John wrote Revelation while a political prisoner of Domitian, the Roman emperor, on the island of Patmos around a.d.92-96 (see 1:1, 9; 22:8).
The persecutions mentioned in Revelation suggest a date in Domitian's time (1:9; 2:10, 13; 6:9-11; 12:11; 13:7; 17:6). These references to persecutions should not be spiritualized by calling them exaggerated stress. They are historical references to local occasional persecutions that arose in Domitian's tenure.
Roman religion centered in the state. Other institutions (including the family, trade unions, cities, and churches) were ordered to support the state. Texts such as Ro 13:1-7 and 1Ti 2:1-2 reflect the importance to the Romans of that support. Roman citizens considered Christians to be atheists when they either claimed that pagan gods did not exist or that pagan deities were evil demons. When misfortune struck a community, citizens could blame the failure of Christians to honor local gods as the cause of the disaster. These neighbors believed their well-being required them to observe civil religious duties, including praying for the emperor. Persecution arose, not from the emperor, but at the grass-roots level when local citizens accused Christians of neglecting the ritual duties of Roman state religion. The emperor acted against Christians when citizens brought charges against them.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading to Bible Gateway Plus. Bible Gateway Plus equips you to have in-depth biblical discussions with your friends, your family, and your peers. Try it free for 30 days!