Numismatic and History Discussions > Biblical & Judean Coins

Churches of Revelation - do coins provide any insight?


Mark J2:
Regarding, the seven churches curious if anyone has found anything insightful that might illuminate the text?

For example ot the church of Laodicea, Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.
Do any Laodicean coins perhaps suggest riches  and prosperity?

The text indicates specific problems faced by the Christian communities identified by St. John. Since this is practically the only source of these communities in the late 1st century, there is little way to verify them. Since St. John rebukes the inhabitants of Laodicea on Lycus for the lack of fervent faith and focusing on worldly goods, it must be assumed that this was the case.

The whole region was rich and prosperous, so it's hard to find any special marks on Laodicean coins. Most of them are bronzes that do not stand out with anything special from coins minted in other cities of the region. You can view them here:

Virtually the only silver coins minted in Asia are the cytophoric tetradrachms of Hadrian - we can note here that Laodicea is one of the five cities for which the most were produced (the four others are Ephesus, Smyrna, Sardis and Hierapolis, not mentioned in the Apocalypse).


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