19:1Now it happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the upper districts down to Ephesus. He found some disciples19:2and said, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
“No,” they replied, “we have heard nothing about a Holy Spirit.”
19:3So he asked, “Then by what name were you immersed?”
And they replied, “John’s immersion.”
19:4“John immersed for the purpose of telling people to change their minds and put their trust in the One coming after him, meaning Jesus,” Paul responded.19:5Upon hearing this they were immersed in the name of Master Jesus.19:6And when Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they began to speak in other languages and to prophesy.19:7There were about twelve men in all.
19:8Entering the synagogue, Paul spoke boldly for three months, debating and persuading on matters concerning the kingdom of God.19:9But some were obstinate and hostile, and they spoke abusively against the Way in front of the crowd. So Paul left them and separated the disciples from them as well, and debated each day in the hall of Tyrannos.19:10This went on for two years, to the point that everyone living in the province of Asia, both Judeans and non-Judeans, heard the Word of the Master.
19:11God performed extraordinary powers through Paul’s hands.19:12For example, when cloths or handkerchiefs that had touched his skin were taken to the infirm, they were cured of their illnesses. Even evil spirits were exorcised.
19:13But some of the Judeans who traveled around doing exorcisms took it upon themselves to invoke the name of Master Jesus over the possessed: “I exorcise you1 by Jesus, whom Paul is proclaiming!”19:14The ones doing this were seven sons of Sceva, a Judean and ruling priest.19:15But the evil spirit snarled, “I do know Jesus, and I’m familiar with Paul, but who are you?”19:16Then the possessed person pounced on them. He was too strong for them and overpowered them, and they ran from the house naked and wounded.
19:17This incident became known to everyone, both Judeans and non-Judeans, living in Ephesus. They were all gripped with fear, and their respect for the name of Master Jesus was intensified.19:18Many who had already believed now openly confessed their former practices,19:19including a significant number of those who had practiced divination. They collected their books and burned them where everyone could see, and the value of them was estimated to be in the millions.219:20So it was with great power that the Word of the Master grew and became strong.
19:21After all of that happened, Paul was prompted in spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia, and then on to Jerusalem. “And from there,” he said, “I must see Rome as well.”19:22When he had sent two of his attendants (Timothy and Erastus) to Macedonia, he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.
19:23Now around that same time there was a serious controversy about the Way.19:24A certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines to Artemis, made quite a nice income for the craftspeople.19:25He called a meeting of all who worked in related trades and said, “Folks, you are well aware that our standard of living depends upon this craft.19:26And you have seen and heard that this Paul, not only in Ephesus but throughout almost the entire province of Asia, has convinced and drawn away a large number of people, by saying that things made by hands are not gods.
19:27“Not only does this put our association at risk of being viewed with contempt, it also reduces the temple of the great goddess Artemis to nothing. Her Majesty is about to be demolished— she who is revered by the whole province of Asia and the entire world!”19:28Upon hearing this, they were all infuriated and shouted out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”19:29The whole city was thrown into confusion. They grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus who were traveling companions of Paul, and rushed as one into the theater.
19:30Now Paul wanted to appear before the people but the disciples would not allow it.19:31In addition, some of his friends who were rulers in the province of Asia sent word to him, advising him not to enter the theater.19:32The assembly3 was in confusion: some were shouting one thing and some another. Most of them didn’t even know why they were gathered there!
19:33Then the Judeans got together and pushed forward Alexander out from the crowd. He gestured with his hand to signal the crowd that he would make his defense.19:34But when they realized he was a Judean, they all shouted together for about two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”19:35Then the scripture scholar got the crowd to calm down, and he addressed them: “People of Ephesus! Everyone knows that the city of Ephesus is the custodian of the temple of the great Artemis, whose image fell to us from heaven.419:36Since these things cannot be denied, you must compose yourselves and not do anything rash.
19:37“You brought these men here though they didn’t rob the temple or slander our goddess.19:38So then, if Demetrius and his associates have a charge to bring against anyone, the courts are in session and there are regional governors. Let them bring charges against each other!19:39But if you have any other matter to bring up, it must be settled by legal assembly.19:40As it is, we are liable of being charged for today’s uproar, since we have no grounds to justify it.”
- 1“exorcise you” is literally “solemnly charge you.”
- 2Literally, “fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
- 3“Assembly” is literally “congregation,” referring to the assembly of people, not the Congregation of believers. But this is inferred, since the same Greek word is used in each case.
- 4The literal “from Zeus” is equivalent to saying “from heaven.”