Together, they charted a course to success, where Herodes’ vision, ambition, and charisma merged with Hadrian’s imperial might, culminating in a legacy etched indelibly into the annals of history.
What is Atticus most known for?
Atticus was known for his incredible wealth, which he used to fund various cultural and public projects.
He was a prolific patron of the arts, supporting poets, philosophers, and musicians.
He financed the construction of theaters, libraries, and public monuments in several cities, including Athens, Corinth, and Olympia.
This is an incredible and godly thing to do. It also shows that Atticus lived a godly lifestyle because the Bible encourages us to help the needy (Hebrews 13:16).
Jesus, during His earthly ministry, went about doing good.
He was feeding the hungry, healing the sick, delivering the oppressed and evil, and restoring lives, bringing joy and happiness into homes devastated by grief.
Atticus proved that one of the ways our names can remain etched in the sands of time is when we use our resources to touch lives and for the public good.
For example, one of his most famous projects was the construction of the Odeon of Atticus, also known as Herodeion, an impressive stone theater located at the southern slope of the Acropolis in Athens still stands today as a testament to his architectural legacy.
It was completed in 161 AD in memory of his wife, Regilla.
Some public projects funded by Atticus
Herodes Atticus was known for his generous philanthropy and patronage of public projects, especially in Greece and other parts of the Roman Empire.
Some of the notable public projects funded or supported by him include:
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
The most famous and enduring of his projects, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, also known as Herodeion, is a magnificent stone theater on the southern slope of the Acropolis in Athens.
It was constructed in memory of his late wife, Regilla, and remains an iconic symbol of ancient Greek architecture.
Herodes Atticus contributed to constructing and maintaining aqueducts, which were essential for supplying water to various cities.
These aqueducts were crucial in ensuring access to clean water for public use, agriculture, and sanitation.
He is said to have built an aqueduct at Canusium in Italy and Alexandria Troas. He also built a water distribution structure called nymphaeum at Olympia.
Herodes funded the construction of several theaters in different cities, creating spaces for artistic performances, including plays, music, and other cultural events.
These theaters served as entertainment and cultural exchange centers in the regions where they were built. Famous among them is the theatre at Corinth.
He supported the establishment of libraries, promoting education and knowledge dissemination.
These libraries housed valuable manuscripts and contributed to their communities’ intellectual development.
Temples and Monuments
Herodes Atticus contributed to the restoration and construction of temples and other monuments, preserving the cultural heritage of ancient Greece and its religious significance.
He sponsored the construction and renovation of stadiums and athletic facilities, promoting sports and physical activities in various cities.
For example, he built a stadium at Delphi and the Panathenaic Stadium.
Herodes contributed to the development of public baths, offering communities access to hygiene and relaxation facilities.
Prominent among them are the baths at Thermopylae.
Did Atticus meet Jesus?
The Bible records that certain Greeks came to see Jesus (John 12:20-50). However, the Bible did not mention their names.
No one knows if Atticus was one of those people.
So, there is no concrete evidence of any interaction with Jesus.
But it is clear as day through the life and experiences of other people in the Bible and today that one does not need to have met Jesus physically before they will be influenced by His teachings.
For instance, the apostle Paul, often called one of the greatest apostles, was a Greek who never met Jesus Christ. However, he did great exploits for God’s Kingdom and significantly impacted Christianity through his numerous epistles that have formed a huge portion of the New Testament.
Therefore, Atticus might know about Jesus.
He might have been moved by His good works, leading Atticus to give back to society through his charitable and philanthropic activities. However, whether they met or not still remains a mystery.
The Role of Atticus in the Bible
It is difficult to pinpoint Atticus’ roles or contributions in the Bible because the Bible is silent about him. However, he has gone ahead to impact people and culture.
Although he died as far back as 177 AD, his legacy remains.
For example, his architectural masterpiece Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a stone theatre structure, remains one of the wonders of the world today, attracting thousands of people and being used as a venue for performances and public events.
This reminds us of how the things we do today, good or bad, can have e generational impact on our loved ones and other people.
Atticus contributions to architecture, literature, and the arts left a significant mark on the cultural landscape of his time and continue to be remembered and appreciated from historical perspectives.
Adam did not know that his descendant would suffer from the pain and punishments of his disobedience. His sins have become a burden every child born into this world must carry.
On the other hand, Jesus’ sacrifice, which breaks Adam’s curse, also has an eternal impact even though it happened over two thousand years ago.
People would access salvation and redemption from generation to generation because of His selfless act of giving His life on the cross.
We learn from these three stories that we must not focus on the temporary pleasures we get now when we want to do something.
We must look beyond the present time and focus on decades and centuries to come before taking a step because whatever we do, no matter how small, can leave an indelible mark on the canvas of history.