Pictorial Essay

Pictorial Essay on the the Seven Churches

  1. 6. Original Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

We begin at Ephesus. Isn’t this amazing! One of the Seven Wonders of the ACGF01Cncient World was the magnificent Temple of Artemis built to the goddess Diana, or, the Greek Artemis. The cult of Diana encouraged a lot of trade. Silver smiths in Ephesus prospered by selling shrines and images of Diana. You will find that in Acts, Chapter 19. The image of this idol was one of the most sacred in the ancient world, but it was by no means beautiful. She was depicted as a lewd goddess with four rows of breasts. Legalized prostitution dominated the city. Sin does have its day of judgment, and where the original Temple of Artemis stood is a swamp. The ruins of the temple have sunk into the ground and vanished.

To the right is the Temple of Hadrian, in Ephesus, dedicated to Emperor  Worship.CG212B

The world of the great Apostle John’s day, and, in which the members of the con-gregations of the Seven Churches lived, was not an easy one. Even without modern diversions such as TV,  internet, and movies, sin still abounded on all sides. (The biblical world. blog-spot.com / 2012-06-17 archive.  html).

8. Excavated Terrace Home in Ephesus...Owned by Someone In the Upper Class. A Very Nice 1st Century Home.

CG5778

Ephesus terrace houses are located on the hill opposite the Hadrian Temple. Also called "the houses of the rich," they are important for the reason they give us information about family life during the Roman period. They were built according to the Hippodamian plan of the city in which roads transected each other at right angles. There are six residential units on three terraces at the lower end of the slope of the Bulbul Mountain. The oldest building dates back into the First Century BC and continued in use as a residence until the Seventh Century AD.

Ephesus terrace houses are covered with protective roofing like those on Roman houses. (They had overlapping roof tiles made of fired clay, but sometimes of marble, bronze, or gilt.) The mosaics on the floor and the frescos have been consolidated and two houses have been opened to the public as a museum.

They had interior courtyards (peristyles) in the center, with the ceiling open, and were mostly two-storied. Sadly, the upper stories have collapsed during time. On the ground floor were living and dining rooms open to the hall, and upstairs there were bedrooms and guest rooms. The heating system of the terrace houses were the same as that in the baths. Clay pipes beneath the floors and behind the walls carried hot air through the houses. The houses also had cold and hot water. The rooms had no windows, and were only illuminated with light coming from the open hall, so that most of the rooms were dim.

At the time the Apostles Paul and John were there, Ephesus was the capital of Asia Minor, most of which is now Turkey. These were beautiful, cultured cities, however, the culture of that day was pagan, humanistic,  and permissive. Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the First century B.C., making it the second largest city in the Roman Empire after Rome, and also the second largest city in the world.

The atmosphere of the cities in which the people of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation lived and worked was trying for a Christian. Much of what they had to contend with is the same as we have today: idol worship, prostitution, greed, and prejudice.  Nothing has changed in 2,000 years, has it?

9. The Library of Celsus at Ephesus.

CGB32B

Ephesus: The Rest of the Story.

At one time, Ephesus had a harbor and road system that made it the most accessible city in Asia. The climate was exceptionally fine and the soil was extremely fertile. Under Roman rule, it shared governance of Asia with Pergamos. The true drawing power of Ephesus was in its licentious, pagan religion. It was the home of the Temple of Diana, or, Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Ephesus had a magnificent deep water artificial harbor formed by dredging, but in time, dredging of the harbor ceased and it silted up. This destroyed one of their two major commercial advantages, and the ruins of the city are now approximately five miles from the water’s edge. The second part of the economy of Ancient Ephesus was built on the cult and Temple of Diana (Artemis), called the Artemision. This pagan religion was entirely incompatible with the Christian faith that blossomed in Ephesus. Praise be to God that Christianity won! When the temple burned to the ground for the seventh time in 262 AD, no one cared enough to have it rebuilt.

Paul and John labored there. Ephesus was the place where Paul spent the largest portion of his ministry. He was there longer than with any other of the churches, even meeting with the elders when passing nearby. Paul had spent over two years in Ephesus during his third missionary journey. This is, no doubt, the reason for the strong church which grew in that city. A careful reading of Acts 20:23-28 gives his last words to the beloved congregation there, and reveals the wisdom and dedication of the great Apostle to the churches that he founded. That was about A.D. 55 to 57 A.D. It was a sad farewell. Paul also wrote the two Corinthian Epistles while he was at Ephesus.

The Apostle John later administered the churches there in Asia Minor, and tradition says he returned there to continue after his release from Patmos. It was here that John spent the latter part of his life, and from here wrote the Gospel of John and the Epistles of 1, 2, 3 John.  Ruins and a small village are now the only remains that exist there. However, the beach side tourist destination of Selcuk is nearby.

Roman Roads:  Strength of Empire,  the Pax Romana, And An Open Door for the Gospel.

CG79A3Ancient Roman road near Tall Aqibrin in Syria. This road connects to Antioch.

At the writing of the Book of Revelation, most of Asia Minor was firmly in the control of the Roman Empire. Roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the Roman Republic, and finally the Roman Empire. On these roads the Romans moved armies, trade goods, and communicated. At its height, no fewer than 29 great military highways radiated from Rome. Hills were cut through, and deep ravines filled. The Empire was divided into 113 provinces crossed by 372 great roads. These were the lifeblood of Ancient Rome. Over some 700 years, the Romans built more than 55,000 miles of paved highways throughout Europe, enough to circle the globe. Many still can be seen today. Over them, sandaled feet carried the gospel throughout the known world at that time. “Pax Romana” means “the Roman Peace.”[i]

11. A Street in the Archaeological Ruins of Ephesus.

CG4682

 “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

A street in the ruins of Ephesus, the largest open air museum in Turkey. The Apostles Paul and John, undoubtedly, walked here as they were preaching and teaching.

12. Temple to Zeus with Statue of Cybele in Front at Smyrna.

CGF4A

13. The Main Street of Laodicea.

CGE2B0

In recent years, Laodicea's main street has been partially restored. Beneath the road is a sewer system for carrying dirty water from homes and businesses.

14. Third Century Byzantine Church Dedicated to the Apostle John.CGE0AB

Philadelphia: Two of the four pillars remaining of a Byzantine Church dedicated to St. John, or, the Apostle John. They stand like an “open door” reminding us that the Savior said to them in Revelation 3:8: “I know thy works and I have set before thee an open door.” Sadly, Turkey is a secular Muslim country, but it is certainly an “open door” for the Gospel. It is not a mission field for the faint of heart, but our Lord also said in this same verse, It is a “door that no man can shut.”

A few scattered stones are all that is left of Thyatira. In the background are the remains of a Temple to one of their many gods. The Pantheon of Gods in Thyatira included Tymnos, their sun god, also known as Apollo by the Greeks There was Aescula-pius, God of Medicine, Bacchus, Artemis, and several others, as well. The remains lie in the city center of Akhiser, Turkey.

CGB5B4

    1. The Remains of Thyatira sur-rounded by the Modern Turk-ish City of Akhisar.

CG68AC

16. Altar from the Temple of Zeus at Pergamos.

Satan’s Seat” is thought to be the Altar from the Temple of Zeus at Pergamos, built 300 A.D. All that is left in Turkey is a huge base, with the rest being in the Berlin Museum. Patrons of the Museum enter on a stairway just like those who sacrificed to Zeus in 300 A.D. The temple was continuously in use after the time of the Apostles and before. When temples were destroyed, they simply built a newer, better one!

CGB6E

  1. City of Pergamum drawn by 19th Century Artist from Excavations. Pergamos was one of the most gorgeous and rich city states of the ancient world, situated on a hill top, 392  meters above sea level near the Turkish town of Bergama, (or  Pergamum)

Digital Ephesus

CG5588

18. Digital Ephesus, The Golden Age of Ephesus Map

[i]  Pax Romana, ( Latin: “Roman Peace”) a state of comparative tranquillity throughout the Mediterranean world from the reign of Augustus (27 bce–14 ce) to the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161 –180 ce). Augustus laid the foundation for this period of concord, which also extended to North Africa and Persia. The empire protected and governed individual provinces, permitting each to make and administer its own laws while accepting Roman taxation and military control. (http://www.Britan-nica.com/event/Pax-Romana).  That is why it can be said, “There were no wars while “the Prince of Peace” was  in residence. In other words, there were no wars during our Savior’s lifetime.

[i]  Pax Romana, ( Latin: “Roman Peace”) a state of comparative tranquillity throughout the Mediterranean world from the reign of Augustus (27 bce–14 ce) to the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161 –180 ce). Augustus laid the foundation for this period of concord, which also extended to North Africa and Persia. The empire protected and governed individual provinces, permitting each to make and administer its own laws while accepting Roman taxation and military control. (http://www.Britan-nica.com/event/Pax-Romana).  That is why it can be said, “There were no wars while “the Prince of Peace” was  in residence. In other words, there were no wars during our Savior’s lifetime.

http://heritagebbc.com

HTML Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com