[Biblemat] Was John boiled in oil? (question/answer)

Don Martin dmartin5 at concentric.net
Tue Nov 30 10:17:53 CST 2004

Hello Susan,

Thank you so much for your question and for making use of Bible Questions.
Please do so again. http://www.biblequestions.org  Please check out Bible
Truths http://www.bibletruths.net  Go to the archives section of these sites
for material and also go to the archives search page and type in any subject
or word you wish to explore. New material is constantly being added to both
sites. Any help you can give us in telling others of these sites will be
greatly appreciated.

If you are interested in really learning more about the Bible, there is an
online Bible study course located in Bible Truths. While on the home page,
scroll down and enter.  While on the Map Site Page, click on "Online Bible
Study Course" in the table.  Click on http://www.bibletruths.net to go

You asked:

Was john in Revelation boiled in oil?


First, the Bible contains not a scintilla about the apostle John being
boiled in oil.  Tertullian, the historian, is largely responsible for the
tradition that John was arrested, tried, and placed in a cauldron of boiling
oil, but miraculously was unharmed.  According to the story, rather than
being convinced of John's innocence, his enemies accused him of
having been delivered by the power of sorcery and they exiled him to
Patmos, from where he penned Revelation.  Did the cauldron of
boiling oil miracle actually happen?  We do not know for sure and
there is not enough history documentation to present the tradition
as fact, I do not believe.  Notwithstanding, the Western Church
until 1960 (they removed this event from the Catholic calendar in
1960) liturgically commemorated this tradition.  The lesson is
we must use the Bible as our authority and be very careful regarding secular
history or tradition (cp. Mk. 7: 7, 8).  You are invited to read, "The
Bible" located in www.bibletruths.net , our reference site.  When on the
home page, click on "The Bible" button at the top.  Here is an excerpt:

     "...Do you want to learn more about the greatest book ever known to
man? The Bible is the greatest book because the Creator of the universe and
of you and me gave it to man. Speaking of prophecy (scriptures) the apostle
Peter wrote, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but
holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1: 21).
While written by men, the Holy Spirit supplied even the very words used (I
Cor. 2: 13). Hence, the scriptures are inspired (2 Tim. 3: 16, 17, see
"Inspiration of the Scriptures" located in Archives). It is in the Bible
that we learn of our origin, purpose, and destiny (Gen. 1, 2; Eccl. 12: 13,
14; Matt. 25: 46). It is in the Bible that we learn of God - a being so
perfect that he is love and how he loved man so much that he gave his only
begotten Son (I Jn. 4: 8, Jn. 3: 16, Acts 17: 22-34)....."

Thanks again for your good question and for your interest in spiritual
matters. I recommend that you print out this email for future reference (web
addresses, etc.). You may print out any material you desire in both Bible
Questions and Bible Truths (see the copyright provision at the bottom of the
home page in Bible Truths).

Don Martin

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