Smyrna and the Synagogue of Satan

The second of the seven churches addressed by Jesus was in the city of Smyrna. It was a wealthy city, but the Christian community there was poor, shut out of normal business activity because they refused to bow the knee to pagan gods and the Imperial cult—the worship of the emperors.

We discuss two of the important deities venerated in Smyrna: Nemesis, the embodiment of divine retribution, and Roma, the deification of Rome and Roman culture. And we analyze who Jesus meant by “those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”

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