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November 15    Scripture



Bible Cities: Laodicea
Ancient Laodicea

Map of Ancient Laodicea


Laodicea in Easton's Bible Dictionary The city of this name mentioned in Scripture lay on the confines of Phrygia and Lydia, about 40 miles east of Ephesus (Rev. 3:14), on the banks of the Lycus. It was originally called Diospolis and then Rhoas, but afterwards Laodicea, from Laodice, the wife of Antiochus II., king of Syria, who rebuilt it. It was one of the most important and flourishing cities of Asia Minor. At a very early period it became one of the chief seats of Christianity (Col. 2:1; 4:15; Rev. 1:11, etc.). It is now a deserted place, called by the Turks Eski-hissar or "old castle."

Laodicea in Fausset's Bible Dictionary A city of Phrygia. Originally Diospolis, then Rheas, then Laodicea. Site of one of the seven churches addressed by Christ through John (Revelation 1:11; Revelation 3:14). In Paul's epistle to the COLOSSIANS (Colossians 4:13-16) Laodicea is associated with Colossae and Hierapolis, which exactly accords with its geographical position, 18 miles W. of Colossae, six miles S. of Hierapolis. It lay in the Roman province "Asia," a mile S. of the river Lycus, in the Maeander valley, between Colossae and Philadelphia. A Seleucid king, Antiochus II, Theos, named it from Laodice his wife. Overthrown often by earthquakes. It was rebuilt by its wealthy citizens, without state help, when destroyed in A.D. 62 (Tacitus, Annals 14:27). This wealth (arising from its excellent wools) led to a self satisfied "lukewarm" state in spiritual things, which the Lord condemns as more dangerous than positive icy coldness (Revelation 3:14-21). The two churches most comfortable temporally are those most reproved, Sardis and Laodicea; those most afflicted of the seven are the most commended, Smyrna and Philadelphia. Subsequently the church was flourishing, for it was at a council at Laodicea, A.D. 361, that the Scripture canon was defined. "The epistle from Laodicea" (Colossians 4:16) is Paul's epistle to the Laodiceans which the Colossians were to apply to them for. Not the epistle to the Ephesians, for Paul was unlikely to know that his letter to the Ephesians would have reached Laodicea at or near the time of the arrival of his letter to the Colossians. In 1 Corinthians 5:9 similarly an epistle is alluded to, no longer extant, the Holy Spirit not designing it for further use than the local and temporary wants of a particular church. The apostle's epistles were publicly read in the church assemblies, being thus put on a level with the Old Testament and Gospels, which were similarly read. The angel of the Laodicean church is supposed to be Archippus whom Paul 30 years before had warned to be diligent in fulfilling his ministry (Colossians 4:17). The "lukewarm" state, if the transitional stage to a warmer, is desirable (for a little religion, if real, is better than none), but fatal when an abiding state, for it is mistaken for a safe state (Revelation 3:17). The danger is of disregarded principle; religion enough to lull the conscience, not to save the soul; halting between two opinions (1 Kings 18:21; 2 Kings 17:41; Ezekiel 20:39; Matthew 6:24). The hot (at Hierapolis) and cold springs near Laodicea suggested the simile. As worldly poverty favors poverty of spirit (Matthew 5:3, compare Luke 6:20), so worldly riches tend to spiritual self sufficiency (Hosea 12:8). Paul's epistle to the neighbouring Colossae was designed for Laodicea also, though Paul had not seen the Christians there at the time (Colossians 2:1; Colossians 2:3; Colossians 4:6); it tells Laodicea "in whom" to find "hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," whereas she thought she had all sufficiency in herself, "because thou sayest I am rich," etc. He endured a sore conflict, striving in anxious prayer in behalf of the churches of Ephesus and Laodicea that they might be delivered from Judaizing teachers, who blended Eastern theosophy and angel worship with Jewish asceticism and observance of new moons and sabbaths, professing a deeper insight into the world of spirits and a nearer approach to heavenly purity and intelligence than the simple gospel afforded (Colossians 2:8-9; Colossians 2:16-23). A few arches and part of an amphitheater are all the remains left of Laodicea Now Denishu.

Laodicea in Hitchcock's Bible Names just people

Laodicea in Naves Topical Bible (A Phrygian city) -Paul's concern for Col 2:1 -Epaphras' zeal for Col 4:13 -Epistle to the Colossians to be read in Col 4:15,16 -Message to, through John Re 1:11; 3:14-22

Laodicea in Smiths Bible Dictionary (justice of the people), a town in the Roman province of Asia situated in the valley of the Maeander, on a small river called the Lycus, with Colossae and Hierapolis a few miles distant to the west. Built, or rather rebuilt, by one of the Seleucid monarchs, and named in honor of his wife, Laodicea became under the Roman government a place of some importance. Its trade was considerable; it lay on the line of a great road; and it was the seat of a conventus. From the third chapter and seventeenth verse of Revelation we should gather it was a place of great wealth. Christianity was introduced into Laodicea, not, however, as it would seem, through the direct agency of St. Paul. We have good reason for believing that when, in writing from Rome to the Christians of Colossae, he sent a greeting to those of Laodicea, he had not personally visited either place. But the preaching of the gospel at Ephesus, Ac 18:19 ... 19:41 must inevitably have resulted in the formation of churches in the neighboring cities, especially where Jews were settled; and there were Jews in Laodicea. In subsequent times it became a Christian city of eminence, the see of bishop and a meeting-place of councils. The Mohammedan invaders destroyed it, and it is now a scene of utter desolation, as was prophesied in Re 3:14-22 and the extensive ruins near Denislu justify all that we read of Laodicea in Greek and Roman writers. Another biblical subject of interest is connected with Laodicea. From Col 4:16 it appears that St. Paul wrote a letter to this place when he wrote the letter to Colossae. Ussher's view is that it was the same as the Epistle to the Ephesians, which was a circular letter sent to Laodicea among other places. The apocryphal Epistola ad Laodicenses is a late and clumsy forgery.

Laodicea in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE la-od-i-se'-a (Laodikia): A city of Asia Minor situated in the Lycos valley in the province of Phrygia, and the home of one of the Seven Churches of Rev (1:11). Distinguished from several other cities of that name by the appellation Ad Lycum, it was founded by Antiochus II (261-246 BC) of Syria, who named it for his wife Laodike, and who populated it with Syrians and with Jews who were transplanted from Babylonia to the cities of Phrygia and Lydia. Though Laodicea stood on the great highway at the junction of several important routes, it was a place of little consequence until the Roman province of Asia was formed in 190 BC. It then suddenly became a great and wealthy center of industry, famous specially for the fine black wool of its sheep and for the Phrygian powder for the eyes, which was manufactured there (compare Rev 3:18). In the vicinity was the temple of Men Karou and a renowned school of medicine. In the year 60 AD, the city was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake, but so wealthy were its citizens that they rejected the proffered aid of Rome, and quickly rebuilt it at their own expense (compare Rev 3:17). It was a city of great wealth, with extensive banking operations (compare Rev 3:18). Little is known of the early history of Christianity there; Timothy, Mark and Epaphras (Col 1:7) seem to have been the first to introduce it. However, Laodicea was early the chief bishopric of Phrygia, and about 166 AD Sagaris, its bishop, was martyred. In 1071 the city was taken by the Seljuks; in 1119 it was recovered to the Christians by John Comnenus, and in the 13th century it fell finally into the hands of the Turks. The ruins, now called Eski Hissar, or old castle, lie near the modern Gonjelli on the railroad, and they have long served as a quarry to the builders of the neighboring town of Denizli. Among them nothing from before the Roman period has appeared. One of the two Roman theaters is remarkably well preserved, and there may still be seen the stadium, a colonnade, the aqueduct which brought the water across the valley to the city by an inverted siphon of stone pipes, a large necropolis, and the ruins of three early Christian churches.

Laodicea Scripture - 1 Timothy 6:21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace [be] with thee. Amen. <[The first to Timothy was written from Laodicea, which is the chiefest city of Phrygia Pacatiana.]>

Laodicea Scripture - Colossians 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and [for] them at Laodicea, and [for] as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Laodicea Scripture - Colossians 4:13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them [that are] in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

Laodicea Scripture - Colossians 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

Laodicea Scripture - Colossians 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the [epistle] from Laodicea.

Laodicea Scripture - Revelation 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

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