Acts 20:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 20:18, NIV: "When they arrived, he said to them: 'You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia."

Acts 20:18, ESV: "And when they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia,"

Acts 20:18, KJV: "And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,"

Acts 20:18, NASB: "And when they came to him, he said to them, 'You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time,"

Acts 20:18, NLT: "When they arrived he declared, 'You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now"

Acts 20:18, CSB: "When they came to him, he said to them, "You know, from the first day I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time,"

What does Acts 20:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul and his traveling companions are in Miletus, on the central west coast of modern-day Turkey. Paul wants to get to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost, but he also wants to visit with the elders from the church in Ephesus. In order to save time, he asks the elders to come to him (Acts 20:16–17).

Asia is the province that spans most of modern-day western Turkey. Paul's wording is just a little hyperbolic; he entered Asia from the east and it would have taken several days for him to reach Ephesus. Once he arrived, however, there's no indication he left. Although residents from all over Asia heard Jesus' story (Acts 19:10) it doesn't mean Paul went to each town.

Throughout his ministry, Paul would have taught hundreds or thousands of times. However, Luke records only six of his messages:
  • An apologetic showing that Jesus is the Messiah of Jewish Scripture: Acts 13:16–41
  • A contextualization for the pagan Athenians showing God can't be represented as an idol: Acts 17:22–31
  • This exhortation for the Ephesian elders: Acts 20:17–35
  • His testimony before the Jews in Jerusalem: Acts 22:3–21
  • His testimony before Felix: Acts 24:10–21
  • His testimony before Agrippa II: Acts 26:2–23
As literary criticism developed around the turn of the last century, some scholars grew to doubt the Paul of the book of Acts was the same as the Paul who wrote the Epistles. This message, given to church leaders as the letters are, is similar enough to his letters to Timothy and Titus to set aside such concerns.