1 It was when Apollos was in Corinth that Paul, after passing through the inland districts, came down to Ephesus. There he found some disciples, 2 whom he asked, "Did you receive the holy Spirit when you believed?" "No," they said, "we never even heard of its existence."
3 "Then," said he, "what were you baptized in?" "In John's baptism," they replied.
4 "John," said Paul, "baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus."
5 When they heard this, they had themselves baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, 6 and after Paul laid his hands on them the holy Spirit came upon them, they spoke with 'tongues' and prophesied. 7 They numbered all together about twelve men.
8 Then Paul entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out fearlessly, arguing and persuading people about the Reign of God. 9 But as some grew stubborn and disobedient, decrying the Way in presence of the multitude, he left them, withdrew the disciples, and continued his argument every day from eleven to four in the lecture-room of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
11 God also worked no ordinary miracles by means of Paul; 12 people even carried away towels or aprons he had used, and at their touch sick folk were freed from their diseases and evil spirits came out of them.
13 Some strolling Jewish exorcists also undertook to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches!" 14 The seven sons of Sceuas, a Jewish high priest, used to do this. 15 But the evil spirit retorted, "Jesus I know and Paul I know, but you ??who are you?" 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit resided leapt at them, overpowered them all, and belaboured them, till they rushed out of the house stripped and wounded. 17 This came to the ears of all the inhabitants of Ephesus, Jews as well as Greeks; awe fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 Many believers would also come to confess and disclose their magic spells; 19 and numbers who had practised magic arts collected their books and burned them in the presence of all. On adding up the value of them, it was found that they were worth two thousand pounds. 20 Thus did the word of the Lord increase and prevail mightily.
21 After these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to travel through Macedonia and Achaia on his way to Jerusalem. "After I get there," he said, "I must also visit Rome." 22 So he despatched two of his assistants to Macedonia, Timotheus and Erastus, while he himself stayed on awhile in Asia.
23 It was about that time that a great commotion arose over the Way. This was how it happened. 24 By making silver shrines of Artemis a silversmith called Demetrius was the means of bringing rich profit to his workmen. 25 So he got them together, along with the workmen who belonged to similar trades, and said to them: "My men, you know this trade is the source of our wealth. 26 You also see and hear that not only at Ephesus but almost all over Asia this fellow Paul has drawn off a considerable number of people by his persuasions. He declares that hand-made gods are not gods at all. 27 Now the danger is not only that we will have our trade discredited but that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will fall into contempt and that she will be degraded from her majestic glory, she whom all Asia and the wide world worship."
28 When they heard this they were filled with rage and raised the cry, "Great is Artemis of Ephesus!" 29 So the city was filled with confusion. They rushed like one man into the amphitheatre, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were travelling with Paul. 30 (Paul wanted to enter the popular assembly, but the disciples would not allow him. 31 Some of the Asiarchs, who were friends of his, also sent to beg him not to venture into the amphitheatre.) 32 Some were shouting one thing, some another; for the assembly was in confusion, and the majority had no idea why they had met. 33 Some of the mob concluded it must be Alexander, as the Jews pushed him to the front. So Alexander, motioning with his hand, wanted to defend himself before the people; 34 but when they discovered he was a Jew, a roar broke from them all, and for about two hours they shouted, "Great is Artemis of Ephesus! Great is Artemis of Ephesus!"
35 The secretary of state then got the mob calmed down, and said to them, "Men of Ephesus, who on earth does not know that the city of Ephesus is Warden of the temple of the great Artemis and of the statue that fell from heaven? 36 All this is beyond question. So you should keep calm and do nothing reckless. 37 Instead of that, you have brought these men here who are guilty neither of sacrilege nor of blasphemy against our goddess. 38 If Demetrius and his fellow tradesmen have a grievance against anybody, let both parties state their charges; assizes are held and there are always the proconsuls. 39 Any wider claim must be settled in the legal assembly of the citizens. 40 Indeed there is a danger of our being charged with riot over to-day's meeting; there is not a single reason we can give for this disorderly gathering." 41 With these words he dismissed the assembly.