Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 1

John on Patmos

Revelation 1:9

In his other books, John chooses not to mention his own name. Probably the reason was that he wanted all the honour to go to God. So, it may surprise us that John gives his name as the author of the Book of Revelation.

A likely explanation is that Revelation is a book of prophecy (a message about future events). Deuteronomy 18:20-22 says that a prophet (a person who gives a prophecy) is personally responsible for his message. He has a personal duty to make sure that his message really came from God. So John, like all the prophets in the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible), carefully recorded his own name in order to accept responsibility for his prophecy.

John was one of the 12 disciples (special students of Jesus) and he therefore became one of the first leaders of the Christian church. He had an especially close friendship with Jesus; he calls himself, Ďthe disciple whom Jesus lovedí (John 13:23).

It seems that John lived much longer than the other disciples (John 21:23). Most people think that he wrote the Book of Revelation near the end of his life. Probably, he had been teaching Godís message in Ephesus and in the other churches in that region (1:11). Then, the government officials decided to oppose the Christians. They killed a Christian called Antipas in Pergamum (2:13). They probably arrested several other Christians at the same time, including John.

They did not kill John, however. Instead, they separated him from the other Christians so that he could not still teach them. They forced him to live on a small island called Patmos. There, John probably spent much of his time in prayer. During a special time of prayer one Sunday, John saw the extraordinary things that he recorded in the Book of Revelation.

Next part: The Lordís day (Revelation 1:10)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.