Nov 24, 2013
Pliny, a Roman author, described the city of Pergamum as "by far the most distinguished city in Asia." Pergamum was a university city boasting a library of more than two hundred thousand books. It was a center of worship for four of the most important pagan cults of that day - Zeus, Athene, Dionysos, and Asklepios. Pergamum was the official center in Asia for the imperial cult. It was the first city of Asia to receive permission to build a temple dedicated to the worship of a living ruler. In 29 B.C. Augustus granted permission for a temple to be erected in Pergamum to "the divine Augustus and the goddess Roma." In His letter to the angel of the church in Pergamum Jesus commends them for their faithfulness to His name even when Antipas was martyred, but rebukes them for allowing in their midst false teachers who were influencing them to compromise themselves with the prevailing culture.