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John Exiled to Patmos

John, the Disciple of Jesus, was banished to Patmos during the latter years of his life. When Rome had exiled John to Patmos, he was the last remaining member of the Twelve Disciples of Jesus Christ. John was born 6 A.D. His life appears on the Bible Timeline Chart between then and 100 AD.  He was a close follower of Christ who was also called the Disciple that Jesus loved.

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“John the Apostle on Patmos”

His Service to Christ
Jesus first encountered John and his brother James on the shores of Galilee. He invited them to become his followers, and they complied. John then joined Jesus as he went about his public ministry. John traveled with Jesus during his ministry and was chosen to be in his inner circle as one the Twelve Disciples. This was a special privilege because Jesus had many followers. John was the only disciple that was present when Christ was crucified, and he also was extremely loyal to Jesus during his ministry in Jerusalem. Christ told him to watch over Mary his mother who was also present at the crucifixion.

The Early Church
When Jesus came back to life after his crucifix, he met John and Peter while they were fishing. Christ referred to him as the Disciple whom Jesus loved. John and Peter told the others what had happened, and they went back to Jerusalem until the arrival of the Holy Spirit. John was present with the believers in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit had arrived. He received power and played a critical role in the expansion of the early church.

In the book of Acts John helped Peter to heal people, spread the Gospel and he was imprisoned for preaching the message of Christ. He also cared for Mary, Jesus’ mother. Until the time she had died in 54 A.D.  King Herod Agrippa I attacked the Christians and caused them to scatter outside of Jerusalem (Acts 12: 1 -17). John ended up in Ephesus.

John Imprisoned
Some parts of John’s life are not clear and historical sources claim that he was a leader of the church at Ephesus. Eventually, he was captured in a persecution campaign by the Roman Emperor Domitian. John was ultimately sentenced to Patmos (Revelation 1:9). Patmos was a small, rocky and barren area where many criminals of Rome were sent to serve out their prison terms in harsh conditions. There were mines on the island that the criminals were forced to work. John was sent to the island for the same reasons because the early Christians were considered a strange cult group who were known for causing trouble within the Empire. After John had arrived, he began to have visions that were written into the Book of Revelation of the Bible.

Some historians and scholars claim that John died while on Patmos and others say that he was freed from the island before his death. No one is certain when or where he died, but many people do agree that he was not executed like the other apostles.

Biblical References:
Revelation 1: 9 John speaks about his banishment to the island of Patmos
Acts 12: 1 -17 King Herod Agrippa I attacked the Christians and caused them to scatter outside of Jerusalem.

Picture By Jacopo Vignali – Giovanni Piccirillo (a cura di), La chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano, Becocci Editore, Firenze 2006., Public Domain,

48 thoughts on “John Exiled to Patmos

  1. What I do know is we’re in the last days of GODS kingdom yet to come life is in full circle of the life that GOD had intended for mankind and I look forward to GODS new world for mankind.

    1. The Kingdom of Gad started in 33 A.D. Jerusalem. Read Daniel 2:44.

    2. What are the references that John of Patmos was John the Apostle? Who says he was born in 6 AD or when he died, or was exiled and by whom?
      These are all assumptions and none are from scripture.

      1. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian all affirmed the Apostle John as the author or Revelation.

  2. What was the culture on the prison island? What did they eat? How did they eat?

  3. Is there any proof that when John fell somehow and God was putting the stars in place that He looked over His shoulder saw him fell and God made the star to fall out of His hand to catch John. I heard thisnstory from two total different preachers can someone help please

    1. No. That didn’t happen.

    2. That Doctrine is not in the Bible. Read Revelations 20:15

  4. Henry:
    Please read Genesis and find out the truth on how God spoke and the sun was placed in the sky. No where in scripture does it talk about John falling and God catching him. Hope that helps

  5. Where in the Bible is John set in the Coulton of boiling oil?

    1. That is not in the Bible but is in other accounts about John. Here is a link that refers to those later writings.




  7. i believe in him as son of God ad
    whoever believes in him will not meet destruction by any means as far as you are among the choosen ones for his inheritance

    1. The Disciples believed Jesus was the Son of God too but they did meet with destruction by why of martyrdom. The demons also know that Jesus is the Son of God and we know that they will meet their destruction. Satan also knows and yet is said to be headed for the lake of fire.

      Christians are not the only ones knowing and declaring that Jesus is the son of God, because even the demons declare it.

      1. Yes, the demons know it, believe it and they shudder

    2. Is every person one of gods chosen or is it only oersons that ask god in our hearts

      1. No, not every person is chosen. God sent His only begotten Son Jesus that all who believe in Him would be saved and have eternal life. If a person does not turn his or her life over to Christ, they will have to face judgment.

      2. Asking God or Jesus to come into your heart is fantacy. To give your life to Christ, is to ask him to provide for you every day in every area of your life and your living. Faith is the name of the process by which God provides for us. It is this Faith that saves us. In allowing God to provide, he changes us and eventually resurrects the Christ within each man. To do otherwise is to deny Christ and not to believe is of the anti-Christ- all scriptural. .

        1. What you say is true except the fantacy (sic) part. When you declare Him Lord of your life and believe God is real you receive a new recreated spirit, which resides in the center of your being (your spiritual heart). And yes, faith is the foundation of our hope in the promises and counsel of God.

  8. Does anyone know how long did John The Divine spend on Patmos?

    1. Yes. He was on the Isle of Patmos, only about a year, and then wrote down, all that he had seen in visions, in Ephesus. Imprisoned in,,AD95, and released in AD96.

  9. How could John have been born 6 a.d. And been with Jesus as the one most loved? This is confusing me.

    1. That would make John a few years younger than Jesus. This is John the Apostle, not John the Baptist, Jesus cousin born a few months before Jesus.

      1. Both John the Baptist (son of Elizabeth – Jesus’ mother’s cousin – and Zechariah) AS WELL AS John the disciple/apostle (born of Salome – Jesus’ mother’s sister – and Zebedee) were cousins of Jesus.

    2. I read where Jesus was born about 3 AD which would have made him 3 years older than John the Apostle. But the BC and AD calendar confuses me, too.

    3. John was born 6 a.d means that Jesus was older to John for 6 years. In Christ Ministry , He called John and James to follow Him. Because John had contemplated much about the grace and love of Jesus, the Bible teaches us that early life of John was bad. he was called the son of thunder. Because of taking time to be close to Jesus , He went on experiencing life transforming power from the word of God in the mouth of Jesus. Later John became an intimate friend of Jesus everywhere Christ was. It is the same like me and you , as soon as you get closer to Jesus in prayer and constant study of the Bible , you will become like Jesus. God bless you !!!

  10. Thanks

  11. Was John able to see when he was at the island of potmas ?

  12. Atlist i’ve learnt something…Thanks

  13. A really informative moment. Keep it up and God reveal more for us.

  14. How old was John when
    he arrived at Patmos?

    1. I read where John was exiled about 81 AD, but didn’t get the revelation until 95 AD and died in Ephesus about 100 AD.

  15. People for all of time have tried to understand the Revelation of John… not just the symbolism, but the message. What is amazing to me is that this is taking place right here, right now… all that was to “come to pass” is coming to pass…. and the message is just as real today as it’s ever been. When we see these things we are to look up, for our redemption draws near. I believe with my spirit and soul that it is very nigh. Thank you for your words of understanding.

    1. I respect your opinion but I don’t believe it’s accurate. Those living in the first century AD were told they were living in the last days and the end was near. The question is: The end of what? The Old Covenant age is the focus of eschatology. It came to an end shortly after the completion of the New Testament. That age ended in AD 70. We are not living in the last days! Great news!

      1. Hebrews 9:16

      2. That is a belief that many hold but it is not true. The book of Revelation was written after 70 “AD and nothing that happened in 70 AD fits any of the prophesies of the Old Testament, much less the New. God reveals His Word to those who search it and study it. The idea that the Covenant of Grace only lasted 40 years is stretching God’s Word by just a couple of thousand years.

  16. Many scholars believe Jesus was born at 4 BC, as a Monk merely guessed at the year of His birth. But judging by Leaders at the time of His birth, that guess was off by a few years. It was the will of God for John to have a long life, as he had much to accomplish in writing the Gospels and Revelation. John was younger than Jesus by about ten years..and lived to be nearly 100.

  17. Do we know if John was on Patmos with other prisoners and what type of mining were the prisoners bound to? Also what would he have sustained himself with I am looking to present to my students and would like to paint a picture of what life might have been like for John. Thank you, God Bless you.

  18. did mary the mother of Jesus died as other apostle or she was assumed into haven?

    1. The Bible does not say. I have to refer you to your pastor since we are only qualified to respond to historical questions.

  19. Revelation is not a prediction of the future. John was writing directly about what was going on in Rome and its provinces at the time. He was responding to the cultural, political and economic climate where Jew believers of Christ were accommodating Rome imperial cult worship at Trade guild events in order for political and economic advancement. He was Palestinian Jew who professed Jesus as Isreal’s Messiah much like the James, Jesus brother, and Peter. The first part of Revelation is a direct polemic against Pauline tradition omitting the Torah requirements for converted Gentiles. Having a vast knowledge of the Hebrew bible, he makes allusions in to stories only insider Jews would know, converted Gentiles would not have made the connection. Case in point, Rev 2:14 and the reference to Balaam and Balak in Numbers. converts would not have made the connection. He also ues Pauls exact wording when he speaks about stumbling blocks for believers that Paul uses in in I Corinthians 8. He sets up his writing much like Paul does, by claiming the information is reveled by Christ. He also follows the prophetic tradition of declaring the word of God found in the Hebrew Prophets, Thus says…
    Lastly, John is almost writing his fantasy on how Yom Yahweh takes place with the Chirst figure. the day of atonement that Amos references. What is very clear once the taken the time to actually study the book, the overarching message John is making that Jesus Christ is the Israelite Messiah.

    The dangers of not understanding John of Patmos, his world and his traditions has lead to the book of Revelations being one of the most misunderstood, miss used books in the new testament. Starting with the misuse to influence the early church in the second century.

    1. You are correct! If one would only study context, learn when John wrote his Revelation, which was approximately AD 68, and how it aligns with the coming destruction of the temple just two years later, one would start to understand that Revelation has nothing to do with us in the 21 century western Christianity, but for the AD 70 converts from Judaism to followers of Christ, that were reverting to the Old Covenant, of which, Revelation admonishes them.

      1. This does make some sense because the seven lampstands were the seven churches all in the same region close to each other in what is now western Turkey.
        However, I believe all those letters written to the churches in the New Testament were intended for all the churches to come as well. There were specific messages for the churches. What modern church now does not need those messages, even the messages in Revelation?

    2. Few of the events seen by John have come to pass. While some may be applied to his personal era, the worlds Oceans have not turned to blood; 1/3 of the fish have not died; 1/3 of the people have not died and a burning star the size of a mountain has not hit the Earth. Just saying…

  20. Did John have to do hard labor with the other prisoners while he was in Pathmos?

  21. Did John have his eyes plucked out as alleged by most people and if yes, at which point did it happen?

  22. In preparing my book, I have noticed that ‘Bibles”, while believed to be the “Word of God” by many, have been systematically edited/modified over the years. No, I am not talking about the various translations, I am talking about references being made, then omitted later. Years ago, the Book of Revelation was entitled:
    “The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ as Given to John the Beloved, an Apostle of Jesus Christ while in exile on the Isle of Patmos”

    Attempt to locate a bible with that information on the ‘Book of Revelation!

    The original meaning of “Apocalypse” was to Reveal; to make known something hidden. The Apocalypse of Jesus( ‘ ) Christ is the revealing of the resurrected Christ in the Believers- those who are Alive in the Earth! This is what occurred in the Upper Room, as well as receiving the Holy Spirit. What the Apostles received has been conveniently omitted in most Bibles today!!

    One is only “alive” if Christ has been resurrected within. That spiritual life is the only ‘life’ God acknowledges. These have their names written in the Book of LIfe. The remainder of humanity will be destroyed and eventually will be judged and cast into hell – around 6-7 billion people.

    The Bible, an most other information from the time of Jesus has been omitted, edited and changed until little remains today of the Truth. The Bible still says that ‘… anyone that denies that Jesus’ Christ has come in the flesh is of the anti-Christ…’ Note the tense of the word ‘Jesus’ , it is possessive. That simple punctuation mark has been omitted throughout the New Testament, which changes the Gospel and ignores the Truth. Obviously Christians, their Church, their literature, their religion etc, etc is of the Anti- Christ. Sorry – but do you know the “Truth”? Jesus was the Truth, the Reality of God’s plan for all his children- the resurrection of Christ, the anointing of every man- exactly as Jesus was anointed!! The End… Freely received, freely given: [email protected]

    1. Please do not omit the email address. I am more than willing to converse with anyone who is sincere and hungry. Thanks much

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