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The Letters to the Seven Churches  By  cover art

The Letters to the Seven Churches

By: William Mitchell Ramsay
Narrated by: Peter Brooke
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Publisher's Summary

At the beginning of the book of the Revelation of St. John, John was commanded to "write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches". We know that these seven churches were named after cities in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). From the Book of Revelation itself, we have St. John's description of each Church: 

1) Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-7): having labored hard and not fainted, they separated themselves from the wicked. but are admonished for having forsaken their first love.

2) Smyrna (2:8-11): admired for their tribulation and poverty. 

3) Pergamum (2:12-17): located where 'Satan's seat' is; and needs to repent of permitting false teachers. 

4) Thyatira (2:18-29): known for their charity, whose "latter works are greater than the former", however, they tolerate the teachings of a false prophetess. 

5) Sardis (3:1-6): despite their good reputation, they are dead; cautioned to fortify itself and come back to God by repentance. 

6) Philadelphia (3:7-13): steadfast in the faith, keeping God's word and enduring. 

7) Laodicea, near Denizli (see Laodicean Church) (3:14-22): lukewarm and insipid.

However many more questions remain with regard to exactly what these churches and cities would have looked like. In this classic book, Sir William Mitchell Ramsay looks at the historical context of these letters, to give a sense of what the people and culture were like in the Graeco-Roman world of St. John's day.

©1904 London, Hodder and Stoughton (P)2021 Steven Burger
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Precise and Technical Good Work

I struggled through the first three hours. Mr. Ramsay is very detail- oriented, and is well able to explain the fundamentals of written language. Fascinating is the difference between Roman and Jewish use of writing, and literacy rates.

There was not any acknowledgement of the Jewish practice of teaching children, especially the boys, to read, and to write. I felt an additional three minutes on this facet of religious life would have built understanding of how writing was used. Also lacking was the skill of a ready writer, or scribe, such as was Matthew, and the priests. Nor was any discussion of how Hebrew, as a thought-concept language would have influenced John, who was a Jew, and a business man (fishing was his trade, so writing and arthimitic were required).

This all definitely shows Mr. Ramsay had a great wealth of knowledge, yet was constrained by his era. This book, now over 100 years old is STILL helpful. In fact, presented are thoughts and consideration absent in modern theological works.

Obtain the free Kindle book, and add the Audible portion- it makes reading so much easier!

The narrator was very good. I really enjoyed it.