thyatira Summary and Overview
Bible Dictionaries at a Glance
thyatira in Easton's Bible Dictionary
a city of Asia Minor, on the borders of Lydia and Mysia. Its
modern name is Ak-hissar, i.e., "white castle." Here was one of
the seven churches (Rev. 1:11; 2:18-28). Lydia, the seller of
purple, or rather of cloth dyed with this colour, was from this
city (Acts 16:14). It was and still is famous for its dyeing.
Among the ruins, inscriptions have been found relating to the
guild of dyers in that city in ancient times.
thyatira in Smith's Bible Dictionary
a city on the Lycus, founded by Seleucus Nicator, lay to the left of the road from Pergamos to Sardis, 27 miles from the latter city, and on the very confines of Mysia and Ionia, so as to be sometimes reckoned within the one and sometimes within the other. Dyeing apparently formed an important part of the industrial activity of Thyatira, as it did of that of Colossae and Laodicea. It is first mentioned in connection with Lydia, "a seller of purple." #Ac 16:14| One of the Seven Churches of Asia was established here. #Re 2:18-29| The principal deity of the city was Apollo; but there was another superstition, of an extremely curious nature which seems to have been brought thither by some of the corrupted Jews of the dispersed tribes. A fane stood outside the walls, dedicated to Sambatha --the name of the sibyl who is sometimes called Chaldean, sometimes Jewish, sometimes Persian-- in the midst of an enclosure designated "the Chaldaeans' court." This seems to lend an illustration to the obscure passage in #Re 2:20,21| which some interpret of the wife of the bishop. Now there is evidence to show that in Thyatira there was a great amalgamation of races. If the sibyl Sambatha was in reality a Jewess, lending her aid to the amalgamation of different religions, and not discountenanced by the authorities of the Judeo-Christian Church at Thyatira, both the censure and its qualification become easy of explanation. (The present name of the city is ak-Hissar ("white castle"). It has a reputation for the manufacture of scarlet cloth. Its present population is 15,000 to 20,000. There are nine mosques. --ED.)
thyatira in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
THYATI'RA , a city of Asia Minor, on the northern border of Lydia, near the road from Pergamos to Sardis, and some 27 miles from the latter city. It lay near the river Lycus and was a Macedonian colony, bearing successively the names of Pelopia, Semiraiuis and Euhippia. Dyeing was an important branch of its business from Homer's time, and the first N.T. mention of Thyatira, Acts 16:14, connects it with the purple seller, Lydia. Three votive inscriptions have been found among its ruins purporting to have come. from the guild of "The Dyers." It has been supposed that perhaps Lydia returned to her own city and aided in establishing Christianity there. Thyatira was the seat of one of the seven churches of Asia. Rev 2:18-29. Its population was made up of various races, and it is a question what is meant by the reference to Jezebel. A shrine stood outside the walls, in the midst of the "Chaldtean's court," dedicated to Sambath, a sibyl, Chaldaean, Jewish, or Persian. Grotius refers it to the wife of the bishop. Present Condition. - The city is now called ak-Hissar, or "white castle." The scarlet cloth dyed there has the reputation of being unsurpassed for brilliancy and permanence of color. The population is estimated at from 17,000 to 20,000. There are a Greek church and several mosques.
thyatira in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
(Lydia, the probable agent of carrying the gospel to her native town.) (See LYDIA.) Thyatira lay a little to the left of the road from Pergamos to Sardis (Strabo 13:4, who calls it "a Macedonian colony"); on the Lycus, a little to the S. of the Hyllus, at the N. end of the valley between Mount Tmolus and the southern ridge of Tetanus. Founded by Seleucus Nicator. On the confines of Mysia and Ionia. A corporate guild of dyers is mentioned in three inscriptions of the times of the Roman empire between Vespasian and Caracalla. To it probably belonged Lydia, the seller of purple (i.e. scarlet, for the ancients called many bright red colors "purple") stuffs (Acts 16:14). The waters are so suited for dyeing that nowhere is the scarlet of fezzes thought to be so brilliant and permanent as that made here. Modern Thyatira contains a population of 17,000.
In Revelation 2:18-25, "the Son of God who hath eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass," stands in contrast to the sun god. Tyrimnas, the tutelary god of Thyatira, represented with flaming rays and feet of burnished brass. Christ commends Thyatira's works, charity, service, faith, and patience. Thyatira's "last works were more than the first," realizing 1 Thessalonians 4:1, instead of retrograding from "first love and first works" as Ephesus (Revelation 2:4-5); the converse of Matthew 12:45; 2 Peter 2:20. Yet Thyatira "suffered that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." (See JEZEBEL.) Some self-styled prophetess, or collection of prophets (the feminine in Hebrew idiom expressing a multitude), closely attached to and influencing the Thyatira church and its presiding bishop or "angel" (the Alexandrinus and Vaticanus manuscripts read "thy wife" for "that woman") as Jezebel did her weak husband Ahab.
The presiding angel ought to have exercised his authority over the prophetess or prophets so-called, who seduced many into the libertinism of the Balaamites and Nicolaitans of Thyatira's more powerful neighbour Pergamos (Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:14; Revelation 2:16). (See BALAAMITES; NICOLAITANS.) The Lord encourages the faithful section at Thyatira. "Unto you (omit 'and' with the Alexandrinus and the Vaticanus manuscripts, the Sinaiticus manuscript reads: 'among ') the rest in Thyatira I say, ... I will put upon you none other burden (save abstinence from and protestation against these abominations: this the seducers regarded as an intolerable burden, see Matthew 11:30); but that which ye have hold fast until I come." A shrine outside Thyatira walls was sacred to the sibyl Sambatha, a Jewess or Chaldaean, in an enclosure called "the Chaldaean court."