Friday, January 05, 2007


Mentioned only in Colossians 4:13, the church in Hierapolis was founded by Epaphras. We known Epaphras met Paul in Ephesus but we aren’t sure how. There are three main theories that are accepted:

1. Epaphras was attending a pilgrimage to the Temple of Artemis.
2. He was a member of a civic delegation.
3. He was a merchant doing business there.

Regardless of how they met, we know that Epaphras was the primary church planter in the Lycius valley which included Hierapolis, Colossae and Laodicia (of Revelation fame).

These are the main gates into the city

After Emperor Domitian died, the Senate hated him so much they demanded his name be chiseled out of every stone in the Roman Empire. (They did this with many people they didn’t like) This picture shows an example of where that happened. This helps us understand the church in Sardis would have understood and really related to Jesus’ words in Revelation 3:5 where He promises to never blot out their name from the book of life.

Can you see the Menorah at the top of the lid of this sarcophagus (ancient coffin)? We tend to think the Star of David as the standing symbol of Judaism but the Menorah was the standing symbol for over 1500 years.

Built in the 5th century AD, the Martyrion of St. Philip was erected as the final resting place of the disciple Philip. Tradition and the Apocryphal Acts of Philip state that he was executed here by upside down crucifixion.

Mandrake plants are all over Turkey. You may remember them as the fertility drug used by Leah and Rachel to barter for time with Jacob (Genesis 30). Emily and I try to steer clear of these plants.

That’s not snow but rather calcium covered thermal pools. These are the famous hot springs of Pamukkale right next to Hierapolis.

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