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The Letter in the Apocalypse of John

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Chapter Summary

Numerous imponderables stand in the way of using the Apocalypse of John as a historical source: the identity of its author is as obscure as its cultural setting; its date and occasion are as obscure as the circles of addressees for whom it was intended. The hope for information bearing on early Christianity in the Lycus Valley arises because Laodicea is one of the seven churches to which John is said to have directed his letters. The actual nature of the problems of the church criticized in the letter is not really clear what is meant by the "lukewarmness" of the Laodicean Christians. Neither can one determine whether afterwards a particular consciousness developed among the churches addressed in response to the letters in the Apocalypse, a group identity or sense of solidarity. In any case, the Johannine church of Laodicea now directly confronted the old Pauline church of Colossae.

Keywords: apocalypse of John; Colossae; early Christianity; Laodicea; Lycus Valley; old Pauline church



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