1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul took the inland route and arrived in Ephesus where he found some believers.
2 “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them.
“No, we haven't heard anything about a Holy Spirit,” they told him.
3 “So what baptism did you receive?” he asked.
“John's baptism,” they replied.
4 “John baptized with the baptism of repentance,” said Paul. He told the people that they should trust in the one who would come after him—that is, they should trust in Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 After Paul had placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
7 There were about twelve of them in total.
8 Paul went to the synagogue and over the course of the next three months spoke boldly to those who were there, discussing with them and trying to convince them about the kingdom of God.
9 But some of them were stubborn, and refused to accept. They denounced the Way to the crowd. So Paul gave up on them and left the synagogue, taking the believers with him. Then he had discussions every day at the hall of Tyrannus.
10 This went on for the next two years, with the result that everyone who lived in the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
11 God performed unusual miracles through Paul,
12 so much so that they took handkerchiefs or aprons Paul had touched to heal the sick and to drive out evil spirits.
13 Some Jews who were going around exorcising decided to use the name of the Lord Jesus when they drove out evil spirits. They'd say, “I command you to leave in the name of the Jesus that Paul talks about.”
14 The ones doing this were the seven sons of Sceva, a Jew and a chief priest.
15 But one day an evil spirit responded, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?”
16 The man with the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered all of them. He beat them so severely that they ran out of the house, naked and badly injured.
17 People living in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, heard about this. They were all in awe at what had happened, and the name of the Lord Jesus gained great respect.
18 Many came to trust in the Lord and confessed their sins, openly admitting their evil practices.
19 A number of those who used to practice sorcery collected their books on magic and brought them to be burned publicly. They worked out how much the books were worth, and the total was fifty thousand silver coins.
20 In this way the word of the Lord grew strong and spread widely.
21 Some time after this Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing first through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I've been there, I'll have to go to Rome,” he said.
22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed on for a while in the province of Asia.
23 It was about this time that serious problems occurred regarding the Way.
24 A man called Demetrius, a silversmith, was producing small silver replicas of the temple of the goddess Artemis. This business brought in a great deal of work for such craftsmen.
25 Demetrius called them together, along with others who worked in similar trades, and said, “Fellow-workers, you know that it's through this business we make our money.
26 As you're no doubt aware from what you've seen and heard—not just here in Ephesus, but throughout almost the whole of Asia—this man Paul has convinced and misled many people, telling them that there are no such things as gods made by human hands.
27 It's not just a question that our business will be in danger of losing respect, but that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be considered worthless. Artemis herself would be dethroned from her high position as the one whom everyone in Asia and the whole world worships.”
28 When they heard this they became furious, and shouted out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
29 The city was in complete chaos. People rushed towards the amphitheatre, dragging along with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions who were from Macedonia.
30 Paul thought he should confront the mob, but the other believers would not let him.
31 Some of the provincial officials, who were Paul's friends, also sent a message begging him not to go into the amphitheatre.
32 Some were shouting one thing, and some something else, for the crowd that had gathered was in total confusion—most of them had no idea why they were there.
33 The Jews in the crowd pushed Alexander to the front. Alexander motioned with his hand for them to be quiet, wanting to explain things to the people.
34 But when they realized he was a Jew, they all took up a chant that lasted for about two hours, shouting “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35 After the town clerk had managed to quiet the mob down, he told them, “People of Ephesus, who doesn't know that the city of the Ephesians is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image that fell from heaven?
36 Since these facts can't be denied, you should stay calm—don't do anything rash.
37 You have brought these men here, but they haven't robbed any temples or blasphemed against our goddess.
38 So if Demetrius and the other craftsmen have a complaint against anyone, then go to the authorities and the courts. They can press charges there.
39 If there's anything else, it can be taken to the legal assembly.
40 In fact we ourselves are in danger of being accused of being responsible for this riot today, since there was no reason for it, and we can't justify why it happened.”
41 When he had finished speaking, he dismissed the crowd.