PERGAMUM

The town of Pergamum was in the province of Asia, on the west coast of Asia Minor (Rev 1:4,11; for map see ASIA). The Bible does not record how or when the church there was founded, but it does mention difficulties that the church experienced towards the end of the first century. The difficulties were mainly connected with the religious system known as Emperor worship, which in the province of Asia had its headquarters in Pergamum (cf. Rev 2:13). (Concerning Emperor worship see ROME.) On the whole the Christians in Pergamum stood firm and refused to join in the Emperor worship. At least one of their number was martyred (Rev 2:12-13). There were some, however, who taught and practised Nicolaitan teaching, which encouraged Christians to join in idolatrous feasts and to practise immorality. Jesus declared he would judge those who denied him in this way, and reward those who refused to compromise with the State religion (Rev 2:14-17).

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