Inscribed Columns in Temples

In the first three chapters of the New Testament book of Revelation the author addresses seven churches in the Roman Province of Asia (=modern western Turkey).  In doing this he often makes allusions to cultural items that were especially meaningful to his first century hearers.

For example, in the name of Jesus he writes to the Church at Philadelphia:

I am coming soon … the one who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my GodI will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. Rev 3:11–13 (NIV)

Inscribed columns are found in a number of temples in the Greco-Roman world, but the inscriptions on the columns of the Temple of Zeus at Euromos in southwestern Turkey are especially noteworthy.

Temple of Zeus at Euromos

Dedicatory Inscription/Placard

These inscriptions typically note who donated the column!   For example, Menecrates, a physician and magistrate donated five of the 30 columns of this temple and Leo Quintus, a magistrate donated another seven.

Free, high–resolution images of Euromos and Philadelphia are available for viewing and downloading.

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One response to “Inscribed Columns in Temples

  1. Reblogged this on beliefspeak2 and commented:
    Illuminating Revelation 3.11-13. This is a great find and helps readers fit the message of Christ’s letter historically to the understanding of the local recipients. A common fallacy of my Christians today is allocating the message of the Bible in an anachronistic manner. We should always seek to understand the text in the historical setting and apply it carefully.

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