In-Depth Studies, New Testament, Prophecy, Revelation

Revelation: Historical Sardis

Revelation 3:1a “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write:

Sardis is the fifth church addressed in the book of Revelation. In the Greek, Sardis means “red ones” per Strong’s Concordance.

Sardis located in modern day western Turkey. The city of the fifth church is about 60 miles northeast of Smyrna. Sardis is on the northern slope of Mt. Tmolus. The Pactolus River is further down range and functioned as a moat. Sardis was well protected by its geography.

Sardis was a very wealthy city and the capital of the region of Lydia. The city was a significant market in the region. The area was rich in produce and fruits. Dyed wool is believed to be invented in Sardis. Gold was discovered in the sands of the Pactolus River. Ornaments, utensils, mirrors, and precious stones were manufactured in the area. The Romans were noted to create a series of coins during their time of rule over the area.

During the rule of King Croesus (560 – 546 BC), metallurgists from Sardis figured out how to separate gold and silver. This was the first time in history pure gold and pure silver were noted. This allowed pure gold and pure silver coins to be minted. The coins were trusted across the known world for their purity. Wealth and prosperity were synonymous with Sardis and King Croesus. This is where we get the phrase “Richer than Croesus”. Sardis is known as the birthplace of modern currency.

A temple was built in honor of the goddess Cybele. She was similar to Diana in Ephesus.

In the 21st century, Sardis is a ruin named Sert-Kalessi.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


The church at Sardis was ridiculously, materially wealthy. They were loaded. Sound familiar…

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