fellow partaker of the tribulation

The apostle John mentions that he is a "fellow partaker of the tribulation," "because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus" (Rev 1:9). John's tribulation, the persecution of his faith in Jesus Christ, is in reference to his exile to Patmos during a time of persecution under the Roman rule of Domition.

Early historical records indicate that the apostle was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities, which was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses such as the practices of magic and astrology. Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category, whether Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy with political implications, like that expressed by the apostle John in the Book of Revelation, would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power and order. Three of the islands in the Sporades were places where political offenders were banished. (Pliny, Natural History 4.69–70; Tacitus, Annals 4.30)

From Revelation: An Explication © Helpmewithbiblestudy.org: A resource for learning how to read the Bible.