1 WHILE APOLLOS was in Corinth, Paul went through the upper inland districts and came down to Ephesus. There he found some disciples.
2 And he asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [on Jesus as the Christ]? And they said, No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.
3 And he asked, Into what [baptism] then were you baptized? They said, Into John's baptism.
4 And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, continually telling the people that they should believe in the One Who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus [having a conviction full of joyful trust that He is Christ, the Messiah, and being obedient to Him].
5 On hearing this they were baptized [again, this time] in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And as Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke in [foreign, unknown] tongues (languages) and prophesied.
7 There were about twelve of them in all.
8 And he went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, persuading and arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God.
9 But when some became more and more stubborn (hardened and unbelieving), discrediting and reviling and speaking evil of the Way [of the Lord] before the congregation, he separated himself from them, taking the disciples with him, and went on holding daily discussions in the lecture room of Tyrannus from about ten o'clock till three.
10 This continued for two years, so that all the inhabitants of [the province of] Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, heard the Word of the Lord [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].
11 And God did unusual and extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,
12 So that handkerchiefs or towels or aprons which had touched his skin were carried away and put upon the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.
13 Then some of the traveling Jewish exorcists (men who adjure evil spirits) also undertook to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, I solemnly implore and charge you by the Jesus Whom Paul preaches!
14 Seven sons of a certain Jewish chief priest named Sceva were doing this.
15 But [one] evil spirit retorted, Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?
16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit dwelt leaped upon them, mastering two of them, and was so violent against them that they dashed out of that house [in fear], stripped naked and wounded.
17 This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, and alarm and terror fell upon them all; and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled and magnified.
18 Many also of those who were now believers came making full confession and thoroughly exposing their [former deceptive and evil] practices.
19 And many of those who had practiced curious, magical arts collected their books and [throwing them, book after book, on the pile] burned them in the sight of everybody. When they counted the value of them, they found it amounted to 50,000 pieces of silver (about $9,300).
20 Thus the Word of the Lord [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] grew and spread and intensified, prevailing mightily.
21 Now after these events Paul determined in the [Holy] Spirit that he would travel through Macedonia and Achaia (most of Greece) and go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must visit Rome also.
22 And having sent two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, into Macedonia, he himself stayed on in [the province of] Asia for a while.
23 But as time went on, there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way [of the Lord].
24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of [the goddess] Artemis [Diana], brought no small income to his craftsmen.
25 These he called together, along with the workmen of similar trades, and said, Men, you are acquainted with the facts and understand that from this business we derive our wealth and livelihood.
26 Now you notice and hear that not only at Ephesus but almost all over [the province of] Asia this Paul has persuaded and induced people to believe his teaching and has alienated a considerable company of them, saying that gods that are made with human hands are not really gods at all.
27 Now there is danger not merely that this trade of ours may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may come into disrepute and count for nothing, and that her glorious magnificence may be degraded and fall into contempt–she whom all [the province of] Asia and the wide world worship.
28 As they listened to this, they were filled with rage and they continued to shout, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!
29 Then the city was filled with confusion; and they rushed together into the amphitheater, dragging along with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were fellow travelers with Paul.
30 Paul wished to go in among the crowd, but the disciples would not permit him to do it.
31 Even some of the Asiarchs (political or religious officials in Asia) who were his friends also sent to him and warned him not to risk venturing into the theater.
32 Now some shouted one thing and some another, for the gathering was in a tumult and most of them did not know why they had come together.
33 Some of the crowd called upon Alexander [to speak], since the Jews had pushed and urged him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, wishing to make a defense and [planning] to apologize to the people.
34 But as soon as they saw him and recognized that he was a Jew, a shout went up from them as the voice of one man, as for about two hours they cried, Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!
35 And when the town clerk had calmed the crowd down, he said, Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of the sacred stone [image of her] that fell from the sky?
36 Seeing then that these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet (keep yourselves in check) and do nothing rashly.
37 For you have brought these men here, who are [guilty of] neither temple robberies nor blasphemous speech about our goddess.
38 Now then, if Demetrius and his fellow tradesmen who are with him have a grievance against anyone, the courts are open and proconsuls are [available]; let them bring charges against one another [legally].
39 But if you require anything further about this or about other matters, it must be decided and cleared up in the regular assembly.
40 For we are in danger of being called to render an account and of being accused of rioting because of [this commotion] today, there being no reason that we can offer to justify this disorder.
41 And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.