Ephesus was a significant center of trade, located near a harbor at the mouth of the Cayster River in western Asia Minor. Ancient Ephesus and the New Testament How our knowledge of the ancient city of Ephesus enriches our knowledge of the New Testament by Rev. Ephesus and Pergamos, the capital of Asia, were the two great rival cities of the province. It was Ephesus’ opportunity, and a succession of rulers promoted the maintenance of the harbor facilities that the increased volume of trade and traffic demanded. Domitian, at the end of the 1st cent., appears to have been the last ruler to attempt to repair the harbor of Ephesus, but trade had obviously declined two centuries before. Then came a long decline. Ephesus. Ephesus was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the eastern Mediterranean area. Domitian widened and beautified the great central boulevard. The city itself soon lost its importance and decreased in population. Ephesus, taught by two apostles, rejected all accommodation with paganism and those who advocated the softer policy. That the trouble came is evident from John’s letter to the Ephesian church, most prob. Concise, accurate description of the site and its history. The initial visit by Paul to Ephesus and the powerful preaching of Apollos marked the beginning of the Church of God in Ephesus (called simply the “church of Ephesus” in Revelation 2:1). This building was raised on immense substructions, in consequence of the swampy nature of the ground. It is obvious that Paul’s vision had picked one of the strategic centers of the world. The question remaining is this: Was John too rigid, too extreme? It was a perilous situation, not only for Paul and his little party, but also for the Jews at large, who had every reason to fear a pogrom. Adorning continued till the days of the Gothic raid in a.d. 263. Among the paintings was one by the famous Apelles, a native of Ephesus, representing Alexander the Great hurling a thunderbolt. Those who accepted John’s rigid rule came through that persecution refined and strengthened. The harbor works of Ephesus may be traced today seven m. from the sea. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. Alexander, into whose control Ephesus passed in 334 b.c. For a further description of the temple, see Mr. Wood's excellent book, Discoveries at Ephesus.E. To compromise would ultimately have set Christ, where Emperor Severus ultimately placed him—in a chapel along with the images of Jupiter, Augustus, and Abraham. The “candlestick” was removed from its place. The ruins have been identified in a marsh, one and a half miles NE of the city, after the discovery of Ephesus’ main boulevard in 1870. He passed along the Asia Minor coast three or four years after the riot in Ephesus. Because of its strength the people stored there their money for safe-keeping; and it became to the ancient world practically all that the Bank of England is to the modern world.In 356 B.C., on the very night when Alexander the Great was born, it was burned; and when he grew to manhood he offered to rebuild it at his own expense if his name might be inscribed upon its portals. St. John died and buried in Ephesus. It started with the ministry of John the Baptist, whose teaching had produced a number of “converts,” men and women who looked for the Messiah, promised by the Old Testament prophets, who was His forerunner. It came under Roman rule around 130 BC. The coast, with continual soil erosion of the hinterland, became malarial. 1 Corinthians 16:8 But I will stay at Ephesus until Pentecost. Ephesus, in the Roman province of Asia, is 56 kilometers (35 miles) from Smyrna.Located opposite the island of Samos, it is the closest of Revelation's seven churches to the island of Patmos where the apostle John wrote the book of Revelation.. Ephesus, founded primarily by those from the city of Athens, was the capital of both Ionia and proconsular Asia. It is to the temple of Diana, however, that its great wealth and prominence are largely due. Though Paul was probably not the first to bring Christianity to Ephesus, for Jews had long lived there (2:9; 6:9), he was the first to make progress against the worship of Diana. Bibliography W. M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches (1904); A. H. M. Jones, Cities in the Eastern Provinces (1937); E. M. Blaiklock, The Christian in Pagan Society (1951); The Cities of the New Testament (1965). Under Claudius in the middle of the 1st cent. on the very night, the makers of omens later noted, that Alexander the Great was born of Olympias in distant Macedon. There was much for which John could commend the Ephesian Christians; their toil, endurance, discernment, and vigor. It was maliciously burned in 356 b.c. Need the church, for instance, for the sake of a pinch of incense, have been exposed to the bitterness of persecution? Acts 20:22 Now, behold, I go bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there; 1 Corinthians 15:32 If I fought with animals at Ephesus for human purposes, what does it profit me? Its foundation, which alone remained, enabled Mr. Wood to reconstruct the entire temple plan. b.c., so uncertain are dates in this borderland of legend and history. These officials were members of a corporation, built on the model of an earlier Gr. "The apostle John, according to tradition, spent many years in "Ephesus, where he died and was buried." Whatever happened, Paul was rescued and, perhaps under some official pressure, withdrew before the irate guildsmen had the opportunity to file a formal indictment. It would appear probable that there was a measure of rivalry between those in charge of the newer ritual, a cult that was not yet deeply founded in Ephesus, and the custodians and champions of the vast commercialized worship of Artemis. Acts 18:19 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. Lost somewhere among the ruins, or concealed in the surrounding countryside by its last devotees, the cult-object possibly still exists. The temple was also a treasury and bank, in which private individuals, kings, and cities made deposits. Silanus was a great-grandson of the Emperor Augustus, and was thus considered a menace to her son, whom Agrippina had thrust forward to the succession by all manner of intrigue and crime. The noisy group swept along with them the flotsam of the town, the idlers, the visitors, the mob of any great eastern city, and flowed toward the common place of assembly—the theater on the low hillside. The sites and dimensions of the various public buildings, the streets, the harbor, and the foundations of many of the private houses were ascertained, and numerous inscriptions and sculptures and coins were discovered. "A part of the site of this once famous city is now occupied by a "small Turkish village, Ayasaluk, which is regarded as a" "corruption of the two Greek words, hagios theologos; i.e., "the" "holy divine." The Apo stle John was called in Gr. The city itself soon lost its importance and decreased in population. Another phrase in the story is illuminating. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. The historian Tacitus tells how Agrippina, the vicious mother of the Emperor Nero, had Junius Silanus, the proconsul of Asia, poisoned (Tac. St John wrote the Gospel in during his stay in Ephesus. The last glimpse of Ephesus in the NT reveals an aging church in need of an infusion of new life, hence, the closing detail of imagery in the apocalyptic letter (Rev 2:1-7). The kings of Pergamum, most dynamic and powerful of the lesser successor states of Alexander’s divided empire, did much for Ephesus, and when the Romans inherited the kingdom of Pergamum by the will of its last ruler, Attalus III, they continued the policy of promoting Ephesian trade. He sent many letters to Timothy and advised him to stay in Ephesus in 1 Timothy 1:3. Deforestation was mankind’s ancient folly, and no part of the Mediterranean world suffered worse than Asia Minor. Exact Match. It became a seat of bishops, where a notable council was held as late as a.d. 431. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. Passing beyond the village one comes to the ruins of the old aqueduct, the fallen city walls, the so-called church of John or the baths, the Turkish fort which is sometimes called Paul's prison, the huge theater which was the scene of the riot of Paul's time, but which now, with its marble torn away, presents but a hole in the side of the hill Prion. Here are 116 verses related with the popularity level of each verse. D. The harbor, which frequently silted up, made Ephesus the most favorable seaport in the province of Asia. At the time this letter was written, Ephesus was a major city of Asia Minor and a seaport. Inflamed by the speech of the rabble-rouser Demetrius, delivered no doubt in the meeting house of the silversmith’s guild, the audience, says Beza’s version, poured “into the street.” It is surely the great central boulevard that is mentioned. She was, none the less, over many centuries, fortunate in her engineers. He captured it and made it a Greek city. Ephesus remained the most important city of the Byzantine Empire in Asia after Constantinople in the 5th and 6th centuries. Perhaps, too, they saw in the Caesar-cult only a harmless ritual of loyalty, and not an issue of man-worship on which a Christian need stake life and livelihood. The cult thus recognized was that of a nature-goddess, associated with carnal fertility rituals, orgiastic rites, and religious prostitution. A fine street ran through the city from the harbor wharves at the river mouth to the great theater where the level land began to rise toward Mount Pion, a boulevard of some beauty and lined by fine buildings and columned porticoes. Ephesus was also a seat of proconsular power from which the whole province of Asia could be influence d. Churches arose significantly during his stay in the three cities of the Lycus Valley—Laodicea, Colossae, and Hierapolis—in spite of the fact that Paul did not visit these centers. and used Ephesus as the proconsul’s seat. suppression of the great revolt of the Ionian Gr. Ephesus played a vital role in the spread of Christianity. The general impression left with the archeologist and historian, who peer into the crowded past of the great city, is that the guild-master was not unjustified in his claim that “all Asia and the world” (Acts 19:27) reverenced the Ephesian Artemis. Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to himself the elders of the assembly. The winding Maeander was silting up the harbor of Miletus as early as 500 b.c., and when that city suffered irreparable damage in the Pers. 2 Timothy 4:12 But I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. knight and a freedman who held the post of steward of the imperial estates in Asia. Another incident is the apostle’s advice to the elders. Search, however, did not reveal the site of the temple until January 1, 1870, after six years of faithful work. Finally, Alexander the Great took it; and at his death it fell to Lysimachus, who gave it the name of Arsinoe, from his second wife. Ephesus, therefore, and all that pertained to it, was a mixture of oriental and Greek Though the early history of the city is obscure, it seems that at different times it was in the hands of the Carians, the Leleges and Ionians; in the early historical period it was one of a league of twelve Ionfan cities. Topsoil slipped from the bare hillsides reft of their cover, streams became swamps, and the storm waters reached the sea laden with silt that choked the harbors. Acts 19:26 You see and hear, that not at Ephesus alone, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are no gods, that are made with hands. Ephesus became a Christian city, and in 341 AD a council of the Christian church was held there. and under Trajan at the beginning of the 2nd, the great theater was remodeled. Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. Tools. They had much to lose; hence the venture of Alexander whom the Jews “put forward,” doubtless to make sure that their community as a whole was not blamed for the revolutionary views of the rabbi from Tarsus. The temple was built upon a foundation which was reached by a flight of ten steps. It was natural enough in the religious capital of Asia that the sect of the Nicolaitans should be in evidence. To the Church in Ephesus - “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. This free audio Bible name pronunciation guide is a valuable tool in your study of God’s word. Ephesus is twice mentioned in the Apocalypse (1:11; 2:1). Coins of Ephesus sometimes show a date palm, sacred to Artemis, and the symbol of the goddess’ beneficent activity. Charles Seltman, with some plausibility, suggests that it is actually a strange stone object, at present in the Liverpool City Museum (Riot in Ephesus, pp. C. Ephesus is now located about five to seven miles inland from the Aegean Sea in the Cayster River valley. A. Banks. Ancient Ephesus City (Ephesus Breeze). I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. XIII, 1). Initially colonized by the Athenians, it grew to 250,000+ inhabitants in the first century B.C., making it the second largest populated area in the known world. The Greeks called a colony an “emporion,” or a “way in,” because their concept of such settlement was that of a gateway by which an active self-governing community could tap the trade and resources of a foreign hinterland. If anything illegal had been done to rouse the just resentment of the silversmiths’ guild, he said “there are proconsuls” (Acts 19:38). This building was raised on immense substructions, in consequence of the swampy nature of the ground. Go to List of places in the Bible. 12, 25). Ephesus became a Christian city, and in 341 A.D. a council of the Christian church was held there. “A wide door for effective work has opened to me,” wrote Paul, “and there are many adversaries” (1 Cor 16:9). In 1308 the Turks took possession of the little that remained of the city, and deported or murdered its inhabitants. With an artificial harbor accessible to the largest ships, and rivaling the harbor at Miletus, standing at the entrance of the valley which reaches far into the interior of Asia Minor, and connected by highways with the chief cities of the province, Ephesus was the most easily accessible city in Asia, both by land and sea. Justinian, to be sure, built a church to Saint John on the site, in part compensation perhaps for the looting of the columns from the temple of Artemis for St. Sophia in Byzantium, where they may still be seen in the vast basilica. In time the pilgrims, with decreasing faith in Diana, came in fewer numbers; the sales of the shrines of the goddess fell off; Diana of the Ephesians was no longer great; a Christian church was rounded there and flourished, and one of its first leaders was the apostle John. Paul had visited Ephesus around A.D. 53, about 43 years before this letter in Revelation was sent to them. The name Ephesus in the Bible Ephesus was a splendid Greek city of Asia Minor, situated half-way up the western coast of modern-day Turkey, on the river Cayster. With an artificial harbor accessible to the largest ships, and rivaling the harbor at Miletus, standing at the entrance of the valley which reaches far into the interior of Asia Minor, and connected by highways with the chief cities of the province, Ephesus was the most easily accessible city in Asia… It was Croesus of neighboring Lydia (he reigned from 564 to 546 b.c.) Acts 20:18 When they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you all the time. The city lay in a long, fertile valley. John’s letter was one of seven addressed to the Asian circuit, and prudently couched in the style of Jewish apocalyptic lit. Introduction The story of the evangelization of Ephesus does not begin in chapter 19, or even in chapter 18 of the Book of Acts. Ephesus City lived it’s Golden age in Roman Empire and christianized during 1 centry AD by visits of Apostle St. John and St. Paul. Three great roads converged on Ephesus. It was 10 1/2 ft. thick, and strengthened by towers at intervals of 100 ft. For them to hesitate or to doubt was to be lost” (Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven Churches, 300). What does the Bible say about Ephesus? Ramsay, broadly correct in his main thesis of Ephesus’ decline dates its disastrous impact too early. Three years of Paul’s teaching in the school of Tyrannus, the nature of which may be partly glimpsed from Paul’s own letter, had laid a firm basis for growth. who promoted the construction of the first temple to Artemis. Acts 19:17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived at Ephesus. Paul soon left Ephesus to continue his third missionary journey. The Romans assumed the legacy of Pergamum in 133 b.c. Multitudes came to visit the temple of Artemis, a cult that requires explanation. EPHESUS ĕf’ ə səs (̓́Εφεσος, G2387, possible meaning, desirable).The city of Ephesus lay at the mouth of the Cayster, between the Koressos Range and the sea, on the western coast of Asia Minor. The text of Beza sometimes supplies a detail that has a ring of authenticity, and his unorthodox text adds a phrase to Acts 19:28 which may, in one flash, give a glimpse of the excited scene. If the dead are not raised, then "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.". It is significant that the church of Saint John gave its name to the place. New International Version (NIV), Upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus, and access. Although there is not the intimate insight into the doings and problems of the Ephesian Christian community, as the Corinthian epistles give, the NT provides a series of glimpses of considerable interest. It had a population of about 250,000 people. temples, and perhaps was some consolation for the loss of her independence, for it was Croesus who made Ephesus subject to Sardis. 86, 87). We begin with the church at Ephesus. of the Christian era. The wealthy king Croesus supplied it with many of its stone columns, and the pilgrims from all the oriental world brought it of their wealth. The six gates which pierced the wall are now marked by mounds of rubbish. Acts 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. All the seven churches mentioned in the apocalyptic letters (Rev 2 and 3) were no doubt established during the same period of apostolic ministry. Ephesus in the Bible: Mary and Paul in Ephesus Ephesus is a very prominent city in the Bible and has remained a place of pilgrimage for Christians since the late 1st century. Ephesus Bible Meaning: Permitted Strong's Concordance #G2181. Revelation 1:11 saying, " What you see, write in a book and send to the seven assemblies : to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.". Starting in the first century A.D., notable Christians such as Saint Paul and Saint John visited and rebuked the cults of Artemis, winning many Christian converts in the process.Mary, the mother of Jesus, is thought to have spent her last years in Ephesus with Saint John. But a church had been established. Click the PLAY button below to hear how to pronounce Ephesus . And he sailed from Ephesus. • Ephesus came under Persian Rule in 546 B.C. Ask God to open your heart to hear what He wants to say to you through the message to the church at Ephesus. Major roads connected Ephesus to all the other significant cities in Asia Minor. The city stood upon the sloping sides and at the base of two hills, Prion and Coressus, commanding a beautiful view; its climate was exceptionally fine, and the soil of the valley was unusually fertile.Tradition says that in early times near the place where the mother goddess of the earth was born, the Amazons built a city and a temple in which they might worship. Paul’s ship made no call there in a.d. 57. Paul’s Rom. Radiation along the lines of communication from a point of active life accounted for such foundations. In the center of Artemis worship, in a city known for paganism, immorality, and greed, the light of Jesus Christ shone brightly. Like the city, it dates from the time of the Amazons, yet what the early temple was like we now have no means of knowing, and of its history we know little except that it was seven times destroyed by fire and rebuilt, each time on a scale larger and grander than before. 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