Acts 19:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 19:11, NIV: "God did extraordinary miracles through Paul,"

Acts 19:11, ESV: "And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,"

Acts 19:11, KJV: "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:"

Acts 19:11, NASB: "God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,"

Acts 19:11, NLT: "God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles."

Acts 19:11, CSB: "God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul's hands,"

What does Acts 19:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In a place dominated by that which is fake and harmful, people hunger for what is real. Cities in the Roman Empire were typically filled with pagan gods; Ephesus was also saturated with demonic magic. Demonic possession was so prevalent, exorcists could make a living by expelling them—or attempting to. Witchcraft was so endemic that "Ephesian writings" is an idiom referring to written spells. It's no wonder Paul writes so much about spiritual warfare in his book to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:12).

"Miracles" is from the Greek root word dynamis which is also translated "power." Paul's miracles are directly identified as acts of power of the Holy Spirit who is working through him. "Extraordinary" is from the Greek root word tynchanō and has the idea of "accurate," "effective," or "hitting the target." "Hands" is from the Greek root word cheir. It means the miracles came through Paul, not necessarily only from his hands as Acts 19:12 shows.

It's possible the work of John the Baptist has softened the hearts of Gentiles as well as Jews. At least twelve men in Ephesus are devoted followers of John's message of repentance (Acts 19:1–4). The combination of seeing the harm demons can cause (Acts 19:16) and the message of repentance from sin may have prepared the Gentiles. Combined with Paul's real healing of others from sickness and evil spirits, the people of Ephesus enthusiastically accept Paul's message of forgiveness from Jesus.