Who was João de Patmos?

John of Patmos was the author of the book of Revelation. Patmos is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, where John was exiled because of the gospel. According to the oldest tradition, John of Patmos is the apostle John.

Patmos is a very small island, where the Romans exiled some people. Few people lived there and would only have contact with the rest of the world when a ship stopped at the island’s only port. In Revelation 1: 9 , John said that he was in Patmos because of the word of God. His testimony had probably irritated someone and he was exiled to the island.

The apostle John?

Yes, John of Patmos was probably John, one of the 12 apostles. The oldest sources say that it was the apostle John who wrote the Apocalypse in his old age. There is also other evidence from the book itself:

  • Authority– the author wrote to several churches with the authority of a recognized leader; Jesus would not have delivered such an important revelation to a person who would not be recognized by the church – Revelation 1: 1-2
  • The themes– both the book of Revelation and the gospel of John talk about Jesus’ divinity and the contrast between good and evil
  • The symbols– the book of Revelation uses many symbols, indicating that it was written by a Jew who knew the Scriptures well; the apostle John was a Jew

The book of Revelation was recognized as being of divine inspiration in large part because it was written by one of the apostles. John was taught directly by Jesus when he was on earth. A view of another person who did not have the authority of an apostle would probably not be so well accepted as true.

See here: who was the beloved disciple?

Was there another John?

João was a very common name. Many men were called John at that time. Since people only had one name, to distinguish between two people with the same name, they often added a title, such as a profession or a physical characteristic.

See also other names of Jesus

Within the early church, there was only one man known only as John who was a known leader. That was John, the apostle. Had John of Patmos not been the apostle John, he would have identified himself with a title, to make a distinction.

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