Geography of Sardis

Jesus’ fifth letter in the Book of Revelation was written to the Church of Sardis.  Sardis was  located in Western Turkey and 60 miles inland from Ephesus and Smyrna.  Artemis (known as Diana by the Romans), was the chief  goddess of the city and the temple dedicated to her name was  one of the seven largest Greek temples.  Artemis  was the  goddess of the hunt, the moon and fertility  and was believed to be  the daughter of Zeus and twin of Apollo (bibleplaces.com). Sardis was a Roman city at the time of the writing of the Book of Revelation.

Expeditions of Sardis found Roman remains which included ” a bath-gymnasium complex, a synagogue, a row of shops, and an early Christian church” (harvard.edu).

Trade and commerce

The city was very prosperous since gold obtained from the Pactolus stream was traded with peoples to the east and west (harvard.edu)

The Jewish Synagogue

The Jewish synagogue was parallel to the main marble street of ancient Sardis. Its structure and decor pointed  to the wealth and stature of the Jewish community in Roman Sardis (harvard.edu). It was the largest Jewish synagogue outside of Palestine  (http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/sardis.htm)

The text of Jesus’ letter

It was to this church that Jesus wrote these words:

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (Rev 3: 1-5).

Blessings

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