Are the Seven Churches a Map of Church History?

by Jimmy Akin

in +Religion, Apologetics, Bible, Eschatology

Does this map of the seven churches of Asia contain a hidden map of Church history?

Tuesday’s liturgy contains a reading from the message to the Church at Sardis, from the book of Revelation.

Revelation contains seven messages written to “the seven churches, which are in Asia.”

Some Christians, particularly in the Protestant world, think that these seven messages contain a map of Church history, from the first century until the end times.

Are they right?


About the Seven Churches

The names of some of the seven churches to which John writes are familiar to us. The very first of the seven–Ephesus–is already familiar as the place to which St. Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians, for example.

Others are less familiar, but they were all located in a particular part of what is now Turkey, in the Roman province of Asia Minor.

We know that there were more than seven churches in Asia Minor at the time. Another one was the church at Colossae, to which St. Paul addressed the letter to the Colossians.

Which raises a question . . .


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