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.
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.
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.
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, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3098473
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167 thoughts on “John Exiled to Patmos”
So… John was vanished to Patmos by Roman Emperor Domitian, considered an enemy of the state, because of his preaching work?. I find this a bit hard to believe. John himself does not mention in his writing that he was “vanished” there, but rather he says he was there “for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ”. I find it hard to believe that Emperor Domitian, a ruthless, Roman killer, vanished John to the Isle of Patmos, rather than killing him, to silence his preaching work, and once there John had access to parchment, stylus and ink to continue his preaching work.
Allegedly John was a very old man when he penned this Revelation which had to be delivered to the seven congregations in Asia. He would have needed assistance to accomplish this task. John was allegedly imprisoned there, he was not having a forced vacation, I seriously doubt he could receive guests there who could deliver the Revelation for him. Did brothers from main land take a cruise there to visit John, pick up the Revelation and deliver it to the Asian churches?. I don’t think so. Domitian could not have been this dumb: he first vanishes the guy to shut him up and then, some how, the guy has all the materials needed to write the most damning document against the Roman Empire and also has visitors who can assist him deliver it???. That’s absurd!. We could argue that God helped him, but if this was the case, God could have prevented the vanishment to begin with until he could write the Revelation, or down right bust him out of there as he did to Paul and Peter prior to him. Domitian, most likely, would have had him locked up and chained up all by himself in a dark cell. He would have been shut up from the outside world.
I suspect John was in the Isle of Patmos, which had small communities there although it was a rocky, parched land were criminals were sentenced to hard labors, FOR the word AND FOR the testimony of Jesus. I believe he was there on his own account to preach the Gospel. And this happened much earlier, before the destruction of Jerusalem, in around 60 to 65 C.E. when he was able to travel and be free to receive the Revelation, write it and deliver it!!.
That’s in the natural history of the world…. Find the foxes book of the martyrs and it tells that whole story as well as all the apostles and then some…. They tried to kill Jim 3 times once by fire but the flames bent back away from his body on the steak, once in a bat of boiling oil and the he was not one time was any hair singed on his body. And the third most active everyone who was banished to Patmos all died there, that’s what they were sent there for was to die. But the Lord was With John his whole stay on the island and his strength was kept in him his whole entire time. And some said that as God fed Elijah with the ravens so also was John fed by the birds of the isles….. Not sure how true that is, but I could see God doing that. And anyone could see that if they could get God out of that pretty little denominational box they hasn’t put Him in to die…. He can’t tho they tried and tried and tried all throughout history and can not one of them disprove his existence.
To Marcel Domitian did send John to Patmos in 94 A.D. It was the custom that when the Emperor died those exiles that emperor banished be released.
Domitian died in 96 A.D. and John was released. Rev. 10 tells us John is given a little book and he is to eat it, and prophesy before many peoples and nations, and tongues and kings. AND HE DID. There is a document in the Vatican talking about John being there in the year 110 A.D. This was the last record of anyone seeing him. … I wrote the following in an answer to a post way up this thread of posts. but thought I would add it here.
WHEN the Roman Empire established the Universal Church (Catholicism).. Constantine divided the empire into seven districts, appointing each district one POPE. He then divided these seven into three Regions. The largest church in each region was given another pope having authority over church business in THAT district..The Emperor being THE Ultimate Authority. This was a BEAST with seven heads and ten crowns. Constantine then gave his palace to the Pope in Rome. The devil gave the beast his authority and his seat. Fifty four years later, In Feb. 380 A.D. THIS church was officially named as the ONLY Religion through out the Roman Empire. EVERY ONE had to follow THIS Religion (To not be a member is to NOT take the mark) …If you were NOT a Catholic, you could not buy or sell or hod any good job or public office. Martin Luther and all the other Protestant reformers understood this and proclaimed The Pope and Catholicism to be the beast described in Rev. 13…. They were using the day for a year method. (WRONG) and they proclaimed that the 42 months of the beast would be finished before the year 1600……. this is the method they shoud have been using and I would have been in FULL agreement with them… DANIEL chapter nine. In 539 BC Gabriel said, The Messiah will be killed after 62 weeks… 565 years Jesus was killed… A week in prophesy is 9.1129 years. A day is 1.3018.. years…. 42 months after Feb.380 A.D. would be 1640 years (give or take a few months because a miscalculation of .0001 makes a difference ) July of 2020. All of prophesy written in scripture has been fulfilled except for the 7th trumpet and 7th vial judgment. and those things that follow the 7th vial.
Shalom! You stated “Christ referred to him as the Disciple whom Jesus loved.” I believe the writer of the Gospel, not the Messiah, is referring to Yohanan as the disciple whom Yahasha loved. Yahasha loved all His disciples, even Judas, the one who betrayed Him. Yohanan, however, was young and faithful, maybe the Messiah’s youngest brother. Therefore, he held a special place in Yahasha’s heart, so much so that Yahasha requested him to comfort HIS mother.
While he was at Patmos and the revelation given, under great duress, he penned it accurately on what he could ld. That it was sent out after he lived in Ephesus is logical ,because there was a church that A.Paul started and continued. God expected the gospel to outlast all authority and it has. To overcome today is the same as the disciples started in Acts 1. The Holy Spirit is connected to Jesus and to God the Father, these three being ONE. There is One faith, One baptism One Lord. “Yesterday, today, forever Jesus is the Same.”
Just beautiful, thank you for writing this.