Bible Answer

The correct meaning of Ephesus?

In your Revelation study, you give the meaning of the name Ephesus as "desirable." In my own research, I found the meaning of the word to be "permitted." Which is correct and how do we know?

Uncovering the etymology of ancient place names is an inexact science. In the case of Ephesus, the word itself has no specific meaning in Greek, but the word is close in pronunciation to other Greek words.

For example, ephesos (Ephesus) sounds similar to the Greek words arestos (desirable) and epitrepo (permitted). Therefore, scholars have proposed that the city may have originally been assigned one of these names, but then over time the pronunciation of the name changed to ephesos (Ephesus). 

In light of the content of the letter to this church in Revelation 2, Pastor Armstrong favors the interpretation of desirable.