“What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts εθηριομαχησα at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”” 1 Corinthians 15:32
The point Paul is making is, why would he fight off the beasts in order to live if there was no resurrection? In the grand scheme of things living a few more years but without a resurrection is pointless.
However what caught my eye was that he fought with the beasts.
Does this speak at all to Paul’s physical stature? His strength, height, muscular build? He is from the tribe of Benjamin and king Saul was the tallest man in Israel at his time. It’s possible Paul had the genes.
In what sense did Paul fight with the beasts? More importantly how did he survive?
It has to be physical or resulting in potential physical death for this sentence to make sense. It can’t for example mean, Paul fought with unclean spirits or in prayer.
Also just because no gladiatorial arena has been uncovered in Ephesus doesn’t mean that beast fighting did not take place in Ephesus. Not all structures are or can be preserved.