Acts 19: The Ephesian Controversy

While Apollos was in Corinth, where was Paul? What was Paul doing there?

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Acts 19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul was met with followers of Christ in Ephesus, after traveling through the interior region.
King James
Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples.

What might have made Paul think that twelve of Jesus’ followers in Ephesus had not received the Holy Spirit?

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Acts 19:2 “When you believed,” Paul said, “did you receive the Holy Spirit?” “No,” they said, “we’ve heard nothing about someone receiving a holy spirit.”
19:7 All twelve men.
King James
Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
19:7 And all the men were about twelve.

How would you contrast the differences between baptism in Christ and the baptism of John?

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Acts 19:3 “Unto what, then, were you baptized?” “The baptism of John,” they said.
19:4 “John baptized for repentance,” Paul said, “so people would believe the one who came later—Jesus, the Messiah.”
King James
Acts 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

After the Ephesians were baptized, why did Paul lay his hands upon them?

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Acts 19:5 After hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
19:6 As Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came, and they spoke in languages they didn’t know, and prophesied.
King James
Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Do you think the twelve men were Jews or non-Jews? Why?

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Acts 19:7 All twelve men.
King James
Acts 19:7 And all the men were about twelve.

After the Jews had rejected him so often, why did Paul choose to visit the synagogue?

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Acts 18:6 When the Jews refused to listen and spoke abusively against Paul and the revelation of God in Christ, he shook his robe at them and said, “Your choice for death is your problem, not mine. I’m blameless because you’ve heard the truth. From now on, I will go to the foreigners.”
18:7 So he walked out and entered the house of Justus, a follower of Christ, who lived next door.
19:8 For three months, Paul spoke forcefully in the synagogue, reasoning with the Jews and convincing many of truths about Jesus and the Kingdom of God.
King James
Acts 18:6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
18:7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.

What would have caused the hearts of some Jews to be hardened so they rejected Paul’s message?

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Acts 19:9 But some refused to believe, their hearts hardened, and publicly disputed his words. So Paul left speaking in the synagogue and went with his disciples to the meeting hall of Tyrannus, where he taught daily.
King James
Acts 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

How might Paul’s message have changed when he taught in the meeting hall of Tyrannus instead of the synagogue?

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Acts 19:9 But some refused to believe, their hearts hardened, and publicly disputed his words. So Paul left speaking in the synagogue and went with his disciples to the meeting hall of Tyrannus, where he taught daily
19:10 for two years. Just about everybody in Asia had an opportunity to hear about the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
King James
Acts 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

If you had been there to see the miracles worked through Paul, how would you describe them?

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Acts 19:11 During this time, God did many extraordinary miracles through Paul.
19:12 His sweat cloths or working garments were taken to the sick and they were healed, the evil spirits leaving from them.
King James
Acts 19:11 And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
19:12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

Why do you think some Jewish travelers tried to copy what Paul was doing?

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Acts 19:13 Some Jewish travelers took it upon themselves to do exorcisms as if they were acting under Jesus’ direction and authority, saying, “We command you to come out in the name of Jesus preached by Paul.”
King James
Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

To what extent would Sceva, the chief of Jewish priests, have copied Paul’s manner and words of deliverance?

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Acts 19:13 Some Jewish travelers took it upon themselves to do exorcisms as if they were acting under Jesus’ direction and authority, saying, “We command you to come out in the name of Jesus preached by Paul.”
19:14 One day, Sceva, chief of the Jewish priests and one of seven sons, did that.
King James
Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
19:14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

How would the evil spirit have known who Jesus and Paul were?

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Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit said, “I know Jesus and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
King James
Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

If Sceva used the same words as Paul used, why would the evil spirit have given no respect to them?

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Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit said, “I know Jesus and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
King James
Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

Why do you think the demon-possessed man was so strong?

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Acts 19:16 The demon-possessed man attacked the Jews with strength greater than all of them put together. Beaten and stripped of their clothes, they ran out of the house.
King James
Acts 19:16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

What was there about Sceva’s failure that would have caused both Jews and Greeks to have greater respect for Jesus?

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Acts 19:17 When the story became known to the people of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, they were in awe and gave more respect to Jesus as Lord.
King James
Acts 19:17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

How would you describe the conduct of the Jews and Greeks after they became followers of Jesus?

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Acts 19:18 Many became followers of Jesus, publicly confessing their wrongdoing and changing their ways.
King James
Acts 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

In what ways would the conduct of the believing Jews have differed from the non-Jews who believed?

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Acts 19:19 Many who had practiced sorcery brought their books of incantations and burned them in the public square. The value of fifty thousand silver coins went up in smoke.
King James
Acts 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

What caused the message to spread so mightily among the Ephesians?

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Acts 19:20 The message of Jesus Christ was growing mightily, spreading everywhere.
King James
Acts 19:20 So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

Why would Paul need to tell the Ephesians of his plan to spend time in Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem, then to Rome?

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Acts 19:21 Then the Holy Spirit led Paul to express his intent to spend a little time in Macedonia and Achaia on the way to Jerusalem. “After I have been there,” Paul said, “I must go to Rome.”
King James
Acts 19:21 After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Why do you think Paul sent Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia, ahead of him?

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Acts 19:22 He sent two who had been ministering with him, Timothy and Erastus, on to Macedonia while he stayed in Asia for a while longer.
King James
Acts 19:22 So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.

What reasons did Jews and non-Jews have for opposing Paul’s message?

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Acts 19:23 At that time, those who opposed the message of Jesus made serious trouble.
King James
Acts 19:23 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.

What did Demetrius have to lose when people became followers of Jesus?

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Acts 19:24 A silversmith named Demetrius ran a profitable enterprise for himself and the craftsmen who made silver shrines for worship of the goddess Artemis.
19:25 He called for a meeting and said to his workers, “As you know, we have a lucrative business going here,
19:26 but this Paul is destroying our market by convincing so many in Ephesus and across Asia that gods made by human hands aren’t real.
King James
Acts 19:24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
19:25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.
19:26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands.

Why do you think Demetrius saw wisdom in expressing his concern for their goddess?

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Acts 19:27 Not only will we lose the demand for our services, but the temple of our great goddess Artemis will be forsaken. Her magnificence will be destroyed because those from Asia and travelers from across the world will no longer come here for worship.”
King James
Acts 19:27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

How would you describe the craftsmen’s words and deeds that caused the Ephesians to turn against the message about Jesus?

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Acts 19:28 After hearing this, the workers rose in anger and shouted among the people, chanting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians,”
19:29 so the whole city was in an uproar. They grabbed Paul’s travel companions from Macedonia, Gaius and Aristarchus, dragging them into the public theater.
King James
Acts 19:28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
19:29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.

Why might the people have been content to grab two travel companions instead of Paul?

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Acts 19:29 So the whole city was in an uproar. They grabbed Paul’s travel companions from Macedonia, Gaius and Aristarchus, dragging them into the public theater.
King James
Acts 19:29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.

What do you think was behind Paul’s desire to put himself in the middle of the dispute?

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Acts 19:30 When Paul heard what was happening, he wanted to intervene, but his disciples wouldn’t let him go.
King James
Acts 19:30 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.

Why would Paul have heeded people’s advice to stay out of the fight?

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Acts 19:30 When Paul heard what was happening, he wanted to intervene, but his disciples wouldn’t let him go.
19:31 High-ranking officials, being Paul’s friends, sent word that he should stay away.
King James
Acts 19:30 And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.
19:31 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.

What made the issue confusing?

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19:32 This left the assembly in confusion, some shouting one thing, others another, with most of them unsure what the argument was all about.
King James
Acts 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.

Why would the Jews have become involved in a dispute involving a pagan goddess?

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Acts 19:33 The Jews brought Alexander before the people, who raised his hand for silence that he might speak.
King James
Acts 19:33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.

What might have been the significance of Alexander speaking to the crowd?

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Acts 4:5 The next day, the Jewish magistrates, respected leaders, and teachers of the Law
4:6 assembled with the high priest Annas, as well as Caiaphas, John, and Alexander and others connected with the priestly order.
19:34 As soon as the crowd realized that Alexander was presenting the Jewish prejudice, they drowned his words with constant shouting of “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians” for what seemed like two hours.
King James
Acts 4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
19:34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

How would the city administrator have known about the conduct of Gaius and Aristarchus, that they were not guilty of any sacrilege against their goddess?

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Acts 19:35 When the administrator was finally able to quiet the people, he said, “Is there anybody in Ephesus who doesn’t know that this city worships the great goddess Diana and her statue that came to us from heaven?
19:36 Since no one can deny this, you should calm yourselves and not overreact.
19:37 The men you brought here have not robbed our shrines nor spoken evil of our goddess.
King James
Acts 19:35 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?
19:36 Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.
19:37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.

Why were public outcries a concern for city leaders?

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Acts 19:39 If more is to be resolved, the judgments must be made in a legal assembly.
19:40 For all this commotion, we could be charged with rioting and have to answer to Rome for our behavior—and we would have no defense.”
King James
Acts 19:39 But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.
19:40 For we are in danger to be called in question for this day’s uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.

Do you think the matter was ever brought before the court? Why or why not?

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Acts 19:41 He then dismissed the assembly.
King James
Acts 19:41 And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.