32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
I would just point out that the context of his statement of fighting with "wild beasts" is Paul's argument for a literal resurrection of the dead. 1 Cor. 15:22 says, "What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised." It certainly weakens his point if the fight with "wild beasts" is not literal. If Paul was not literally risking his life with the wild beasts, it is an odd statement in that context. Many scholars believe that Acts was written by Luke for use in Paul's trial at Rome. Acts may have not mentioned the "wild beasts" incident because it might have offended Roman authorities and hurt his case. There is much that happened to Paul which Acts does not record.