I’m diving into Ephesians and I thought a bit of history might be helpful as we look at the work God does in Ephesus. Click here to study this book with me chapter by chapter https://bayareamomma.wordpress.com/category/ephesians-study/ in 16 posts :
I am a bit of a geek for architecture and In bible college one of my favorite things was to look at where things were in bible times as opposed to where they exist today. I love seeing pictures of what places look like today and knowing a little history of the town gives me a real perspective. Otherwise it just seems like a nice story. This was and is a real town in Turkey. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the coast of Ionia, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. (all this info below is from various online sources.)
Author and Title
-letter explicitly claims to be Paul’s
-Careful study has shown that the style is closer to Paul’s than originally thought
-amanuensis- Paul frequently used someone else to record his letters for him. A loose form of dictation.
• Chapters: 6
• Verses: 155
• Rome (while in prison [Eph 3:1][Eph 4:1][Eph 6:20])
• This was the first of what are often referred to as the “Prison Epistles” because they were written during Paul’s 1st imprisonment in Rome which lasted 2 years (Acts 28:30). A prison epistle, along with Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.
The fledgling church begun by Priscilla and Aquila was later firmly established by Paul on his third missionary journey and was pastored by him for some three years. After Paul left, Timothy pastored the congregation for perhaps a year and a half.Paul intended that all who long for Christ-like maturity would receive this writing. the book talks about the key factors needed to develop into true children of God. A study in Ephesians will help to fortify and to establish the believer so he can fulfill the purpose and calling God has given. The aim of this epistle is to confirm and to equip a maturing church. It presents a balanced view of the body of Christ and its importance in God’s economy. Ephesians deals with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice—regardless of any particular problem in the community.
Ephesians 6:10-11: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Not only would you have observed great wealth in Ephesus, but you would have also seen that the people of Ephesus were religiously diverse and devoted. Though many people were dedicated to worshipping Artemis, you would have observed that the people of Ephesus worshipped nearly 50 different gods and goddesses. The people’s religious commitment was also commercialized through the distribution of magical goods and services through multiple vendors. You could have easily bought various potions, services, and statues to meet any need.
The Grecian city of Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia (modern day Turkey). An important port city on the west coast of Asia, The most well known thing about Ephesus was that it boasted the magnificent temple of Artemis also called the Temple of Diana (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). It is widely thought that the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was known throughout the ancient world for its temple prostitutes and hedonistic celebrations as well as godess Diana statue sales. –
The grandiose theater, where citizens chanted “great is Artemis of the Ephesians (Acts 19:29-40), held an estimated 20,000 or more spectators. Ephesus was one of the largest cities in the world in Paul’s time with about 250,000 to 300,000 people. It’s inhabitants were known for being self-indulgent, extravagant, and worshipers of many gods and goddesses. • Today, among the vast archaeological remains, some key structures date from the actual time of the NT.
Here is a side by side of a map of where things were located in bible times and what it is named today:
here is what the city of Ephesus likely looked like: click on picture to see larger
Here is a link to more info & pictures of ephesus:
There is a ton more I could add about this book & city, but maybe it will inspire you to do a search of your own :o) Do you know any other facts about this city? I would love to hear your thoughts.