Pursuing Partnership: New Light on Timeless Texts – Week 13

Who Was Artemis and Why Does it Matter (Part 1)

Wall Fragment with Two Women; Unknown; A.D. 1–75; Fresco

By Wendy Wilson, Missio Nexus, Mission Advisor for Development of Women

This article is part of the series Pursuing Partnership: Men and Women in Ministry.

Who Was Artemis and Why Does it Matter (Part 1)

New historical discoveries on the influence of the Temple of Artemis on Ephesian culture (and just who this Artemis was) is shedding light on what the original hearers were dealing with, beliefs new converts were likely coming into the church with, and so, what Paul could reasonably have been writing to correct or clarify in his letters to the church at Ephesus (and to Timothy who was pastoring there.)

These two short articles summarize an example of what Dr Sandra Glahn found as a starting point to untangling wider passages?

The link to the blog article is below . . .but here is an excerpt from “Who Was Artemis and Why Does it Matter (Part 1)

“Artemis of the Ephesians. Most commentators refer to her as a fertility goddess. Yet that’s probably incorrect. So in this two-part series we’ll explore her identity.

In Acts 19 we read that Paul’s evangelization of the Roman Empire threatened the Artemis silver workers’ trade in Ephesus. In Paul’s day Artemis’s temple in Ephesus stood as the most preeminent of the Seven Wonders of the World. People came from all over to see it.

Ancient images of Artemis, the virgin goddess, abound. Yet on coins and paintings that depict “Artemis of the Ephesians,” we often find an altogether unique image from that of the typical short-skirted Artemis carrying a bow. . .  “Artemis of the Ephesians” had a unique personality compared with other Artemises. One look at her and the viewer knew she was the distinctly Ephesian Artemis. . . . Artemis and Artemis Ephesia were the same goddess, yet different. . .”

Read the whole article – Who Was Artemis and Why Does it Matter (Part 1)


Dr. Sandra Glahn is Professor of Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. She is an author, co-author, or general editor of more than twenty books including Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible. Learn more about her at her website: aspire2.com.

This article is submitted by Wendy Wilson of Missio Nexus and of Women’s Development Track.  Women’s Development Track is a Missio Nexus member.  Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

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