School of Tyrannus

School of Tyrannus

Evangelizing Israel Cayster River
School of Tyrannus

School of Tyrannus, Ephesus

Ephesus is a city on the west coast of the present day Turkey. Although no more than abandoned ruins today, Ephesus was one of the principal cities in the empire during the Roman era.

Ephesus features prominently in early Christianity, as Paul preached in Ephesus for at least two years, including at the school of Tyrannus. In a pattern repeated in the cities that he visited, Paul initially preached in its synagogue. But when the Jews rejected why Jesus was crucified and the proof of His resurrection (see Jesus tomb), Paul turned to the Gentiles, "reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus," as mentioned below:

"And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus... And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks." (Acts 19:1, 8-10)

Later in his ministry, Paul told the elders of the church in Ephesus, "You yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me" (Acts 20:34). So Paul most likely worked his trade as a tentmaker in the mornings to provide for not only himself but also "those who were with" him, and then taught at the school of Tyrannus in the afternoons when it was empty as the Ephesians slumbered in siesta (schools in the region typically held classes in the morning when sunlight without the heat facilitated human activity, including study).

The church that Paul planted in Ephesus thrived, at least for a while:

"This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed." (Acts 19:17-20)

After Paul left Ephesus, Aquila, Apollos and even the Apostle John ministered there. Why did they choose Ephesus as the base for evangelizing "Asia [Minor]"? See the next page.

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