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St. John the Divine

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Title: St. John the Divine  
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St. John the Divine

"John the Divine" and "John the Revelator" redirect here. For other uses of John the Divine, see John the Divine (disambiguation). For other uses of John the Revelator, see John the Revelator (disambiguation). For other people called Saint John, see Saint John (disambiguation).
John of Patmos
Hieronymous Bosch, circa 1489
Seer, Theologian, Eagle of Patmos
Died Patmos (?)
Major work(s) Book of Revelation

John of Patmos is the name given by some modern scholars to the author of the Book of Revelation, the apocalyptic text forming the final chapter of the New Testament. The text of Revelation states that the author is called John and that he lives on the Greek island of Patmos, where by some, he is considered to be in exile as a result of anti-Christian persecution under the Roman emperor Domitian.[1][2] Traditionally, the John who is the author of Revelation is considered to be John the Apostle, author of all the Johannine works, that is the Gospel of John, the first, second, and third epistles of John, as well as Revelation. However, in the case of Revelation, many modern scholars agree that it was written by a separate, otherwise unknown, author, to whom they have given the name John of Patmos.[3][4]

Book of Revelation

The author of the Book of Revelation identifies himself as "John"[5] Traditionally, this named author is believed to be the same person as both John the apostle of Jesus and John the author of the Fourth Gospel.[5] The early 2nd century writer, Justin Martyr, was the first to equate the author of Revelation with John the Apostle.[6] However, some biblical scholars now contend that these were separate individuals.[7][8]

John the Presbyter, an obscure figure in the early church, has also been identified with the seer of the Book of Revelation by such authors as Eusebius of Caesarea and Jerome.

Island of Patmos

John is considered to be exiled to Patmos, undergoing a time of persecution under the Roman rule of Domitian. Revelation 1:9 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, a biblical scholar at Yale Divinity School, 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 were places where political offenders were banished." (Pliny Natural History 4.69-70; Tacitus Annals 4.30)[9]

See also

A series of articles on
John in the Bible
Johannine literature
Gospel of John · First Epistle of John · Second Epistle of John · Third Epistle of John · Revelation · Authorship
John the Apostle · John the Evangelist · John of Patmos  · John the Presbyter · Disciple whom Jesus loved
Twelve Apostles · The Early Church
Related literature
Apocryphon of John · Acts of John · Logos · Signs Gospel


Template:New Testament Prophets

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