When Your Faith is On Trial
Studies in the Book of Revelation
Dr. Jim Denison
Thyatira was located 45 miles due east of Pergamum. Jesus wrote his longest letter to the smallest of the seven cities, proof of the significance of the issues confronting his followers there. Her ruins today are not remarkable, but her challenge to Christian fidelity was of vital importance.
Thyatira possessed strategic military significance. It lay at the mouth of a long valley connecting the Hermus and Caicus rivers. Enemies of the empire would have to pass by Thyatira on their way to attack Pergamum. And so the city would defend the capitol of the region, and at least delay attackers until the main city was ready.
The city was not a center of religious importance. She housed temples to Artemis and Apollo, but they were not famous. Neither did she possess a special center for emperor worship. She did own the shrine of Sambathe, a kind of ancient fortune-teller whom many came to consult for guidance.