Early history of Ephesus (2 Timothy 1)

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Ephesus was at the centre of Paul’s missionary work. He visited there while on his second and third missionary journeys and maintained exceptionally close ties to the Christians at this location (Acts 20:17-38). Toward the end of his ministry, the apostle left Timothy in Ephesus to care for the Ephesian Christians (1 Timothy 1:3), and at the very end of his life he continued to show concern for the church there (2 Timothy 1:18, 4:12).

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Ephesus was situated on the Aegean coast by the Cayster River (in the Southwestern corner of modern Turkey), but its specific location shifted through the centuries. The city was originally founded by Greeks in approximately 1000 B.C.

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Ephesus was captured by Cyrus the Great of Persia in 546 B.C. After Persia’s disastrously failed invasion of Greece, however, Ephesus came in 454 B.C. under the control of Athens, against which it rebelled during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.9, joining instead the Spartan alliance. After thefall of Athens, Ephesus again came under Persian control, but this ended with the conquest of the region in 333 B.C by Alexander the Great.

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After Alexander’s death his general Lysimachus emerged victorious in a struggle for power in Asia Minor. Lysimachus moved the city a short distance from its original site and constructed a 10 km long wall around its new boundaries (ca. 286-281 B.C.). Ephesus then came under Seleucid rule, which lasted until Rome defeated Antiochus III in 189 B.C. Rome placed Ephesus under the control of the Attalids, the rulers of nearby Pergamum, but took direct control of the city in 133 B.C. Emperor Augustus honoured Ephesus as the first city of Roman Asia.

Bilderesultat for ancient ephesus ruins

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