October 25, 2013
The Lost Letters of Pergamum
“You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city--where Satan lives.” (Revelations 2:13). In “The Lost Letters of Pergamum”, by Bruce Longenecker, he takes the name found in Revelations and creates a fictional character in a world based two thousand years ago. Antipas is a Roman Civic leader who learns much about Christianity through Luke’s Gospel writings. He learns in Luke’s writings that Jesus is “the answer” for both him, and for the first century Greco-Roman world. In many ways the world Longenecker created is similar to that of the 21st century and in many ways it differs. The Lost Letters bring show how even in a different culture and time that people all have their own journey of learning of who Christ is and of what church is. The idea that God was a personal and loving God was a practically inexistent notion in the first century. It shocked people like Antipas that God would want to be involved in any random person’s life. Especially in the Roman world where citizens were taught that the Roman Emperor was god. Anyone who looked to a divine god instead of that given to them from their government could be sentenced to death. This made the gospel to the first century Greco-Roman population extremely countercultural. It was almost like a fairy tale to them, but nothing built on truth or meant to believe in, or live by. Nobleman like Antipas did not like the gospel because it undermined people of high stature like them. God put all people on the same level because He said that all men are equal. In the letters Antipas started off very boastfully. He made sure that he knew that he was a nobleman, and a very wealthy one as that. It was funny seeing the change in Antipas throughout the letters as he became more humble the more and more he got to know Luke. While Antipas was in the midst...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document