The Case of the Silversmiths’ Riot: How Paul Escaped Execution
Around 52 AD, the Silversmiths in the city of Ephesus became agitated when they saw that their business was declining. They blamed this on the rise of a new religion – Christianity. So they started a riot, shouting “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” (Acts 19:28)
The Jews in the city also joined in the riot, as they saw Christianity as a threat to their own religion. They accused Paul of defiling the temple and causing religious unrest. So they brought him before the Roman governor, Gallio.
2. Overview of the case
Paul was a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia. He was a Roman citizen and a Pharisee. He had formerly persecuted Christians, but he had a change of heart after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
After his conversion, Paul spent several years in Arabia before returning to Syria and then going to Jerusalem. He met with Peter and James, and then he went back to Tarsus.
In about 47 AD, Paul went on his first missionary journey. He traveled through Cyprus and Asia Minor, preachinig about Jesus Christ. He caused some trouble in Ephesus, but he eventually left for Corinth.
While Paul was in Corinth, Gallio became the governor of Achaia province, which included Corinth. In 51 or 52 AD, the Silversmiths in Ephesus started a riot against Paul and his preaching. They brought Paul before Gallio, accusing him of defiling the temple and causing religious unrest.
3. Paul’s argument
Paul argued that he was not guilty of either of these charges. He pointed out that he was not even from Ephesus, so he could not have defiled their temple. As for causing religious unrest, Paul said that this was simply not true.
He pointed out that the Jews were always quarreling among themselves about their own religion. If anyone was causing religious unrest, it was them, not him!
4. The verdict
Governor Gallio agreed with Paul’s argument. He said that if Paul had been guilty of any crime, he would have punished him himself. But since Paul had not broken any Roman laws, Gallio refused to listen to the Jews’ accusations any longer.
So he had them all ejected from the court! (Acts 18:12-17) This effectively ended the case against Paul. 5 Aftermath As a result of this incident, Christianity began to spread more rapidly in Corinth and other parts of Greece. King Agrippa II once visited Corinth and heard Paul preach there (Acts 25:23). Lysias also heard about Christianity and became interested in it (Acts 24:24). 6 Conclusion The accusations against Paul were serious ones which could have resulted in his execution if he had been found guilty. But thanks to his quick wit and knowledge of Roman law, he managed to convince Governor Gallio that he was innocent and walked away from the court a free man
Cite this assignment
More Related papers
- The Sale of Alcohol: A Summary of the Laws
- The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe: A Study in Guilt, Addiction, and Moral Decay
- Hormonal Control of Sexual Development
- The Sociological Imagination: A Tool for Understanding Our Lives and the World Around Us
- 2 Books About Detroit: A Dystopian City with Some Hope for the Future