Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Rome as Ephraim

It’s interesting how Rome is the one nation left out of attempts to say Western Nations come from the Lost Tribes.  The Lost Tribes are identified with people in Greece, and then associated with people west and north of Rome, yet Rome itself in between is not.  Troy is often made a stepping stone in this process yet Rome was the first claim descent from Tory, all the others were just copying Rome, and Birtan’s claimed Trojan connection is deliberately derivative of Rome as it also comes via Aeneas.  Since I no longer think Rome is Edom, I’m interested in exploring this possibility.

Now I have already talked about how some myths of Troy make it perhaps the same place as Joppa, though I also now think Homer wrote the Iliad under the pretense of Ilion being Pergamon.

Some things about the myths of Romulus might first make one look to Benjamin to be the Israelite Tribe their connected to, first the Wolf association, then how the story of the Rape of the Sabine Women echos Judges 21.  But those could both be about this Tribe’s relationship with Benjamin as opposed to Rome being Benjamin.  Judges 21 also involved Ephraim.  And being nursed by a She-Wolf could be a Prophecy that it would be a Benjamite who’d bring The Gospel to Rome, in the apocryphal Acts of Paul when he’s beheaded Milk rather then Blood spills from his wounds.

My most recent speculations on the Fourth Beast of Daniel argue for it being Joseph who is a Bullock and a Calf and a “Unicorn”, the Ten Horns being Ephraim and the Little Horn Manasseh.  Ephraim is foretold to become the Fullness of the Gentiles in Genesis 48, and Paul uses that term in his Epistle to the Romans.  And I’ve also argued for Ephraim being the Horse Rider which can be interesting for the Troy connection.

In Greek Mythology the ultimate progenitor of the Trojans and Dardanians is Dardanus.  Attempts to give him an Israelite origin suggest Dan, as well as Dara son of Zerah in 1 Chronicles 2:6 aka Darda of 1 Kings 4:31.  Those names are evidence the name is Semitic in origin regardless of if he can be identified with a Biblical figure.  Maybe Dardan means “Pearl of Dan/Judgment” like how Darda means “Pearl of Wisdom”, perhaps a fitting title for the Shrine the Ephraimite King Jeroboam built at Dan.

Dardanus is sometimes said to have his origins in Arcadia, which when comparing Pelops to Jehu I argue is sometimes code for Samaria, Micah 1 used an Eagle as a symbol of Samaria which became a symbol of Rome.  Later Roman writers would however attempt to say Dardanus came from Italy.

Iasus is a name that pops up in Greek Mythology multiple times.  While Iesous is how Joshua is transliterated into Koine Greek, Iasus could be a much more ancient Greek form of that name (just look at the difference between Iapetos and how Japheth is rendered in the LXX). Dardanus had a relative named Iasus, Dionysius of Halicarnassus said Iasus was his older brother but Virgl in the Aeneid (3.163f) seems to make Iasus his father.  But it’s also easy to look at the biography of Dardanus and see him as partly based on Joshua himself.  The Mountains of Ida could be Girazim & Ebal in this analogy, the city of Dardanus founded at the foot of Ida could then be Shechem or Shiloh.  Analogies that also work for seeing Dardanus as Jeroboam.  Or you could look at Dardania’s placement on anatolia as making it the northernmost key city of the Trojan Empire which would again make it Dan in the sense of Dan’s importance to Jeroboam.  Which would then perhaps make Ilion/Pergamos equal Bethel.

The Ephraimites carried away by Assyria I still believe became with some Manessites the ancestors of many Native American tribes.  Of those left after the captivity, the ones who rejected Hezekiah’s Passover Invitation I think mingled with gentiles to become the Samaritans.  But some did accept the invitation.  1 Chronicles 9:3 says Jerusalem’s population includes people form the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh.  Joel 3 says the Philistines and Tyrians sold as slaves to the Ionian Greeks people of Judah and Jerusalem.  Some Ionians and Greeks colonized southern Italy possibly before Rome was founded.

The Roman Republic was founded around 508-504 BC, but since 244 years is too long a time for only 7 kings, the traditional date for the founding of the city must have been exaggerated.  Meaning Rome could have been founded after the Northern Kingdom fell.  Joel is traditionally a contemporary of Jeroboam II.

The name Rome could have a semitic origin in Strongs Numbers 7312-7319.  Remus the brother of Romulus could come from Reem the Hebrew word translated Unicorn in Moses blessing on Joseph in Deuteronomy 33.

So adjusting something I argued before about Native American and the Lost Tribes.   I think the Many Nations form Ephraim are the Latin Nations, the Iberian Penensula, Italy and Corsica, Mesoamerica and the Philippines.  While Manasseh is the United States.

Friday, December 28, 2018

I think I might be prepared to support Bob Cornuke's location for The Temple.

And perhaps also his corresponding site for Golgotha, even though I had been hostile to it at first.  But aspects of how he makes the argument are still wrong.

First because Zion the City of David was not Jerusalem at all but Bethlehem.  But what that means is verses saying the Ark was taken out of the City of David when placed in the Temple are no longer against Cornuke's site.  I do believe what we today call the Old City was Jebus, and perhaps remained the entity of Jerusalem until the return from Captivity.  Perhaps Nob and Gibeon were what we now call The Temple Mount?

Another argument against Cornuke's site is saying a threshing floor wouldn't be near a Spring because of contamination risks.  But I have also argued that The Temple wasn't on the threshing floor, the threshing floor must be east of Jerusalem since Yahuah stopped there approaching Jerusalem.  Maybe 1 Chronicles 3:1 is just saying aspects of the Construction began there, perhaps materials were built and ritually purified there before being moved into the city.  Genesis 22 tells me that Moriah is the site of the Crucifixion not The Temple.

Stephen in Acts 7:44-50 says Solomon didn't follow David's intent for The Temple.  I think the Eschatological Tabernacle will be Zion.

As far as if what we today call the Gihon Spring is the Biblical Gihon, well what the name Gihon refers to is the most confusing subject of all, since it's a River in Genesis 2.

I still think it's possible the first and second Temples weren't on the same spot. If Cornuke's site is only one of them it's probably Solomon's.  The thing is so much debate about The Temple focuses on what Mountain or Hill it was built on when I suspect Solomon's Temple wasn't on a mountain at all, I think when he was at the High Place at Gideon Yahuah made him realize the Tabernacle shouldn't be on a High Place.

I spent over a year being very interested in the theory that The Temple was were Justinian built the Nea Eklessia of the Theotokos, were now stands the Armenian Church of the Archangels and the Garden of the Resurrection.  And I still think Justinian might have believed he was rebuilding The Temple.  But there are some issues with this argument.

They use quotes from Medieval Rabbis saying the Gentiles never built on the site of The Temple, maybe the Nea had been forgotten by the Jews by that time, but it's also possible the "Market of the Jews" actually refereed to the Old City not what we now know as the Jewish Quarter.

And the thing about the orientation of that first century synagogue is, I don't think the idea of needing to Pray in the direction of The Temple existed yet in the first century, neither Testament of The Bible alludes to such an idea. I think it's a post 70 AD Rabbinic custom that influenced the development of Islam.

I think maybe the next archeological mystery Cornuke should tackle is The Nativity, I don't think Jesus was born at the traditional site of the Nativity which was an Adonis Cave. I've talked about how the Church of St David by King David's Wells claims to be where David was buried, well right by it is a Church of St Joseph.  I believe Jesus was born in a House Joseph owned.  And Conruke could also look for the Migdol Eder while he's at it.

I don't agree with the traditional site of Kiriath-Jearim either, since it's too far north.  As a city that like Jebus marked the border between Benjamin and Judah I think it was probably on close to the same latitude as the Old City.  But since it's ultimately on Judah's side unlike Jebus which was on Benjamin's side, that makes it if anything a little south of the Old City.

If it was west of Jebus, then I think it may have been on what we today know as the Western hill, primarily south of the modern Zion Gate of Suiliman's Wall.  But if it was East of Jebus, then perhaps the Ark once rested where Jesus was buried,.  A possibility I consider symbolically interesting since one of the few times that Hebrew word for Ark is used in reference to something other then The Ark is also the first time it's used, in the last verse of Genesis where the KJV translates it "Coffin" referring to the burial of Joseph who was a type of Christ.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

There is also a Bethulah Pregnancy in The Hebrew Bible.

The Prophets of Ancient Israel refereed often to The Daughter of Zion.

In 2 Kings 19:22, Isaiah 37:22 and Lamentations 2:13 she is explicitly refereed to as a Bethulah, translated Virgin in the KJV.

But in Jeremiah 4:21 and Micah 4:10 she travails in childbirth.

Jeremiah specifically says both things.

So I've shown in the past that Almah implies Virginity, and I've shown that other objections to viewing Isaiah 7-8 as Messianic don't hold up.  And now I've shown that there is an implied Bethulah Birth in Bible Prophecy as well.

So make no mistake, The Virgin Birth is rooted in The Hebrew Bible.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Mother of Harlots

The pastor I do not like to name did a sermon on the Whore of Babylon once.  This sermon focused specifically on her being called the "Mother of Harlots".  He views the Whore as being the Roman Catholic Church (even though he's Futurist not Hisotricist), and the other Harlots as being other denominations of Christianity who broke off from Rome.  He is one of those Independent Baptists who insists the Baptists have some secret independent Apostolic Succession and so does not descend from Rome.

The first daughter harlot in his little timeline was the Eastern Orthodox Church who he says broke off in 1054 AD.  It fascinates me how much Protestant and Evangelical Christianity still has such a Western bias of Church History that in-spite of how much they hate the Catholic Church they'll still view what happened at the Great Schism from the Vatican's POV.  The Ancient Imperial Church was built on viewing 4 important Bishoprics as basically equal, one of them left the others and yet westerners insist on viewing the east, where Christianity started and where they spoke the same language the New Testament was written in, as the ones who left the existing Church to start a new one.  Ryan Reeves on YouTube does the same kinds of things but understands more of the nuances then this nut.  Reeves points out how the Bishops of Rome were technically subjects of the Eastern Emperors right up until the Schisim happened, you couldn't become Bishop of Rome without the Emperor's approval.

He also says the Roman Catholic Church was founded by Constantine, because it suits him to give single individuals the credit for all denominations he rejects.  It was Constantine who moved the Empire's Capital to Constantinople which he founded, so if any Bishopric was founded by him it's that one.  Though the Bishops of Constantinople claim succession from Andrew who was traditionally Martyred in Greece, and they have an alleged Pre-Nicene line.  Is it possible Constantine just moved a Bishop there from somewhere else?

Most bad Catholic/Orthodox doctrines were already forming well before Constantine.  Including the stuff about Church hierarchy and organization which they love to selectively quote Ignatius and Cyprian in support of.

Thing is, in-spite of all that, for the first over a century it looks to me like the most powerful Bishop in Nicene Christianity was actually the Bishop of Alexandria, often associated with the School of Alexandria.  Who BTW were being called Popes already even before Constantine, while Rome didn't use Pope till awhile after.  In the past I'd mistakenly refereed to Clement and Origen as Bishops of Alexandria, they were not, they were heads of the School (The Greek word for Bishop means overseer, so you could call the person overseeing the School a Bishop, but that's not what people mainly mean by the Bishop of Alexandria).

At the Council of Nicaea both sides were actually lead by Alexandrians, Arius founder of the Arian Heresy was an Alexandrian.  But it was the position of the actual Bishop of Alexandria that prevailed, who was named Alexander at the time, Alexander of Alexandria, I'm sure that was never confusing.

Also present at the Council was Alexander's student and soon to be successor Athanasius of Alexandria, who was the chief defender of the Nicene understanding of the Trinity for much of the Fourth Century.  The only threats to his power were when Emperors were sympathetic to Arianism, during which time an Arian Bishop of Alexandria was appointed in his place.

The next Nicene Bishop of Alexandria was Peter II (a Peter I is known in Egypt as the last of the martyrs), who is the Pope of Alexandria named in The Edict of Thessalonica which made Christianity the state Religion of the Empire.  The Pontiff of Rome is named first, yet the language implies Peter is the real head of the new state religion.

After him came Timothy I who oversaw the Council of Constantinople, the Second Ecumenical Council.  It was also during his Bishopric that in 391 Paganism was fully outlawed and the Serapium was destroyed.  I also support the theory that during this time the Tomb of Alexander The Great was turned into the Tomb of St Mark.

Timothy was succeeded by his nephew Cyril of Alexandria.  Cyril basically turned his monastic order into a Gang and used them like Storm Troopers in a power struggle with Orestes the Prefect and became the de facto Pharaoh of Egypt. He had Hypatia Murdered during that struggle.  Later he waged war against Nestorius orchestrating the sham that was the Council of Ephesus.  He also really hated The Jews.

He was succeeded by Dioscorus who orchestrated the even more obviously a shame Second Council of Ephesus.  However the downfall of the Alexandrian Bishopric's power within the Empire came at the Council of Chalcedon where Dioscorus was deposed and the Miaphysite Schism happened.  From then on the majority of the Coptic Church was Miaphsyte and so Alexandria usually had two Bishops neither of which was able to wield that much power.  But thanks to their influence the Churches of Nubia and Ethiopia are at least nominally Miaphysite.

Miaphysite Christianity would wield political Power in the Empire one last time during the reign of Justinian through his wife Theodora.  But even during this time John of Ephesus and Jacob Baradaeus were more influential then the Bishops in Egypt.

It's interesting that the Book of Acts gives us shockingly little information on the Early Church's History in Egypt and Alexandria.  Acts 2 says Diaspora Jews of Egypt were at Pentacost, but most places alluded to here still have additional Apostolic Missions to them later.  Only Egypt lacks any later references to Christians there, any Turkish regions not mentioned later in Acts are covered by the first verse of Peter's Epistle, and Peter himself was in Babylon/Mesopotamia.  Simon of Cyene took care of Cyrene and the rest were eventually visited by Paul.

Most references to Egypt in the New Testament are referencing back to the Old Testament, and Acts later has one offhand reference to an Egyptian false prophet also described in Josephus.  Apollos is called an Alexandrian, but there is no clear evidence he ever visited Alexandria after his conversion, and we can't even be certain he was from the Alexandria of Egypt, Asia Minor had two Alexandrias, one was pretty close to Ephesus.

Traditionally Mark the Evangelist founded the Alexandrian Church.  But there are contradictory claims about when he arrived, and the Eastern Traditions distinguish him from John Mark and Mark the Cousin of Barnabas. Interestingly there was an early proto-gnostic heretic named Marcus.

Platonism and Gnsoticism flourished in Egypt, Clement of Alexandria and Origen opposed the Gnostics yet showed Platonic influences themselves.  Clement even seems to have used material from the above mentioned Heretic Marcus in Stormata.

All this was just an excuse to show how the history of Organized Christianity is more complicated then many Protestants want to make it sound. I ultimately believe there is only one Symbolic Woman in Revelation and she's Israel, Christianity itself is an offshoot of an older religion, Judaism.  But Israel was born by coming out of Egypt, Ezekiel 23 emphasis Mizraim as where Israel's Harlotry began.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Different spellings of Jerusalem.

I no longer believe The Beloved Disciple who wrote the Fourth Gospel is John Son of Zebedee.  But I've also considered that it was also a different John who wrote Revelation.  And so I've ironically opened myself to the possibility that all five traditional John books do have the same author, just not who we've traditionally thought.  However this post isn't even mainly about that but something I noticed as looking into all that.

One of the arguments against Revelation and the Fourth Gospel having the same author is their using different spellings for Jerusalem.  Indeed Jerusalem has two different entries in the Greek Strongs Concordance that aren't even right next two each other.  The Fourth Gospel uses 2414 while Revelation uses 2419.   Thing is, it's only the books attributed to John that strongly go either/or on how to spell Jerusalem in Greek, the Synoptics, Acts, and Galatians use both of them.  So if anything the way the John books are selective about using these spellings could be evidence of their continuity.

The core difference between the two spellings I feel is the Revelation spelling much better fits the presumed connection to Salem, while the Fourth Gospel spelling looks more like it wants us to think the city was named after Solomon.  Hence forth I shall refer to the Revelation spelling as Ierousalem and the Fourth Gospel spelling as Ierosolum.

Revelation only uses the name Ierousalem when referring to New Jerusalem, Old or Terrestrial Jerusalem is never refereed to by name, even if it's a positive reference like the Beloved City in Revelation 20.  The Fourth Gospel however is solely about Terrestrial Jerusalem where Jesus preached and was Crucified.  Now other Biblical Authors definitively do use Ierousalem of the terrestrial city, so this distinction could ultimately be one only this Author wanted to make and even then only if they had the same author.

Mark uses Ierousalem only in 11:1.  Mark and Matthew don't mention Jerusalem by name in their Olivte Discourse but Luke does and uses Ierousalem.  Matthew uses Ierousalem only in Matthew 23:37, a poetically eschatological passage that comes soon before the Olvite Discourse, Luke 19:11 also uses Ierousalem.  Hebrews 12:22 uses Ierousalem as does Galatians 4:25-26.

Luke 23:28 is the only time any Gospel uses Ierousalem during a Passion narrative.  That verse in Luke refers to "Daughters of Ierousalem" so it is being poetic.  The only time Ierosolum is used in the Passion narrative in Luke 23:7 saying that Herod Antipas was there for the Passover.

If Matthew was mainly copying Mark in their parallel passages as mainstream scholars claim, and both were originally in Greek, then it's odd that Matthew 21:1 uses a different spelling then Mark 11:1 even though Matthew knows that spelling elsewhere.

What if the two spelling are in some way distinct in what they geographically refer to?  Two different places both probably within the limits of modern Jerusalem, or one being s broader district within which the other is a more specific area.  Could it be one refers to the "Old City" and the other Nehemiah/Herod's Jerusalem?  In such cases both would still equally be where the above Matthew/Mark parallel implies, west of Bethany, Bethphage and the Mt of Olives.

Ierosolum definitely includes wherever The Temple was since it's always used of the Cleansing of The Temple, and Jesus presentation at the Temple in Luke 2:22.  Though three verses later Simeon is identified as a man in or of Ierousalem.  Later Anna spoke of Him to "all them that looked for redemption in Ierousalem".

In the other Nativity narrative, Matthew 2:1-3 uses Ierosolum of the city the Magi arrived in when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

Actually Luke may be the only writer seemingly using them interchangeably, which could be a product of him being the only one who's native language wasn't Semitic. Paul uses Ierosolum in Galatians 1 and 2 about his time in contemporary Jerusalem even though Luke uses Ierousalem in Acts 15:2-4, yet Paul uses Ierousalem in Galatians 4 when speaking more poetically/eschatologically.  Paul uses Ierousalem of contemporary Jerusalem only when he seems to be identifying the Church there, not when it's simply a location where events happened.

So with all those nuances in mind.  This spellings of Jerusalem issues maybe doesn't tell us one way or the other if Revelation and The Fourth Gospel could have the same author.

Does the Septuagint also use these two different spellings? I don't trust the Septuagint but I'm still curious.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Shepherds In Winter

The only real Biblical argument against a winter birth for Jesus is a claim that Shepherds would not have had their flocks outdoors in winter.  These people are forgetting that Israel does not have the climate of Northern Europe or America.
Genesis 31:38-40: "This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.  That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.  That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes. "
Jacob was at this time much further north then Bethlehem, yet he was engaged in Shepherding during the winter.  So using the no shepherds in winter argument calls Scripture a liar. 

James Kelso, an archaeologist who spent a number of years living in Palestine and who has done extensive research there says this:
The best season for the shepherds of Bethlehem is the winter when heavy rains bring up a luscious crop of new grass. After the rains the once-barren, brown desert earth is suddenly a field of brilliant green. One year when excavating at New Testament Jericho, I lived in Jerusalem and drove through this area twice every day. At one single point along the road, I could see at times as many as five shepherds with their flocks on one hillside. One shepherd stayed with his flock at the same point for three weeks, so lush was the grass. But as soon as the rains stopped in the spring, the land quickly took on its normal desert look once again.
Since there seem to have been a number of shepherds who came to see the Christ child, December or January would be the most likely months (James Kelso, An Archaeologist Looks At The Gospels, p. 23-24).
 Also there is Canon H.B Tristram
“A little knoll of olive trees surrounding a group of ruins marks the traditional site of the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, Migdol Eder, ‘the tower of the flock’. But the place where the first ‘Gloria in excelsis’ was sung was probably further east, where the bare hills of the wilderness begin, and a large tract is claimed by the Bethlehemites as a common pasturage. Here the sheep would be too far off to be led into the town at night; and exposed to the attacks of wild beasts from the eastern ravines, where the wolf and the jackal still prowl, and where of old the yet more formidable lion and bear had their covert, they needed the shepherds’ watchful care during the winter and spring months, when alone pasturage is to be found on these bleak uplands“. Picturesque Palestine Vol 1 page 124
 Also note this excerpt from Messianic Jewish Scholar Alfred Edersheim:
“That the Messiah was born in Bethlehem was a settled conviction. Equally so, was the belief that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder , the tower of the flock.
This Migdal Eder, was not the watch tower for ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheep ground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to town, on the road to Jerusalem. A passage in the Mishnah leads to the conclusion that the flocks which pastured there were destined for Temple Sacrifices, and accordingly that the Shepherds who watched over them were, no ordinary Shepherds. The latter were under the ban of Rabbinism on the account of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances, and their manner of life, which rendered strict legal observances unlikely, if not absolutely impossible.
The same Mishnic also leads us to infer, that these flocks lay out all year round , since they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before Passover- that is, in the month of February, when in Palestine the average rainfall is nearly greatest. Thus Jewish traditions in some dim manner apprehended the first revelation of the Messiah from Migdal Eder, where Shepherds watched the Temple flocks all year round. Of the deep symbolic significance of such a coincidence, it is needless to speak -The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah By Alfred Edersheim
I've also seen it claimed by some that Israel is "impassable" during winter, and Mary and Joseph couldn't have traveled south at this time.  But John 10:21-22 tells us Jesus traveled to Jerusalem to keep the feast of the Dedication/Hannukah.  Indeed I take from this passage that Hanukkah while not one of the required pilgrimage days became an unofficial additional one, since it was intimately about Jerusalem and The Temple.

But also as shown in my Magi and the Census post, I think it's a wrong assumption that they traveled to Bethlehem just before Mary gave birth, I think they had been there for months already.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Four of the Seven Churches of Revelation don't seem to be mentioned elsewhere in The Bible.

Which is surprising considering how much of Acts is dedicated to Paul's time in this same region, and his Epistles sometimes further mentioning other cities near or related to the city of the Church being addressed.

The three that are mentioned are Ephesus which comes up a lot actually, perhaps more then any other location outside the Promised Land.  Thyatira which is the home town of Lydia who Paul met at Philippi in Acts 16, and Paul visits unnamed cities in the same general area.  And then Laodicea is mentioned in Colossians 2:1 and 4:13-16, and it's probably among the cities of Phrygia alluded to in Acts.

But Smyrna, Pergamos/Pergamon, Sardis and Philadelphia are not mentioned, by those names at least, anywhere but in Revelation.

Pergamos has a tendency to be the most mysterious to me, even if purely symbolic/spiritual a city being said to be where Satan's Throne is located is a pretty big deal.  And by secular standards Sardis and Pergamon were two of the most important cities of the region, so their being missing in Acts is much more of an enigma then Smyrna or Philadephia, or for that matter Thyatira and Laodicea being mentioned pretty rarely.

I argued in the past that the Martyrdom of Anitpas makes the Serapeum most likely to be the Pagan Temple Jesus had in mind, not the more popular Altar depicting the Gigantarchy.

But what's interesting is that as I was doing more research into this I discovered that The Illiad mentions a Citadel in Iliom called Pergamos.  In fact that Citadel is said to have a Seat for Apollon.
Homer, Iliad 7.17 ff :
"Now as the goddess grey-eyed Athene [on Olympos] was aware of these two [the Trojan princes Hektor (Hector) and Paris] destroying the men of Argos in the strong encounter, she went down in a flash of speed from the peaks of Olympos to sacred Ilion, where Apollon stirred forth to meet her from his seat on Pergamos, where he planned that the Trojans should conquer. These two then encountered each other beside the oak tree, and speaking first the son of Zeus, lord Apollon, addressed her : ‘What can be your desire this time, o daughter of great Zeus, that you came down from Olympos at the urge of your mighty spirit? To give the Danaans victory in battle, turning it back? .
Since I know from my past Revised Chronology interests that many question the traditional site of Troy, I decided to see if any have argued that Troy and/or Iliom was actually Pergamon.  And in so doing found this website.
http://thetroydeception.com/

I don't think I can agree with the claim that this mistake was a deliberate conspiracy, it's probably the same as many other mistaken identifications I've dealt with regarding locations in Israel, it just happened because of details being lost to time and people reading these texts who don't live there making assumptions.  The Dardanians role in the story could be part of the issue  I should maybe mention here my support for the theory that Homer was contemporary with Gyges of Lydia.

How does this relate to the issue of Pergamon being missing from Acts?  Because Acts does mention Troas in chapter 16, arriving there in verses 7&8 and leaving in verses 10&11.  Troas is placed in Mysia there which is also mentioned on the above site and on Pergamon's Wikipedia page as being where Pergamon was.  It's important to the timeline of Acts as the narrative voice changing from third person to first person here leads many to assume this is where Luke joined Paul's party.  Pergamon as a cult center of Aesculapius was a place many Physicians would have visited regularly.

Now at first glance the website I linked to above might be skeptical of the Acts 16:11 Troas being the real Troy since it's against thinking Troy was right by Samothrace.  But Luke doesn't actually say they were that close, in fact they possibly stopped at a Neapolis first, which could well be the Neapolis of Lesbos which as the above link says was just west of Mysia.  Or even if this Neapolis is a place reached after Samothrace, Luke says they set a course to Samothrace, there is no indicator of how far away it was.  Maybe people misunderstanding Act 16 is the real origin of the error that Troy was near Samothrace?

In the past I've supported a theory that the man of Macedon Paul saw in his vision in verse 9 was Alexander The Great.  Alexander was interestingly not said to have ever visited or done anything at Pergamon, but a very big deal is made of his visit to Troy.

Troas is visited again in Acts 20:5-12, and is nearer to Lesbos (Mytilene) then Samothrace, in fact they would not have sailed to Assos if they were leaving from the Hisarlik, that trip would have been much shorter by land.

If the Seat of Satan Jesus refereed to was chiefly the Serapeum, the mythological memory of Apollo's seat could still have also been in mind.  Hellenic comparative mythology I'm pretty sure often identified Serapis with Apollo.  Aesculapius was a son of Apollo who also had a Temple near by.

The Seven Church Ages theory of the Seven Churches promoted by many Protestant Historicists and some Futurists tends to see the message to Pergamos as partly a Prophecy of when The Church married Rome, the era of the Ecumenical Councils.  Well Rome in John's time saw themselves as the successor of Troy via Aeneas, the Aeneid written to celebrate that identification also used Pergamos as synonymous with Troy.  In fact the Illiad itself mentions Aeneas in connection to Apollo's temple at Pergamos.
Homer, Iliad 5. 445 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"Apollon caught [the wounded] Aineias (Aeneas) now and away from the onslaught [of the battle], and set him in the sacred keep of Pergamos (Pergamus) where was built his own temple. There Artemis of the showering arrows and Leto within the great and secret chamber healed his wound and cared for him."
Wow, that's really interesting given what happens later in Revelation, with a Head of the Beast having a mortal wound that is healed.  Aeneas was a son of Aphrodite/Venus as I mentioned in the post I made yesterday. Still I have my skepticism of the seven ages theory.  Also the context of this wounding in the Iliad is not with a sword or to the head but a boulder to the thigh.

I've learned while researching this that Pergamon's Serepeum wasn't built till the reign of Hadrian, so the tradition about that being where Antipas was killed must be false since Revelation was written well before then

Pergamon became a center of the Imperial Cult under Augustus in the late 1st century BC.  Augustus deification of himself involved associating himself with Apollo, while also claiming descent from Aeneas.  So like Smynra the Imperial cult is probably the real backstory behind Martyrdom being mentioned here.  I wonder if those books about Pergamon being Troy have a specific theory about where Apollo's sanctuary was?  If the text of the Iliad can be interpreted as implying it's the highest peak, that would be where Trajan built his Temple, further tying it to the Imperial Cult. Did Trajan simply build over where Augustus and other prior Emperors had been worshiped?  And did Augustus in turn choose the site of an ancient Temple to Apollo? But then Trajan preferred to associate his deification with Zeus rather then Apollo.

Later in Revelation 13 Satan gives his Seat to The Beast, and The Beast is often viewed as being in some way Rome or a Roman Emperor.

Pergamon was a known cult center of Aesculapius going back to the fourth century BC according to Pausanias.  But the surviving remains near the Serapeum are mainly a 2nd century AD construction.

I'm not today going to propose any theories about Smyrna or Sardis, but I do have some interesting thoughts on Philadelphia.

Philadelphia was the name of several cities in antiquity and could easily have been a nick name to many more.  The Philadelphia traditionally identified with the Philadelphia of Revelation is the city today called Alasehir.  But Alasehir was still a predominantly Pagan city well into the sixth century AD, with it's major Church not being built till 600 AD.  That's not what I expect from the Christian legacy of one of the two most praised Churches in Revelation.

Ammia in Philadelphia is the designation of a Prophetess mentioned by Eusebius Ecclesiastical History Book 5 Chapter 17 quoting a Miltiades criticizing the Montanists.  Montanus and his women claimed to have inherited their Prophetic gifts from Quadartus and Ammia in Philadelphia.  Quadartus is also mentioned in Book 3 Chapter 37, it's possible he too was a in or from Philadelphia.  Eusebius and Miltiades considered these Prophets valid, it's Montanus claim of succession from them they're rejecting.

What's interesting is that when Montanus and his women claimed to have inherited their Prophetic gifts from Ammia and Quadartus, it was supposedly a line of succession they got from the Daughters of Philip from Acts 21:9.  And Montanus and his women were from Phrygia.  The locations of Pepuza and Tymion where Montnaus claimed New Jerusalem would descend and thus made his head quarters are also a mystery, we just know they were in Phrygia.

I believe that Philip one of the Twelve Disciples and Philip the Deacon aka Philip the Evangelist are in fact the same person, no passage mentions both by name together.  I get why people assume Acts 6 allows no overlap between the Twelve and the Seven.  But remember in John chapter 12 the Philip who is of the Twelve serves as the contact between Greek Speaking Jews interested in Jesus message and the Twelve.  So Acts 6 could just be him still playing that role.  And Stephen is mentioned first even over one of the Twelve because he became the first Martyr, while when Acts was written Philip's Martyrdom probably hadn't even happened yet.

Polycrates of Ephesus records some traditions I think are wrong like identifying a John with The Beloved Disciple when I view them as different and don't think either was ever in Ephesus.  But he doesn't call that John one of the Twelve.  The only one of the Twelve Polycrates mentions is Philip, he says this Philip was one of the Twelve and had at least three daughters, Philip and two of his daughters fell asleep and were buried in Hierapolis in Phrygia.  Eusebius in Book III chapter 31 also cited another source for Philip and his Four Daughters who were Prophetesses coming to Hierapolis in Phrygia.

Philadelphia isn't mentioned at all in Polycrates discussion of Asian Churches observing Passover on the 14th.  It's not the only city from Revelation 2&3 missing, but Hierapolis is the only city mentioned that doesn't appear to be one of the Seven.  Thyatira and Pergamon he might have left out since they were specifically associated with bad doctrines, but if Philadelphia's Church kept Passover on the 14 that is something he's want to mention, and perhaps try to explain away if they didn't.

Hierapolis means Holy City, as in a sacred city with an important Temple(s), because it had a lot of pagan temples.  The message to Philadelphia is the one that speaks of the City of God which is New Jerusalem and the Temple of God.  New Jerusalem is called the Holy City in Revelation 21:2 though it's a different word for Holy.  However the word for Holy that is the first part of Hierapolis happens to look like the beginning of how Jerusalem is spelt in Greek.  In Revelation 3:12 Jesus promises to make the Overcomer a Pillar in the Temple of God, Paul refers to the Apostles in Jerusalem as Pillars in Galatians 2:9.  Revelation 21:14 says the Twelve Apostles are the Foundations of New Jerusalem, and in Ephesians 2:20 Paul says the Apostles are the Foundations of The Temple of God.  Based on Polycrates I think Philip was the only one of the Twelve who fell asleep in Asia. Philip is a name derived from the same Greek word for Love as the first syllable of Philadelphia. 

One of the most famous sites in Hierapolis is the Ploutonion, a ceremonial gateway to Hades, the Underworld.  Jesus introduced himself in the message to Philadelphia as one who is Holy and as He who openeth and shutteth and has the Key of David.  In the other messages the titles used here are references back to titles from chapter 1, but David isn't mentioned in chapter 1 and the only Key mentioned in Chapter 1 is the Keys of Hades and Death.  Sheol comes up in some Davidic Psalms, including one Peter quoted in Acts 2.  The Key of David and the talk of opening and shutting also comes from Isaiah 22:22, and the context there can maybe also be inferred to relate to the Resurrection.

People see in the message to Phialdephia possible allusions to the city having a history of Earthquakes, well it was the same for Hierapolis, being damaged by Earthquakes in 17 AD and 60 AD.  As Colossians 4:13 indicates, Hierapolis was close to Laodicea, so that could be why they're next to each other in Revelation chapter 3.  Hierapolis was between Laodicea and Alasehir but much closer to Laodicea, and some think Hierapolis hot springs provide context to understanding the lukewarm water of Laodicea, Jesus is definitely contrasting Laodicea and Philadelphia spiritually.

Antiochus III aka Antiochus The Great settled 2,000 Jews in Phrygia in the early second century BC, by 62 BC the Jewish population in Hierapolis was 50,000.  Jews from Phrygia were at Pentecost according to Acts 2:10, Paul was there in Acts 16:6 before heading to Mysia/Troas and then returned there in Acts 18:23.  Based on John 8, those who say they are Jews but are not but are of the synagogue of Satan, probably refer to non believing Jews.  It's unfortunate that today people use that to justify antisemitism, these false Jews were being criticized for persecuting those with different beliefs, modern Jews living in America and Europe are in no position to be the persecutors, at least not to Christians.  Today it is if anything Christians committing the sins of the Pharisees in John 8 and the Synagogue of Satan.

Philadelphia is presented in Revelation as a city where Christians aren't facing the immediate threat of death for their faith the way they were in Smynra due to the Imperial Roma cult.  But while Christians were the minority everywhere this city is one where it seems to have been particularly not easy to be a Christian culturally.  How many Pagan Temples Hierapolis had probably is the reason for that.

If Montanus knew full well that the Philadelphia of Revelation was in Phrygia, that could make sense of his ability to develop a belief that Phrygia was where New Jerusalem would descend by ignoring how New Jerusalem's references in that message aren't about Geography. In fairness to Montanus however, Revelation 21 makes New Jerusalem large enough that if you place it's exact center at Jerusalem and/or Bethlehem and/or Bethel, it would include all of Phyrgia.

Papias is also said to have spent time in Hierapolis. And it should also be noted that Apolinarius a chief early critic of the Montanists was a Bishop of Hierapolis, so they had opposition in Phrygia as well.  Indeed there was a Bishopric in Hierapolis that existed all through Pre-Nicene and Post-Nicene Early Church History, while the one for Alasehir doesn't appear till the time of Nicea.

And in the Fourth Century Hierapolis became a majority Christian city very quickly, unlike Alasehir.