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  Biblical Sites Turkey: THYATIRA

In ancient times, Thyatira was an important center of activity. It was on the ancient road from Bosphorus (Istanbul) to Pergamum (Bergama) via Prousa (Bursa) and then to Sardeis (Sart) and Laodicea (Denizli). This route was extending to Persia. There was an alternative route to Sardeis via Gordos which implied the importance of the transportation between Lydia capital Sardeis and Thyateira. Roads coming from Ephesos (Efes), Smyrna (Izmir) and Magnesia ad Spilum (Manisa) were all making a busy intersection at Thyateira. Click here for an ancient map of the region.As an important Lydian city, Thyateira was at the center of many small towns and villages administratively and The Thyatira's cloth was widely known and used by kings and queens in making their royal dresses. Being an important and strategical trade route junction, cloth and pottery trade was the main activity in town. In addition to these, the production of wool, linen, brass goods and tanning were other commercial activities. Thyatira was the Cradle of Christianity Seven Churches; in 1st and 2nd centuries AD, when Christianity started gaining popularity, Roman Emperors were ruthless against the first Christians. The churches were ruined and Christianity was prohibited. Despite all these counteractions, Christianity was spreading in Western Anatolia by the help and leadership of apostles like St. Jean and St. Paul. As stated in the Apocalypse, one of the first 7 churches of Christianity built in Asia Minor was in Thyateira, (Revelation to John 2:18-29, Acts 16:14). Other six churches were in Ephesos (Efes), Pergamon (Bergama), Sardeis (Sart), Smyrna (Izmir), Laodicea (Denizli) and Philadelphia (Alasehir). The name "Thyateira" appears several times in the Holy Bible. First, in a letter to seven churches in Asia Minor, St. Jean mentions a Thyateiran woman named "Jezebel" who fought against Christians. Second, another Thyateiran woman named "Lydia" who helped St. Paul in Macedonia is mentioned. This woman had been to Macedonia on the purpose of selling Thyateiran clothes. This is a helpful evidence for the importance of cloth manufacturing and trade in ancient Akhisar. There was a rather big Christian community in Thyateira around 100 AD. The town is in a region where Christianity was born and emerged and is very important in the History of Christianity. Revelation (2:18-2:29) to the Angel of the Church in Thyateira (Thyatira): "(2:18) This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes blaze like fire, whose feet shine like polished brass. (2:19) I know what you do. I know your love, your faithfulness, your service, and your patience. I know that you are doing more now than you did at first. (2:20) But this is what I have against you : you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a messenger of God. By her teaching she misleads my servants into practicing sexual immortality and eating food that has been offered to idols. (2:21) I have her time to repent of her sins, but she does not want to turn from her immortality. (2:22) And so I will throw her on a bed where she and those who committed adultery with her will suffer terribly. I will do this now unless they repent of the wicked things they did with her. (2:23) I will also kill her followers, and then all the churches will know that I am the one who knows everyone's thoughts and wishes. I will repay each one of you according to what he has done. (2:24) But the rest of you in Thyatira have not followed this evil teaching; you have not learned what the others call 'the deep secrets of Satan.' I say to you that I will not put any other burden on you. (2:25) But until I come, you must hold firmly to what you have. (2:26-28) To those who win the victory, who continue to the end to do what I want, I will give the same authority that I received from my Father : I will give them authority over the nations, to rule them with and iron rod and to break thm to pieces like clay pots. I will also give them the morning star. (2:29) If you have ears, then, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches!"




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