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Paul Goes to Ephesus

19 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior districts and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples and 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.”

Paul asked, “What were you baptized into then?”

They replied, “Into John’s baptism.”

Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.[a] When they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.”[b]

When Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began to speak in other languages and to prophesy. There were about twelve men in all.

Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, leading discussions and trying to persuade them about[c] the kingdom of God. But 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. 10 This 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.

11 God was doing extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so 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

13 Then 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!” 14 It was the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then 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.

17 This 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. 18 Also many of those who had become believers came forward, confessing and admitting their actions. 19 And a large number of those who had practiced magic arts[d] 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.[e] 20 In this way the word of the Lord was growing and gaining strength.

21 After all this had happened, Paul resolved in his spirit[f] to go to Jerusalem by traveling through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must also see Rome.” 22 After sending two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, he stayed in the province of Asia for a while.

The Riot in Ephesus

23 During that time there was more than a minor disturbance about the Way. 24 A certain silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little income for the craftsmen. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this income. 26 You 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! 27 Not 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.”

28 When they heard this, they were filled with rage and began to shout, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 The 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. 30 Paul wanted to enter the public assembly, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Even some of the provincial officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.

32 Some were shouting one thing, others another, because the assembly was in confusion. Most of them did not even know why they had come together. 33 They made Alexander come out of the crowd.[g] It was the Jews who pushed him forward. Alexander motioned with his hand and wanted to make his defense to the assembly. 34 But 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!”

35 After 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? 36 Therefore, since these things cannot be denied, you need to be quiet and not do anything rash. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our[h] goddess. 38 If 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. 39 If you want to pursue something about other matters,[i] it should be settled in the legal assembly. 40 For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, because we will not be able to give any reason for this disorderly mob.” 41 After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.


  1. Acts 19:4 Some witnesses to the text add Christ.
  2. Acts 19:5 The translation treats this verse as a continuation of Paul’s words. With this understanding, Paul did not baptize these disciples. However, if the quotation marks are placed at the end of verse 4, Paul did baptize them. The quotation marks are not a part of the original text, so either is textually possible.
  3. Acts 19:8 Some witnesses to the text add things concerning.
  4. Acts 19:19 Or sorcery
  5. Acts 19:19 These pieces of silver were Greek drachmas, each worth about a day’s wage.
  6. Acts 19:21 Or in the Spirit
  7. Acts 19:33 A few witnesses to the text read Some in the crowd gave Alexander instructions.
  8. Acts 19:37 Some witnesses to the text read your.
  9. Acts 19:39 A few witnesses to the text read If there is anything further that you want.