Philadelphia was founded by the Pergamene king Attalus II (159-138 BC), which is the newest of the Seven Churches’ cities. When the Romans attempted to turn Attalus against his brother Eumenes II, he remained loyal, thereby earning the nickname “Philadelphus” (Polybus 30:1-3; 31.1; 32.1). The name of the city reflects the love between these brothers. Philadephia was strategically situated along the imperial post road that ran from Rome through Troas, Pergamum, and Sardis through to Tarsus and the east. Another road running eastward was an “open-door” to Phrygia (Revelation 3:8).

Philadelphia was the sixth of the Seven Churches mentioned in Revelation 1-3. Ammia and Quadratus were Christian prophets who ministered in Philadelphia during the reign of Hadrian. The Montanist movement, which began in the late 2C AD, had its origins 10 km east of Philadelphia at Ardabav. With his two prophetesses Prisca and Maximilla, Montanus taught that Paraclete (Holy Spirit) would come just before the second advent.

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