Acts 19 Commentary


Click chart to enlarge
Chart from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

THE EXPANDING WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT-EMPOWERED CHURCH


Click chart to enlarge

Considering the fact that Acts 13 is such a strategic chapter in regard to world evangelism, take a moment and study Irving Jensen's chart at top of the page (click it to enlarge it which is what I have to do at age 72!). Notice the bold vertical line (|) at the end of Acts 12 and beginning of Acts 13 which Jensen estimates to be about year 47 (it could be a short time prior). Note the horizontal description of "Church" - Church Established in the first 13 years from Acts 1 through Acts 7, then the Church Scattered between Acts 8 through Acts 12, which occurred over a period of about 14 years (and remember all dates and times are at best approximations because Luke gives only a few events that allow us to give specific dates, such as the death of Herod in A D 44 in Acts 12:23) and lastly, beginning in Acts 13 (and until the end of this age), the Church Extended, this extension being the primarily the fruit of Paul's Three Missionary Journeys which"upset the world!" (Acts 17:6) Now, you have a good grasp of the chronological context of Acts 13. And as they say in the restaurant when your delicious meal is served "Enjoy!" The three missionary journeys are summarized below (this note will be repeated in subsequent chapters). Click links for the maps of each journey.

Paul's First Missionary Journey Acts 13:4-14:28
Paul's Second Missionary Journey Acts 15:36-18:22
Paul's Third Missionary Journey Acts 18:23-21:26

Here is a map with all three journeys on one map.
ESV Maps - First, Second, Third, Paul to Rome

THE ITINERARY OF PAUL'S
THREE MISSIONARY JOURNEYS

FIRST SECOND THIRD
  1. Antioch Acts 13:1-3
  2. Seleucia Acts 13:4
  3. Salamis on Cyprus Acts 13:5
  4. Paphos on Cyprus Acts 13:6-12
  5. Perga in Pamphylia Acts 13:13
  6. Pisidian Antioch Acts 13:14-50
  7. Iconium Acts 13:51
  8. Lystra Acts 14:6-20
  9. Derbe Acts 14:20
  10. Lystra Acts 14:21
  11. Iconium Acts 14:21
  12. Pisidian Antioch Acts 14:21
  13. Pamphylia Acts 14:24
  14. Perga Acts 14:25
  15. Attalia Acts 14:25
  16. Antioch Acts 14:26 
  1. Antioch Acts 15:36-40
  2. Syria Acts 15:41
  3. Cilicia Acts 15:41
  4. Derbe Acts 16:1
  5. Lystra Acts 16:1-5
  6. Phrygia/Galatia Acts 16:6
  7. Mysia Acts 16:7
  8. Troas Acts 16:8-10
  9. Samothrace Acts 16:11
  10. Neapolis Acts 16:11
  11. Philippi Acts 16:12
  12. Amphipolis Acts 17:1
  13. Apollonia Acts 17:1
  14. Thessalonica Acts 17:1-9
  15. Berea Acts 17:10-14
  16. Athens Acts 17:15-34
  17. Corinth Acts 18:1-17
  18. Cenchrea Acts 18:18
  19. Ephesus Acts 18:19
  20. Caesarea Acts 18:22
  21. Jerusalem Acts 18:22
  22. Antioch Acts 18:22
  1. Antioch Acts 18:23
  2. Phrygia/Galatia Acts 18:23-28
  3. Ephesus Acts 19:1-41
  4. Macedonia Acts 20:1
  5. Greece Acts 20:2
  6. Macedonia Acts 20:3-5
  7. Philippi Acts 20:6
  8. Troas Acts 20:6-12
  9. Assos Acts 20:13
  10. Mitylene Acts 20:14
  11. Samos Acts 20:15
  12. Miletus Acts 20:15-38
  13. Cos Acts 21:1
  14. Rhodes Acts 21:1
  15. Patara Acts 21:1
  16. Tyre Acts 21:3-6
  17. Ptolemais Acts 21:7
  18. Caesarea Acts 21:8-14

Charles Swindoll points out that "When we study the journeys of Paul in the book of Acts, we’re not just reading the travel log of a man; we’re observing the redemptive plan of God unfolding as He promised. Through the ministry of Saul of Tarsus, God’s mission to reclaim His creation from the death grip of evil would move to its next stage. The plan of this mission was outlined in the Lord’s promise at His ascension, where He said,

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses...

  1. In Jerusalem [Stage 1: Acts 2–7],
  2. and in all Judea and Samaria [Stage 2: Acts 8–12],
  3. and even to the remotest part of the earth [Stage 3: Acts 13–‍28].” (Acts 1:8+)

Acts 19:1 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples.

 

Acts 19:2  He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit."

 

Acts 19:3 3  And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism."

 

Acts 19:4  Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus."

 

Acts 19:5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus

 

Acts 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying

 

Acts 19:7  There were in all about twelve men

 

Acts 19:8  And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God

 

Acts 19:9  But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus

 

Acts 19:10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

 

Acts 19:11   God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,

 

Acts 19:12 so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out

 

Acts 19:13   But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.

 

Acts 19:14 Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this

 

Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said to them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?

 

Acts 19:16 And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded

 

Acts 19:17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified

 

Acts 19:18 Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices

 

Acts 19:19 19  And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver

 

Acts 19:20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.

 

Acts 19:21 Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome."

 

Acts 19:22 And having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

 

Acts 19:23 About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way.

 

Acts 19:24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen;

 

Acts 19:25 these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, "Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business.

 

Acts 19:26 "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.

 

Acts 19:27 "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 will even be dethroned from her magnificence."

 

Acts 19:28 And when they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

 

Acts 19:29 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.

 

Acts 19:30 And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him.

 

Acts 19:31 Also some of the Asiarchs who were friends of his sent to him and repeatedly urged him not to venture into the theater.

 

Acts 19:32 So then, some were shouting one thing and some another, for the assembly was in confusion and the majority did not know for what reason they had come together.

 

Acts 19:33 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.

 

Acts 19:34 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!"

 

Acts 19:35 After quieting the crowd, 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?

 

Acts 19:36 "So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash.

 

Acts 19:37  "For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of our goddess.

 

Acts 19:38  "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.

Proconsuls (KJV = "deputy")(5119)(anthupatos from anti = instead of + hupatos = highest, supreme, consul) literally means instead of a consul. A proconsul was a governor of a senatorial province in the Roman Empire. The Greeks used to word consul because after the expulsion of the kings, the consuls had the supreme or highest authority in the Roman government. "A proconsul, a person sent as governor into a Roman province with consular power which was very intensive. Augustus, at the beginning of his reign, divided the provinces into two parts; one of which he gave wholly over to the people, and the other which he reserved for himself. After this, the governors who were sent into the first division bore the name of proconsuls though they were denied the whole military power, and so fell short of the old proconsuls." (Complete Word Study Dictionary)

Acts 19:39 39  "But if you want anything beyond this, it shall be settled in the lawful assembly.

 

Acts 19:40 "For indeed we are in danger of being accused of a riot in connection with today's events, since there is no real cause for it, and in this connection we will be unable to account for this disorderly gathering."

 

Acts 19:41 41  After saying this he dismissed the assembly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book