The church at Ephesus (Re 2:6) is commended for hating the "deeds" of the Nicolaitanes, and the church of Pergamos is blamed for having them who hold their "doctrines" (Re 2:15). They were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness, thus abusing Paul's doctrine of grace (comp. 2Pe 2:15-16,19), and were probably identical with those who held the doctrine of Baalam (q.v.), Re 2:14.
The designation of some sect whose deeds and doctrines are condemned without being specified. Re 2:6,15. Many suggestions have been made as to the tenets of the Nicolaitanes, but nothing is known with certainty. As their 'doctrine' and their 'deeds' are referred to, both of which Christ 'hated,' it has been thought they were libertines.