Paul Goes to Ephesus
191While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior districts and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
“No,” they answered, “we have not even heard that the Holy Spirit was given.”
3Paul asked, “What were you baptized into then?”
They replied, “Into John's baptism.”
4Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus. 5When they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.”
6When Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began to speak in other languages and to prophesy. 7There were about twelve men in all.
8Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, leading discussions and trying to persuade them about the kingdom of God. 9But when some became hardened and refused to believe, even slandering the Way in front of the crowd, he left them. He took the disciples with him and led discussions every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10This went on for two years, with the result that all who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
11God was doing extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick; their illnesses left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
The Seven Sons of Sceva
13Then some Jewish exorcists who went from place to place tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits. They said, “I command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches to come out!” 14It was the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who were doing this. 15But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” 16Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them, overpowered them, and exercised such complete domination over all of them that they fled from that house naked and wounded.
17This became known to everyone who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. They were all overcome with fear, and they held the name of the Lord Jesus in high honor. 18Also many of those who had become believers came forward, confessing and admitting their actions. 19And a large number of those who had practiced magic arts collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. They added up the cost of the books and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20In this way the word of the Lord was growing and gaining strength. 21After all this had happened, Paul resolved in his spirit to go to Jerusalem by traveling through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must also see Rome.” 22After sending two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, he stayed in the province of Asia for a while.
The Riot in Ephesus
23During that time there was more than a minor disturbance about the Way. 24A certain silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little income for the craftsmen. 25He called them together, along with the workers in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this income. 26You also see and hear that not merely in Ephesus but throughout almost the entire province of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a large number of people. He says that gods made by hands are not gods at all! 27Not only is there danger that our trade may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be considered worthless. Then she will suffer the loss of her magnificence, although she is worshipped by the whole province of Asia and the world.”
28When they heard this, they were filled with rage and began to shout, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29The city was filled with confusion, and with one goal in mind they rushed to the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's traveling companions. 30Paul wanted to enter the public assembly, but the disciples would not let him. 31Even some of the provincial officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.
32Some were shouting one thing, others another, because the assembly was in confusion. Most of them did not even know why they had come together. 33They made Alexander come out of the crowd. It was the Jews who pushed him forward. Alexander motioned with his hand and wanted to make his defense to the assembly. 34But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single cry rose from all of them. For about two hours, they kept shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 35After the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, who is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image that fell from heaven? 36Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you need to be quiet and not do anything rash. 37For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38If Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them press charges against one another. 39If you want to pursue something about other matters, it should be settled in the legal assembly. 40For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, because we will not be able to give any reason for this disorderly mob.” 41After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.