Paul in Ephesus
19 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions [C the mountainous northern route through the interior of Phrygia; 18:23] to Ephesus [C a major city in western Asia Minor; 18:23]. There he found some ·followers [disciples] 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit ·when [or after] you believed?”
They said, “We have never even heard ·of [or that there is] a Holy Spirit.”
3 So he asked, “·What kind of baptism did you have [L Into what were you baptized]?”
They said, “·It was the baptism that John taught [L Into John’s baptism].” [C These followers of John the Baptist either (1) knew only of John’s ministry but had not heard that Jesus was the Messiah, or less likely, (2) believed in Jesus as Messiah, but had not been baptized in his name to receive the Holy Spirit.]
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of ·changed hearts and lives [repentance; C in preparation for the Messiah]. He told people to believe in the one who would come after him, and that one is Jesus.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized ·in [or into] the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Then Paul ·laid [placed] his hands on them [C a ritual of blessing and/or conferring of authority], and the Holy Spirit came upon them. They began speaking ·different languages [or in tongues; ecstatic utterance] and prophesying. 7 There were about twelve people in this group.
8 Paul went into the synagogue and spoke out ·boldly [confidently; fearlessly] for three months. He ·talked [reasoned; argued] with the people and persuaded them ·to accept the things he said about [L concerning] the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became ·stubborn [hardened]. They refused to believe and ·said evil things about [slandered; cursed] ·the Way of Jesus [L the Way; C another name for the Christian movement; 9:2; 18:25; 22:4] before ·all the people [the crowd]. So Paul left them, and taking the ·followers [disciples] with him, he went to the ·school [lecture hall] of a man named Tyrannus. There Paul ·talked [discussed; reasoned; debated] with people every day 10 for two years. Because of his work, ·everyone who lived in [the whole population of] the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
The Sons of Sceva
11 God ·used Paul to do [L through the hands of Paul did] some ·very special [extraordinary] miracles. 12 Some people took ·handkerchiefs [face cloths] and ·clothes [work aprons; or hand towels] ·that Paul had used [that had touched Paul; L from his skin] and put them on the sick. When they did this, ·the sick were healed [L the diseases left them] and evil spirits ·left [L came out of] them.
13 But some ·people also were traveling around and making evil spirits go out of people [L traveling/itinerant Jewish exorcists…]. They tried to ·use [invoke; L name] the name of the Lord Jesus to force the evil spirits out. They would say, “By the same Jesus that Paul ·talks about [L preaches; proclaims], I ·order [command; adjure] you to come out!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a ·leading [L Jewish chief] priest, were doing this.
15 But one time ·an [L the] evil spirit said to them, “I know Jesus, and I ·know about [recognize] Paul, but who are you?”
16 Then the man who had the evil spirit ·jumped on [leaped on; attacked] them. Because he ·was so much stronger than all of them [violently overpowered them], they ran away from the house naked and ·hurt [wounded]. 17 All the people [L who lived] in Ephesus—Jews and Greeks—learned about this and were filled with fear and ·gave great honor to [praised/magnified the name of] the Lord Jesus. 18 Many of ·the believers [those who now believed] began to confess openly and ·tell all the evil things they had done [L disclose their (evil/magical) practices]. 19 ·Some [or A significant number] of them who had ·used magic [practiced sorcery/witchcraft] brought their magic ·books [or scrolls] and burned them before everyone. Those books were worth about fifty thousand silver coins [C probably drachmas, each worth a day’s wages].
20 ·So in a powerful way [L In this way; Thus] the word of the Lord kept spreading and ·growing [or grew strong; prevailed].
21 After these things [L had been fulfilled/accomplished], Paul decided [L in his spirit; or in the Spirit] to go to Jerusalem, planning to go through Macedonia [C northern Greece] and Achaia [C southern Greece] and then on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have been ·to Jerusalem [L there], I must also ·visit [L see] Rome.” 22 Paul sent Timothy and Erastus, two of his ·helpers [assistants], ahead to Macedonia, but he himself stayed in [C the province of] Asia for a while.
Trouble in Ephesus
23 And during [or about; at] that time, there was ·some serious trouble [L no small disturbance] in Ephesus about ·the Way of Jesus [L the Way; C another name for the Christian movement; 9:2; 18:25; 22:4]. 24 A man named Demetrius, who worked with silver, made little silver ·models that looked like the temple [L shrines; C probably reliefs depicting the goddess in her temple] of the goddess Artemis [C Greek goddess of fertility, worshiped particularly in Ephesus]. ·Those who did this work [The artisans/craftsmen] made much money [L had no little business]. 25 ·Demetrius [L He] had a meeting with them and ·some others [L workers] who did ·the same kind of work [or similar trades]. He told them, “Men, you know that ·we make a lot of money [our wealth/livelihood comes] from this business. 26 But ·look at [L you have seen and heard] what this man Paul is doing. He has ·convinced [persuaded] and ·turned away [or led astray] many people, not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of [C the province of] Asia! He says the gods made by human hands are not ·real [L gods (at all); Is. 44:9–20; 46:1–7; 1 Cor. 8:4–6]. 27 There is a danger that our business will ·lose its good name [be discredited], but there is also another danger: People will begin to think that the temple of the great goddess Artemis is not important, and the goddess herself, whom everyone in [C the province of] Asia and the whole world worships, will ·lose [be deposed of/stripped of] her majesty [magnificence; greatness].
28 When the others heard this, they became ·very angry [enraged; furious] and shouted, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 The whole city ·became confused [was filled with confusion; was in an uproar]. The people grabbed Gaius and Aristarchus [20:4; 27:2; Col. 4:10; Philem. 24], who were from Macedonia and were traveling with Paul, and ·ran [rushed together] to the theater. 30 Paul wanted to ·go in and talk to the crowd [appear before the assembly], but the ·followers [disciples] did not let him. 31 Also, some ·leaders of Asia [provincial authorities; L of the Asiarchs; C a group of wealthy political leaders who had religious functions] who were friends of Paul sent him a message, ·begging [urging; encouraging] him not to ·go [venture; take the risk of going] into the theater. 32 Some people were shouting one thing, and some were shouting another. The ·meeting [assembly] was completely confused; most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 The Jews ·pushed forward [put in front] a man named Alexander, and some of them [C either the crowd or the Jews] ·told him to explain [or gave him advice on what to say; or assumed he was responsible for the trouble]. Alexander ·waved [gestured with] his hand [C for silence] so he could ·explain things to [or make a defense before] the ·people [crowd]. 34 But when they ·saw [recognized] that Alexander was a Jew [C Jews opposed idol worship, so the crowd was suspicious of him], they all shouted ·the same thing [in unison; L with one voice] for two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35 Then the city clerk [C the head of the assembly and the senior local official] quieted [calmed down] the crowd. He said, “·People of Ephesus [L Men, Ephesians], ·everyone knows [L who does not know…?] that Ephesus is the city that ·keeps [guards] the temple of the great goddess Artemis and her ·holy stone [or image; or statue] that fell from heaven [C probably a meteorite that resembled the many-breasted image of Artemis]. 36 Since no one can say this is not true, you should ·be quiet [keep calm]. ·Stop and think before you do anything [Do nothing reckless/rash]. 37 You brought these men here, but they have not ·said anything evil against [L blasphemed] our goddess or ·stolen anything from [or committed sacrilege against] her temple. 38 If Demetrius and ·those who work [L the artisans/craftmen] with him have a ·charge [complaint; grievance; L word] against anyone, ·they should go to the courts and judges [L the courts are open/in session and there are proconsuls] where they can ·argue with [or bring charges against] each other. 39 If there is something else you want to talk about, it ·can [or must] be decided at the ·regular town meeting of the people [legal assembly; C which met three times a month]. 40 I say this because [L we are in danger that] some people might see this trouble today and ·say that we are [accuse us of; charge us with] rioting. We could not explain this, because there is no real reason for this ·meeting [or uproar; commotion].” 41 After the city clerk said these things, he ·told the people to go home [L dismissed the assembly].