Friday, January 05, 2007

Laodicia and Colossae

Mentioned in Colossians 4 and Revelation 3, Laodicia was one of the seven churches singled out by Jesus in the book of Revelation. In fact it was the only one of the seven not to have anything positive said about it.

In Revelation 3 Jesus refers to the church in Laodicia as poor, blind and naked which I found interesting because the city was incredibly wealthy, produced a world famous eye salve, and was a regional leader in textile manufacturing. Of course he is referring to their spiritual state but I was most struck by the phrase “I will give him the right to sit with me on my throne” in verse 21. Those in the tiny Christian community in this city must have been awestruck to contrast that image with the huge Roman Empire they knew so well.

A very rare find, a Jewish Menorah with a cross above it chiseled into a marble column.

These are the remains of the aqueduct that brought the famous lukewarm water into the city.

I’m holding some of the piping from the aqueduct.

This is all that remains of the water tower. The water tower would redirect water from the aqueduct to various parts of the city.

Unfortunately there isn’t much to see at Colossae. It is a tell like Lystra as it hasn’t been excavated yet (which is pretty convenient for the opium farmer who currently has his farm there). But we did read through Paul’s letter to Philemon as the slave owner was a resident of Colossae.

As we read the letter I was struck by the fact that God the Father is very much like Philemon and Paul is acting very much like Jesus insofar as Onesimus is the sinner. Paul is interceding on Onesimus’ behalf to him who is rightfully owed (Philemon). Powerful.

We also talked about the fact that history places a Onesimus as the Bishop of Ephesus and many scholars think that this is the same Onesimus. This would make sense especially because many believe that Bishop Onesimus was the one who began collecting all of Paul’s letters into one central source.

Me in Colossae.


livingfortruth said...

This is a good blog. It is neat to see real Bible history!

Anonymous said...

like you comments pretty much like corinth and some greek sites i have been to john scotland not a blogger