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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Ephesus

During New Testament times, the city of Ephesus in modern day Turkey was extraordinarily prosperous. Its tourist trade bought in so much revenue that included in the town was the world’s first bank.

It is believed by many that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to a stone house, just outside of Ephesus by the Apostle John after the crucifixion of Jesus and she lived there for the remainder of her life.

A church in Ephesus was established by St Paul in 53AD and a year later on his third missionary journey he stayed for three years ministering with great effect. When a few years later he wrote to the Ephesian church during his imprisonment in Rome, he made no specific reference to any difficulties within the church so all appeared to be going well.

The Temple of Artemis, also known less precisely as the Temple of Diana, was a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis and was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. St Paul's preaching  in Ephesus caused locals to fear for the temple's dishonor and a silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, It was destroyed by Germanic speaking Goths in 262 AD and never rebuilt.

In the Book of Revelation written at the end of the 1st century Jesus commended the Ephesian church for its hard work but warned them that they had lost their initial zeal. He admonished them to repent and return to the initial love for originally had for him, otherwise they would cease to be an effective church. Sadly this never happened and by the third century the Ephesian church had become very nominal.


In 262 the Goths sacked the City of Ephesus. Although rebuilt, the city never regained its former splendor. It was finally abandoned in the 6th century CE when the harbor completely filled in with river silt. 

2 comments:

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  2. Wow, have been to Ephesus last summer with http://www.traveltofethiye.co.uk/explore/excursions-and-guided-tours/ephesus-pamukkale/ but guide did not tell us that Ephesus is motherland of world's first bank. Also have been to Virgin Mary house though it was extra :-(

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