Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 18: Ephesians Burning of Magic Scrolls

Ephesians Burning of Magic Scrolls, Casimiro De Rossi Act 19:1 - 20

Ephesians Burning of Magic Scrolls, Casimiro De Rossi, Act 19:1 – 20

Acts 19:1 – 20

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus.  There he found some disciples and asked the, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance.  He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”  On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.  When Paul placed his hands on them, they Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophecies.  There were about twelve men in all.

Paul entered the synagogue and spoke bodily there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.  But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way.  So Paul left them.  He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in th lecture hall of Tyrannus.  This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul.  Handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed.  They could say, “In the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”  Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.  The evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know and Paul I know about, but who are you?”  Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all.  He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

When this became knows to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.  Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.  A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly.  When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.  In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.


What’s Going On?

Paul has traveled to Ephesus, where he teaches for two years.

Miracles occur with items that Paul has touched healing people.

Sorcerers in Ephesus are upset because Paul’s authority is taking away from their position and income.

An evil spirit confirms Jesus’ and Paul’s, and defy the sorcerers.

The sorcerers bring the magic scrolls and burn them.

What Are We Seeing?

Paul stands, arms raised, possibly teaching, praying, or bringing the Holy Spirit to the believers in Ephesus.

Sorcerers bring arm loads of magic scrolls and books to put into the fire.

A crowd watches in the back ground.

The illuminated clouds in the sky contrast with the flames from the scrolls on the ground.

Quote – Fresco 18

We see that (Paul’s) being with Christ creates a broad inner freedom: freedom in the face of threat of death, but also freedom in the face of all life’s commitments and sufferings.  He is simply at God’s disposal and truly free.

Pope Benedict XVI

About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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