Acts 19:19
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

New Living Translation
A number of them who had been practicing sorcery brought their incantation books and burned them at a public bonfire. The value of the books was several million dollars.

English Standard Version
And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Berean Study Bible
And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books and burned them in front of everyone. When the value of the books was calculated, it came to fifty thousand drachmas.

Berean Literal Bible
and many of those having practiced the magic arts, having brought the books, burned them before all. And they counted up the prices of them and found it five myriads of silverlings.

New American Standard Bible
And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

King James Bible
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
while many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. So they calculated their value and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver.

International Standard Version
Moreover, many people who had practiced occult arts gathered their books and burned them in front of everybody. They estimated their value and found them to have been worth 50,000 silver coins.

NET Bible
Large numbers of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them up in the presence of everyone. When the value of the books was added up, it was found to total fifty thousand silver coins.

New Heart English Bible
Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted the price of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Many sorcerers also gathered their books and brought and burned them before everyone and they calculated their price, and it came up to fifty thousand silver pieces.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Many of those who were involved in the occult gathered their books and burned them in front of everyone. They added up the cost of these books and found that they were worth 50,000 silver coins.

New American Standard 1977
And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Jubilee Bible 2000
In the same manner many who had practiced vain arts brought their books together and burned them before everyone, and they counted the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

King James 2000 Bible
Many of them also who used magic arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

American King James Version
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

American Standard Version
And not a few of them that practised magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all; and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And many of them who had followed curious arts, brought together their books, and burnt them before all; and counting the price of them, they found the money to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Darby Bible Translation
And many of those that practised curious arts brought their books [of charms] and burnt them before all. And they reckoned up the prices of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

English Revised Version
And not a few of them that practised curious arts brought their books together, and burned them in the sight of all: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Webster's Bible Translation
Many also of them who used curious arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men; and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Weymouth New Testament
and not a few of those who had practised magical arts brought their books together and burnt them in the presence of all. The total value was reckoned and found to be 50,000 silver coins.

World English Bible
Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted the price of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.

Young's Literal Translation
and many of those who had practised the curious arts, having brought the books together, were burning them before all; and they reckoned together the prices of them, and found it five myriads of silverlings;
Study Bible
The Sons of Sceva
18Many who had believed now came forward, confessing and disclosing their deeds. 19And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books and burned them in front of everyone. When the value of the books was calculated, it came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20So the word of the Lord powerfully continued to spread and prevail.…
Cross References
Luke 15:8
Or what woman who has ten silver coins and loses one of them does not light a lamp, sweep her house, and search carefully until she finds it?

Acts 8:9
Prior to that time, a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed the people of Samaria. He claimed to be someone great,

Acts 19:18
Many who had believed now came forward, confessing and disclosing their deeds.
Treasury of Scripture

Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.

used.

Acts 8:9-11 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the …

Acts 13:6,8 And when they had gone through the isle to Paphos, they found a certain …

Exodus 7:11,22 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the …

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or …

1 Samuel 28:7-9 Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman that has a familiar …

1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the …

2 Chronicles 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley …

Isaiah 8:19 And when they shall say to you, Seek to them that have familiar spirits, …

Isaiah 47:12,13 Stand now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of your …

Daniel 2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, …

curious. [Periergos,] curious, that is, magical arts, in which sense the word is used in the Greek writers. The study of magic was prosecuted with such zeal at Ephesus, that [Ephesios gramma,] the Ephesian letters, certain charms, or words used in incantation, became much celebrated in antiquity.

and burned.

Genesis 35:4 And they gave to Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, …

Exodus 32:20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, …

Deuteronomy 7:25,26 The graven images of their gods shall you burn with fire: you shall …

Isaiah 2:20,21 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of …

Isaiah 30:22 You shall defile also the covering of your graven images of silver, …

Matthew 5:29,30 And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you…

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, …

Hebrews 10:34 For you had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling …

fifty. Probably Attic drachms; which at

(19) Many of them also which used curious arts . . .--The Greek word expresses the idea of superstitious arts, overbusy with the supposed secrets of the invisible world. These arts were almost, so to speak, the specialit of Ephesus. Magicians and astrologers swarmed in her streets (comp. the reference to them as analogous to the magicians at the court of Pharaoh in 2Timothy 3:8), and there was a brisk trade in the charms, incantations, books of divination, rules for interpreting dreams, and the like, such as have at all times made up the structure of superstition. The so-called "Ephesian spells" (grammata Ephesia) were small slips of parchment in silk bags, on which were written strange cabalistical words, of little or of lost meaning. The words themselves are given by Clement of Alexandria (Strom. v., c. 46), and he interprets them, though they are so obscure as to baffle the conjectures of philology, as meaning Darkness and Light, the Earth and the Year, the Sun and Truth. They were probably a survival of the old Phrygian cultus of the powers of Nature which had existed prior to the introduction of the Greek name of Artemis.

And burned them before all men.--This, then, was the result of the two sets of facts recorded in Acts 19:12; Acts 19:16. The deep-ingrained superstition of the people was treated, as it were, homopathically. Charms and names were allowed to be channels of renovation, but were shown to be so by no virtue of their own, but only as being media between the Divine power on the one hand and the faith of the receiver on the other; and so the disease was cured. The student of the history of Florence cannot help recalling the analogous scene in that city, when men and women, artists and musicians, brought the things in which they most delighted--pictures, ornaments, costly dresses--and burnt them in the Piazza of St. Mark at the bidding of Savonarola. The tense of the verb implies that the "burning" was continuous, but leaves it uncertain whether it was an oft-repeated act or one that lasted for some hours. In this complete renunciation of the old evil past we may probably see the secret of the capacity for a higher knowledge which St. Paul recognises as belonging to Ephesus more than to most other churches. (See Note on Acts 20:27.)

Fifty thousand pieces of silver.--The coin referred to was the Attic drachma, usually estimated at about 8d. of English money, and the total amount answers, accordingly, to 1, 770 17s. 6d., as the equivalent in coin. In its purchasing power, as determined by the prevalent rate of wages (a denarius or drachma for a day's work), it was probably equivalent to a much larger sum. Such books fetched what might be called "fancy" prices, according to their supposed rareness, or the secrets to which they professed to introduce. Often, it may be, a book was sold as absolutely unique.

Verse 19. - And not a few for many... also, A.V.; that practiced for which used A.V.; in the sight of all for before all men, A.V. That practiced curious arts (τῶν τὰ περίεργα πραξάντων). The adjective περίεργος applied to persons means "a busybody" (1 Timothy 5:13), one who does what it is not his business to do, and pries into matters with which he has no concern (comp. 2 Thessalonians 3:11); applied to things, it means that which it is not anybody's business to attend to, that which is vain and superfluous; and then, by a further extension of meaning, that which is forbidden, and specially magic arts and occult sciences. Fifty thousand pieces of silver. There is a difference of opinion as to what coin or weight is meant. If Greek coinage, which is perhaps natural in a Greek city, fifty thousand drachmae of silver would be meant, equal to £1875, If Jewish shekels are meant, the sum would amount to £7000 ('Speaker's Commentary'). It is in favor of drachmae being meant that, with the exception of Joshua 7:21 and Judges 17:2, the LXX. always express the word "shekel" or "didrachm" after the numeral and before the word "silver." If St. Luke, therefore, had meant shekels, he would have written δίδραχμα ἀργυρίου But it was the Greek usage to omit the word δραχμή before ἀργυρίου when the reckoning was by drachmae (Meyer). Many also of them which used curious arts..... Magic arts, soothsaying, necromancy, conjuration, and the like, being convinced of the folly and wickedness of them:

brought their books together; by which they had learned these arts; Ephesus was famous for this sort of learning; here Apollonius Tyaneus, in the beginning of Nero's reign, opened a school and taught magic, and such like things: frequent mention is made of the Ephesian letters, which were no other than enchantments; and even Diana, the goddess of the Ephesians, is said to be a magician (k):

and burned them before all men; to show their detestation of them, and the truth and genuineness of their repentance for their former sins; and that these books might not be a snare to them for the future, nor be made use of by others:

and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver; which is thought to answer to one thousand five hundred sixty two pounds and ten shillings of our money; reckoning a piece of silver, an Attic drachma; for such might be the silver pieces at Ephesus, a city of Greece, and which was of the value of our money seven pence halfpenny; but if Luke meant by pieces of silver, shekels, according to the Jewish way; see Gill on Matthew 26:15 then the sum is much larger, for a shekel was about two shillings and six pence of our money; so that fifty thousand pieces of silver, amount to six thousand two hundred and fifty pounds; a large sum indeed for magic books! some manuscripts read "gold" instead of "silver", which must greatly increase the value.

(k) Tatian. contr. Graecos, p. 147. 19. Many of them … which used curious arts—The word signifies things "overdone"; significantly applied to arts in which laborious but senseless incantations are practiced.

brought their books—containing the mystic formularies.

and burned them before all—The tense, here used graphically, expresses progress and continuance of the conflagration.

counted the price … and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver—about £2000 (presuming it to be the drachma, the current coin of the Levant, of about 10d. value). From their nature they would be costly, and books then bore a value above any standard we are familiar with. The scene must have been long remembered at Ephesus, as a strong proof of honest conviction on the part of the sorcerers and a striking triumph of Jesus Christ over the powers of darkness. The workers of evil were put to scorn, like Baal's priests on Carmel, and the word of God mightily grew and prevailed [Howson].19:13-20 It was common, especially among the Jews, for persons to profess or to try to cast out evil spirits. If we resist the devil by faith in Christ, he will flee from us; but if we think to resist him by the using of Christ's name, or his works, as a spell or charm, Satan will prevail against us. Where there is true sorrow for sin, there will be free confession of sin to God in every prayer and to man whom we have offended, when the case requires it. Surely if the word of God prevailed among us, many lewd, infidel, and wicked books would be burned by their possessors. Will not these Ephesian converts rise up in judgement against professors, who traffic in such works for the sake of gain, or allow themselves to possess them? If we desire to be in earnest in the great work of salvation, every pursuit and enjoyment must be given up which hinders the effect of the gospel upon the mind, or loosens its hold upon the heart.
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Alphabetical: A and began books brought burned burning calculated came counted drachmas everyone fifty found had in it magic many number of pieces practiced price publicly scrolls sight silver sorcery the their them they those thousand to together total up value When who

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