Paul and John in Western Anatolia

Its been over 40 years since two other seminary students and I went to Turkey to visit the physical remains of the Seven Churches Of Asia from the Book of Revelation 2&3. We got to 6 of the churches on the fly, so to speak. I did most of the planning of this multi week trip which consisted of Rome, Athens, and the archaeological remains of the Asian Churches. The ancient town of Laodicea turned out to be an untimely jaunt which would have compromised our travel connections. So we struck it off of our itinerary, also, on the fly.

Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colossae was situated on the main trade route from the Far East to the Port of Ephesus. Engaged in mediating and facilitating merchant commerce would obviously expose these churches to many temptations. Perhaps this is one reason The Lord Jesus said to the Laodicean Church: You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Rev. 3.17 NIV).

Besides John’s letter to Laodicea, Paul also wrote them the letter we now know as “Ephesians.” Many other commentators, good and bad, have contended for this letter’s same identification. Paul’s admonition in Colossians (4.16) to have the Laodicean letter read in its church and likewise copying the Colossian letter and sending to have it read in Laodicea, is specifically intentional, I believe. Colossians and “Ephesians” are very similar, yet slightly different which begs comparison and spiritual analysis of the concepts Paul was conveying. To better understand Paul’s insight from the Lord, Christians would benefit from the complimentary reading of these letters.

Here is a post about this area, including an informative map:

Paul’s Travels in Western Anatolia — Bible Mapper Blog

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