The Church at Pergamum: The Art of Compromise
October 23, 1994
One of the truly great cities of Asia Minor, Pergamum was known for a variety of reasons. It was a noted fashion center, extremely wealthy, with a religious life of immense variety. Its lasting legacy revolves around three unique characteristics:
1. A library of enormous proportions for its day and age with over 200,000 volumes on parchment rolls.
(**Tonight, I will share a story centered on Pergamum and its library.)
Though Ephesus and Smyrna were commercially superior, Pergamum was the cultural center. The 200,000 volumes were handwritten.
2. It was a great religious center famous for two shrines.
a. The altar to Zesus, built in front of the Temple of Athene, stood over 40 feet high and rested on a projecting ledge that made it appear as a throne.
(The conical hill of Pergamum -- This altar was at the 800-foot mark.)
b. Asclepios -- (Asquelapus) The Pergamene God.
"The God of Medicine."
**Yesterday's Atlanta Journal.
The symbol of Asclepious was a snake on a pole. Still used by doctors.
People would come to this temple from all over the world, lay on its marble floors and hope the snakes of hexing would slither by, touch them and heal them.
(If one touched me, I would rise up and walk!)
Asclepios Soter became the title and it means "Asclepios the Saviour."
3. Pergamum was the administrative center of Asia, thus Caesar worship.
Kaiser Kurios, Caesar is Lord.
**Roman Governors were divided into two classifications: Those who had the right of the sword, ius gladii, and those who did not.
The right of the sword gave you the power of life and death on the spot!
Jesus identified himself to Pergamum as the one with a sharp two-edged sword. In other words, Jesus still has the last word, not just on earth, but in eternity as well!
**Hebrew 4:12 -- The Word of God.
**A sword with two edges.
1. To convict.
2. To convert.
"I kno ...
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