Acts 21:19

ESV After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
NIV Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
NASB After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
CSB After greeting them, he reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
NLT After greeting them, Paul gave a detailed account of the things God had accomplished among the Gentiles through his ministry.
KJV And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

What does Acts 21:19 mean?

Representatives from modern-day Turkey, Macedonia, and probably Greece have come to the church in Jerusalem to offer the donations their churches have collected (Acts 20:4). Paul has come along, and he shares with James and the Jerusalem elders what he has been doing the last few years (Acts 21:18; Romans 15:26).

Paul has spent most of the previous four years in Ephesus, a large port city on the Turkish coast of the Aegean Sea. He first met twelve men who followed John the Baptist's teaching of repentance of sins. After explaining that the Messiah John had prophesied about was Jesus of Nazareth, the men accepted Christ and received the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1–7).

Next, Paul spent three months in the synagogue explaining how Jesus brought the kingdom of God. When the pushback grew too great, he moved to a hall in town. The Holy Spirit validated his words by giving him the ability to heal and expel demons. He was so effective that people abandoned their witchcraft and other demonic practices and burned their spells. Within two years, everyone from the large district had heard of Jesus (Acts 19:8–20).

After Ephesus, Paul wanted to travel to Corinth but issues in the church made him delay his trip. He went north to Troas, sailed to Philippi, visited Thessalonica and Berea, and then stayed in Corinth for three months (2 Corinthians 1:15–16, 23; 1 Corinthians 16:5; Acts 20:3). After he reconciled with the Corinthians, he'd planned on sailing straight to Judea, but the Jews plotted against him, so he had to retrace his steps all the way up to Philippi and Troas and all the way back down to a port south of Ephesus (Acts 20:3, 6, 16).

Most significantly, Paul brought the gospel to an important port city in western Turkey and greatly reduced the witchcraft, demonic oppression, and idol worship there. In addition, he chastened the church in Corinth and reminded them how to live out of their new identities in Christ. This correction likely reassured the elders. They'd heard a rumor Paul was traipsing around the Empire, telling Jews they shouldn't follow any part of the Mosaic law anymore (Acts 21:20–21).
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