A visit to Pergamum, Turkey, location of one of the churches of Revelation (Rev 2:12–18)

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Pergamum’s 2,200-year-old theater, dramatically scooped from the flank of a towering bluff overlooking the northern Aegean town of Bergama, or Pergamum, is no place for anyone lacking a head for heights.


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11/3/2012 10:36 AM #

studying the book of Revelation

Robert Struble - 11/3/2012 10:36:15 AM

8/25/2013 2:12 PM #

I am currently researching the applicability of the Seven Historical Epistles to the Seven Churches of Asia Minor - can you help me please? Rev B, L. Johnson

Bazil Johnson - 8/25/2013 2:12:55 PM

8/27/2013 6:54 AM #

Dear Rev. Johnson,
Thank you for your question. I am an associate with ABR (Associate for Biblical Research) and would like to reply with a bit of research for you as I did my PhD under I. Howard Marshall on the Seven Churches (“The Influence of Ancient Near Eastern Vassal Treaties on the Seven Prophetic Messages in Revelation with Special Reference to the Message to Smyrna.” Ph.D., University of Aberdeen, 2008.). On the Seven Churches I would first recommend two works. One is William M. Ramsay, The Letters to Seven Churches: Updated Edition. Edited by Mark W. Wilson. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994 and the other is Colin J. Hemer, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia in Their Local Setting. The Biblical Resource Series. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001. While Ramsay is a bit dated it is still useful. My dissertation has been published under the title The Seven Messages of Revelation and Vassal Treaties: Literary Genre, Structure, and Function. Gorgias Dissertations Biblical Studies 41. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2009. While this work is rather technical I am enclosing an excerpt from my forthcoming book Key Themes of the New Testament: A Survey of Major Theological Themes. (Seattle, WA: CreateSpace, 2013) 46-58 on the Genre of Revelation which may be helpful. In this article I deal with the genre of the book of Revelation, the genre of the seven Messages, Local references, and the Cultural Background of the book.  Also, on Smyrna (one of the Seven Churches) you may find these four articles helpful.

Graves, David E. “Local References in the Letter to Smyrna (Rev 2: 8–11), Part 1: Archaeological Background.” Bible and Spade 18, no. 4 (2005): 114–23.
———. “Local References in the Letter to Smyrna (Rev 2: 8–11), Part 2: Historical Background.” Bible and Spade 19, no. 1 (2006): 23–31.
———. “Local References in the Letter to Smyrna (Rev 2: 8–11), Part 3: Jewish Background.” Bible and Spade 19, no. 2 (2006): 41–47.
———. “Local References in the Letter to Smyrna (Rev 2: 8–11), Part 4: Religious Background.” Bible and Spade 19, no. 3 (2007): 88–96.

You will find further sources for further study under the "for further reading" in my attached section of my book.
I hope this is helpful for you,
Dr. David. E. Graves

David E. Graves - 8/27/2013 6:54:05 AM

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