Q. I was asked this question, then, for some reason, I couldn’t think of a place in the Bible to show proof. Hope you can help me. I was asked if it was true that the Apostle John was boiled in oil? I said that yes he was. Then they asked me where in the Bible it said that. I was sort of stumped. I thought maybe the beginning of Revelation, but, I don’t see it there. Could you let me know if the is a place in the Bible that definitely states that John was boiled in oil, and where it is; or, if it is just one of those facts we know about him, but, it’s not in the Bible.
A. You won’t find this in the Bible. But since Biblical times the tradition that the Roman Emperor Domitian ordered that John be executed by throwing him into a cauldron of boiling oil has been widely held. Tertullian (160-225) may have been the first to describe it as a historical event.
When John didn’t die but continued preaching from the cauldron, Domitian had him exiled to Patmos, a prison colony off the coast of Turkey, where he couldn’t talk to anyone. But the Lord appeared to him there and had him write the Book of Revelation. You could say that in trying to prevent him from speaking, the Romans helped John send the Church one of the most important messages of all.