When You’re Ready to Quit
Studies in the Book of Revelation
Dr. Jim Denison
Philadelphia, the youngest of the seven churches of Revelation, was located 28 miles southeast of Sardis. The city was probably founded by Eumenes II, king of Pergamum (197-160/159 BC), and was named in honor of his younger brother Attalus II, surnamed Philadelphia (“brotherly love”) for his loyalty to his older brother. But some evidence suggests that the official founding of Philadelphia did not occur until 140 BC when Attalus II had succeeded his brother as king of Pergamum (159-138 BC).
From the very beginning, Philadelphia was given great opportunity to fulfill its name. Located on the great highway which connected Europe with the East, the town stood at the intersection of the three countries of Mysia, Lydia, and Phrygia.
As the easternmost frontier of the Hellenistic world, Philadelphia was intended to be a missionary city. Its founders envisioned the Greeks using the city as a beachhead for spreading their language and culture throughout the regions beyond. Philadelphia was literally the gateway from one continent and civilization to another. But such hopes were unfulfilled. The Phrygians to the east stubbornly resisted Greek culture. In time the city decayed into ruins.