Dictionary of Bible Names

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Bible Meaning: Holy city
Strong's Concordance #G2404

Hierapolis, a town in the Lycus River Valley, was located in the Roman province of Asia roughly 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) north of Laodicea. The town was founded on hot springs that served as a thermal spa, which made the destination popular with ancient Romans. The city was destroyed by an earthquake that occurred during the latter part of Nero's reign.

Hierapolis is mentioned only once in the New Testament (Colossians 4:13). It is referenced as a place (along with Laodicea) where Epaphras, one of Paul's fellow evangelists, was looking out for their spiritual well-being. The church in the city, as well as the one in Laodicea, was likely started by Epaphras.

Tradition states that Philip, one of Jesus' original twelve apostles, eventually settled in the western Asia Minor city of Hierapolis and suffered martyrdom in it (Foxe's Book of Martyrs).

The other Philip mentioned in the New Testament, Philip the Evangelist (Acts 6:1 - 7), who had four virgin daughters (21:8 - 10), is also believed to have taken himself and his family to live in Hierapolis (The Book of Acts in Its Palestinian Setting by Richard Bauckham, Chapter 3).

Location of Hierapolis in Ancient Asia Minor Map
Location of Hierapolis

Important Verses

Colossians 4:12 - 14
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

Additional Studies

Dictionary of Biblical Names
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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).