John was exiled on the island of Patmos for the word of God during a time of tribulation or persecution (Rev 1:9). The early church fathers agree that he was exiled during the reign of Caesar Domitian (Introduction, pg. 2).
“It is said that in this persecution the apostle and evangelist John, who was still alive, was condemned to dwell on the island of Patmos in consequence of his testimony to the divine word. Irenaeus, in the fifth book of his work Against Heresies, where he discusses the number of the name of Antichrist which is given in the so-called Apocalypse of John, speaks as follows concerning him: ‘If it were necessary for his name to be proclaimed openly at the present time, it would have been declared by him who saw the revelation. For it was seen not long ago, but almost in our own generation, at the end of the reign of Domitian.’”
Eusebius, The History of the Church, Bk. 3, Ch. 18, “The Apostle John and the Apocalypse,” p. 148.
That John was not the author of Revelation, and as such the book was written earlier or later than the time of his exile on Patmos, is a view which does not bear up under scrutiny, and I have ignored it for the purpose of this book.
“The Apocalypse professes to be the work of John, who assumes a commanding position over the churches of Asia. History knows only one such character, the Apostle and Evangelist, and to him it is ascribed by the earliest and most trustworthy witnesses, going back to the lifetime of many friends and pupils of the author. It is one of the best authenticated books of the New Testament.”
Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 1, p. 693.
“Westcott notices that ‘the Apocalypse was recognized from the first as a work of the Apostle in the districts most immediately interested in its contents,’ that is, Asia Minor, and indeed, that the disputed epistles generally were accepted exactly in those places where they were most likely to be known.”
LeRoy Froom, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 1, p. 110.
“The traditional date of composition at the end of Domitian’s reign (A.D. 95 or 96) rests on the clear and weighty testimony of Irenaeus, is confirmed by Eusebius and Jerome, and has still its learned defenders …”
Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 1, p. 694.
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