Original Research

The Ephesian elders come to Miletus: An Annaliste reading of Acts 20:15–18a

Mark Wilson
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 34, No 1 | a744 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v34i1.744 | © 2013 Mark Wilson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 May 2012 | Published: 09 September 2013

About the author(s)

Mark Wilson, Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near East Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa; Asia Minor Research Center, Turkey


In his recent study on Ionia, A. Greaves adopts an Annaliste approach following the pioneering work of Fernand Braudel. Greaves attempts to move beyond a text-based understanding of sites and events by also considering the related landscape and geographical data. This study adopts Greaves’ methodology in examining a text in Acts related to the Ionian cities of Ephesus and Miletus. Acts 20:15–18a records that Paul bypassed Ephesus, but later summoned the Ephesian elders to meet him in Miletus. This summons sets up one of Paul’s most important speeches and the only one in Acts delivered to a Christian audience. This study will examine the landscape and geography related to this stage of Paul’s third journey as well as the journey of the Ephesian elders to Miletus. It will also look at how recently published Bible atlases have incorrectly illustrated this segment of Paul’s journeys. An Annaliste reading will bring fresh insights into Paul’s travel habits and his decision making related to ministry as depicted in this pericope in Acts.


Ionia; Miletus; Didyma


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