Time of Apostle Paul in Ephesus

Frescoe-of-Apostle-Paul-Saint-Thecla-and-Theoclia-on-the-wall-of-the-Grotto-of-Apostle-Paul-in-Ephesus-1

Paul spent more than two years in Ephesus between 53 and 56 AD (Acts chapter 19 verses 1-41). As a result, many people became followers of Christ, both in Ephesus itself and in the surrounding settlements but actually, the first Christian communities were already created by Saint John. Paul preached in several places in Ephesus including Grand Theatre and Synagogue and the church of Ephesus which will become the leader of seven churches in Asia Minor was created. In 1 Corinthians, Paul indicates that he was staying in the city for a prolonged period because ‘a a great and effectual opportunity has opened to him and there are many adversaries’ (16:9). Paul also comments that he ‘fought with wild beasts in Ephesus’ (15:32) which refers to his debates against pagan believers in Grand Theatre.

Paul’s teaching was well welcomed in the beginning but later problems started to occur and leaded Paul’s departure from Ephesus. Demetrius of Ephesus, the leader of the Silversmiths Guild was influential and wealthy. The guild of Silversmiths was employed in creating miniature shrines models of the temple, and the goddess, Diana (Artemis). These were sold at enormous profit to the thousands of pilgrims who visited the site. Artists, whose trade depended on the sale of clay, wood, and silver artifacts resembling the goddess and the shrine of Diana, were experiencing a recession because of Paul’s works. Demetrius called a meeting of all the tradesmen, and made a presentation of the facts as he saw them: (Acts 19:25-28). He believed Paul will destroy their livelihood and destroy the Temple of Artemis. This meeting caused a great riot targeting Saint Paul and his follower which made Paul leave Ephesus and depart to Macedonia.

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