Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

For studies in the book of Revelation

Moderator: Teachers

Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby Bill Medart » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:30 pm

I have been assembling notes as I work through the study with the idea of going back and writing some supplemental chapters such as when the book was written. There are clues scattered within the text and I note them as I go through. There was a good one in the letter to Pergamos that kind of blew me away. I was kind of settling on a later Vespasian authorship when I saw in the address to Pergamos that Antipas, God's faithful Martyr had been (past tense) martyred. Well, according to traditional history, Antipas was a person of rank within the church in Pergamos and was killed in 92 AD. Now unless there were more than one Antipas killed in Pergamos, this is pretty compelling evidence. I have not figured out what to do with this yet, but it is certainly a curiosity. I am keeping my eyes open for other clues.

I've read Rev 2:13 many times and the reference to Antipas didn't sink in with me. I've done a little more research and cannot find much information at all on Antipas except Herod Antipas. The reference to "killed" or marytered in the passage is only referenced in the "tradition section" of the Catholic and Orthodox papers. In other words, "tradition says...." In the Christian documents, the only reference I found, so far, is that there is little or no information available. The Catholic and Orthodox material reference him as Saint Antipas and he was the Bishop of Pergamum or Pergamos. Do you have other reference material?
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim 2:5
Bill Medart
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:32 pm
Location: Gorman, TX

Re: Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby David Hersey » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:08 am

McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia wrote:ANTIPAS

3. A "faithful martyr," mentioned in Revelation 2:13. A.D. ante 100. He is said to have been one of our Savior's first disciples, and a bishop of Pergamus, and to have been put to death in a tumult there by the priests of AEsculapius, who had a celebrated temple in that city (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 4, 5). Tradition relates that he was burned in a brazen bull under Domitian (Acta Sanctcrum, 2, 3, 4). His day in the Greek calendar is April 11 (Menol. Gr. 3, 51).
Philippians 3:14
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
User avatar
David Hersey
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:06 pm

Re: Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby David Hersey » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:18 am

Of Antipas Antipas (NT:493). Indeclinable in this form. It is possible that Antipa (NT:493) (genitive) was really written, though unimportant as the nominative follows in apposition. Nothing is really known of this early martyr in Pergamum before the writing of the Apocalypse. One legend is that he was burnt to death in a brazen bull. Other martyrs followed him at Pergamum (Agathonice, Attalus, Carpus, Polybus).
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft & Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright (c) 1985 by Broadman Press)
Philippians 3:14
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
User avatar
David Hersey
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:06 pm

Re: Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby David Hersey » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:43 am

John Battle wrote:the testimony of Irenaeus
(see above) and other fathers, which places the writing toward the end of the reign of Domitian,
and the bulk of internal evidence (such as the martyrdom of Antipas in Rev. 2:13 in the reign of
Domitian; cf. NIV Study Bible
) have convinced most scholars to hold to a date in the 90s.


Looks like I need to find the NIV Study Bible and see what it says about this
Philippians 3:14
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
User avatar
David Hersey
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:06 pm

Re: Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby David Hersey » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:58 pm

h**p://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipas_of_Pergamum
Philippians 3:14
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
User avatar
David Hersey
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:06 pm

Re: Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby Bill Medart » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:57 pm

In another Word Study dictionary by Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, Antipas (493) is a masc. proper noun. Antipas is a shorter form of Antipater, otherwise unknown. He is mentioned in Rev. 2:13. Later, Greek tradition made him bishop of Pergamum, martured under Domitian by being thrown into a heated brazen bull which stood at the temple of Diana and so being roasted alive. The name has been allegorized as anti(473), against, and pas (3596), all. The two words would mean against all. The character of the Revelation, again, admits the hypothesis that the name refers to the god Pan. Pan was worshiped at Ephesus and in many cities in Asia Minor - though no record of his worship at Pergamum is in existence - under the strong influences of Arcadian and Peloponnesian cults. It is possible, therefore, that the church at Pergamum is praised for its opposition to the heathen Pan. See Balaam (903); Nikolaites (3531), Nicolaitans.


Again we see the words TRADITION brought into play so I guess that we have to rely on hearsay and word of mouth to bring Antipas into play. I have read in other documents that Irenaeus' accounts of "history" were not very accurate and he had been proven wrong in other instances.

This is a good study, any other ideas out there?
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim 2:5
Bill Medart
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:32 pm
Location: Gorman, TX

Re: Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby Bill Medart » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:59 pm

I thought I had a NIV Study Bible but alas it is only a standard version. I don't use it very much however, some explanations are very good. I'll look in our church library for more information. It is limited but has some pretty good sourch material.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim 2:5
Bill Medart
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:32 pm
Location: Gorman, TX

Re: Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby David Hersey » Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:44 am

Bill Medart wrote:
Again we see the words TRADITION brought into play so I guess that we have to rely on hearsay and word of mouth to bring Antipas into play. I have read in other documents that Irenaeus' accounts of "history" were not very accurate and he had been proven wrong in other instances.



I have seen that arguement a lot. I have some study notes on Revelation from some of the brown trail preachers who addressed the Iranaeus arguement. I don't have the exact quote in front of me. Apparently the Greek words used in his account can just as easily mean "being seen in the time of Domition" as being "in the time of Domition".

I'm not real big on hearsay and traditional arguements. I tend to cross reference them from numerous different sources before I use them in my study. I read tons of historical documents when I'm researching these things and if it isn't verifiable, I shy away from even mentioning it. One of the ways I determine this is that if it is mentioned in the works of one of the scholars whose works I am relying heavily on such Hailey, West, Jackson, Swete, Sessions, Coffman and others. If they don't mention it I am real careful about using it at all.

As for Antipas. There is very little we know about him from scripture. We know he was faithful and favored of God and we know he was slain among the Christians of Pergamos. Now there is one thing we can infer from this and I believe rightfully so from a study of the pattern Jesus used in addressing the individual churches. In every church Jesus addressed, He mentioned something that was unique to each one. Something that was well known to them and that they could relate to personally and directly. For example, we have a glaring one in Jesus' address to the Laodicean church where He told them to anoint their eyes with eyesalve. Eyesalve was made in Laodicea and everybody knew it. The Christians in Laodicea would take one look at that and say to themselves.... "He means US".... "He's talking to US"

I believe we can infer from the pattern Jesus uses in addressing the congregations that Antipas was someone they all knew. Likely a leader in the church or someone they all looked up to. We don't know how big the church was in Pergamos but we know Pergamos was a major city in Asia at the time and the church could have been enormous. We just don't know. Jesus had a lot of good things to say to them so it stands to reason they were doing a pretty good job, hence the church may have been a sizable group. When Jesus mentioned Antipas and the fact that he was slain among them, I believe we can rightfully infer that this was a public thing, well known and that Antipas may have been slain as a public example and warning to the rest of the Christians in the Lord's church of what to expect if they continue to resist.

Can you imagine how demoralizing it would be to have one of the elders or the prominent leaders of your congregation slain in the streets? Tradition places his execution as being burned in a bronzen bull by the priests of Aklepios. I'm not sure I believe that. I believe the only religious group with the license and authority to persecute citizens to this extent was the concilia who had their headquarters right there in Pergamos. I don't know for sure, but I'd say it's a safe assumption to say they were behind his execution in some fashion. If the priests of Asklepios killed him, I'd say they did it with the approval of the concilia. Irregardless of who was responsible, Antipas was mentioned. Certainly he was not the only martyr. There were plenty. But Antipas was mentioned specifically. This leads me to assume he was well known and held some position of prominence within the church.

You want to hurt a group? Kill the one they look up to. The Romans couldn't kill Jesus again. So they picked someone as close to the top of the ladder as they could find and killed him. Jesus made sure he mentioned Antipas to them and did it in such a way that he would have been an example for the Christians to look to even in death.

As mentioned earlier, much of this is conjecture on my part. But this much is certain... Antipas was a slain Christian that Jesus mentioned favorably. That means Antipas is residing in paradise right now. Resting and awaiting the judgment. Antipas' eternal inheritance is recorded in our Bible. He's going to heaven and he's going to live in glory in the pesence of God forever. He made it. My path there is still before me. His race is run, my race is in progress. And that's where I intend to go. I want to go where Antipas is. God's message was to the living Christians then and now. The dead Christians serve as our shining examples of what lies ahead for those who overcome.
Philippians 3:14
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
User avatar
David Hersey
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:06 pm

Re: Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby Bill Medart » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:43 pm

I guess that what is in doubt here is the timeframe of the Revelation letter considering this incident with Antipas. I've always been of the opinion that the letter was penned in the AD 77-79 timeframe in the days of Vespesian. This has to do with other evidence in the scriptures, especially the replication between Daniel and John's Revelation. The message is the same irregardless but the later timeframe of AD 92-96 lends fuel to the Millenists account of the letter. Needless to say, I will be doing more research before I complete my lesson text for this book.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim 2:5
Bill Medart
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:32 pm
Location: Gorman, TX

Re: Who was Antipas the Faithful Martyr of Pergamos?

Postby David Hersey » Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Bill Medart wrote:I guess that what is in doubt here is the timeframe of the Revelation letter considering this incident with Antipas. I've always been of the opinion that the letter was penned in the AD 77-79 timeframe in the days of Vespesian. This has to do with other evidence in the scriptures, especially the replication between Daniel and John's Revelation. The message is the same irregardless but the later timeframe of AD 92-96 lends fuel to the Millenists account of the letter. Needless to say, I will be doing more research before I complete my lesson text for this book.


Scripture should always trump tradition. According to Revelation 17:9-11, Vespasian was the emperor at the time of the writing.



And here is the mind which hath wisdom . The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Here's how I see it.

The five fallen kings are:

1) Augustus
2) Tiberius
3) Caligula
4) Claudius
5) Nero

The 6th is the one that is:

6) Vespasian

The 7th has not yet come and when he does, he only continues for a short space:

7) Titus who reigned only 2 years as emperor of the Roman Empire.

And then the the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth is Domitian. Domitian was the son of Vespasian and the brother of Titus. That is about as "of the seven" as it gets to my thinking.

To my thinking this is the most compelling evidence of all as to the date of the writing of Revelation. It is internal and from inspiration and it matches Titus up with the short reign like a glove and the fact that Vespasian and Titus and Domitian were all closely related even reinforces it further.

Now Vespasian reigned on both sides of AD 70. I think it was written after AD 70 for two primary reasons. The destruction of Jerusalem was not mentioned and the church in Jerusalem was not addressed specifically with the seven churches. A reading of Matthew 24 reveals Jesus prophecying the destruction of Jerusalem and He is telling them to flee. To get out. To run. Immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem, there would have been no church to address. According to history, there wasn't much of anything left after the Romans finished destroying it. There is a lot of other evidence I won't get into right now, but I am fairly certain the Rev was written during the reign of Vespasian after AD 70.
Philippians 3:14
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
User avatar
David Hersey
 
Posts: 3256
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:06 pm

Next

Return to The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest