• Modern city of Alaşehir
  • Ramsay claimed that Philadelphia was a missionary city, founded to spread the Greek culture and language to the barbarous inhabitants of the regions of Phrygia and Lydia. It is said that within a few years, the Lydians had almost completely forgotten their native tongue. Philadelphia was situated on a major road which linked the rest of the Roman empire to the west with Phrygia and beyond.
  • The city was built in a zone that was very active sysmically. There had been a major earthquake in A.D. 17 which had destroyed much of the town, followed by months of aftershocks. For many years, the townspeople chose to live in the countryside around Philadelphia rather than risk the dangers of another earthquake.
  • Since the time of that earthquake, the city had been renamed twice, yet the old name of Philadelphia had persisted despite all attempts at change.
  • Out of the seven cities which received leters from the Risen Christ, only Philadelphia and Smyrna have thriving Christian communities today.

Additional reading:

“Philadelphia” in Easton’s Bible Dictionary on
“Philadelphia” in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia on
“Philadelphia” in Smith’s Bible Dictionary on
“Philadelphia” from The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Sir William Ramsay on Philadelphia

Ch. 27 — Philadelphia: The Missionary City
Ch. 28 — The Letter to the Church in Philadelphia

Presentation and Handout:
Philadelphia (from