John of Patmos
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John of Patmos (also called John the Revelator, John the Divine, John the Theologian) is the name traditionally given to the author of the
Book of Revelation The Book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John, Revelation to John or Revelation from Jesus Christ) is the final book of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; ...
. The text of Revelation states that John was on
Patmos Patmos ( el, Πάτμος, ) is a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...
, a
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
island where, according to most biblical historians, he was exiled as a result of anti-Christian persecution under the Roman emperor
Domitian Domitian (; la, Domitianus; 24 October 51 – 18 September 96) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles thr ...

Domitian
.
Christian tradition Christian tradition is a collection of tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use th ...
has considered the Book of Revelation's writer to be
John the Evangelist John the Evangelist ( grc-gre, Ἰωάννης, Iōánnēs; Aramaic: ܝܘܚܢܢ; ar, يوحنا الإنجيلي, he, יוחנן האוונגליסט cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ) is the name traditionally given to the author of ...

John the Evangelist
(or possibly
John the Apostle John the Apostle ( arc, ܝܘܚܢܢ ܫܠܝܚܐ, ; he, יוחנן בן זבדי, ; grc, Ἰωάννης; cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ; la, Ioannes; ) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, '' Yēšū́a ...
), supposed author of the
Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly sch ...
. However, a minority of senior clerics and scholars, such as
Eusebius Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, ''Eusébios tés Kaisareías''; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου), ...

Eusebius
(d. 339/340), recognize at least one further John as a companion of
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label= Hebrew/ Aramaic ( AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, ...

Jesus
,
John the Presbyter John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with the Apostle John and/or John of Patmos. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one of the author's ...
. Some Christian scholars since medieval times separate the disciple from the writer of Revelation.Stephen L Harris, ''Understanding the Bible,'' (Palo Alto: Mayfield, 1985), 355


Island of Patmos

John is considered to have been exiled to
Patmos Patmos ( el, Πάτμος, ) is a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...
during a time of persecution under the Roman rule of
Domitian Domitian (; la, Domitianus; 24 October 51 – 18 September 96) was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles thr ...

Domitian
in the late 1st century. states: "I, John, both your brother and companion in tribulation ... was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Adela Yarbro Collins Mrs Adela Yarbro Collins (born 1945) is an American author and academic, who has served as the Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School Yale Divinity School (YDS) is one of the twelve graduate and ...
, a biblical scholar at
Yale Divinity School Yale Divinity School (YDS) is one of the twelve graduate and professional schools of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, New Haven, Connecticut. Congregational church, Congregationalist theological education was the motivation at the foundi ...
, writes:
Early tradition says that John was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities. This tradition is credible because banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses. Among such offenses were the practices of magic and astrology. Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category, whether Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy with political implications, like that expressed by John in the Book of Revelation, would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power and order. Three of the islands in the
Sporades The (Northern) Sporades (; el, Βόρειες Σποράδες, , ) are an archipelago along the east coast of Greece, northeast of the island of Euboea,"Skyros - Britannica Concise" (description), Britannica Concise, 2006, webpageEB-Skyrosnotes " ...
were places where political offenders were banished. (Pliny, ''Natural History'' 4.69–70; Tacitus, ''Annals'' 4.30)
According to
Tertullian Tertullian (; la, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus; 155 AD – 220 AD) was a prolific early Christian The history of Christianity concerns the Christianity, Christian religion, Christendom, Christian countries, and the Chr ...

Tertullian
(in ''The Prescription of Heretics'') John was banished after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering nothing from it.


Book of Revelation

The author of the
Book of Revelation The Book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John, Revelation to John or Revelation from Jesus Christ) is the final book of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; ...
identifies himself only as "John"."Revelation, Book of." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005 Traditionally, this was often believed to be the same person as
John the Apostle John the Apostle ( arc, ܝܘܚܢܢ ܫܠܝܚܐ, ; he, יוחנן בן זבדי, ; grc, Ἰωάννης; cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ; la, Ioannes; ) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, '' Yēšū́a ...
(John, son of Zebedee), one of the apostles of Jesus, to whom the
Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly sch ...
was also attributed. The early-2nd-century writer,
Justin Martyr Justin Martyr ( el, Ἰουστῖνος ὁ μάρτυς, Ioustinos ho martys; c. 100 – c. 165) was an early Christian apologist and philosopher. Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue did survive. The ''First Apology ...

Justin Martyr
, was the first to equate the author of Revelation with
John the Evangelist John the Evangelist ( grc-gre, Ἰωάννης, Iōánnēs; Aramaic: ܝܘܚܢܢ; ar, يوحنا الإنجيلي, he, יוחנן האוונגליסט cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ) is the name traditionally given to the author of ...

John the Evangelist
.Justin Martyr, ''Dialogue with Trypho'', 81.4 Other early Christian writers, however, such as
Dionysius of Alexandria Dionysius the Great was the 14th Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria from 28 December 248 until his death on 22 March 264. Most information known about him comes from his large surviving correspondence. Only one original letter survives to this day; ...
and
Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, ''Eusébios tés Kaisareías''; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου), ...

Eusebius of Caesarea
, noting the differences in language and theological outlook between this work and the Gospel, discounted this possibility, and argued for the exclusion of the Book of Revelation from the canon as a result. The early Christian writer appeared in his writings to distinguish between
John the Evangelist John the Evangelist ( grc-gre, Ἰωάννης, Iōánnēs; Aramaic: ܝܘܚܢܢ; ar, يوحنا الإنجيلي, he, יוחנן האוונגליסט cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ) is the name traditionally given to the author of ...

John the Evangelist
and
John the Elder John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with John the Apostle, the Apostle John and/or John of Patmos. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one o ...
, and many biblical scholars now contend that the latter was the author of Revelation.


See also

*
Authorship of the Johannine works The authorship of the Johannine works—the Gospel According to St. John, the three Epistles of John, and the Revelation of St. John the Divine—has been debated by scholars since at least the 2nd century AD. The debate focuses mainly on the ...


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:John Of Patmos 1st-century apocalypticists 1st-century Christian mystics 1st-century Christian theologians 1st-century Christian saints 1st-century writers 2nd-century Christian theologians Angelic visionaries Book of Revelation Christian saints from the New Testament Christian writers about eschatology Jewish Christian mystics John the Apostle Patmos People from Patmos Prophets of the New Testament Saints from the Holy Land Year of birth unknown