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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,

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29 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 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.

  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.

  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?

  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.

  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.

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

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