Revelation 3:1
New International Version
"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

New Living Translation
"Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: "I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive--but you are dead.

English Standard Version
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Berean Study Bible
To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of the One who holds the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation for being alive, yet you are dead.

Berean Literal Bible
And to the messenger of the church in Sardis write: These things says the One having the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds, that you have the characterization that you are alive, and yet you are dead.

New American Standard Bible
"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

King James Bible
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Christian Standard Bible
"Write to the angel of the church in Sardis: Thus says the one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works; you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead.

Contemporary English Version
This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Sardis: I have the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. Listen to what I say. I know what you are doing. Everyone may think you are alive, but you are dead.

Good News Translation
"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: "This is the message from the one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know what you are doing; I know that you have the reputation of being alive, even though you are dead!

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Write to the angel of the church in Sardis: "The One who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says: I know your works; you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead.

International Standard Version
"To the messenger of the church in Sardis, write: 'The one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars says this: 'I know what you've been doing. You are known for being alive, but you are dead.

NET Bible
"To the angel of the church in Sardis write the following: "This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: 'I know your deeds, that you have a reputation that you are alive, but in reality you are dead.

New Heart English Bible
"And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: "He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars says these things: "I know your works, that you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“And to The Messenger who is in the assembly of Sardis write: Thus says he who has The Seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works and the name that you have, and that you are alive and are dying.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"To the messenger of the church in Sardis, write: The one who has God's seven spirits and the seven stars says: I know what you have done. You are known for being alive, but you are dead.

New American Standard 1977
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And unto the angel of the congregation {Gr. ekklesia – called out ones} in Sardis write; These things, saith he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest and art dead.

King James 2000 Bible
And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things says he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead.

American King James Version
And to the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things said he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead.

American Standard Version
And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And to the angel of the church of Sardis, write: These things saith he, that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast the name of being alive: and thou art dead.

Darby Bible Translation
And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write: These things saith he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

English Revised Version
And to the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead.

Webster's Bible Translation
And to the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art dead.

Weymouth New Testament
"To the minister of the Church at Sardis write as follows: "'This is what He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars says. I know your doings--you are supposed to be alive, but in reality you are dead.

World English Bible
"And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write: "He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars says these things: "I know your works, that you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Young's Literal Translation
And to the messenger of the assembly in Sardis write: These things saith he who is having the Seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I have known thy works, and that thou hast the name that thou dost live, and thou art dead;
Study Bible
To the Church in Sardis
1To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of the One who holds the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation for being alive, yet you are dead. 2Wake up and strengthen what remains, which was about to die; for I have found your deeds incomplete in the sight of My God.…
Cross References
1 Timothy 5:6
But she who lives for pleasure is dead even while she is still alive.

Revelation 1:4
John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from Him who is and was and is to come, and from the sevenfold Spirit before His throne,

Revelation 1:11
saying, "Write in a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea."

Revelation 1:16
He held in His right hand seven stars, and a sharp double-edged sword came from His mouth. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest.

Revelation 1:20
This is the mystery of the seven stars you saw in My right hand and of the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Revelation 2:2
I know your deeds, your labor, and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate those who are evil, and you have tested and exposed as liars those who falsely claim to be apostles.

Revelation 3:2
Wake up and strengthen what remains, which was about to die; for I have found your deeds incomplete in the sight of My God.

Revelation 3:8
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door, which no one can shut. For you have only a little strength, yet you have kept My word and have not denied My name.

Revelation 3:15
I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other!

Treasury of Scripture

And to the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things said he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead.

unto.

Revelation 1:11,20
Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea…

he that.

Revelation 1:4
John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

Revelation 4:5
And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Revelation 5:6
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

and the.

Revelation 1:16,20
And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength…

Revelation 2:1
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

I know.

Revelation 2:2,9,13,19
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: …

and art.

Luke 15:24,32
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry…

Ephesians 2:1,5
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; …

Colossians 2:13
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;







Lexicon
To the
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

angel
ἀγγέλῳ (angelō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 32: From aggello; a messenger; especially an 'angel'; by implication, a pastor.

of the
τῆς (tēs)
Article - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

church
ἐκκλησίας (ekklēsias)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1577: From a compound of ek and a derivative of kaleo; a calling out, i.e. a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation.

in
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

Sardis
Σάρδεσιν (Sardesin)
Noun - Dative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 4554: Sardis, an ancient city of Lydia in the province of Asia. Plural of uncertain derivation; Sardis, a place in Asia Minor.

write:
γράψον (grapson)
Verb - Aorist Imperative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1125: A primary verb; to 'grave', especially to write; figuratively, to describe.

These [are]
Τάδε (Tade)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3592: This here, this, that, he, she, it.

the words
λέγει (legei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

of the [One who]
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

holds
ἔχων (echōn)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2192: To have, hold, possess. Including an alternate form scheo skheh'-o; a primary verb; to hold.

the
τὰ (ta)
Article - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

sevenfold
ἑπτὰ (hepta)
Adjective - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 2033: Seven. A primary number; seven.

Spirit
Πνεύματα (Pneumata)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

of God
Θεοῦ (Theou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

the
τοὺς (tous)
Article - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

seven
ἑπτὰ (hepta)
Adjective - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 2033: Seven. A primary number; seven.

stars.
ἀστέρας (asteras)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 792: A star. Probably from the base of stronnumi; a star, literally or figuratively.

I know
Οἶδά (Oida)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1492: To know, remember, appreciate.

your
σου (sou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

deeds;
ἔργα (erga)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 2041: From a primary ergo; toil; by implication, an act.

you have
ἔχεις (echeis)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2192: To have, hold, possess. Including an alternate form scheo skheh'-o; a primary verb; to hold.

[a] reputation
ὄνομα (onoma)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3686: Name, character, fame, reputation. From a presumed derivative of the base of ginosko; a 'name'.

for
ὅτι (hoti)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.

being alive,
ζῇς (zēs)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2198: To live, be alive. A primary verb; to live.

yet
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

you are
εἶ (ei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

dead.
νεκρὸς (nekros)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3498: (a) adj: dead, lifeless, subject to death, mortal, (b) noun: a dead body, a corpse. From an apparently primary nekus; dead.
III.

(1) Sardis.--The modern Sart--now a mere village of paltry huts--once the capital of the old Lydian monarchy, and associated with the names of Cr?sus, Cyrus, and Alexander. It was the great entrepot of dyed woollen fabrics, the sheep of "many-flocked" Phrygia supplying the raw material. The art of dyeing is said to have been invented here; and many-coloured carpets or mats found in the houses of the wealthy were manufactured here. The metal known as electrum, a kind of bronze, was the produce of Sardis; and in early times gold-dust was found in the sand of the Pactolus, the little stream which passed through the Agora of Sardis, and washed the walls of the Temple of Cybele. It is said that gold and silver coins were first, minted at Sardis, and that resident merchants first became a class there. An earthquake laid it waste in the reign of Tiberius; a pestilence followed, but the city seems to have recovered its prosperity before the date of this epistle. The worship of Cybele was the prevailing one; its rites, like those of Dionysos and Aphrodite, encouraged impurity.

The writer is described in words similar to those in Revelation 1:4, as the one who hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars; but there is a difference. There Christ was seen holding the stars in His right hand; here it is said He hath the seven Spirits and also the seven stars. In this language it is difficult to overlook the unhesitating way in which Christ is spoken of as owning or possessing that Holy Spirit who alone can make angels of His Church to shine as stars. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9; Romans 8:11). His promise is, "I will send the Comforter unto you" (John 15:26), as possessing all power in heaven and earth. "He is able," to use the language of Professor Plumptre, "to bring together the gifts of life, and the ministry for which those gifts are needed. If those who minister are without gifts; it is because they have not asked for them." This the angel of the Sardian Church had not done; his faith and the faith of the Church around him had sunk into a superficial, though perhaps ostentatious, state. Here, then, lies the appropriateness of the description given of Christ, as the source of life and light to His Church.

A name that thou livest.--It is only needful to mention, and to dismiss the fanciful conjecture, that the name of the angel was Zosimos, or some parallel name, signifying life-bearing or living. It is the reputation for piety possessed by the Church of Sardis which is referred to. Living with the credit of superior piety, it was easy to grow satisfied with the reputation, and to forget to keep open the channels through which grace and life could flow, and to fail to realise that the adoption of habits of life higher than those around them, or those who lived before them, was no guarantee of real spiritual life; for "the real virtues of one age become the spurious ones of the next . . . The belief of the Pharisees, the religious practice of the Pharisees, was an improvement upon the life of the sensual and idolatrous Jews whom the prophets denounced. But those who used both the doctrinal and moral improvements as the fulcrum of a selfish power and earthly rank, were the same men after all as their fathers, only accommodated to a new age" (Mozley). Self-satisfaction, which springs up when a certain reputation has been acquired, is the very road to self-deception. The remedy is progress--forgetting the things behind, lest looking with complacency upon the past, moral and spiritual stagnation should set in, and spiritual death should follow.

Verses 1-6. - The epistle to the Church at Sardis. This Church is one of the two which receives unmixed reproof. Smyrna and Philadelphia receive no blame; Sardis and Laodicea receive no praise. Sardis lies almost due south of Thyatira, on the road to Philadelphia, between the river Hermus and Mount Tmolus. It had been in turn Lydian, Persian, Greek, and Roman, and, like its last Lydian king, Croesus, had been celebrated for its wealth. The auriferous stream Pactolus, in summer almost dry, flowed through its marketplace; but its chief source of wealth was its trade. In A.D. "twelve famous cities of Asia fell by an earthquake in the night... The calamity fell most heavily on the people of Sardis, and it attracted to them the largest share of sympathy. The emperor [Tiberius] promised ten million sesterces (£85,000), and remitted for five years all they paid to the exchequer" (Tac., 'Ann.,' 2:47). A little later Sardis was one of the cities of Asia which claimed the honour of erecting a temple in honour of Tiberius, but the preference was given to Smyrna ('Ann.,' 4:55, 56). Of the inscriptions which have been,discovered at Sardis, nearly all are of the Roman period. Cybele, or Cybebe, was the chief divinity of Sardis; but no reference to this nor to any of the special features of the city can be traced in the epistle. In the second century, Melito, Bishop of Sardis, held a very prominent place among Asiatic Christians, both in personal influence and in literary work. Among his numerous writings was one on the Apocalypse of St. John. The prosporous and luxurious capital of Lydia is now represented by a few huts and a collection of ruins buried deep in rubbish. It still retains its ancient name in the form Sart. The Church in Sardis has no Nicolaitans, no Balaam, no Jezebel. But there is worse evil than the presence of what is morally and doctrinally corrupt. The numbness of spiritual torpor and death is more hopeless than unwise toleration. The Church in Sardis, scarcely out of its infancy, has already the signs of an effete and moribund faith; and it is possible that this deadness was a result of the absence of internal enemies. Verse 1. - He that hath the seven Spirits of God (see notes on Revelation 1:4, 16, 20; but observe that this designation of Christ does not occur in the opening vision). In Revelation 5:6 the Lamb is seen "having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God." The seven Spirits being the Holy Spirit in his sevenfold activity, it is manifest (as Trench observes) that this passage is of importance in reference to the doctrine of the double procession. The Son hath the Spirit, not as One who receives it from the Father, but as One who can impart it to men. As man he received it; as God he gives it. And a Church sunk in spiritual deadness specially needs such a gift. Hence the repetition about having the seven stars, which appears also in the address to the Church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:1). Note, however, that here we have ἔχων for κράτῶν, which would not have been appropriate to express the Son's possession of the Spirit. It is he who holds in his hand the angels of the Church that also has the Spirit wherewith to quicken them. Those that are alive owe their life and growth to him. Those that are dying or dead may be restored to life by him. Thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead. This, again, is thoroughly in the style of the Fourth Gospel. St. John frequently states some gracious fact, and in immediate sequence gives the very opposite of what might have been expected to result from it. "Thou hast a reputation for life, and (instead of being full of vigour and growth) thou art a corpse." This has been called "the tragic tone" in St. John (comp. John 1:5, 10, 11; John 3:11, 19, 32; John 5:39, 40; John 6:36, 43, etc.). In all these cases the contrast is introduced by a simple καί, which may be rendered "and yet;" but the simple "and" is more forcible. Beware of the unworthy literalism which suggests that the Bishop of Sardis bore a name which implied life, e.g. Zosimus, or Vitalis. As already stated (notes on Revelation 1:20), it is improbable that "the angel" means the bishop. And in any case "name" is here used in the common sense of character or reputation. Comp. Herod., 7:138, where the historian says that Xerxes' expedition had the name (οὔνομα εῖχε) of being directed against Athens, but was really a menace to the whole of Greece. We have very similar uses of ὄνομα in Mark 9:41 and 1 Peter 4:16. The Church in Sardis had a name for Christianity, but there was no Christianity in it. 3:1-6. The Lord Jesus is He that hath the Holy Spirit with all his powers, graces, and operations. Hypocrisy, and lamentable decay in religion, are sins charged upon Sardis, by One who knew that church well, and all her works. Outward things appeared well to men, but there was only the form of godliness, not the power; a name to live, not a principle of life. There was great deadness in their souls, and in their services; numbers were wholly hypocrites, others were in a disordered and lifeless state. Our Lord called upon them to be watchful against their enemies, and to be active and earnest in their duties; and to endeavour, in dependence on the grace of the Holy Spirit, to revive and strengthen the faith and spiritual affections of those yet alive to God, though in a declining state. Whenever we are off our watch, we lose ground. Thy works are hollow and empty; prayers are not filled up with holy desires, alms-deeds not filled up with true charity, sabbaths not filled up with suitable devotion of soul to God. There are not inward affections suitable to outward acts and expressions; when the spirit is wanting, the form cannot long remain. In seeking a revival in our own souls, or the souls of others, it is needful to compare what we profess with the manner in which we go on, that we may be humbled and quickened to hold fast that which remains. Christ enforces his counsel with a dreadful threatening if it should be despised. Yet our blessed Lord does not leave this sinful people without some encouragement. He makes honourable mention of the faithful remnant in Sardis, he makes a gracious promise to them. He that overcometh shall be clothed in white raiment; the purity of grace shall be rewarded with the perfect purity of glory. Christ has his book of life, a register of all who shall inherit eternal life; the book of remembrance of all who live to God, and keep up the life and power of godliness in evil times. Christ will bring forward this book of life, and show the names of the faithful, before God, and all the angels, at the great day.
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