John Cowan sent me a link to Daniel Frayer-Griggs, “The Beasts at Ephesus and the Cult of Artemis,” Harvard Theological Review 106 (2013): 459-477, a detailed exegesis of 1 Cor 15:32, which begins “εἰ κατὰ ἄνθρωπον ἐθηριοµάχησα ἐν Ἐϕέσῳ, τί µοι τὸ ὄϕελος;” The King James Bible renders the full sentence “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?” I have always found this line mysterious and wonderful, and I have myself seen the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, so I was particularly interested in the article, which is full of good stuff. Frayer-Griggs discusses the difference between Greek and Asiatic Artemis, saying that by the first century “Ephesian Artemis had appropriated the attributes of Greek Artemis.” He refers to “Xenophon’s Ephesiaka, a magniﬁcent novel from sometime in the second century C.E.,” which makes me want to check it out. He focuses on “the difﬁcult phrase κατὰ ἄνθρωπον,” mentioning
suggestions including the following: “with merely human hopes,” that is, without hope for the resurrection; “man-wise,” whatever that might mean; “humanly speaking,” suggesting the ﬁgurative nature of Paul’s statement, or even “according to human folly,” indicating that the story of Paul’s beast ﬁght was a false report.
He himself concludes:
In this instance, κατὰ ἄνθρωπον may thus be translated “in the image of humankind,” “in human form,” or “in human likeness.” The ﬁrst clause of our verse may accordingly be rendered, “If at Ephesus I fought with beasts in human form.”
The final sentence: “If Paul’s claim to have fought with beasts in Ephesus is in fact an allusive instance of anti-Artemis rhetoric, it may be the earliest known example of a developing tradition of early Christian polemic against the goddess and her cult.” If any of this sounds intriguing, I recommend reading the whole thing.