Paul is too successful in Ephesus-at least as far as the idol-making lobbyists are concerned. There are Seven Wonders of the World. But the most beautiful, according to one writer who said he saw all seven, is a temple in Ephesus dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis. Romans call her Diana.
“I have seen the walls and hanging gardens of ancient Babylon, the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the mighty work of the high pyramids, and the tombs of Mausolus,” wrote the Greek scientist Philon in the 200s BC. “But when I saw the temple at Ephesus rising to the clouds, all these other wonders were put in the shade.”
The riot inspired by Demetrius spilled over into the entire city. The people gathered at the amphitheater to join in the demonstration.
The Roman theater at Ephesus has been unearthed by archaeologists. Built similar to a modern stadium, it had row upon row of tiered seats built of stone. It could seat about twenty-five thousand people.
Huge amphitheaters like this were built by the Greeks and Roman throughout the ancient world. Others have been discovered at Athens, Corinth, Miletus, Pergamos, and Philippi.
ACTS 19:29 –29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
Different kinds of shelters or dwellings. In the OT the Hebrew word translated “inn” or “lodging place” might refer to a camping place for an individual (Jer 9:2), a family on a journey (Exod 4:24), an entire caravan (Gen 42:27; 43:21), or an army (Josh 4:3,8). In these passages (with the possible exception of the reference in Jeremiah) the presence of a building is not implied. Often the reference is only to a convenient piece of ground near a spring. It is doubtful that inns in the sense of public inns with a building existed in OT times.
Herod Agrippa II was only seventeen when his father, King Herod Agrippa I died, Emperor Claudius, a close friend of Herod’s father, wanted this young man educated in Rome to assume his father’s throne. But advisers convinced Claudius that the boy was too young. Six years later, in AD 50, Claudius give Herod some territory to rule in what is now Lebanon. Herod later traded that for regions in northern Israel and Syria.
At the annual celebration of the Passover in Jerusalem (see note on Matthew 26:19), the Roman governor released on Jewish prisoner who was selected by the people. This was a gesture of goodwill to the Jews, who resented the Roman occupation of their country.
Imposters claiming to be the Messiah (Christ in Greek). Jesus associated the appearance of messianic pretenders with the fall of Jerusalem (Matt 24:23-26; Mark 13:21-22). Jesus warned His followers to be skeptical of those who point to signs and omens to authenticate their false messianic claims. Jesus also urged disbelief of those claiming the Messiah was waiting in the wilderness or was in “the inner rooms” (perhaps a reference to the inner chambers of the
Mary had a front-row seat for an unbelievable life full of amazing stories: the angel Gabriel showing up out of the blue to tell her that she, a virgin, was pregnant (Luke 1:26-38)-and not just expecting, but expecting the Son of God; the baby’s birth in an animal shed far from home (Luke 2:1-7); the odd parade of well-wishers saying beautiful and occasionally frightening things (Matt 2:1-12; Luke 2:8-38); the mad dash to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath (Matt 2:13-14).
Several different cults or societies characterized in part by elaborate initiation rituals and secret rites. Though attested in Greece before 600 B.C., the mystery religions flourished during the Hellenistic and Roman periods (after 333 B.C.) before dying out before A.D. 500. In particular the intermingling of religious concepts made possible by Alexander the Great’s far-flung conquests accelerated the spread of some cults and facilitated the development of
The Romans appear to have at least two types of whips for flogging. The more serious of the two, the flagellum, consisted of a handle with leather straps attached to it. Knots were tied into the straps with bone or sharp metal bits tied onto them. This was the device used prior to crucifixion to brutalize those condemned so severely that they would be incapable of effective resistance. There was no limit to the number of blows that could be struck, and the beating often continued until the flesh hung down in bloody strips.
SIN’S CONSEQUENCES – The Bible looks upon sin in any form as the most serious of humanity’s problems. Though sinful acts may be directed against another person, ultimately every sin is against God, the Creator of all things. David acknowledged this in his confession in Psalm 51. David sinned against many people (2 Sam 11:1-12; 23), and yet David confessed: “Against You-You alone-I have sinned and done this evil in Your sight” (Psa 51:4).