This connection between the cities lies behind Paul’s reference to Hierapolis and Laodicea in his epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:13). Most state this mark as future, as they do the anti-Christ, but in I John chapter two he states the the anti-Christ is now happening. So, if 13:7 remains to be fulfilled, and his mark is the mechanism of his ultimate control over all people, then the Mark referred to in Rev 13 must also be future (yet, not very much farther in the future…). Joseph Barber Lightfoot, Saint Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, 8th ed., Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament (London; New York: Macmillan and Co., 1886), 276. [citation needed] The city also lies within the boundaries of ancient Phrygia, from where an ingredient of eye-lotions, the so-called "Phrygian powder", was supposed to have originated. Why does the author of the Book of Revelation call the church of Laodicea “lukewarm”? Lois , you have introduced some great concepts: They were known as a source for a balm that would heal eyes, thus “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” in v. 18. As long as Christianity was considered a sect within Judaism, the Christians in these cities were likewise exempt from emperor worship.” At first, the Christian Church was composed almost entirely of Jews. The city was strategically located, where three major roads converged, so it … Second, the author is expressing what Revelation 13:15 claimed: that those who refused to worship the image of the beast were killed. This is the eighth and final part in the Bible study series: The Churches of Revelation. Laodicea was a wealthy city during the Roman period. This affronted Christians, Jews and the Roman Senate alike. Revelation 3:14-22. In His letter to the church of Laodicea, Jesus warns us about the danger of self-sufficiency. My view is that the evidence points to Nero. They lived in a town others envied. Lyall Phillips Australia, “The difficulties that this placed upon the Christians of Asia were expressed in detail throughout the Book of Revelation. 2. Domitian does not fit as a suitable time. The Laodicean Church was a Christian community established in the ancient city of Laodicea (on the river Lycus, in the Roman province of Asia, and one of the early centers of Christianity). “Laodicea’s ‘Lukewarm’ Legacy: Conflicts of Prosperity in an Ancient Christian City,”, Other churches throughout the Roman Empire, “Laodicea’s ‘Lukewarm’ Legacy: Conflicts of Prosperity in an Ancient Christian City”, Partings—How Judaism and Christianity Became Two. During the 4th century, Laodicea became a center of Christian pilgrimage. variously view it as a metaphor of intimate fellowship, and/or a reference to the eschatological parousia of Christ. This is Apostel John’s letter to the Church in Laodicea, as it is on display at the church: thus the referral to “white raiment” in v. 18. If it is going to be argued that it was, then one must ask “What was it?”. Tragic, indeed! The Jewish rebellion began in 66 AD n caused the ‘Eagles to gather to consume the dead body.’Just as today there are ‘fake news’ sites, the falsities of religion has distorted the facts that tge end came 70 AD. In AD 60, the city was destroyed by an earthquake. It was neither the Book of the Revelation given to John, nor John himself, who said that the church in Laodicaea was “lukewarm” – it was the risen Yeshua HaMashiach! It bears similarities to a saying of Jesus in Mark 13:33–37, and Luke 12:35–38. Church at Laodicea represents the last period of church history. The city of Laodicea, currently located in modern Turkey, was situated in the Lycus valley, about 45 miles southeast of Philadelphia and about 100 miles east of Ephesus. M. J. S. Rudwick, Hemer C. J., “Laodicea,” ed. The Jewish symbols were likely added to the column in the late Roman or early Byzantine period, and the cross was added in the early Byzantine period. The city remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, Laodicensis in Phrygia. There is no commendation. by the time it got there, it was not cold, and it wasn’t hot, it was merely awful. It was the only church Christ did not commend for anything. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 approved the canon of this council, making these canon ecumenical. Overwhelmingly, scholars claim that Revelation was written during Domitian’s reign, not Nero’s reign as you claim. Although it had earlier been called Diospolis and then Rhoas, Antiochus II of Syria “named it for his wife Laodike” and “populated it with Syrians and with Jews who were transplanted from Babylonia to the cities of Phrygia and Lydia” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, … Join the BAS Library today. However, a more recent interpretation has suggested that this metaphor has been drawn from the water supply of the city, which was lukewarm, in contrast to the hot springs at nearby Hierapolis and the cold, pure waters of Colossae. B. Lukewarm(Revelation 3:15-16) 1. Yet the Laodicean church’s “lukewarm” legacy was not its final legacy. Originally dedicated to Apollo, Artemis and Aphrodite, Temple A at Laodicea, Turkey, later was used for the imperial cult. The oracle contains a number of metaphors. They are seeking worldly riches in the name of blessings showing-off how blessed they are but in reality they are poor, miserable and naked. Every one of these churches Christ commends, except Laodicea. The Christians at Laodicea were affected by Domitian’s decrees. We know there was a church in Laodicea, a wealthy, industrious city in the province of Phrygia in the Lycos Valley, approximately 9 miles from Colossae, in a region now known as Denizli, Turkey. 3. This harsh pronouncement suggests that the Christians at Laodicea—located in modern Turkey—wavered in their commitments to the Christian faith. A. The members needed to buy true riches in the … Therefore, it seems plausible that he would also be responsible for planting the church at Laodicea. James Hastings, Dictionary of the Apostolic Church (2 Vols.) He seeks to join us and to share the richness of His fellowship and the depth of His love, blessing our lives in ways no earthly possessions could ever equal. The Church of Laodicea. The traditional view has been that the Laodiceans were being criticized for their neutrality or lack of zeal (hence "lukewarm"). Domitian persecuted those who would not participate in the imperial cult (the worship of emperors and dynastic families). For example, the Christians at Smyrna are applauded in the Book of Revelation for maintaining their faith in the midst of extreme difficulty by refusing to participate in the imperial cult—even though this meant affliction and poverty for them (see Revelation 2:9). However the image may also be drawing on the perceived worldly wealth of the city. The church thought of itself as rich and in need of nothing from Christ. It would allow us continued impact with our village and the 52 kids we’ve sponsored within our church. Photo: © Mark R. Fairchild, Huntington University. . The city remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, Laodicensis in Phrygia. Fairchild explains, “As part of the Pax Romana, the staunchly monotheistic Jews in the cities of the Mediterranean world were exempt from the requirements of emperor worship. This final letter to the church at Laodicea was the most severe of the seven letters. Revelation was written to BONDSERVANTS during the tribulation. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 approved the canon of this council, making these canon ecumenical. "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Dated to the beginning of the fourth century C.E., the Church of Laodicea spanned an entire city block. Other churches throughout the Roman Empire responded differently. Indifferent in commitment. This was its major flaws. If the Colossian epistle is genuinely by Paul, then this would indicate a Christian presence in Laodicea as early as the 50s CE. [10], The reference to the "white raiment" may refer to the cloth trade of Laodicea. Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update. This Bible History Daily feature was originally published on March 6, 2017. The City of Laodicea obtained water from hot springs piped in from some distance away. To the Church in Laodicea - “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 3. A Question for Mark Fairchild or members of the group. Archaeologists have discovered about 20 ancient Christian chapels and churches at the site. "[3], This reference to a letter which the Colossians were to obtain "from Laodicea" has created a puzzle which has not yet received a generally accepted solution.[3]. All seven depict developments in the story of the churches of Christ. When I visited this site it was explained that many came from far places for the healing properties of the hot springs of Hieropolis, and Laodicea, being of the tri-city area, people would often take their accommodations there. The eyelash for which Ladies was noted and vaunted itself iOS taken by the Holy Spirit and applied to their spiritual state. Various papyri, such as "POxy 3693",[clarification needed] include invitations to attend a dinner with gods such as Sarapis, but these are issued by specified individuals to feasts at a temple of a god and do not suggest the visitation of the home by the divinity. Indifferent to the truth, doctrine and teaching of God. “To the angel of the church inLaodicea write…” The lukewarm church 2. Some theorists make a big point out of what they affirm to be the meaning of the word: “Its name designates it as the Church of mob rule, the democratic church, in which everything was swayed and decided by popular opinion.” So, as the article alludes, the Laodicean churches were being accused of their sense of self-sufficiency due to the healing properties of the local springs. Well, this church is symbolic of the period of Church history that we are in today, the last age. [8] The archaeology shows Laodicea had an aqueduct that probably carried water from hot mineral springs some five miles south, which would have become tepid before entering the city (see main Laodicea article). Your email address will not be published. Not only was Laodicea located on major trade routes that connected it to important cities like Ephesus, Smyrna and Sardis, but also it was a center of textile production and banking. We know that Epaphras founded the church at Colossae (Colossians 1:6–7), one of Laodicea’s close neighbors. Paul said in 66 AD (Date of 2 Tim 1:15) that ‘All in Asia have abandoned me.” Obviously the apostasy was taking place before the destruction of Jerusalem, 70 AD. So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Dig into the illuminating world of the Bible with a BAS All-Access membership. The city became a bishopric (seat of a Christian bishop), and a Christian council was even held there in the fourth century C.E. Perhaps not surprisingly, the church of Laodicea is noted as being wealthy in the Bible (see Revelation 3:17). Other emperors were deified only after their death. Their response to this persecution—which even involved their ability to buy and sell—is what causes the author of Revelation to call them “lukewarm.” Fairchild elaborates: The difficulties that this placed upon the Christians of Asia were expressed in detail throughout the Book of Revelation. According to Strabo (12.8.20) there was a medical school in the city, where a famous ophthalmologist practiced. Rev 1:1;9. Laodicea was a wealthy banking center and proud of her rich resources. (KJV). Temple A at Laodicea, Turkey. This verse is presented as a prophecy of the future, not as a contemporary event, and in any case does not fit any historical circumstance during the first century. Commentators have also suggested that Revelation 3:20 is the only New Testament reference to the Old Testament book of Song of Solomon, linking this verse with Song of Solomon 5:2. It corresponds to the seventh of seven Kingdom of Heaven parables told by our Lord Jesus in Matthew Chapter 13 which is the Parable of the Dragnet. The words attributed to the Laodiceans may mark an ironic over-confidence in regard to spiritual wealth; they are unable to recognize their bankruptcy. The church of Laodicea is the last of seven churches addressed in Revelation. For this reason lukewarm water was a characteristic of Laodiceans and it also resembled their spiritual condition. Ephesus… 1. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1916–1918), 684. They value worldly wealth more than spiritual wealth. The historical and archaeological context of this situation is worth investigating. Has the Childhood Home of Jesus Been Found? Laodicea was a wealthy, industrious city in the province of Phrygia in the Lycos Valley. Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. The church of Laodicea. Christians could no longer buy or sell unless they had taken the mark of the beast (Revelation 13). Laodicea, the Lukewarm Church Revelation 3:14–22. BTW, Pamukkale is a beautiful site to behold, I haven’t seen anything like it in my travels, so I can see why the ancients were so enamored and drawn to it. The Christian community in Laodicea seems to have been closely connected with that of nearby Colossae (also in the Lycus valley, 10 miles (16 km) distant). Required fields are marked *. Laodicea remained an important city until the seventh century C.E. The church at Laodicea was a group of undecided, neutral members who would not take a stand one way or the other toward Christ or the truth, and this is the most hateful, disgusting spirit possible to display against God’s Christ, God’s Word, and God’s Church. “Hierapolis, the “Sacred City,” is located at present-day Pamukkale in south central Turkey. The church was established in the Apostolic Age, the earliest period of Christianity, and is probably best known for being one of the Seven churches of Asia addressed by name in the Book of Revelation (Rev. Those who refused to worship the image of the beast (the emperor) were killed. 1. I suspect the main article does the same. Although Jews were exempt from participating, Christians were not. The church of Laodicea is the last of seven churches addressed in Revelation. Gordon D. Fee, Revelation, New Covenant Commentary Series (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011), 58. Laodicea is a word which has come to stand for lukewarmness, indifference and compromise. Those who refused to worship the image of the beast (the emperor) were killed.”. Would they cooperate with the imperial cult and maintain their trade associations, or would they forswear Domitian and reaffirm their faith in Christ? B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), 109. There was a Council in Laodicea, A.D. c.363-64, although the date is disputed. In the above article, reference is made to the Laodicean’s wealth and Revelations 3 tells them to buy from Messiah gold tried in the fire; and reference to their textiles and Revelation 3 tells them to buy white raiment from Messiah; and finally to “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve”; was there an airborne or waterborne contaminant that would have affected the eyes of the Laodiceans? Still, nowadays, the church is most famous as the 7th Church of Revelation. In the free eBook Paul: Jewish Law and Early Christianity, learn about the cultural contexts for the theology of Paul and how Jewish traditions and law extended into early Christianity through Paul’s dual roles as a Christian missionary and a Pharisee. Laodicea was a very, very wealthy city, founded by Antiochus II and named after his wife Laodice. I wish you were either one or the other! In John's vision, recorded in the book of Book of Revelation, Christ instructs John to write a message to the seven churches of Asia Minor. All of the messages to the churches of Asia are extremely practical, but perhaps none fits the conditions in both Europe and in North America as does the message to Laodicea, the church that had become so lukewarm in its deceptive self-sufficiency. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you be either cold or hot. Many of the Laodicean Christians compromised their faith in such ways that the writer of the apocalypse could say, “I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). Laodicea’s water source came from an aqueduct that held warm mineral water. The water started out fresh and usable but eventually became “merely awful” as you say. In Laodicea, A.D. c.363-64, although the date is disputed for which was... Was destroyed by an earthquake a condition must be dealt with immediately and gotten of! 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