Revelation 3

Jesus’ Letter to Laodicea

Jesus’ Letter to Laodicea

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write… Revelation 3:14-22 NIV

Laodicea was the seventh and last of the seven churches in the book of Revelation to whom the Apostle John wrote letters. The quite extensive, excavated ruins of Laodicea are located near the village of Eskihisar, Turkey. Strategically situated on seven hills it was founded in 261 BC in the geographical area known as Phrygia by a Greek king, Antiochus II. It was named after his wife Laodice. Remnants of the city include an amphitheater, smaller theatre called an odeon, and the largest stadium in Asia Minor seating 25,000 people. Known as the “Gateway to Phrygia” it was one of Asia Minor’s most flourishing cities primarily because of its trade route location on what was known as the Royal Road which ran from the Susa, the capital of Persia, all the way to Sardis. It was a main banking center for the area, had a medical school, and was a center for the worship of the pagan deity Zeus. It had textile factories supplying the Greco-Roman world with sleeved tunics and hooded cloaks made from the fine black wool supplied by sheep in the area. The city was so wealthy, that when it was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD, it declined Roman assistance opting to rebuild at its own expense, the only city in Asia to do so.

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Jesus’ Letter to Philadelphia

Jesus’ Letter to Philadelphia

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write… Revelation 3:7 NIV

Philadelphia was the sixth of the seven churches in the book of Revelation to whom the Apostle John wrote letters. The only preserved remains of Philadelphia are the pillars of a 6th Century AD Byzantine church located on a city block in what is now the modern city of Alasehir, Turkey. Philadelphia was founded in 189 BC by King Attalus I of Pergamum as a military outpost to protect the junction where two major trade routes intersected. It also was strategically located near the border of Phrygia, where the Greco-Roman world of the West met the “uncivilized” barbarian world of the East. As such it was also intended to be a kind of mission base for spreading the civilized worldview of Hellenism and the Greek language.

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Jesus’ Letter to Sardis

Sardis was the fifth of the seven churches in the book of Revelation to whom the Apostle John wrote letters. Sardis is located near the village of Salihli, Turkey. Extensive 20th century archeological excavations have unearthed the ruins of the acropolis with the Temple to Artemis, a Roman era gymnasium complex with baths, Jewish synagogue, and Byzantine era shops. Settled in 1400 BC on the wide fertile plain of Hermus along the banks of the river Pactolus, Sardis developed into a prosperous city known for its fruit, wool and pagan temples of Delphi, Artemis, and Didyma. It became a center for trade as a crossroads of major north/south, east/west trade routes and the western terminus of the Royal Road that linked Sardis with Susa, the capital of Persia.

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