#NAME? On this third journey he was already planning to go to Rome (Acts 19:21) and wrote an epistle to the Romans announcing his coming (Rom.1:7, 15).
+The Chief City+, in which Paul spent most of his time (Acts 19:1, 8, 10), between two and three years upon this journey, was Ephesus in Asia Minor. This city situated midway between the extreme points of his former missionary journeys was a place where Ephesus has been thus described: |It had been one
of the early Greek colonies, later the capital of Ionia, and in Paul's day it was by far the largest and busiest of all the cities of proconsular Asia. All the roads in Asia Minor centered in Ephesus and from its position it was almost as much a meeting place of eastern and western thought as Alexandria. Its religion was oriental. Its goddess called Artemis or Diana, had a Greek name but was the representative of an old Phrygian nature worship. The goddess was an inartistic, many-breasted figure, the body carved with strange figures of animals, flowers, and fruits. The temple built by Alexander the Great was the most magnificent religious edifice in the world. It was kept by a corporation of priests and priestesses, who were supported by the rents of vast estates. For
centuries Ephesus was a great center of pilgrimage, and pilgrims came from all parts of Asia to visit the famous shrine.|
|The first great blow which this worship received was given by Paul during his two years' stay in Ephesus, and the story told in this chapter is the history of the beginning of a decline from which the worship of Diana never recovered. The speech of Demetrius perhaps exaggerates the effects of Paul's work, but it should be remembered that the gospel took firm hold of proconsular Asia
from a very early period. Paul's Epistles tell us of the churches in Ephesus, Laodicea, and Colossae, and the Apocalypse adds churches in Pergamos, Smyrna, Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia. Half a century later, Pliny asserted that in this region the temples were deserted, the worship was neglected, and the sacrificial victims were unsold.|
During his long stay in Ephesus, Paul doubtless received many delegations and visitors from the churches formerly organized by him.
The character of the Ephesian Christians can be seen from the Epistle addressed to them (See Study 9).
+Time and Extent.+ -- About four years, 54-58 A.D.,
were occupied by Paul in going about among the churches and about 3,500 miles were traveled.
+Epistles.+ -- This journey was prolific in masterly
writings. Paul wrote the First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians from Ephesus about 57 A.D., Galatians from the same city (somewhere between 54 and 56 A.D.), and Romans at Corinth in 58 A.D. (Se ITINERARY
+Through Galatia and Phrygia+ (Acts 18:23). -- After
Paul had spent some time at Antioch, at the close
of the second missionary journey, |He departed and
went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order strengthening all the disciples.| T 2. Troas to Miletus (Acts 20:13-15). Paul's
company went by ship first to Assos, where Paul met them; he having covered the distance of about twenty miles on foot. At Assos Paul joined the company on the ship and they sailed from Assos to Mitylene. |And we sailed thence,| says Luke, |and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus.|
3. At Miletus (Acts 20:17-38) Paul sent for the elders of the Ephesian church to come to him. When they
came he spoke to them in a very touching and tender way. This address has been divided into four parts: (a) What was behind Paul; he called them to witness that he had been faithful in declaring to them the full gospel of Jesus Christ, repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (b) What was before Paul; he said that in every city the Holy Ghost witnessed that bonds and afflictions awaited him. (c) What was before the elders of the Ephesian church; it was theirs to take care of the flock over which they presided and |to feed the church of God.| (d) Commendation of the elders to
God in their good work. (e) Paul's earnest prayer for their welfare. (f) The farewell words.
4. Miletus to Caesarea and Jerusalem (Acts 21:1-15) by way of Coos, Rhodes, Patara, Tyre, and Caesarea. At Tyre there was a wait of seven days and a change of ships; in this city it was testified to Paul that he should not go up to Jerusalem. At the parting, when Paul and his company took ship to go to Caesarea, the disciples of Tyre came out to see them off and all kneeled down
on the shore and prayed. At Caesarea where Paul's
company tarried many days, it was again made known to Paul by the Holy Ghost that bonds and imprisonment
awaited him at Jerusalem, but still he pressed on saying, |The will of the Lord be done.| Arriving in Jerusalem they were gladly received by the brethren.
What was the method of evangelizing the ancient world? How did the three missionary journeys differ from each other? What can be said of the chief city in which Paul spent so much of the time of this journey? Time and extent of this journey? What Epistles were written? Give the chief incidents of the itinerary; through Galatia and Phrygia; in Ephesus; through Macedonia and Greece; the return voyage.