A Bit of Background Concerning the Church At Smyrna:
- A port city located about 35 miles north of Ephesus. Current location is known as Izmir, Turkey.
- A disciple of the apostle John served as pastor there until he was martyred around 155 AD.
- A city of obvious wealth, known for its resorts, spas, and market places (Hunter, 29). First-hand geographical accounts in the first century describe Smyrna as “a beautiful city”.
- We are not told in the Bible how the church came to exist in the city, many assume the gospel spread there from Ephesus.
- The normal pattern for the letter given to each of the churches includes a: Commendation, Correction, Consequence of unheeded correction, and Conquering Promise. The church at Smyrna is one of two churches (along with Philadelphia) not given a Correction/Consequence.
- This is also the shortest of the 7 letters.