Early Christianity in Ephesus

4 April 2015
History of success & cultural impact of Paul’s spreading of religion in 1st Cent. Roman seaport, based on book of Ephesians.

The city of Ephesus was a major seaport in the first century Roman empire, located on the Cayster River. The river brought down much silt, forming a fertile plain, which also contributed to the wealth of the city. (Ironically, this same silt eventually filled the harbor and the coast is now three miles west of the city.) However, at the time of Paul’s arrival in Ephesus it was a thriving metropolis with a long (and checkered) history. That Paul found any converts in Ephesus is itself a miracle considering both the wealth and the pagan religion that Ephesus was steeped in.
Besides its position as a land and sea trading center (being the terminus of one land route and easily accessed by two others, in addition to its favorable port) Ephesus had a unique history with Rome. Partial recovery came to the western edges of the…
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