Acts 19:18-21

19:18 Many of those who had believed came forward, confessing and making their deeds known. 19:19 Large numbers of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them up in the presence of everyone. When the value of the books was added up, it was found to total fifty thousand silver coins. 19:20 In this way the word of the Lord continued to grow in power 10  and to prevail. 11 

A Riot in Ephesus

19:21 Now after all these things had taken place, 12  Paul resolved 13  to go to Jerusalem, 14  passing through Macedonia 15  and Achaia. 16  He said, 17  “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 18 

tn Grk “came”; the word “forward” is supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning and to conform to the contemporary English idiom.

tn Or “confessing and disclosing their deeds.” BDAG 59 s.v. ἀναγγέλλω 2 has “W. ἐξομολογεῖσθαι: . τὰς πράξεις αὐτο'ν make their deeds known Ac 19:18.”

sn Making their deeds known. Ephesus was a major pagan religious center with much syncretistic “magical” practice. Coming to Jesus changed the lives and attitudes of these believers, creating a social impact.

tn BDAG 472 s.v. ἱκανός 4.a has “many, quite a few” for ἱκανοί (Jikanoi) in this verse.

tn On this term see BDAG 800 s.v. περίεργος 2.

tn Or “scrolls.”

tn Or “burned them up publicly.” L&N 14.66 has “‘they brought their books together and burned them up in the presence of everyone’ Ac 19:19.”

tn Grk “and when.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.

tn Or “fifty thousand silver drachmas” (about $10,000 US dollars). BDAG 128 s.v. ἀργύριον 2.c states, “ἀργυρίου μυριάδας πέντε 50,000 (Attic silver) drachmas Ac 19:19.” Another way to express the value would be in sheep: One drachma could buy one sheep. So this many drachmas could purchase a huge flock of sheep. A drachma also equals a denarius, or a day’s wage for the average worker. So this amount would be equal to 50,000 work days or in excess of 8,300 weeks of labor (the weeks are calculated at six working days because of the Jewish cultural context). The impact of Christianity on the Ephesian economy was considerable (note in regard to this the concerns expressed in 19:26-27).

sn The word of the Lord is a technical expression in OT literature, often referring to a divine prophetic utterance (e.g., Gen 15:1, Isa 1:10, Jonah 1:1). In the NT it occurs 15 times: 3 times as ῥῆμα τοῦ κυρίου (rJhma tou kuriou; Luke 22:61, Acts 11:16, 1 Pet 1:25) and 12 times as λόγος τοῦ κυρίου (logo" tou kuriou; here and in Acts 8:25; 13:44, 48, 49; 15:35, 36; 16:32; 19:10; 1 Thess 1:8, 4:15; 2 Thess 3:1). As in the OT, this phrase focuses on the prophetic nature and divine origin of what has been said.

10 tn The imperfect verb ηὔξανεν (huxanen) has been translated as a progressive imperfect, as has the following verb ἴσχυεν (iscuen).

11 sn The word of the Lord…to prevail. Luke portrays the impact of Christianity in terms of the Lord’s transforming power in the lives of individuals.

12 tn Grk “all these things had been fulfilled.”

13 tn Grk “Paul purposed in [his] spirit” (an idiom). According to BDAG 1003 s.v. τίθημι 1.b.ε the entire idiom means “to resolve” (or “decide”): “ἔθετο ὁ Παῦλος ἐν τῷ πνεύματι w. inf. foll. Paul resolved 19:21.”

14 map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.

15 sn Macedonia was the Roman province of Macedonia in Greece.

16 sn Achaia was the Roman province of Achaia located across the Aegean Sea from Ephesus. Its principal city was Corinth.

17 tn Grk “Achaia, saying.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the awkwardness in English of having two participial clauses following one another (“passing through…saying”), the participle εἰπών (eipwn) has been translated as a finite verb and a new sentence begun here in the translation.

18 sn This is the first time Paul mentions Rome. He realized the message of Christianity could impact that society even at its heights.

map For location see JP4-A1.