The state of “religion”. The traditional view has been that the Laodiceans were being criticized for their neutrality or lack of zeal (hence "lukewarm"). × The church in Laodicea was no exception. The Book of Revelation was penned during the Roman emperor Domitian’s reign (r. 81–96 C.E.). Laodicea was also a very wealthy city, thriving economically from the production and sale of wool and cloth, and this has lead biblical scholars to believe that the church of Laodicea had grown comfortable in its wealth and position, as noted in verse 17, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing…’”. They were known as a source for a beautiful black wool. We want to study what the Laodicean Church was like. 1. The city remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, Laodicensis in Phrygia. Second, the author is expressing what Revelation 13:15 claimed: that those who refused to worship the image of the beast were killed. That the Christian cross extends from the Jewish menorah suggests that the Laodicean church grew out of the synagogue. The words attributed to the Laodiceans may mark an ironic over-confidence in regard to spiritual wealth; they are unable to recognize their bankruptcy. Outwardly, the church in Laodicea appeared strong and prosperous. Of the seven churches, none received a more scathing condemnation than Laodicea. The allusion is to the earthquake in Nero’s time and to the church’s self-sufficiency, as manifested at that time. There is nothing positive ever said to this church in this letter, only criticism, only condemnation. thus the referral to “white raiment” in v. 18. "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." God drew an analogy from everyday life in the city in order to make his point that the church had become spiritually lukewarm. The Laodicean Church in the Revelation of John (Revelation 3:14–22), "I wish that you were cold or hot" (Revelation 3:15–16). Their water tasted awful! Domitian persecuted those who would not participate in the imperial cult (the worship of emperors and dynastic families). ), yet, today Christianity is flourishing; 2) the world leader exercises control over ALL peoples and ALL ethnic groups, and ALL nations – that seems to be an inclusive statement, yet, it has not happened in world history as of today. Ephesus… Has the Childhood Home of Jesus Been Found? Temple A at Laodicea, Turkey. [citation needed], "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. It dates to the second century C.E. 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). 1. This was its major flaws. 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. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 approved the canon of this council, making these canon ecumenical. It represents the “church” of our own time. This last message is found in Revelation 3:14-22. I suspect the main article does the same. This is Apostel John’s letter to the Church in Laodicea, as it is on display at the church: Originally dedicated to Apollo, Artemis and Aphrodite, Temple A at Laodicea, Turkey, later was used for the imperial cult. In Rev 13:7, we are told two attributes of the coming world leader: 1) He overcomes the saints – thus, before the end of his reign, there would be NO, none, zero Christians (or Jews? Although many of the members may have been materially rich, the “wealth” it claimed for itself would be spiritual. Indifferent in commitment. The traditional view saw “cold” as a negative, the idea apparently being that Jesus either wants the readers to be either zealous (“hot”) for him or completely uncommitted (“cold”), but not middle-of-the-road. The Nag Hammadi Codices and Gnostic Christianity. What was said to the Church in Laodicea - the seventh of the seven churches - and what it might mean for us today. The Church of Laodicea represents the state of the Church during the Church Age just after it has gone through the spiritual revivals and just before the coming of Christ. Moreover if you read the full article in BAR, the author clearly stated that the demand for imperial worship was chiefly enforced by local officials, rather than Domitian himself. The members needed to buy true riches in the … [1][2] Laodicea is mentioned four times in the New Testament's epistle to the Colossians (Col. 2:1; 4:13,15,16). Since a great deal of Laodicea’s wealth depended upon trade, the Christian merchants were in a quandary. 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. Laodicea was a wealthy banking center and proud of her rich resources. I thought BAR was scholarly? The oracle contains a number of metaphors. There is no commendation. 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). Those who refused to worship the image of the beast (the emperor) were killed. ", This is among the most famous images of the Revelation, and is the subject of the famous painting The Light of the World by Holman Hunt. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1916–1918), 684. It would allow us continued impact with our village and the 52 kids we’ve sponsored within our church. Required fields are marked *. 3. It’s been almost 2,000 years since the apostle John was instructed by Jesus to write letters to the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation. This final letter to the church at Laodicea was the most severe of the seven letters. If it is going to be argued that it was, then one must ask “What was it?”. Gordon D. Fee, Revelation, New Covenant Commentary Series (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011), 58. Archaeologists have discovered about 20 ancient Christian chapels and churches at the site. Those who refused to worship the image of the beast (the emperor) were killed.”. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. when it was struck by a devastating earthquake and subsequently abandoned. Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update. The Church in Laodicea may have been founded through the ministry of Epaphras of Colosse, but it isn't known if this is fact. Overwhelmingly, scholars claim that Revelation was written during Domitian’s reign, not Nero’s reign as you claim. Other churches throughout the Roman Empire responded differently. 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 pressure upon rich Christians to maintain their wealth was intense. The period of Church history before Jesus Christ comes again. 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? So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”—Revelation 3:15–16. The city remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, Laodicensis in Phrygia. 2. According to Strabo (12.8.20) there was a medical school in the city, where a famous ophthalmologist practiced. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), p. 231-233. Laodicea remained an important city until the seventh century C.E. 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. The city was located in a triangle of cities with Colossae (southeast) and Hierapolis (northeast) to Laodicea … The eyelash for which Ladies was noted and vaunted itself iOS taken by the Holy Spirit and applied to their spiritual state. 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. Your email address will not be published. It would also indicate that Laodicea (like Colossae) was not evangelized by Paul, but possibly by his disciple Epaphras By submitting above, you agree to our privacy policy. The church in Laodicea was the seventh and last of seven churches in Asia Minor who received a spiritual evaluation directly from God through Jesus Christ. The final fulfillment of the prophecy in Rev 13 must remain future. If I were writing an article on the subject, I would not state it as a fact and fail to make the reader aware that I am breaking with the consensus. "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. Not a BAS Library member yet? Rev 1:1;9. 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. It was the only church Christ did not commend for anything. This is a remarkable statement. 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. . 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. 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! This harsh pronouncement suggests that the Christians at Laodicea—located in modern Turkey—wavered in their commitments to the Christian faith. The summary states these things as fact, as though there is no question over them, which is just plain poor scholarship which creates a mistaken impression on the readers. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you be either cold or hot. Laodicea was a wealthy, industrious city in the province of Phrygia in the Lycos Valley. [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). 2. M. J. S. Rudwick, Hemer C. J., “Laodicea,” ed. During the 4th century, Laodicea became a center of Christian pilgrimage. The dates may be muddied, but roughly they could be from 1930 until the Rapture. COPYRIGHT © 2020 BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY 4710 41ST STREET N.W., WASHINGTON DC 20016. 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. 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.” A look at Laodicea’s “lukewarm” legacy from Revelation 3:15–16, “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. The city became a bishopric (seat of a Christian bishop), and a Christian council was even held there in the fourth century C.E. For this reason lukewarm water was a characteristic of Laodiceans and it also resembled their spiritual condition. 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