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. Chapter 19.

Paul at Ephesus (Ephesus)

1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul travelled through the inland regions till he came to Ephesus. 2 There he found a number of converts, to whom he said, 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?' 'No,' they replied, 'we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.' 3 He said, 'Then what baptism were you given?' 'John's baptism', they answered. 4 Paul then said, 'The baptism that John gave was a baptism in token of repentance, and he told the people to put their trust in one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.' 5 On hearing this they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus; 6 and when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke in tongues of ecstasy and prophesied. 7 Altogether they were about a dozen men.

8 During the next three months he attended the synagogue and, using argument and persuasion, spoke boldly and freely about the kingdom of God. 9 But when some proved obdurate and would not believe, speaking evil of the new way before the whole congregation, he left them, withdrew his converts, and continued to hold discussions daily in the lecture-hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, with the result that the whole population of the province of Asia, both Jews and Gentiles, heard the word of the Lord. 11 And through Paul God worked singular miracles: 12 when handkerchiefs and scarves which had been in contact with his skin were carried to the sick, they were rid of their diseases and the evil spirits came out of them.

The Sons of Sceva (Ephesus)

13 But some strolling Jewish exorcists tried their hand at using the name of the Lord Jesus on those possessed by evil spirits; they would say, 'I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul proclaims.' 14 There were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who were using this method, 15 when the evil spirit answered back and said, 'Jesus I acknowledge, and I know about Paul, but who are you?' 16 And the man with the evil spirit flew at them, overpowered them all, and handled them with such violence that they ran out of the house stripped and battered. 17 This became known to everybody in Ephesus, whether Jew or Gentile; they were all awestruck, and the name of the Lord Jesus gained in honour. 18 Moreover many of those who had become believers came and openly confessed that they had been using magical spells. 19 And a good many of those who formerly practised magic collected their books and burnt them publicly. The total value was reckoned up and it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 In such ways the word of the Lord showed its power, spreading more and more widely and effectively.

The Riot at Ephesus (Ephesus)

21 When things had reached this stage, Paul made up his mind [Or: Paul, led by the Spirit, resolved ...] to visit Macedonia and Achaia and then go on to Jerusalem; and he said, 'After I have been there, I must see Rome also.' 22 So he sent two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he himself stayed some time longer in the province of Asia.

23 Now about that time, the Christian movement gave rise to a serious disturbance. 24 There was a man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Diana and provided a great deal of employment for the craftsmen. 25 He called a meeting of these men and the workers in allied trades, and addressed them. 'Men,' he said, 'you know that our high standard of living depends on this industry. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul with his propaganda has perverted crowds of people, not only at Ephesus but also in practically the whole of the province of Asia. He is telling them that gods made by human hands are not gods at all. 27 There is danger for us here; it is not only that our line of business will be discredited, but also that the sanctuary of the great goddess Diana will cease to command respect; and then it will not be long before she who is worshipped by all Asia and the civilized world is brought down from her divine pre-eminence.'

28 When they heard this they were roused to fury and shouted, 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians!' 29 The whole city was in confusion; they seized Paul's travelling-companions, the Macedonians Gaius and Aristarchus, and made a concerted rush with them into the theatre. 30 Paul wanted to appear before the assembly but the other Christians would not let him. 31 Even some of the dignitaries of the province, who were friendly towards him, went and urged him not to venture into the theatre. 32 Meanwhile some were shouting one thing, some another; for the assembly was in confusion and most of them did not know what they had all come for. 33 But some of the crowd explained the trouble to Alexander, whom the Jews had pushed to the front, and he, motioning for silence, attempted to make a defence before the assembly. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single cry arose from them all: for about two hours they kept on shouting, 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians!'

35 The town clerk, however, quieted the crowd. 'Men of Ephesus,' he said, 'all the world knows that our city of Ephesus is temple-warden of the great Diana and of that symbol of her which fell from heaven. 36 Since these facts are beyond dispute, your proper course is to keep quiet and do nothing rash. 37 These men whom you have brought here as culprits have committed no sacrilege and uttered no blasphemy against our goddess. 38 If therefore Demetrius and his craftsmen have a case against anyone, assizes are held and there are such people as proconsuls; let the parties bring their charges and countercharges. 39 If, on the other hand, you have some further question to raise, it will be dealt with in the statutory assembly. 40 We certainly run the risk of being charged with riot for this day's work. There is no justification for it, and if the issue is raised we shall be unable to give any explanation of this uproar.' 41 With that he dismissed the assembly.

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