The Seven Churches of Asia
Some of the most straightforward prose in the Revelation comes in the letters to the seven churches. Nevertheless, "local knowledge" really helps to understand the details of what the churches were commended for and why they were centured (if they were).
Over the course of two class periods, you will be in the library compiling a profile of each of the seven churches. Your profile should be aimed at constructing a picture of the cities historically, geographically, socially, politically, economically, and cultically.
Your notes will become the basis of your in-class discussions as we approach this very important section of Revelation, so be as thorough as possible. Remember, your investigation should focus on these churches as they would have been in the first century, not modern day. We need to know as much as we can about their situation as John would have known them.
The Churches: (in order of appearance)
Holman Bible Dictionary: http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/
Bible Encyclopaedia Online
Condensed Biblical Encyclopedia http://www.biblestudytools.com/encyclopedias/condensed-biblical-encyclopedia/
Bible Web Encyclopedia: http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/home.html
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge: http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc13/htm/TOC.htm
IVP NT Commentaries: http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/
Bible Maps and Atlases
Smith's Bible Atlas http://www.godweb.org/SmithBibleAtlas/index.htm
Bible Map.Org http://biblemap.org/whyBeta.html
Historic Jesus Maps: http://www.historicjesus.com/maps/index.html
Bible Atlas Online: http://tnp.theeggbeater.net/websites/maps/www.anova.org/sev/atlas/htm/index.html
Bible Atlas with Videos, etc. http://ancientsandals.com/