Acts 19:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 19:20, NIV: "In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power."

Acts 19:20, ESV: "So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily."

Acts 19:20, KJV: "So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed."

Acts 19:20, NASB: "So the word of the Lord was growing and prevailing mightily."

Acts 19:20, NLT: "So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect."

Acts 19:20, CSB: "In this way the word of the Lord spread and prevailed."

What does Acts 19:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul's ministry in Ephesus is unique. It started months before when he visited the synagogue on his way from Corinth to Jerusalem. He stayed only a short time before moving on, but he left Priscilla and Aquila there. The couple met Apollos, a Jew from Alexandria, who forcefully preached John the Baptist's message of repentance. Priscilla and Aquila told Apollos more about Jesus, and Apollos believed and updated his message. He then went to Corinth while Priscilla and Aquila stayed in Ephesus (Acts 18:19–28).

When Paul returns, he meets twelve men who, whether because of Apollos or through direct contact, also follow John the Baptist. Paul explains that the Messiah John prophesied is Jesus of Nazareth. The men believe and are baptized (Acts 19:1–7).

In the meantime, demonic activity and witchcraft continue to saturate Ephesus. In response, the Holy Spirit directs Paul to heal people and expel demons in the name of Jesus. Jewish exorcists copy him, but one group finds "Jesus" is a person to know, not a magic spell. A demon beats them, and they flee into the street (Acts 19:11–17).

Many of the magicians respond by grasping at the freedom from demons Paul offers. They break the power of their incantations and burn their spells. Paul stays, building the church for nearly three years (Acts 20:31).