The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Acts of the Apostles
It was while Apollo was away at Corinth that Paul finished his journey through the inland country, and came to Ephesus. He met some disciples there
and asked them, Was the Holy Spirit given to you, when you learned to believe? Why, they said, nobody even mentioned to us the existence of a Holy Spirit.
What baptism, then, did you receive? Paul asked; and they said, John’s baptism.
So Paul told them, John baptized to bring men to repentance; but he bade the people have faith in one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.
On hearing this, they received baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus;
and when Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.
In all, these men were about twelve in number.
And now he went into the synagogue, and for three months spoke boldly there, reasoning with them and trying to convince them about the kingdom of God;
but since there were some who hardened their hearts and refused belief, discrediting the way of the Lord in the eyes of the multitude, he left them, and withdrew his own disciples, holding disputations daily in the school of a certain Tyrannus.
This lasted for two years, so that the Lord’s word came to the ears of all those who lived in Asia, both Jews and Greeks.
And God did miracles through Paul’s hands that were beyond all wont;
so much so, that when handkerchiefs or aprons which had touched his body were taken to the sick, they got rid of their diseases, and evil spirits were driven out.
Some of the wandering Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were possessed by evil spirits, with the words, I conjure you in the name of Jesus, the name that is preached by Paul.
Among these were the seven sons of Sceva, one of the Jewish chief priests.
And the evil spirit answered, Jesus I recognize, Paul I know well enough; but you, what are you?
And with that, the man who was possessed by the evil spirit ran at them and got the better of them, defying the power of both; so that they fled from the house naked and wounded.✻
This came to the ears of every Jew and Greek living in Ephesus; fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in great honour.
Many believers came forward, confessing their evil practices and giving a full account of them;
and a number of those who followed magic arts made their books into a heap and burned them in public: the value of these was reckoned up, and proved to be fifty thousand silver pieces.
So, irresistibly, the word of the Lord spread and prevailed.
When all this was over, the thought in Paul’s heart was to go to Jerusalem, first travelling through Macedonia and Achaia; When I have been there, he said, I must go on and see Rome.
And he sent on two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, into Macedonia, but waited for a while himself in Asia.
It was just at this time that the way of the Lord was the cause of a notable disturbance.
There was a silversmith called Demetrius, who used to make silver models of Diana’s temple, and so gave plentiful employment to the craftsmen.
And now he called a meeting of these, and of the workmen who were in the same trade, and spoke thus, Friends, you all know that our prosperity depends upon this business of ours.
And you can see and hear for yourselves that this Paul has persuaded a whole multitude to change their allegiance, not only at Ephesus but over most of Asia, by telling them that gods made by men’s hands are no gods at all.
It is not only that we are in danger of finding this work of ours discredited. The temple of the great goddess Diana will count for nothing, she will be shorn of her greatness, the goddess whom Asia and all the world reveres.
At these words, they were all overcome with rage, and began to shout, Great is Diana of Ephesus.
Their uproar filled the whole city, as they ran by common consent into the theatre, carrying with them Gaius and Aristarchus, who were companions of Paul from Macedonia.
When Paul had a mind to shew himself before the people, his disciples tried to prevent it:
and some of the delegates of Asia, who were his friends, sent a message to him, imploring him not to risk his life in the theatre.
Meanwhile some cried this, some that; the meeting was all in confusion, and most of them could not tell what had brought them together.
The Jews thrust Alexander forward, and some of the crowd brought him down with them; so Alexander made a gesture with his hand, and tried to give an account of himself before the people;✻
but as soon as they found out that he was a Jew, a single cry came from every mouth, and for some two hours they kept on shouting, Great is Diana of Ephesus.
Then the town clerk restored quiet among the crowd; Ephesians, he said, as if there were anyone who does not know that the city of Ephesus is the acolyte of the great Diana, and of the image which is Jupiter’s offspring!
Since this is beyond dispute, you had best be quiet, and do nothing rashly.
These men you have brought here have not robbed the temples; they have not used blasphemous language about your goddess.
And if Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have any charge to bring against them, why, we have court-days, we have proconsuls; let the two parties go to law.
If, on the other hand, you have any further question to raise, it can be settled by lawful assembly.
We may easily be called to account for to-day’s proceedings, and there is no grievance which will enable us to account for this riot. With these words he broke up the meeting.
The Holy Bible