Playing one of the most important roles in the expansion of the early church, Ephesus was an amazing city to visit. Even though Acts 19 and Revelation 2 give us some great information about this city, I never really realized just how much happened here. Paul (on his 2nd and 3rd journeys), Apollos, Aquila and Pricilla ministered here, 1st Corinthians, John's Gospel along with, 1, 2, and 3 John were all written from here. Paul taught his “seminary” here in the lecture hall of Tyrannus for two years where future church planters such as Epaphras, Tychius , Trophimus, Philemon and Archippus were trained. These men planted churches in Colossae, Laodicea, Hierapolis, and the seven churches in Revelation. The 3rd Ecumenical Council which defeated Nestorianism and established the hypostatic union (2 natures, 1 person) took place as well as so much more.
The city of Ephesus is sectioned out with the upper and lower sections. This is a photo of the central area looking over the fountain in the center of town, taken from the foundations of the Temple to Domitian.
These are some of the excavated terrace houses. All of these beautifully decorated rooms belong to one home with the pillars as the “living room” area.
And about that time there arose no small disturbance concerning the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, "Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. "And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. "And not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship should even be dethroned from her magnificence." And when they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" And the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia. And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him. And also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater. So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion, and the majority did not know for what cause they had come together. And some of the crowd concluded it was Alexander, since the Jews had put him forward; and having motioned with his hand, Alexander was intending to make a defense to the assembly. But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" And after quieting the multitude, the town clerk said, "Men of Ephesus, what man is there after all who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is guardian of the temple of the great Artemis, and of the image which fell down from heaven? "Since then these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash. "For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess. "So then, if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a complaint against any man, the courts are in session and proconsuls are available; let them bring charges against one another. " But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly. "For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today's affair, since there is no real cause for it; and in this connection we shall be unable to account for this disorderly gathering." And after saying this he dismissed the assembly. And after the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples and when he had exhorted them and taken his leave of them, he departed to go to Macedonia. – Acts 19:23 – 20:1
This is the commercial agora where Demetrius gathered with the other craftsman and the riot began.
This is the theatre, about 150 yards away where the entire town gathered until the city clerk could calm them.
This is the Church of Mary, the traditional site of the 3rd Ecumenical Council.
The only one of the 12 disciples to die a natural death, this is the tomb of John, caretaker of Mary, exile from Patmos, loved by Jesus.