Ancient City of Greece
Paul's third journey
Thyateira (also Thyatira) (Ancient Greek: Θυάτειρα) was the name of an ancient Greek city in Asia Minor, now the modern Turkish city of Akhisar ("white castle"). The name is probably Lydian. It lies in the far west of Turkey, south of Istanbul and almost due east of Athens. It is about 50 miles (80 km) from the Aegean Sea.
It was an ancient Greek city called Pelopia (Ancient Greek: Πελόπεια) and Semiramis (Ancient Greek: Σεμίραμις), before it was renamed to Thyateira (Θυάτειρα), during the Hellenistic era in 290 BC, by the King Seleucus I Nicator. He was at war with Lysimachus when he learned that his wife had given birth to a daughter. According to Stephanus of Byzantium, he called this city "Thuateira" from Greek θυγατήρ, θυγατέρα (thugatēr, thugatera), meaning "daughter", although it is likely that it is an older, Lydian name. In classical times, Thyatira stood on the border between Lydia and Mysia. During the Roman era, (1st century AD), it was famous for its dyeing facilities and was a center of the purple cloth trade. Among the ancient ruins of the city, inscriptions have been found relating to the guild of dyers in the city. Indeed, more guilds are known in Thyatira than any other contemporary city in the Roman province of Asia (inscriptions mention the following: wool-workers, linen-workers, makers of outer garments, dyers, leather-workers, tanners, potters, bakers, slave-dealers, and bronze-smiths).
In early Christian times, Thyateira was home to a significant Christian church, mentioned as one of the seven Churches of the Book of Revelation in the Book of Revelation. According to Revelation, a woman named Jezebel (who called herself a prophetess) taught and seduced the Christians of Thyateira to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. However, some commentators such as Benson and Doddridge have concluded that what is being here practised in Thyatira is the same apostasy promoted in Israel by Jezebel as mentioned in the Books of Kings and that use of her name here is a direct reference to such. Indeed as Doddridge notes, "the resemblance appears so great" that, in his view, it is the "same heresy which is represented"
The Apostle Paul and Silas might have visited Thyateira during Paul's second or third journey, although the evidence is entirely circumstantial. They visited several small unnamed towns in the general vicinity during the second journey. While in Philippi, Paul and Silas stayed with a woman named Lydia from Thyateira, who continued to help them even after they were jailed and released.
In 1922, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople appointed an exarch for Western and Central Europe with the title Archbishop of Thyateira. The current Archbishop of Thyateira (since 2019) is Nikitas Lulias. The Archbishop of Thyateira resides in London and has pastoral responsibility for the Greek Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta.