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Photography on this page by Charleston C. K. Wang, Shirley Wang, or Arthur Wang
Copyright 2010-2012 All Rights Reserved Charleston C. K. Wang, Esq., Publisher
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EPHESUS OF SAINT PAUL & SAINT JOHN
EPHESUS & ST. PAUL: About that time no little disturbance broke out concerning the Way. A man named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to
the artisans. These he gathered together, with the workers of the same trade, and said, ‘Men, you know that we get our wealth from this business. You also see and hear that not only in Ephesus
but in almost the whole of Asia this Paul has persuaded and drawn away a considerable number of people by saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this
trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be scorned, and she will be deprived of her majesty that brought all Asia and the world to worship
her.’  When they heard this, they were enraged and shouted, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’ The city was filled with the confusion; and people rushed together to the
theatre, dragging with
them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s travelling-companions. Paul wished to go into the crowd, but the disciples would not let him; even some officials of the province of Asia,
who were friendly to him, sent him a message urging him not to venture into the
theatre. Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing, some another; for the assembly was in confusion, and most of
them did not know why they had come together. ... But when the town clerk had quietened the crowd, he said, ‘Citizens of Ephesus, who is there that does not know that the city of the Ephesians
is the temple-keeper of the great Artemis and of the statue that fell from heaven? Since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. You have brought these men
here who are neither temple-robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. If therefore Demetrius and the artisans with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are
proconsuls; let them bring charges there against one another. If there is anything further you want to know, it must be settled in the regular assembly. For we are in danger of being charged with
rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.’ When he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.  
Acts 19: 23-32, 35-41. (As an attorney, I am heartened to note
that in Luke's narrative of this incident, it appears that deference to the rule of law prevailed over mob justice in this instance of near riot).

Sounds familiar?  Well, Paul seems to be fond of getting into frays over Jesus. He and his companions were in trouble again this time in the theatre of Ephesus as reported in Luke's Acts of the
Apostles. The interesting question that is raised to anyone on the ground at Ephesus (we were there on May 8, 2012) is that there are more than one theatre.   The photograph above shows the
Great Theatre of Ephesus, with the capacity to hold 25,000, the origin of which may be traced to the 3rd century BCE.  The Great Theatre in its final grandeur was yet unconstructed in the days of
Paul (circa 50 CE).   As the stature of Ephesus as a leading city and sea port of the Pax Romana  (others top cities included Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria), this theatre was known to have been
enlarged by Augustus (31 BCE-14 CE), then by Nero (54-68 CE), Domitian (81-96 CE), and also by Septimus Severus (193-211 CE).  The Great Theatre being the largest building in the city and
largest theatre in Anatolia (modern Turkey), was visible to anyone entering Ephesus through the harbor.  This venue hosted drama, and later, gladiators (a gladiators graveyard was discovered in
May 2007). The Great Theatre was damaged by earthquake in the 4th century CE but continued to function after partial restoration until Ephesus was stricken again in 614 CE.  The photograph
below show another smaller theatre also in Ephesus.  Many bible commentators assume that the confrontation with followers of Artemis took place in the Great Theatre, but Luke in the Acts of the
Apostles mentions only the "theatre."   This mystery may be solved by determining when the little theatre was constructed.   Anyone with an answer can email me at
wanglaw@wangnews,net.
A 8 MM FISHEYE VIEW INSIDE A "LITTLE" THEATRE
THE TOMB OF SAINT JOHN IN THE BASILICA OF ST. JOHN
ALL THAT CAN BE SEEN OF THE TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS,
ONE OF THE  "SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD."
This photograph captured with a telephoto set at 400 mm.
PILGRIM SHIRLEY  KISSING
THE STONE (ACTUALLY
TRYING TO KEEL COOL).  
BISHARA, COURSE
LIAISON FROM ST.
GEORGE'S COLLEGE IN
JERUSALEM, SNEAKS A
PEEK FROM BEHIND,
The visit to Ephesus is part
of the Course "St. Paul and
the Early Church in Turkey"
available from St. George's.
Pièce de résistance:  The Temple of Celsus façade
EPHESUS & ST. JOHN:  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is
your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.  
John 19: 26-27.  According to early tradition, John heeded the instruction during the crucifixion of Jesus and took Mary
with him to live in Ephesus.  There he wrote the Fourth Gospel and also the three Epistles.  In his old age, John was exiled by Domitian (81-96 CE) to the Island of Patmos where he was inspired to
write the Book of Revelation (to view the webpage on Patmos,
click here).  The next Emperor, Nerva (96-98 CE) commuted the sentence and restored John to Ephesus where he lived out his
remaining days on earth.  The Church in Ephesus is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation.  Five centuries later, Justinian I (527 -565 CE) built the Basilica of St. John
over a smaller one by
Theodosius I (347-395 CE)
in the style of the now lost Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople .  The Tomb of John was laid under the central dome.  The Basilica became one of the holiest
shrines during the Middle Ages and pilgrims visited it hoping for relics of power.  Unfortunately, the Basilica was severely damaged by earthquake during the 14th century and fell into disuse.  Since
1973, the ruins have been excavated and modern pilgrims may find them next to the Turkish citadel on Ayasuluğ Hill above the modern city of Selçuk in Izmir Province.  About 4.3 miles from the
heart of Ephesus, on the lush green slope of Mt. Koressos, is the House of Mary where she and John may have lived.
A 8 MM FISHEYE VIEW INSIDE THE GREAT THEATRE
THE TEMPLE OF THE                EMPEROR HADRIAN
The Fountain of Trajan
The Grand Bordello
Nike, Winged Goddess of Victory
Apollo
Public Rest Facilities
Memmius Monument
Main (Curetes) Street
EPHESUS, THE THIRD ECUMENICAL COUNCIL & THE ROBBER COUNCIL:  The House of Mary is not to be confused with the Church of Mary, the venue of the Third Ecumenical Council of
431 CE.  Nestorius (356-451), Patriarch of Constantinople, having studied with Theodore of Mopsuestia in Antioch, taught about the disunion of the Divine and human natures of Christ.   He
also argued against the time-tested title for Mary,
Theotokos (Greek: Θεοτόκος, "God-bearer" - a term that maybe traced back to Origen and Dionysius of Alexandria), preferring instead,
Christotokos (Χριστοτόκος, "Christ-bearer").  This attracted vehement opposition from other church leaders, first by Eusebius of Dorylaeum, but most notably by Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria,
who accused Nestorius of heresy before Pope Celestine I in Rome.   Ironically, not to be outdone, Nestorius appealed to Emperor Theodosius II (401-450 CE) who agreed to convene the Third
Ecumenical Council in Ephesus to resolve this controversy of Christology.  250 metropolitans and  bishops made their way in the summer heat to Ephesus over a number of weeks during June
and July.   Cyril took the offensive and his relationship with Theodosius was strained, but after at least 7 see-saw sessions, Cyril prevailed.   Nestorius was deposed of his see, exiled to a
monastery in Upper Egypt, and his teachings were anathematized.  Nestorius refused to recant his doctrine and the decision at Ephesus forced a schism on some churches, especially in those
Persia and further out as far as China (Churches of the East) who survive to this day in  the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Syrian Church, the Ancient Church of the East, and the
Chaldean Catholic Church.  Ephesus was embraced by the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic churches, and those that come after them.  Disagreement continued as some
accused the Alexandrian School of the heresy of monophysitism, i.e, the Christological position that, after the union of the Divine and the human in the historical Incarnation, Jesus Christ, as the
incarnation of the eternal Son or Word (Logos) of God, had only a single "nature" which was either divine or a synthesis of divine and human.  Consequently, more obscure, but no less
fascinating, in
449 CE there was another council in Ephesus (dubbed the Robber Council).  Although convoked by Emperor Theodosius II under the presidency of Dioscorus who succeeded
Cyril, it
remained merely a church synod .  Monophysitism became the issue to be resolved (with Apollinarianism being a secondary issue) and it seems that the monophysite archimandrite of
Constantinople, Eutyches won the day.  However, the proceedings were so marred by scandal and irregularities that they were never recognized as an ecumenical council; indeed
monophysitism was soundly repudiated by the next Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon in 451 CE.  The thumbnail photographs below show the Church of St. Mary (click for larger view) which is
also known as the Church of the Councils.
EPHESUS & THE PANTHEON:  A pilgrim to Ephesus cannot help but be amazed, even impressed, by the variety of gods and goddesses that were
worshipped there.  In addition to pagan deities, the Emperor also competed for supplicants through his imperial cult (see, e.g., the Temple of Hadrian).   In
its beginning the Cult of the Risen Christ was one among many more.  Ephesus has traditionally been the stronghold of the goddess Artemis (of fertility and
the hunt) and her temple was once a Wonder of the Ancient World (circa 550 BCE).  To make things even more lively, philosophers - lovers of wisdom -
also vied for students and followers in this teeming port city.  The Library of Celsus (135 CE - see last photo below) held 12,000 scrolls and also served as
a monumental tomb for its namesake.  The Great Theatre featured entertainment of Greek drama and later Roman gladiatorial sports.  The Ephesus
Brothel was and is said to be grand.   Following the Edict of Thessalonica also known as
Cunctos populos issued by Theodosius I (347-395 CE) which in
380 CE declared Nicene Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, the Temple of Artemis was demolished in 401 CE by a mob.  Some of its
columns may have been scavenged and used for other buildings, including, possibly, in the Hagia Sophia   Over the centuries, the harbor began to silt up
and upon becoming landlocked and devastated by successive earthquakes and invasions, Ephesus, as a city, became a ruin after it was finally abandoned
in the 15th century.  Other settlements continued around it and in 1914 nearby Ayasuluğ was renamed Selçuk.  Today, only a single column of the Temple
of Artemis has been restored to mark its location,

A CONCLUDING REFLECTION:  Paul, the tent-maker, had his work cut out for him and he must have been busy during his three years in Ephesus where
he wrote many of his letters  (e.g. 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Galatians, and Philemon).
Charleston C. K Wang, 5/25/2012.

İsa Bey Mosque 1374 CE
located just below the
Basilica of St. John
Click on any thumbmail
photo for larger view.
Click on any thumbmail photo for larger view.
Click on any thumbmail photo for larger view.
Click on any thumbmail photo for larger view.
Click on any thumbmail photo for larger view.
Click on any thumbmail photo for larger view.
EPHESUS OF THE THIRD ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF 431 CE
Click on any thumbmail photo for larger view.
Animula, vagula, blandula
Hospes comesque corporis
Quae nunc abibis in loca
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis iocos...
P. Aelius Hadrianus Imp.
Little soul, roamer and charmer
Body's guest and companion
Who soon will depart to places
Darkish, chilly and misty
An end to all your jokes...
To read:
"Sufis,
Rumi,
Konya clic
k
here
To read:
"Antioch at
Pisidia: Wrath
of Paul", clic
k
here.
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