What does Revelation 2:15 mean?
ESV: So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
NIV: Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
NASB: So you too, have some who in the same way hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
CSB: In the same way, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
NLT: In a similar way, you have some Nicolaitans among you who follow the same teaching.
KJV: So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
NKJV: Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Verse Commentary:
In addition to falling into the sins of Balaam (Revelation 2:14), some members of the church at Pergamum adhered to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. The church at Ephesus hated the works of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6), but some in the church at Pergamum followed the Nicolaitans' teachings.

Although Scripture does not specifically say what the Nicolaitans believed, some interpreters hazard a guess based on the construction of their name. The word for "ruler" and the word for "people" comprise the name "Nicolaitans." The Nicolaitans might have advanced the teaching that the clergy should rule the people in the churches. This strongly contradicts the biblical role of the pastor. A pastor is supposed to be a shepherd who follows the example of the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus (1 Peter 5:4). Jesus, the good shepherd, loves the sheep, leads them rather than drives them, cares for them, and feeds them. When Jesus walked with Peter after the resurrection, He told Peter to feed His sheep and tend to them (John 21:15–17). In 1 Peter 5:3 Peter instructs the elders not to domineer over those in their charge. Clearly, the rule of the clergy over the laity dishonors the Scriptures.

Alternatively, the Nicolaitans may have been a sect started by an apostate, Nicolaus, who taught a doctrine of lawlessness. In this case, that meant being bound by no moral restrictions at all, including those against sexual sins or idolatry.
Verse Context:
Revelation 2:12–17 is a message from Jesus to the church at Pergamum. Jesus commends the church for keeping the faith despite intense persecution and the pervading worship of Satan around them. However, some members of the church followed the teaching of Balaam, and others followed the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Jesus calls the church out for repentance regarding those flaws. Failure to repent would bring judgment. The passage ends with Jesus' promise to give conquerors hidden manna and a new name written on a secret stone.
Chapter Summary:
The contents of Revelation 2 are miniature letters to four churches, dictated by Jesus to John. Ephesus and Smyrna were coastal cities, whereas Pergamum and Thyatira were inland cities. Three more such letters are in Revelation 3. Each of these messages contains a unique description of Jesus, a command, a promise. All but one—the church in Laodicea—receive some commendation. All but two of the seven letters—those to the churches in Smyrna and Philadelphia—also contain a critical rebuke. Like churches today, most of the congregations addressed by Jesus had both good characteristics and at least one point which needed correction.
Chapter Context:
In chapter 1, John introduced his order from Jesus Christ: to write out a message to seven churches in Asia (Revelation 1:9–11). Here in this chapter, John writes to the church in Ephesus, the church in Smyrna, the church in Pergamum, and the church in Thyatira. Chapter 3 will continue with messages to the other three churches. The rest of Revelation will explain future events connected to the ''end times.''
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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